Updated: Mar 25, 2021
In France, pumpkin (or butternut squash) is mainly reserved for savory dishes. For example, butternut soup is a fall menu staple. I do not cook with pumpkin or butternut in savory dishes as much as the French do, but my goodness do I love pumpkin-flavored desserts.
French friends have always been pleasantly surprised by my pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving so I thought I would try out pumpkin bread for them. Result: some can’t get past the idea of pumpkin in a dessert and some absolutely love it! I could eat the whole darn thing : ) It is perfect with coffee or tea. Even better, I highly suggest warming up a slice for 15 seconds in the microwave and serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream – deliciously decadent!
This pumpkin bread is easy to whip up and stays super moist for 5-7 days. You can substitute raisins for the chocolate chips (or omit both) and homemade pumpkin purée for the canned. Canned pumpkin purée saves time, but since it does not exist in France, I roast butternut squash or pumpkin then purée it.
Active time: 35 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour (more if you make your own pumpkin purée)
Need: 9 by 5 loaf pan (23 by 13 cm)
1 ¾ cup (230 g) flour (T65 in France)
1 ½ cups (310 g) sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, room temperature
½ cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups (300 g) canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie spiced) or homemade (see note at the end of the recipe)
1/3 cup (80 ml) water
½ cup (90 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). In a large bowl, sift (or whisk) together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, vegetable oil, pumpkin (or butternut) purée, and water. Pour the batter into the dry ingredients and stir together until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Butter or grease a loaf pan. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the bread cool in the pan for 30 minutes then gently turn it out onto a wire rack. Let cool completely before serving.
And bon appétit!
** Homemade Pumpkin purée: Cut a small butternut squash or sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy insides. Place flesh-side down on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven at 375° F (190° C) for about 40 minutes. Scoop out the insides and pulse in a food processor until smooth.