Confession: I am a late bloomer when it comes to my love for pumpkin.

My mom doesn’t really like pumpkin, so the only encounters that I had with it before adulthood were in the form of store-bought pumpkin pies in those crinkly aluminum tins topped with a dollop of partially frozen cool whip. Not exactly the tastiest introduction!

Maybe it was fate, but I discovered my love of baking around the same time that a certain coffee chain debuted pumpkin spice to the masses. The two things inevitably collided and a late love of pumpkin baked goods was born!

These days, I tend to prefer pumpkin cakes, cookies, and breads over custardy pumpkin treats (too many bad childhood memories!). This chocolate chip pumpkin bread is a favorite.

This is a super moist loaf with a bright orange, not-too-dense crumb. A sprinkle of mini chocolate chips in the batter creates a contrast between the sweet, tender crumb of the bread and almost bitter chocolate.

The barest hint of spice in the batter is amplified by the liberal coating of cinnamon sugar on top of the bread. This does double duty: it adds flavor and it turns into a crackly crust as the bread bakes (My tasters declared that as their favorite part.)

This bread keeps like a dream for at least a few days, wrapped well, on the countertop.

Ingredients

For the topping:

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the bread:

  • 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (244 g) pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) whole milk (2% is also fine)
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for topping

Special equipment:

  • 9-x-5-inch loaf pan

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a 9-x-5-inch loaf pan.

2 Mix the topping: Whisk 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside

3 Mix the dry ingredients: Combine the flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.

4 Make the batter: In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and fold to combine. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

5 Transfer the batter into the loaf pan. Tap the pan a few times on the counter to remove air bubbles, then smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and more mini chocolate chips.

6 Bake the bread: Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 20 minutes before removing and cooling completely.

Wrap up any leftovers with foil or plastic wrap and store on the counter. The bread will keep for several days.

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