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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

November 5, 2012

After spending the past 8 years with jobs that require some travel (my first “real” job was 100% travel, my current job is probably just over 20%), I’ve gotten pretty good at it.  I know what snacks to travel (almonds, granola bars, apples!) & how to pack efficiently (all blacks this trip!).  My luggage with the 360 degrees wheels is (seriously) amazing & I’ve gotten really good at sleeping on planes.

Through all my travels, I fully understand-slash-appreciate the direct flight.  You frequent travelers know what I’m talking about.  It’s like when you are really craving a piece of chocolate and you know you have your favorite, Ghirardelli milk chocolate with caramel filling, in a bag on top of the fridge, phew.  And once you start thinking about the chocolate you must have it right then (why is that?!).  Except when you go to look for it, you can’t find the bag.  It’s not possible that your husband ate the last of them because there were 3 in the bag yesterday.  Except it is possible.  Cue tiny violin.  And, so you resort to eating semi-sweet baking chocolate chips.   It is chocolate, so it’s better than no chocolate, but it’s really disappointing.  Served its purpose, yes, enjoyed, not really.  You chocolate lovers know what I’m talking about (right?).  That’s how I feel about trips with layovers.

While on my work trip to San Francisco, I crammed in a walking sight-seeing tour of the area during my free morning.  I made it to the Ghirardelli Square, where I stocked up on my favorite chocolates so to avoid future baking chip chocolate-craving experiences.

Back to the traveling…I made this chocolate chip pumpkin bread & packed some for the road.  Much better than anything I could have found at the Starbuck’s counter.

I adapted this recipe from my chocolate chip banana bread recipe, adding 1 cup of pumpkin puree, reducing the bananas & adding a little more sugar (to make up for the reduction in bananas).  I like making this in the mini pans – perfect for sharing…and traveling!


1 ripe banana
2 cups all-purpose flour (optional: sub 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp butter (at room temp)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sour cream (at room temp)
1+ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tbsp old-fashion oats, optional, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 4 mini loaf pans.
  • Peel & mash banana in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon.
  • In a third larger bowl, beat butter & sugar on high until light & fluffy, about 3 min.  Gradually add eggs, then pumpkin & finally banana until mixed.
  • Reduce speed & slowly add half of the dry ingredients.  Gently stir in the sour cream & then the remaining flour mixture.
  • Set aside 1 – 2 tbsp of nuts.  Fold in chocolate chips & remaining nuts.  Pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle with nuts & oats.
  • Bake 30 – 35 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.

Best served warm…or cold on a plane!

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