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The Season of Love + Chocolate-Topped Pumpkin Bread

chocolate-topped pumpkin bread
When November hits, I brace myself. Holidays, birthdays, parties, they all come rushing at me and if I don’t focus, I end up a little dizzy and way out of sorts by the time January hits. November and December’s ability to pass by at the speed of light breaks my heart every time because they are my favorite months of the year. I’m a sucker for smiles, fireplaces, hot cocoa, movie nights, sweets, and the twinkling lights.

I think the reason why I love the holidays so much is because they are a time to celebrate the love that is all around you. Yes, I know how sappy but it’s true. I believe that love truly comes through during the holiday months. Even with the bickering, nagging, and overall stress that family/friends/spouses can cause, love is there, hiding in the corners.


chocolate-topped pumpkin bread

This year was all about growth, change, and yes, it was a bit of a struggle but I pushed through. Friends came, and now some are gone, and while it is always disappointing to say goodbye to people in your life who you used to care about, I think that friends are like the seasons. They have a time and a place and when they leave you wish them well and move on.

I am such a lucky gal to have the most amazing friends back in California who can make me laugh and offer comfort when I just want to cry and give up. They remind me of the person I was, and show me how to be a better person than I am now. I’m also grateful for the friends that I have made here in the city. After a couple of months of trial/error, I found a great group of gals who are just so sweet, caring, unselfish and REAL. Without them, New York would be an awfully lonely place.

Don’t you feel that this time of the year brings reflection about the year? How have you spent your year? Have you been surrounded by those who support you? Have you pushed yourself harder to get what you want?If I could, I would send this little loaf cake to all my friends to show them how much I care.

Wrapped in white boxes with a red string and a simple card that wishes them all the happiness in the world. Because it’s true, because it’s important, and because it’s that time of the year once again.

chocolate-topped pumpkin bread

Chocolate-Topped Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from: A Cozy Kitchen
Yields: One 9×5 loaf

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice (a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice)
1 1/4 cups of sugar
4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Start by lightly greasing a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with softened butter and flour.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another large bowl, whisk, using a stand-up mixer, pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, pumpkin-pie spice, 1 1/4 cups of sugar until smooth.
Using a spatula, fold in flour mixture until just combined, making sure to not overmix the batter.
Pour melted chocolate on top and using a butter knife, swirl chocolate in a figure-8 pattern with the pumpkin batter.
Add the batter to the greased/floured loaf pan.
Transfer to oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes, then invert. Serve bread warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s note: If you don’t have pumpkin-pie spice you can simply add 1/8 of nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice. And then 1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon.

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November 8, 2011 - 8:37 am

rachel @ sweet tarte - Such a sweet post and such a delcious looking cake! Yum!

November 8, 2011 - 1:35 pm

Jo - I was initially drawn in by the title of this post, then the picture…. but this was a nice post to read. And, I am so making this bread this weekend!!!!

November 8, 2011 - 4:46 pm

colleen - oh this looks so delicious. i am definitely, for sure, making it this weekend.

i feel the same about the holidays – they go so fast and even with some strife or stress, it’s really about all the love we have in our lives and being with our loved ones. i’m glad to hear you’ve found such a good group of friends in nyc – it truly make a difference and can make the city feel more like home.

November 9, 2011 - 8:53 am

Kate (Embarrassment of Riches) - Oh my goodness – this looks amazing. I used to have a loaf pan, but it got lost (or tossed) in a move. Time to buy a new one – but should I make this, or the pumpkin cream cheese loaf you posted a few weeks back? Which is your favorite of the two?

November 9, 2011 - 10:39 am

Melissa - Sounds like a delicious recipe! I’m going to have to try it. Also glad to hear you are settling into NYC. Change is hard but it just takes time and surrounding yourself with great people helps ease the stress. Pumpkin bread doesn’t hurt either!

November 9, 2011 - 7:18 pm

Pennie Azran - I’ve been conflicted about the combination of pumpkin and chocolate–when I put chocolate chips in my pumpkin bread, it’s too rich and ubersweet. But I like the way you use apply the chocolate in this recipe–I’ll have to give it a try!

November 9, 2011 - 7:56 pm

Deena@StayatHomeFOODIE - I’m a sucker for any type of pumpkin bread.
Love the addition on Chocolate on top. YUM!

November 9, 2011 - 8:59 pm

Gwen Edwards - Very well said indeed. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that people you care for so much will come and go, but it is after all, the nature of things, like you said. This kind of post is why I love your blog.

November 10, 2011 - 5:21 am

aboyce18 - aw thanks lovely!

November 10, 2011 - 5:22 am

aboyce18 - oh man. DECISIONS! If you are looking for a more decadent loaf, go with the pumpkin cream cheese one. This one, even with the chocolate, is not as sweet and you could swap whole wheat flour to “healthify” it up.

January 6, 2012 - 6:23 pm

James and Bonny » new beginnings - [...] a little more spice and perhaps more banana but I like more flavor than most. Next I ventured on to Chocolate-topped Pumpkin Bread, which my office ate the entirety of (my goal) and I didn’t care to take any pictures of [...]

September 22, 2012 - 1:30 pm

Rachel - Made this today and it’s *just gorgeous*!

Thanks for the inspiration!

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