This healthy pumpkin bread with chocolate chips is earth-shatteringly good. It’s made with whole wheat flour, a whole can of pumpkin, maple syrup and mini chocolate chips. It is both an all-time fan favorite and one of my favorite recipes on Healthy Seasonal Recipes. I can’t wait for you all to bake it!!

A stack of slices of Chocolate chip pumpkin bread

This recipe was originally shared on September 20th, 2016. I have updated the text and added a video today.

Why We Love Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

My kids have this joke when they try one of the recipes that I’m working on that they particularly love. They’ll say, “Oh, no, Mom, this is terrible. You definitely have to test this again.” Because they want to eat it again and again. Get it? Funny funny. Those little monkeys.

With this healthy pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, they definitely laid it on thick about how gross it was. And I agreed with them. That I wanted to taste it again. And actually, I did have to test it again, because it was toooooo moist. Yes, there is such a thing.

You see, when this loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread came out of the oven it had “an impressive rise.” {This is a term coined by Christine, who cross-tested recipes for my cookbook.} The first time I made the bread, it then sunk down to a flat top as soon as it cooled. What’s more, the inside of the loaf had a slightly wet battery layer toward the bottom of the loaf. As if it had settled under its own weight.

We actually loved that first version of it because it was so moist. Like, stick to the roof of your mouth, cake, moist. But that little food science, test kitchen nerd voice in my head sent me back in for another test. And there were also those two little girl voices that told me it was “terrible!”

To give it more structure, I could have made it less wet, by decreasing the liquid — the obvious choice being the pumpkin — but I wanted to use a whole can of pumpkin because I am a team player and I know you don’t want a recipe that uses less than a whole can.

So I just upped the flour a tad, baked it for a few more minutes, and bam. Perfection. Like oh, my granola, it’s so good, I had it for breakfast and lunch today. That good! And I wish, like my kids, that I could say it was “terrible” so that I would have another excuse to “test” it again. But it rocks just the way it is.

So when I make it again (tomorrow probably, because there is only one slice left and I am already thinking I’ll be eating another piece for dessert tonight) it won’t be for the sake of culinary science. It will be for the sake of needing this healthy pumpkin bread in my belly again.

an overhead view of a sliced loaf of pumpkin bread on a blue table

Ingredients for Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

Yes, there are mini chocolate chips in this healthy pumpkin bread recipe, but otherwise, this is a much healthier take on the classic loaf. Here’s what makes this chocolate chip pumpkin bread healthy: Whole Wheat Flour 

Whole wheat flour

This flour has a delightfully nutty taste thanks to the bran and germ that’s included in it. It’s packed with vitamins, fiber and minerals and is much heartier than regular all-purpose flour. 

Pure Maple Syrup 

Instead of refined sugars, this healthy pumpkin bread is sweetened with maple syrup. Maple syrup contains lots of minerals, like manganese, zinc and potassium. Just make sure you’re buying pure maple syrup, and not the artificially flavored stuff! 

Pure pumpkin puree 

Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A and is high in antioxidants. This recipe uses an entire can of pure pumpkin puree (not the pre-sweetened pumpkin pie filling!) It’s fairly neutral in flavor, making it a wonderful addition to breads, soups, and stews! 

Use Mini Chocolate Chips

Just like my Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, I used mini chocolate chips by Ghirardelli because a mere ¾ cup of them goes a long way. Because they are smaller, they spread out more in the batter so you get a little chocolate in every bite.

Step By Step Instructions To Make Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

healthy chocolate chip pumpkin bread step-by-step photos

Step 1: Start with the dry mix

This is a silly detail, but one I am pretty consistent about. It has to do with doing fewer dishes! I like to mix the dry mix first because I whisk it together. The dry ingredients don’t stick to the whisk. Then when I go to whisk the wet ingredients for the pumpkin bread, which do stick to the whisk. If I did it in the reverse, I would have to wash the whisk in between! 

Step 2: Mix the Wet Ingredients Separately

After I’ve whisked the dry ingredients, I whisk together the wet ingredients. I do this in my largest bowl, so I have room to add the dry ingredients to it. 

I really love this organic canned pumpkin. It has really great thick texture and beautiful light yellow-orange color. 

