Okay, it's offish, fall is here. Which apparently means it's time for pumpkin or something?
Seriously, though, when did seasonal appreciation for pumpkin turn into yearly pumpkin hysteria? Pinterest has been 89% pumpkin since late August. Pumpkin spice coffee selfies litter my newsfeed. I posted a filtered picture of a can of pumpkin on instagram and a lot of you "liked" it. A can of pumpkin. I'm starting to become suspicious that we've all been conned by a multi-year marketing campaign by Starbucks.
That said, I'm the one who rushed to bake something pumpkin as soon as the A/C came off and the temps hit the mid-60s. While some of the pumpkin spice creations out there might disappoint, actual pumpkin, with actual baking spices? Delicious.
The pumpkin chocolate chip combo is a bit of an obsession of mine. Which is why it's a little shocking it took me so long to make this recipe: I've owned the cookbook for ages. The loaf cake itself hits all the right points: moist without being dense, not too sweet, fragrant with spices, and plenty pumpkin-y. Semisweet chocolate chips are the perfect complement, as they so often are. It's also easy to make and makes a ton: 2 full loaf pans, or in my case, 1 full loaf and 4 mini-loaves. So make a loaf for now, and freeze one for later!
pumpkin chocolate chip loaf cake
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
3 1/4 cups (16.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
1 cup canola oil
3 cups white sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup room temperature water
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9×5 loaf pans by spraying with cooking spray and dusting with flour, shaking pans to knock out excess flour. Alternately, use mini loaf pans: 4 minis equal 1 large.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices (cinnamon through nutmeg). Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and oil until combined. Add the sugar and whisk until combined. Whisk each egg into the mixture, one at a time. Add the vanilla and the 2/3 cup of water and whisk again until combined. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the chocolate chips.
Using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, stirring just until the flour disappears. Divide the batter between your prepared pans, using a spatula to smooth the tops.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through. If using mini-loaf pans, adjust baking time. Mine took about an hour, but start checking at 45 minutes.
Remove the finished loaves from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Then invert the loaves onto wire racks and allow to cool completely.
The loaves should keep for 3-4 days wrapped in plastic at room temperature, and can also be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil, for about 2 months.