Chocolate Spiced Pumpkin Bread

We have very few home grown veggies left by May. But one thing still holding on is the squash. A few have wrinkled and dried up but mostly they look as good as the day I picked them! However I know their internal clocks are ticking, and even if they look ok, they’re not going to have the same flavor in July that they had last fall.

So what to do with huge squashes that need to be eaten? I roasted a big one and made a pot of coconut curry squash soup. I still had more left over, so I whipped up this delicious quick bread!

ingredient prep

In my mind it was going to be a fairly standard pumpkin bread. Then I thought I’d add chocolate chips. Then I realized I had twice as much squash as the recipe called for, and what would happen if I used it all in one loaf? Would it up the pumpkin flavor*? What other changes would I need to hold the bread together? Soon I was writing stuff down. The bread came out so well I want to share it with you!

ingredient close up

This bread is rich and chocolatey without too much fat. You can taste the pumpkin over the chocolate and the main spice is ginger instead of cinnamon. I really like the ginger/pumpkin/chocolate combination, hopefully you will too!

1 1/2C flour
1/4C cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter
1C sugar
1T molasses
2C roasted squash or pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3C chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a bread loaf pan (8×4? 9×5? whatever the standard size is)
In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients and whisk together thoroughly.
Put the butter in a large bowl and beat it. Once it’s well broken up add the sugar and molasses and cream everything together. Note that this will be more crumbly and stick together less than you’re used to for quick breads. That’s ok.
Add the eggs, squash, and vanilla and continue to beat on low speed.
Add the flour mixture slowly in three parts beating everything until it is just combined.
Fold in the chocolate chips, scrape the batter into your loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean – approx. 50 minutes.

squash bread loaf

The additional squash and eggs mean that this bread stays moist and wonderful for days. I added more leavening than usual to hold up all those dense ingredients, and it seems to have worked perfectly!

Neil asked if this is the kind of bread you eat with butter on it. While it is very chocolatey it’s not overly sweet. I say if you’d eat butter on chocolate chip banana bread then you probably want butter on this bread too. Unless you’re trying to be healthy or something…

Of course after saying that I also think you could easily frost this (maybe with a cream cheese frosting?) and pass it off as a cake! Maybe I’ll try that next time and let you know how it goes – because I still have more squash in my guest room closet.

squash bread close up

*I use the word “pumpkin” loosely here. This was a butternut squash. I find they have much more flavor than pumpkins. They’re also less watery. In fact, if you’re using pumpkin for this recipe, you might want to strain it first…


2 responses to “Chocolate Spiced Pumpkin Bread

  1. This looks awfully good. I may have to get a squash just to make it.

    We are thinking of pulling out the hot tub in our deck (inherited with the house – nonworking) and putting a raised square bed in it’s place. I think I could fit one squash plant in there if I tried…..

    • My favorite trick is to plant the squashes on the edge of the garden bed, and then point the vines out into the unused space- over the lawn, into the wilds below my garden, or whereever you don’t mind them taking over.

      They take up far less garden space when only the roots are actually in the garden!

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