This spin on pumpkin bread is for the person who thinks chocolate can (and should) be worked into anything sweet. Mix together a batter filled with pumpkin and warm spices, then fold in melted semisweet chocolate. Cut a slice while the bread’s still warm to taste the gooey chocolate-swirl goodness. Serve as part of a holiday breakfast spread, or sliced with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream for dessert.
Game plan: This bread can be cooled completely, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Butter, for coating the pan
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter; set aside.
Place the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth; set aside. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often.)
Place the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine and aerate; set aside.
Place the sugar and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until well combined (it’ll look like wet sand), about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
Turn the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low, add the pumpkin and vanilla, and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
Return the mixer to low speed, slowly add the reserved flour mixture, and mix until just combined, about 2 minutes total.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and drizzle the melted chocolate evenly over the batter. Using a rubber spatula, fold the chocolate into the batter until it’s just swirled in, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with each stroke, about 5 strokes total. (Be careful not to fully incorporate the chocolate into the batter.)
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Bake until the bread is browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (test several spots because you may hit a pocket of chocolate), about 60 to 70 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on the wire rack for at least 20 minutes more before slicing.