By HarvardHomemaker

I'm a Harvard graduate and homemaker who blogs about living (and loving!) the domestic life with my husband and four young daughters. My blog now permanently resides at www.harvardhomemaker.com. Please visit me there!

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2013 at 02:42:00 PM in Recipes
Tags: bread,  recipes,  pumpkin,  fall

Healthier Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (So Good!)

People, I'm telling you, this stuff is good.  Seriously, if you like pumpkin bread, you have to try this!  I have modified the original recipe by cutting out half the oil and replacing it with applesauce, too.  You don't miss that oil at all; I can't even tell the difference myself!  

I've also tried making it with no oil (using only applesauce or Greek yogurt in place of the oil), and that is also good, but I think it's only best if it's eaten right away (even while it's still a bit warm).  When you completely cut out the oil, the texture feels a bit chewier to me.  But if you are really trying to be healthy, and "chewy" doesn't bother you too much, then please know that it's more than edible that way, too!  (You simply replace the oil with equal amounts of applesauce or Greek yogurt.  I do this all the time when baking, especially when I make cakes from a box.  I never bake cakes with oil anymore!)

This recipe freezes well (like any baked bread), so it's perfect to make ahead of time.  Just remove it from the freezer when you're ready to serve it or give it as a gift.  I also bake in recycled cans sometimes.  When wrapped in cellophane and ribbon, these make the cutest gifts for neighbors, teachers, friends, etc.   Very handy around the holidays, at the end of a school year, or anytime!

I just love baking in the fall after a hot summer (when I wanted to be as far from the kitchen as possible)!  This chocolate chip pumpkin bread is something we look forward to every year around this time!!  I can't tell you how many times I've made it to "give to someone", and then somehow my family eats all three loaves in less than 24 hours.  Oops.  What can I say... we love us some pumpkin bread!!

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, applesauce, water, and eggs.  Beat until smooth.

Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.  Blend.  Fold in chocolate chips.  (Walnuts are optional; I omit.)

Divide evenly between three 9x5 inch loaf pans that are greased and floured.  (As shown here, I typically use the ones you can buy in a set of three at the store because I'm often giving them away as gifts.)

You can also bake in recycled cans.  I love this idea!!  Be sure to allow some room at the top for the batter to rise.

You can see here how much the pumpkin bread rose when filled as shown above.

These make great gifts!  We made these for Teacher Appreciation Day and attached a card that said, "We CAN't thank you enough for all you do!"  You could also give these as hostess gifts, share some holiday cheer with neighbors, or let someone know you're thinking of them for any reason.

I tucked each can into a cellophane bag and then tied them off with ribbon, but you could also cover the top with aluminum foil, add a square of cute fabric on top of that, and then secure with a rubber band.  And then you could add a ribbon to hide the rubber band.  Lots of ways to have fun with this.  So start saving those cans, my friends!  :)  


This bread is so moist.  (I think you can actually see that in the picture below.)  Be sure not to over-bake, though; it can be easy to do that.  As soon as I press slightly in the middle and it bounces back to me, I take it out.

Healthier Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Find a printable version of this recipe here.

3 cups white sugar

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup applesauce (I just use a small container I always have on hand for school lunches)

2/3 cup water

4 eggs

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 T. ground cinnamon

1 T. ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like to use the mini chips as shown here)

optional:  1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I omit)


Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour three 9x15 inch loaf pans or use recycled cans.  (I have never made a batch of this solely with recycled cans, but my guess is you could probably get about 12 cans out of the recipe, depending on the size of the cans.)  Combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, applesauce, water, and eggs.  Beat until smooth.  Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.  Blend.  Fold in chocolate chips (and walnuts if desired).

Fill pans or cans to about 3/4 full, allowing room for it to rise.  Bake three pans for about one hour.  I usually set the timer for 50 minutes, and then I continue to check it.  I don't like mine to over-bake, as I think it's better (more moist) when it's just done.  Although if you don't cook it long enough, it can be gooey in the middle.  My tip:  when I tap it in the center and it bounces back to the touch, it's done.  If you are using recycled cans, reduce the baking time since it will cook faster in smaller containers.

Freezes well.  You can make this ahead of time, and it tastes just as good after thawing out.  Enjoy! 


This recipe was adapted from one I originally found at All Recipes.
Largest selection of Halloween Costumes on this planet!

Happy Fall baking, my friends!

I like to use applesauce to cut out some oil without sacrificing taste.  What substitutions do you regularly use?

Until next time... thanks for reading!  


You might also like:

Easy No-Sew DIY Minion Costumes

This Halloween costume idea is simply genius.  I can say that because I didn't come up with it; my super-creative friend did!  Last fall, two of my daughters and a few of their friends all

Sep 22 2013, 01:55 PM - 9972 Views - 0 comments

Tart & Sweet Cranberry Applesauce

The cranberry part of Thanksgiving used to gross me out.  But thanks to this cranberry applesauce recipe, it's my favorite part of the meal now!  And I don't even like cranberries!!

Nov 13 2012, 02:31 PM - 2223 Views - 2 comments

Two Ingredient Sweet Apple Dip

Short on time and looking for the easiest (but still impressive!) fall appetizer?  This simple recipe (if you can even call it that) is a go-to for me this time of year.  My dear friend

Nov 7 2012, 05:44 PM - 2880 Views - 0 comments

Share the Halloween Spirit by "Boo-ing" Your Neighbors

I had never heard of "Boo-ing" until I moved south.  It's not something we did growing up.  But boy, would I have loved it!!  It is right up my alley.  Well, the apple doesn't

Oct 7 2012, 06:26 PM - 2450 Views - 3 comments

Moist & Healthy Pumpkin Bars - Made with Applesauce

If you love pumpkin bars, look no further--this recipe is for you!  My aunt gave me the original recipe, and then I modified it.  I took out an entire CUP of oil, and I also replaced the

Oct 6 2012, 11:16 PM - 7412 Views - 4 comments

15 Fun Photo Gifts From My Favorite Card Sites

Minted, Tiny Prints, and Shutterfly are easily my three favorite places from which to order cards this time of year.  I have ordered my holiday cards from Minted the last two years (I think

Dec 7 2013, 11:40 PM - 2413 Views - 0 comments

30 Photos with Wording Ideas to Inspire Holiday Cards

It's my favorite time of the year again... holiday card season, of course!  I just love opening our mailbox to find pictures and updates from all the special people in our life!  I equally

Nov 18 2013, 03:29 PM - 2943 Views - 0 comments

15 Great Sites to Get Your Holiday Photo Cards

It's that time of year again!  Time to start thinking about the ol' Christmas card!  If you need some photo inspiration, you might want to check out this post with 100 Photos to

Oct 24 2013, 10:08 PM - 2456 Views - 0 comments

10 Most Popular Photos of 2013

I absolutely love pictures.  My camera is never far from reach, and I'm a big believer in displaying family photos so that the love your family shares is visible to your children on a daily

Dec 30 2013, 11:09 AM - 1981 Views - 0 comments

100+ Ideas to Help Organize Your Home and Your Life

I love to organize!!   Okay, that may be overstating things a bit. Let's rephrase:  I love to be organized.   I think all of us love to be organized, whether we admit it or not.

Jan 18 2013, 11:21 PM - 1364568 Views - 39 comments

Add comment

Signin or Signup to comment