It’s that time of year again…pumpkin time! Fall is my favorite season and, while I may be starting a little early this year, I simply cannot wait for those fall flavors to hit my dinner table. In the food blog-o-sphere pumpkin season technically starts mid-August, right?? I bought Halloween Oreo’s at Target last week so it’s legit. 😉 Last season I went through approximately 15 cans of pumpkin puree and had a couple left in the pantry for a rainy day. Since I plan on stocking up in the next couple weeks, it was time to clear out those last few stragglers to make way for new stock.
I cannot think of a better way of using up my last bit of pumpkin puree than making pumpkin bread. Besides being a crowd pleaser it freezes beautifully. I always feel a little better when I have a couple loaves of pumpkin or banana bread waiting for me in the freezer. There will inevitably be a sweet craving after dinner that can be instantly satisfied by taking one of these hidden gems out of the freezer. Frozen chocolate chips get me every. single. time.
Last year I shared my recipe for whole grain pumpkin chocolate chunk bread; this recipe is a slight twist. I used that recipe as a guide adding brown sugar, using chocolate chips instead of chunks, and sticking with all purpose flour for a light and moist result to satisfy your first pumpkin cravings. The recipe can be easily halved if you are in the market for one loaf, but while you are going through the trouble of mixing the ingredients you might as well make one for the freezer (or a friend).
Ingredients (makes two loaves)
- 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 2 (generous) tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 c. all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- non-stick cooking spray, for loaf pans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. I mixed the batter in my stand mixer, but this is definitely not necessary…I was just in a dump it all in and mix kinda mood this morning. A bowl and whisk works perfectly well if you are looking to expel a little more effort!
Begin by mixing the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. It’s very important that the butter is cooled so we don’t end up with bits of scrambled eggs in our pumpkin bread; yuck.
Add eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. I liberally add the pumpkin pie spice and vanilla because these are the ingredients that bump up the flavor of the final product…no interest in bland pumpkin bread here.
Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; mix until about half the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients.
Now is the time to add the chocolate chips; not only will this prevent over-mixing, it will also allow the chocolate chips to evenly distribute into the batter instead of sinking to the bottom. Mix until the dry ingredients and chocolate chips are JUST combined.
Spray loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray, I do this even when the pans advertise they are non-stick, and divide the batter evenly among the two pans.
Smooth out the top and place in the oven; bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden and crinkled, and a knife comes out clean when inserted in the center of the loaf. Allow to cool then run a knife around the edges of the bread before turning it out onto a plate to serve.
Wrap the second loaf in heavy duty aluminum foil and place in a freezer gallon zip-top bag before placing in the freezer. Pumpkin bread can be stored for several months in the freezer…but my guess is it won’t last that long.
My husband returned this afternoon from a weekend boy’s trip up North; I can’t think of a better “welcome home” than homemade pumpkin bread! Enjoy!