Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Bread

This easy pumpkin bread recipe with orange and filled with chopped chocolate is a winner. Not too sweet, extremely moist and perfect for fall! Jump to the Pumpkin Bread Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Bread Recipe

If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ve probably noticed our love for quick breads and muffins. There’s good reason for that — they are easy! We’ve shared zucchini bread, a ridiculously good banana bread recipe, extremely popular blueberry muffins, peach muffins … I could go on.

You see all of those recipes call on the “muffin method” — that means all you need to do is mix the dry ingredients together, mix the wet ingredients together then gently combine the two. Spoon the batter into your muffin tin or loaf pan and bake.

No fancy equipment, very few dishes to clean and only minutes in the kitchen. This orange scented pumpkin bread packed with chocolate is no different — it is absolutely a must make.

You Need This Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Bread in Your Life

How To Make The Best Pumpkin Bread

We’ve already talked about how easy this is, but let me show you.

Step 1, Prepare the dry ingredients. Whisk flour with baking powder and warm spices — we love the combination of cinnamon, ginger and cloves.

Step 2, Flavor the sugar. Grab another bowl then use your fingers to rub orange zest and vanilla extract into the sugar. Sure you could just stir everything together, but by rubbing the zest into the sugar, you release the oils and make what could be considered the most fragrant sugar, ever.

Rub orange zest and vanilla extract into the sugar for extra flavor

Step 3, Prepare the wet ingredients. To the bowl with the sugar, add some melted butter, eggs and pumpkin puree — go for the pure pumpkin, not the stuff with spices already added. You can also use homemade pumpkin puree, here’s our recipe for making it.

Step 4, Make the batter. Now you have a bowl full of dry ingredients and one with the wet ingredients. It’s time to combine them.

How to Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients

Here’s where we need to be delicate. Grab a rubber spatula and gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet. We only want to mix until combined — any more than that and we risk over mixing which means heavy pumpkin bread — no good!

As a final step, we add chocolate chunks — just mix them in with a few swipes of your spatula. Then after spooning the batter into the loaf pan, we add an extra handful of chocolate on top. You probably should too!

Adding the chocolate chunks to the pumpkin batter

Once the pumpkin loaf has baked, we leave it in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack. Once the loaf has cooled, find some pumpkin loving friends and dig in. Enjoy!

Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Bread

More Pumpkin Recipes

Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Bread

  • PREP
  • COOK

This easy pumpkin bread scented with orange and filled with chopped chocolate is a winner. Use homemade pumpkin puree or canned puree for these cupcakes. When buying canned pumpkin, make sure you buy the can with “pure pumpkin” on the label and not one that says “pie mix” or that already has spices mixed in. For the chocolate, we love using a dark chocolate, but milk or white chocolate would also be delicious.

Makes 1 loaf (10 slices)

You Will Need

8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 scant cup (215 grams) pure pumpkin, see our homemade pumpkin puree recipe

3 ounces (85 grams) chocolate, roughly chopped or chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup)


    Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. You can also line the bottom and two sides with parchment paper. If you leave an inch or two hanging over two sides, it makes for easy removal after baking.

    In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves to combine.

    In a large bowl, rub the sugar, orange zest, and vanilla together until fragrant then add the butter and whisk to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each egg. Stir in the pumpkin.

    Switch to a spatula or large spoon then fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture in two parts, folding just until combined. Be careful not to over mix the batter. Fold in most of the chocolate, leaving about a tablespoon to scatter on top.

    Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smooth the top then scatter reserved chocolate on top. Bake until the loaf is golden brown, pulls slightly away from the edges of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 55 to 75 minutes.

    Cool the loaf in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. Store loaf loosely covered at room temperature 2 to 3 days or wrap well and store in the refrigerator up to a week.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Since it’s just the two of us, we store in the refrigerator then when we want a slice we’ll give it a couple minutes in our toaster oven to warm up.
  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 slice / Calories 297 / Protein 5 g / Carbohydrate 42 g / Dietary Fiber 2 g / Total Sugars 25 g / Total Fat 13 g / Saturated Fat 8 g / Cholesterol 80 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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28 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Emily @the_bakersapprentice October 27, 2019, 2:00 pm

    This was so yummy!! I used almost 2 tsps of orange zest and next time I’ll add a little more. The orange is there, but subtle and I personally want a little more of it. But didn’t make any other changes and it was amazing! Definitely making it again.

  • Mary September 30, 2019, 2:18 pm

    Hi Adam and Joanne-
    This was such a great recipe. I added 1 cup of craisins (presoaked then drained) and Gherridelli white chips instead of chocolate (no chocolate in the house ?). I baked 3 mini loaves at 40 minutes. So good. Love your recipes. Keep them coming. I also used 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and half white unbleached four. Again- fabulous recipe!!

  • Christine December 14, 2017, 7:13 pm

    Really good – my favorite flavor combination!

