Chocolate Marbled Pumpkin Bread

Ready for fall baking?

Looking for a way to dress up traditional pumpkin bread?  This unique variation is an aesthetic addition to the table and simple to achieve.  While the warm fall spices are the primary flavor, the chocolate swirls add a hint of richness, which make it an irresistible dessert at any gathering.


  • 1/2 can (8oz) canned purred pumpkin
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup whole or low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup oil or unsweetened applesauce
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cinnamon sticks
Photo by Pixabay on
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • small dash cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels


  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Step 2: Prepare 9×5 baking tin. Grease the bottom, sides and corners, and place parchment paper on the bottom of the tin, extending over the sides.
  • Step 3: Measure out the wet ingredients.

Tip: Replacing unsweetened applesauce for oil reduces fat and roughly 600 calories throughout the loaf. Although applesauce contributes moisture, displacing the fat in oil can lead to a stodgy cake. By using milk (whole or low fat) rather than water as well as enough raising agent (e.g. baking soda), the loaf will become just a bit more rich and aerated, The lactose in the milk also caramelizes as the loaf bakes, creating an interesting, evenly browned crust. (See links at the bottom of this post to read more about the science behind the baking!)

  • Step 4: Incorporate spices. I usually just add the spices to the wet ingredients, but traditionally, spices are added to dry ingredients. Either way seems to work fine.
  • Step 5: Combine the dry ingredients. Be sure to break up flour clumps with a sifter after measuring the flour out.
  • Step 6: Set aside half of the batter in a separate dish.
  • Step 7: In a microwave-safe dish, heat chocolate morsels by thirty second increments until the morsels become soft and slightly viscous. Be careful not to overheat. Stir the morsels and mix with the reserved batter.
I doubled the recipe, and half of the batter went to a traditional pumpkin bread topped with cinnamon sugar and pumpkin seeds.
  • Step 8: Alternately pipe or scoop the two batters into the prepared tin. The batter should fill roughly two thirds of the tin.
  • Step 9: Bake at 350 degrees for forty-five to sixty minutes, or until an inserted tooth-pic comes out clean.

Tip: Allow the bread to cool completely before cutting to avoid excessive crumble and layer separation.


Tip: Feel free to use the batter without chocolate as an awesome base recipe for pumpkin bread. Topping pumpkin bread with cinnamon sugar and pumpkin seeds or a few pecans is a favorite easy alternative.

One thought on “Chocolate Marbled Pumpkin Bread

  1. Did not know that about what happens when you substitute applesauce for oil. Milk instead of water and baking soda: that just may be the trick to getting my pumpkin bread a tad tastier! Beautiful marble swirl, by the way! 🙂

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