Vegan Spiced Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
Thanks to the vegan culinary goddess who is Isa Chandra Moskowitz, I’ve found my autumn staple—at least six of these loaves have come out of my oven since October. Chocolate, pumpkin, and fall spices harmonize to create a decadent (yet relatively healthy) dessert bread that you’ll be proud to share with your omnivore pals.
You can really taste the purity of the ingredients in this bread, and in all vegan baked goods, because they’re unhindered by heavy butter or eggs. That said, try to use quality ingredients (especially chocolate, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract), and avoid omitting any of the spices.
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (the higher quality the better)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1 cup organic sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you can substitute up to half with white whole wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chunks (I’ve used Green & Black’s and Trader Joe’s 70% cacao)
Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease an 8”x4” loaf pan (if you must use a different sized pan, adjust baking time—when I used a 9”x5” I baked for about ten fewer minutes). Begin to boil water.
In a large bowl, put applesauce, oil, and cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.
Add 1/3 cup boiling water to the cocoa powder mixture, and incorporate with a whisk or fork until very smooth. To the chocolate mixture, add pumpkin, sugar, and vanilla.
Spoon half of the flour mixture into wet ingredients, lightly stir, add 1 tablespoon boiling water, and stir again. Add remaining flour and one more tablespoon boiling water, stirring until just smooth. Fold in chocolate chunks. (Note that batter is quite thick—don’t worry, you didn’t mess up!)
Pour the batter into pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake for 55 minutes, or until ye olde toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove and cool on wire rack. Share the chocolatey pumpkin love!