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This vegan chocolate chip pumpkin bread is super easy to make and has a perfect contrast between the crust exterior and the super moist centre. The flavour has an earthy, warm yet gentle, and cosy spice that creates a wonderful Autumnal scent which complements the mellow sweetness of the pumpkin and melty chocolate chips. It’s a perfect homemade Autumn breakfast and dessert.
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I’m so excited that it’s September! Why? Because I can bake with all the lovely Autumn vegetables and fruits! And one of the most loved Autumn vegetables that I love baking with is pumpkin. They are so delicious, and unique and the look of them is so pretty! And today, I have made a lovely pumpkin loaf recipe. Vegan chocolate chip pumpkin bread! This one is a huge hit. Not only is it super delicious and easy to make, but it’s also dairy-free, eggless, and can be gluten-free and oil-free, a slightly healthier version of regular pumpkin bread.
This pumpkin loaf is great for both breakfast and snacks in the afternoon. I like having a toasted slice of it with a little vegan butter on for breakfast, and maybe with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream for a delicious and satisfying snack/dessert with almond milk. I made this pumpkin bread for my family and boyfriend and everyone loved it so the taste is guaranteed!
This recipe is:
Main ingredients and substitutions
Brown sugar: Brown sugar gives a lovely moist texture to baked goods than white sugar and I like using it when I want a moist or chewy texture in recipes. You can substitute for coconut sugar if you don’t have brown sugar on hand. You can also use regular caster sugar too, however, the texture of the final product may be different slightly.
Caster sugar: Caster sugar creates a nice crusty exterior for this recipe. I used about half brown sugar and half caster sugar to create a moist and crusty texture. Replace with brown sugar if you want to make this recipe more wholesome and moist.
Vegetable oil: I used vegetable oil that has no flavour and taste to create a moist texture in this recipe. You can replace it with light olive oil, coconut oil, melted vegan butter, or other liquid fat you would like to use. If you use oil with a strong flavour like olive oil, it may affect the taste of the final product. So if you want to avoid that, use refined ones but if not so bothered, use them as is.
Soy milk: I used soy milk in this recipe because I find soy milk gives a rich texture to baked goods. You can also use almond milk, oat milk, or any other plant milk of your choice in place of soy milk! I like using oat milk for its richness and creaminess and almond milk for a light and nice nutty flavour.
Pumpkin puree: And of course, pumpkin! I used my homemade pumpkin puree but you can also use store-bought canned pumpkin puree too. They vary in consistency so if your batter is a little runny, add 1-2 tablespoons of flour and if it’s too thick then add in 1-2 tablespoons soy milk to thin. When you are adjusting the thickness add flour/soy milk little by little so you won’t accidentally add too much.
Pumpkin spice: I love pumpkin spice mix because it instantly gives a warm and cosy Autumn feel to any baked goods. I used Simply Organic pumpkin spice and it always turns out super delicious. You can also mix 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger powder to substitute the pumpkin spice.
Vegan chocolate chips: Adding chocolate chips to pumpkin bread makes it extra decadent and flavourful! I used 1/2 cup (80g) of them from Enjoy Life Foods, which is vegan! You can use up to 1 cup (160g) if you would like your pumpkin bread extra sweet.
*I use bone char-free sugars for all of my recipes. I cover the topic in my article Vegan Baking 101. Go to the “Is sugar vegan?” section to learn more!
Recommended equipment for this recipe
Loaf tin: Use a good loaf tin to bake this easy homemade pumpkin bread recipe. Mine is a 2.8~3lb loaf tin but a 2lb one works well with this recipe too!
Wooden spoon: I like using large wooden spoons to mix batter because it’s more gentle than a whisk and doesn’t develop too much gluten in it. Overmixing kills the texture of baked goods so I always advise people not to do so. You can also use a rubber spatula or a large whisk if you don’t have a wooden spoon. If using a whisk, try to mix as gently as you can.
*The ingredient list and measurement for this recipe can be found in the recipe card at the bottom.
How to make vegan chocolate chip pumpkin bread
First of all, if you don’t have a canned pumpkin puree, make a homemade one! I used my homemade pumpkin puree. To make it at home, cut up a quarter of a pumpkin(seeds removed) into pieces, then bake them in the oven for about 30mins. Cool and remove the skin, put them in my food processor with a dash of filtered water and processed them until very smooth. I will make a thorough post for homemade pumpkin puree soon!
Mix all the wet ingredients including pumpkin puree in a bowl with a whisk until it’s very smooth. Because pumpkin puree is thicker than other liquid ingredients, it is easier to mix them in a fairly big bowl! Set aside.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk until well combined. You need a large bowl for this as we are pouring the wet mixture into it.
Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredient mixture and mix gently with a large wooden spoon or a spatula. Don’t over mix! If you overmix the batter it can cause developing too much gluten, which can result in a tough, rubbery, or gummy texture.
Add the vegan chocolate chips to the batter and fold gently with the same wooden spoon. You don’t need to “mix” the batter at this stage, only fold the chocolate chips! Transfer the mixture to a loaf tin, sprinkle some more chocolate chips and bake for about 50 mins at 180℃.