Step 3: Mix the Pumpkin Bread batter Together Just Before Baking

Quick bread, of which, this is one, is leavened with chemical leaveners, such as baking soda and or baking powder. This is opposed to a bread leavened with yeast. Chemical leaveners have a limited ability to release gas, so you only want to activate them right before you bake them, so they give the whole-wheat pumpkin bread batter the maximum amount of rise. 

Whisk eggs, pumpkin, oil, maple syrup and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir with the silicone spatula until moistened.

Add chocolate chips and stir until just combined. Make sure you do not overmix the batter as this will result in a dense bread.

So I make sure my oven is hot and my pan is coated with cooking spray before I mix together my batter. Then I just stir them together with a silicone spatula.

Step 4: Bake the Pumpkin Bread

Then I scrape it into the pan, add some extra chocolate chips on top to make it pretty and pop it right in the oven.

This bread really poufs up in the oven, and even with the extra flour does fall a bit once it comes out. The resulting texture, once it is cool, is nice and dense and moist, but not wet.

Step 5: Let The Loaf Cool in the Pan

Because it is so dense and moist, I let the bread cool IN THE PAN because if you try to turn it out onto a cooling rack it can’t really hold up its own weight. Yeah! It is that pumpkin.

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread | White whole-wheat flour | Baking |Snack | Fall | Best of Healthy Seasonal Recipes

FAQs and Expert Tips

Why is my pumpkin bread so dense?

There may be a few reasons why your pumpkin bread is dense. Overmixing the pumpkin bread batter can result in dense bread so make sure you do not mix the batter for too long. In addition, baking the batter for too long or not long enough can result in a dense batter too. Finally, a batter that is too wet or dry can also result in dense bread.

Why does my pumpkin bread not rise?

There’s nothing worse than baking pumpkin bread that does not rise. It can be very disappointing so here are a few things you can do to avoid this. Check the expiration date on the baking soda and baking powder before you start baking. If either of these two raising agents has expired then it will definitely affect the rise of the bread! You should also make sure that you do not overfill the loaf pan as this will also result in unrisen bread.

How to Use Homemade Pumpkin Puree for Pumpkin Bread

If you’re using homemade pureed pumpkin, make sure you strain it overnight through several layers of cheesecloth in a fine-mesh sieve. (Note: Do so in the fridge.) When you’re done straining it, weigh out 14 ounces to sub in for the canned pumpkin. 

How to make healthy pumpkin bread with chocolate chips ahead of time?

If you’re trying to prep healthy chocolate chip pumpkin bread ahead of time then, you can mix the dry and wet mixes separately and store them overnight. The wet mix will need to be covered and refrigerated overnight. 

Additional Recipes To Try

  1. I’ve been baking batch after batch of this Pumpkin Streusel Bread this fall too. It’s amazing in it’s own way! Try them both! 
  2. This is another bread recipe that required many tests to get it just right and the results are divine: Apple Cinnamon Bread
  3. Enjoy these warming Morning Glory Muffins with a touch of spices, carrots, raisins, oats and nuts for breakfast!
  4. My Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread is the summer equivalent to this pumpkin bread, so if you love today’s pumpkin bread, make sure you check it out too.
  5. I love the way the dates melt into the batter of this naturally sweet Banana Bread with Dates and Walnuts. 
  6. I can’t get enough of this incredibly moist make-ahead Carrot Sheet Cake! Plus it’s the perfect dessert to please a large group.
pumpkin chocolate chip bread

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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a stack of Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread on a white plate

Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips is an all-time fan favorite recipe. It is sweetened with all-natural unrefined maple syrup, and uses whole-wheat flour. It is incredibly moist and addictively good! You’ll make it over and over!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup avocado oil or organic canola oil
  • ½ cup dark pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Generously coat a 8 ½ by 4 ½-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour,pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, pumpkin, oil, maple syrup and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir with the silicone spatula until moistened. Add chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
  3. Spread the batter out into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until the bread has risen and the center springs back when lightly touched, 58 to 65 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure there is no uncooked batter in the center. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire cooling rack. Run a knife around the edges before turning out and slicing.

Notes

I prefer to use dark maple syrup when cooking. It has the strongest maple flavor. Note that baked goods sweetened with maple syrup have a darker color.

White whole wheat flour can be substituted one for one with whole wheat flour. I like white whole wheat because it is lighter in color and it has a less pronounced wheaty flavor.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 241
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 g