Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is a fall favorite!  This version is extra moist, thanks to the addition of yogurt, and perfectly spiced with cinnamon.

overhead picture of stacked slices of chocolate chip pumpkin bread.

Oh, hey — it’s October, and here’s a pumpkin recipe.  I know, could I possibly be more cliché (I really can’t stand the overuse of the #basic hashtag, but yes, it probably applies here as well)?

I’ve found that my love of pumpkin has dwindled lately, inversely related to the increased rise in pumpkin popularity.  I think I liked it because it seemed almost special.  There really weren’t too many pumpkin-flavored foods (pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin bread) and they were available for such a short period of time.

But now?  Pumpkin Oreos.  Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows.  Break-and-Bake Pumpkin Spice Nestle Toll House Cookies.  Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt.  Pumpkin Spice Milano Cookies.  And of course, the ubiquitous PSL.  Stop the madness!

And yet here I am, contributing to your annual ridiculous pumpkin overload.  But somehow, it doesn’t feel like fall unless I make this chocolate chip pumpkin bread at least once, and it’s always a real crowd-pleaser.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting at a shore house in Avalon, NJ, with a group of friends for our annual Columbus Day Week beach trip.  It actually feels nothing like fall outside.  We’ve hit an amazing stretch of weather with sunny, 70 degree days, and have spent every day basking in sunny glory on the beach.

But the chocolate chip pumpkin bread has still disappeared, despite the uncharacteristically warm temperatures.  (We were all ill-prepared and had to purchase swimsuits and shorts for our time spent on the beach).

Given the lack of fall-ness around here, I just may have to make this one more time this season.  But that’s okay – I don’t think anyone will complain. 

loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread in the pan sitting on a blue dishtowel.

Ingredients and Substitutions

The ingredient list to make this pumpkin bread is pretty short and sweet. In fact, if you keep a well-stocked pantry with an extra can of pumpkin, you may already have everything you need!

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Canned Pumpkin
  • Canola Oil: Or substitute another neutral-flavored oil, like vegetable or grapeseed oil.
  • Yogurt: You can use plain or flavored yogurt here, but full-fat is better than low-fat. Sour cream is a great substitution option.
  • Eggs: Flax-seed eggs can be used to keep the bread egg-free.
  • Flour: To keep this pumpkin bread gluten-free, use a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose baking mix for the flour.
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Chocolate Chips
slices of chocolate chip pumpkin bread arranged in a loaf pan.

Baking with Yogurt

This chocolate chip pumpkin bread is a little dense but not at all dry, thanks to the addition of yogurt. 

I usually use vanilla yogurt, but this is a really fun chance to play around with flavors.  Try it out for yourself — I’ve made it with maple and it was delicious.  You could even use one of those pumpkin pie-flavored yogurts hogging up valuable yogurt shelf space this month. 

But why are we adding yogurt to the cake?  We already have 2 cups of canned pumpkin and half a cup of oil.  What could yogurt possibly contribute, on top of all those other liquid ingredients?  Time for my favorite subject: kitchen chemistry!

In baking, the liquid component of a cake provides two major roles: it determines the acidity and the fat level of the batter. The acidity of the cake interacts with leavening agents to help the cake rise and has an effect on gluten development. Fat content, meanwhile, provides moisture and reduces gluten formation.

Kitchen Chemistry

Ideal gluten development happens at a pH between 5 and 6.  For crusty breads, we want lots of gluten!  For quick bread and cakes, we don’t – we want a soft, tender crumb.  We can get this one one of two ways: adding extra fat to reduce the gluten formation (hello, cakes with lots of butter!) or lowering the pH. Adding yogurt lowers the pH of the batter to create a soft cakey texture without adding even more fat.

several slices of chocolate chip pumpkin bread on a grey plate.

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Bread

This chocolate chip pumpkin bread recipe is seriously, seriously easy.  Like, one bowl, one whisk easy.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease your loaf pans.

Whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, oil, yogurt, and eggs.  Then add in the flour, baking soda, and some spices.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour into loaf pans.  Bake.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaves onto a wire rack and cool completely before serving.

That’s it. Seriously. This chocolate chip pumpkin bread is so good and SO EASY!

  • 8.5 x 4.5-inch Loaf Pan: This recipe is written for an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan. Use metal, as it is the best conductor of heat. Ideally, you can bake two loaves at the same time, but if you only have one loaf, bake the loaves back to back.
  • Mixing Bowls: This set of glass mixing bowls is my favorite – so many sizes, and microwave and dishwasher-safe!
  • Whisk: Use a nice, sturdy whisk to mix together the ingredients.
side view of six slices of chocolate chip pumpkin bread stacked on a plate.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

  1. Properly Measure Flour: To prevent a dense loaf, measure your flour by weight or fluff your flour before measuring, spoon it into the measuring cup, and level it off with a knife. Avoid packing the flour into the cup.
  2. Don’t Overmix: Overmixing can lead to a tough bread. Mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined; a few lumps are okay.
  3. Experiment with Spices: While the recipe calls for cinnamon, don’t be afraid to experiment with other warm spices like nutmeg, cloves, or allspice to suit your taste.
  4. Chocolate Chips vs. Chunks: While chocolate chips work great, consider chopping up a chocolate bar into chunks for a more decadent bite.
  5. Add Nuts for Texture: If you enjoy some crunch in your bread, toss in ½ cup of chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans when adding the chocolate chips.
  6. Cool Before Slicing: Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. This helps it set and makes for neater slices.
  7. Store at Room Temperature: This pumpkin bread is best consumed within 3 days of baking. Store the loaves, wrapped tightly, at room temperature. For long-term storage, wrap the loaves in aluminum foil and store in a zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before consuming.

More Pumpkin Recipes

slices of chocolate chip pumpkin bread stacked on a small plate.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Yield: 2 loaves (24 slices)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Chocolate chip pumpkin bread is a fall favorite! This version is extra moist, thanks to the addition of yogurt, and perfectly spiced with cinnamon.


  • 2 (396 grams) granulated cups sugar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can (~2 cups) canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) canola oil
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) yogurt (plain or flavored)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (170 grams) chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 8×4-inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, pumpkin, canola oil, yogurt, and eggs.
  3. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda until dry and wet ingredients are just combined.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
  6. Cool pumpkin bread in the loaf pans for 10 minutes; then remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.


Pumpkin bread is best consumed within 3 days of baking. For long-term storage, freeze a loaf by wrapping it in aluminum foil and storing it in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 8gCarbohydrates: 35gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread: a fall favorite made extra moist with yogurt and perfectly spiced with cinnamon.