When it’s done baking, do a toothpick test! Insert a toothpick into the centre of the pumpkin bread and if it comes out clean, it’s baked! If it comes out with wet batter, bake for another 5 to 10 mins. Let it cool completely to room temperature before taking the loaf out of the tin. The tin is very hot so be careful not to burn your hand. Slice and enjoy!
Tips and tricks
Mix the batter gently
When it comes to mixing the batter, I always advise doing so very gently. If you mix the batter too much, it develops gluten in the batter and it results in a rubbery, tough, unpleasant texture in baked goods. That’s why I mix my batter with a large wooden spoon or a spatula rather than a whisk.
Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl first to make it in 1 bowl!
This recipe can be made in 1 bowl too! Great way to reduce dishes to wash afterwards. To make it in 1 bowl, mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl first, then add all the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet mixture and stir as instructed. Use a scale instead of measuring cups for even less dishes!
Use a scale
Although I have both cup and gram measurements for every recipe, I strongly recommend you weigh your ingredients in grams with a digital scale. This is because cup measurement is less accurate and it can lead to a disappointing result in the final product you are baking. Baking is science, so weighing each ingredient correctly is a must. Digital scales are relatively cheap and can be easily purchased online. So go get yours and start baking with confidence!
How to store this vegan chocolate chip pumpkin bread
This recipe keeps well at room temperature but not when it’s scorching hot as the chocolate chips can melt at a high temperature. Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 2-3 days, either sliced or unsliced to keep it fresh and any dirt away. It can freeze very well too. To freeze, slice the loaf first and put them in a freezer-friendly airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
Q and A
Why is my bread so dense?
Bread recipes, in general, tend to have quite a dense texture, however, if your bread is way too dense with no fluffiness to the bite, you might be using too much wet ingredients compared to dry ingredients, or your pumpkin puree was too thin. The best way to improve the texture is to use a digital scale to weigh your ingredients. This way the ratio of wet and dry ingredients is correct and this will improve the texture. If this doesn’t help, try adding a tablespoon or two of flour to the batter and see if it helps.
Another thing might be that you are mixing the batter too much. As I mentioned earlier, mixing the batter until very smooth and silky will develop gluten, and it will result in a tough, rubbery, possibly too dense texture that you are struggling to deal with. To avoid this, mix the wet and dry ingredients with a large wooden spoon or a spatula, not with a whisk. You can overmix the batter easily by whisking, and it’s tempting to whisk until smooth. If you don’t have either a wooden spoon or spatula, buy one! Or mix very carefully with a large whisk.
My pumpkin loaf is too rubbery/gummy! What should I do?
I’m most certain that there might be 2 reasons for this. They are the same reason above, one of which is that you have added too much wet ingredients. Try weighing your ingredients on a digital scale, or adding a tablespoon or two of flour to the batter and see if it helps solve the issue. Another is you mixed the batter too much and developed a lot of gluten. Too much gluten is a killer when it comes to baking – it creates a dense, rubbery, chewy texture with no fluffiness. So try not to overmix the batter, gentle is the key!
Why does my pumpkin bread not rise?
The reason behind it can be that you mixed your batter too much and developed too much gluten in it. By now you know how important it is to not overmix, hopefully!
Another reason might be that your baking powder/soda is old and that they don’t have leavening power anymore. To test if your baking powder or soda is old, take a pinch of them and put it on a little plate, drop a little vinegar. If it bubbles up then your baking powder/soda is good, and if not it’s time to buy a new one.
To make sure that your loaf will rise nicely, don’t forget to add the apple cider vinegar as the acidity of it activates baking soda!
Can it be oil-free?
You can make it oil-free by swapping the same amount of vegetable oil with nut butter. I used almond butter and it gave the loaf a wonderful flavour and texture! If using nut butter, increase the amount of soy milk to ~1/3cup(80ml) because nut butter is thicker than vegetable oil.
If you would like it to be oil-free and nut-free as well, you can simply replace the vegetable oil with the same amount of pumpkin puree or apple sauce. In this case, your loaf may have a little denser and drier texture due to the absence of any fat, but otherwise, it tastes as delicious.
If substituting vegetable oil, you may also need to adjust the baking time. Do the toothpick check after 50 mins and if it’s still undone, bake for another 5-10 mins.
Can I make it gluten-free?
Yes you can! Use 1:1 gluten-free flour in place of plain flour to make it gluten-free. The texture of the final product may be slightly denser, but otherwise, it’s as delicious.
Want to master the basics of vegan baking?
Check out Vegan Baking 101 – the beginner’s guide to vegan baking for you to become an excellent vegan baker and familiar with the basics of vegan baking, ingredients, and techniques with useful tips!
You will LOVE this vegan pumpkin bread because it’s:
- super moist
- full of pumpkin flavour
- great for breakfast and dessert
Want more recipes like this?
Try my other delicious loaf and other recipes you might enjoy!
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