Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin bread

Much to my chagrin, fall seems to have arrived.  The signs are all in evidence: garden spiders are the size of marbles, 5 of our 9 hens are molting, my squash plants are succombing to dusty mildew, the heat is back on, and pumpkin-flavored things are back on the menu at Starbucks.

Since starting my new job, I've developed a terrible Starbucks habit.  I recently gave up caffeine in hopeful anticipation that hubbie and I can start a family in the very near future.  At about $4 for a double tall decaf non-fat no-whip mocha (what my boss calls a "Why Bother"), the habit has to stop.  This morning I bought some Via, which I'll make at my desk.  I'll put the $20 I'm saving each week into my meager savings account.

To be honest, I'm a good enough cook to make things that are way better - and way more varied - than Starbucks' pastry case could ever offer.  This morning I was admiring the pumpkin bread, all the while chastising myself because I knew this recipe is so good.

If you like Starbucks' pumpkin bread, you'll love this recipe.  I've been making it for years (sheesh, that makes me feel old to say things like that).  Normally I don't like the combination of cinnamon and chocolate but this is one very good exception.  As written below, it makes 3 loaves and uses a large can of pumpkin.  The original recipe makes 2 loaves.  The ingredients come together in just a few minutes and, with the exception of the pumpkin, are items found in most pantries.

Adapted ever-so-slightly from

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
3 cups sugar
3 cups canned pumpkin (large can)
3/4 cup canola oil
2 6-ounce containers of plain or vanilla yogurt
3 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Optional: 1 cup nuts
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a very large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in chocolate chips and optional nuts.

Spoon batter into 3 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

  • Mini-loaf pans - fill 4 mini-loaf pans 1/2 full and bake for 45 minutes or until done
  • Muffins - bake for 25 minutes
  • Mini-muffins - bake for 15 minutes
  • Bundt or circular pan - bake for 1 hour 15 minutes

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