  • Christine November 29, 2017, 2:21 pm

    OMG – this is soooooo good! I’m in love w/this flavor combo. Thanks for the tip of mixing the orange zest w/sugar and vanilla. I loved this bread. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  • Sue November 2, 2017, 4:26 pm

    As I was scrolling thru pumpkin bread recipes online, your’s caught my eye because of the orange zest ingredient. I wish to use coconut flour and brown sugar instead. Do you know how this would change the measurements to your recipe?

    • Joanne November 15, 2017, 6:11 pm

      Hi Sue, You may need to do some testing on your end. We have never played around with different flours for this recipe.

  • Arina October 17, 2017, 7:42 am

    Where is butter in this recipe??? How many in grams? ?

    • Joanne November 15, 2017, 6:23 pm

      We call for 1 stick or 115 grams of butter in the recipe. You can find the full recipe above.

  • Grace April 27, 2017, 11:39 am

    it is possible to use natural pumpkin pure instead of the canned one?
    I have lot of them growing in this moment and I would rather use the fresh ones
    THank you

    • Joanne April 28, 2017, 5:11 pm

      Yes, homemade pumpkin puree should work nicely.

  • Aline Arnold May 5, 2016, 9:39 am

    Is there any way I can reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe?

    • Joanne May 18, 2016, 1:31 pm

      Hi Aline, We recommend experimenting with less sugar. I would not go beyond 1/2 cup less at first. Reducing the sugar will make it less sweet, but it will also change the texture of the bread. So reduce in small amounts until you find a good balance for you.

      • Mona November 30, 2016, 1:46 pm

        I make a lot of pumpkin goodies and from my experience I can say that for this recipe I would use with a 1 3/4 cup flour 3/4 cup of brown sugar the most (or the combination of granulated and brown) … as a matter of fact, we don’t like desserts, especially coffee cakes too sweet … I also mix two-three tablespoons of sour cream into batter … exquisite 🙂

      • Aline January 13, 2017, 3:52 pm

        Thanks for your answer. By the way the bread is delicious. Do you think I can substitute honey for the sugar?

        • Joanne January 15, 2017, 2:02 pm

          Hi Aline, Since we have never used honey in place of the sugar in this recipe, I really cannot speak to how much to use or how well it will turn out. If you try it yourself, I’d love to hear the results. Happy baking!

  • Rachel De Carlo April 11, 2016, 3:17 am

    Have just made the batter and placed cakes in the oven!! I could just eat bowls full of the batter on its own!! Seriously good!!! Can’t wait to taste the cakes!!!

  • Emma February 23, 2016, 9:18 am

    This recipe looks awesome! Can I substitute flour with almond meal? if so would that be the same amount? Thanks!

    • Joanne March 3, 2016, 8:39 pm

      Hi Emma, Since we have only ever made this with all-purpose flour, we cannot comment on how the bread would work out with almond meal. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

  • Marge Fox November 25, 2015, 3:48 pm

    The recipe was so go and it came out great. We love anything with pumpkin and chocolate. I made them into individual breads for Thanksgiving and they worked out great for for name cards. Everyone loved the settings.
    Mage Fox

  • Lisa November 12, 2015, 9:14 pm

    You did not mention the number of eggs for this recipe

    • Joanne November 13, 2015, 10:27 am

      Hi Lisa, If you scroll to the recipe box, you should see we call for 3 large eggs in this bread. If you try it, we hope you love it! – Joanne

  • 1chacha October 25, 2015, 5:45 pm

    I just had a slice of this pumpkin bread and it is K— A– AWESOME I sprinkled pow. sug. on top and made it better w/o choc. on top. Fabulous tasting also. Next one will be w/o choc. as you have inspired me to make more. I have 10 cans of pumpkin and went thru my other recipes and yours was the BEST TO USE FOR GIFT GIVING IN SMALL lol. BIG ONES FOR HOSTESS GIFTS FOR HOLIDAYS. TKS AGAIN

  • 1CHACHA October 25, 2015, 3:12 pm

    I JUST MADE THIS AND WAITING FOR IT TO COOLDOWN. IT WAS EASY TO MAKE. I LOVE the TIP ON MIXING ZEST AND VANILLA with sugar. I’m getting ready for HOLIDAY BAKING and made 10# of van. sugar and homemade vanilla. The mixture of orange zest along with van. and van. sugar is to DIE FOR. My house smells awesome with the pumpkin bread and will be making more of it for sure. I love pumpkin and ginger. You gave me some great ideas for your tip. Also took 1 hr. at 350 deg. LOVE PUMPKIN RECIPES MORE GIRL MORE TKS

  • Annette @ annettesfoodpassion October 5, 2015, 1:08 am

    This is really a true autumn cake! Believe it or not, I have never cooked or baked with pumkin before, something you do in the US a lot but not really in Europe. A little while ago I discovered canned pumkin, so your recipe will be the first one I am going to try out. Love your recipes and I made the Heavenly Chocolate Truffels Recipe and brought them with me to a dinner invitation. What
    should I say, heavenly is just the right word for them, a chocolate dream came true! And really easy to make, also dark chocolate is really good for you!


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