Dark Chocolate-Espresso Pumpkin Bread

Guys, I have to warn you. This is part one of a two part recipe.

I’m not warning you because either component is hard. In fact, they are both really easy.

I’m warning you because part 1 is so good, that you may not make it to part 2.

So good, that a 3 year old toddler who shall remain nameless quite literally stole the bread from the countertop and just teared right into it. He just couldn’t help himself.

So, my recommendation is to make 2 of these. In fact, the recipe doubles perfectly.

Or, you can do what I’m doing, and reserve half the loaf, then make a half recipe of part 2. Then go crazy and eat half that loaf. Well, maybe not all by yourself. But I won’t judge if you do.

This bread is loaded with rich pumpkin flavour, and studded with dark chocolate whose flavour is enhanced with the addition of espresso. Best of all it’s moist.

Can we talk about the word moist for a second? Am I the only one who kinda hates this word? Annoyingly, I use it all the time. The thing is, there really is no better alternative. Trust me I checked. So, I guess the word moist lives on. Sorry.

Make this. Eat some. Save some.

Part 2 coming Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Dark Chocolate-Espresso Pumpkin Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 80 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: one 9-by-5-inch loaf

A moist pumpkin-espresso bread studded with dark chocolate.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup room-temperature water
  • 6 ounces good quality dark chocolate, chopped (60 to 72%- I used 72%)


  1. Position rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and oil until well combined. Add in the espresso powder and both sugars and whisk until combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, then the vanilla. Add in the water and mix until combined. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, just until combined. Be careful not to over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 65 to 85 minutes. (mine took 80 minutes)
  5. Transfer the loaf pan to a wire rack, and allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Turn out the loaf onto the wire rack and cool completely.
  6. The bread can be stored tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 2 days, or frozen for 1 month.
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Adapted from Baked Elements.

Disclosure: This post contains an amazon affiliate link. 

  • Brynn

    This bread is not real life. Literally cannot stop eating it. Amazing.

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      So glad you enjoyed it! It’s one of my favorites. Thanks for commenting!

  • Mary

    Anyone ever made this as a muffin?

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi Mary, I don’t think it would be a problem turning these into muffins. I think I have before. Enjoy!

  • r.mcdonald

    What about just in the fridge? How long of a life in there?

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hello! I wouldn’t recommend refridgeration as it tends to dry baked goods out. I have kept this at room temp about 3 days and it’s still great. Freezing would be a better option. hope that helps.

  • Jana Mala

    Wow, amazing recipe. I baked it yesterday and it is such a moist and delicious bread!!! Thanks for it!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      So glad you enjoyed, Jana!

  • http://twitter.com/bklynharuspex nbmandel

    Made this twice (two halves of the can of pumpkin) with great success; nice structure, nice level of sweetness, nice spicing. Thanks.

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Glad you enjoyed!!

  • http://twitter.com/RoxanaGreenGirl Roxana GreenGirl

    I have been thinking about this bread for a while now, and can’t seem to get it out of my mind. It has chocolate, and coffee and pumpkin and it’s bread. What’s a girl to do? Guess I better get in the kitchen and bake some! Thanks for sharing Jessica!

  • http://www.facebook.com/compelling.chef Compelling Chef

    You had me at “dark chocolate and espresso”. I’m fine with a two-part recipe, so no worries there! I hope to try this one soon. I really like the use of whole wheat pastry flour.

  • http://twitter.com/Dinnersdishes Dinnersdishesdessert

    Making 2 of these sounds like a great idea!

  • http://www.theardentepicure.com/ The Ardent Epicure

    The title alone is killing me! I think I am with the un-named toddler and would snatch it of the counter as well :)

  • http://www.bakerita.com Rachel Conners

    This looks amazing! And I totally agree about the word moist…it’s a gross word. Haha! I’ve been craving chocolate chip pumpkin bread for so long though, so this is definitely prompting me to make it soon.

  • Lora @cakeduchess

    dark chocolate, espresso, and pumpkin-yes! Love this gorgeous quick bread. I can’t wait to see what part 2 is all about, Jessica:)

  • Lisa

    You had me at espresso and pumpkin and bread! I bet this did not last long. Lovely photo!!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks, Lisa!

  • Jean | lemons & anchovies

    I love both the sound and the look of this bread. I would have been like that certain three-year old and torn into this, too. What a great flavor combo. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.bertolini Jan Miller Bertolini

    pinned this the other day. My son turns 21 on Thursday and has been asking for pumpkin bread, baking tonight to overnight to him tomorrow so he can enjoy first thing before class on his birthday. First thing to bake since power came back! Woo hoo!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Awww, you’re such a sweet mom! Hope your son enjoys it, and has a great birthday! Glad to know your power has returned. When your bred is cooled you can freeze it overnight, then ship it frozen/cold that way it is even fresher when your son gets it. Hope he enjoys, and thanks for stopping by!

      • http://www.facebook.com/jan.bertolini Jan Miller Bertolini

        thanks Jessica, I am “an old hat” at the overnight shipping as he is my youngest of three sons in LA and having to overnight chicken cutlets for the past four years to his brother i completly agree. I bring in to work, freeze, throw in the fedex box at the end of the day and when it hits the front door in LA by 10 AM – it is not quite thawed. THey love this. We will fly to Napa next week to spend THanksgiving with all three of them and I plan on taking more of your goodies. New Jersey to Cali – you are coast to coast.

        • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

          Awesome! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Jan!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Forgot to mention, if you do freeze wrap it really well in plastic wrap. I usually wrap twice. it freezes well :)

  • Sarvani @ baker-in-disguise

    Looking at the photographs.. I believe everything u’ve written about the bread!! simply stunning!!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks so much, Sarvani!

  • http://twitter.com/taleofa fewcities


  • http://twitter.com/maxollie Ali Russell

    I’m not completely following about the part 1, part 2. This pumpkin bread is part one (a complete recipe) and what is part 2?

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Sorry, I should have been more clear. Part 2 is coming on Wednesday. It is however completely optional.

      • http://twitter.com/maxollie Ali Russell

        Great! Looking forward to it!

  • http://damndelicious.tumblr.com/ Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    I will most definitely have to double this recipe! And I would also steal the bread from the countertop too :)

  • http://twitter.com/YouMadeThatblog Suzanne Platt

    Pumpkin bread is wonderful but add some dark chocolate and you have me for sure, great recipe.

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks, Suzanne!

  • marie @ little kitchie

    i think i just died and went to heaven reading this recipe – YUM!!!

  • http://www.thelawstudentswife.com/ Erin@theLawStudentsWife

    I hate the word moist too! And you are right–there is seriously no alternative. Damp? No. Spongy? Not the same thing. I use “Melt in your mouth,” but that doesn’t really work either. I think we’re just stuck with moist.
    The good news despite our vocab dead end? This bread looks incredible! Question: How strong is the espresso flavor? Does it more enhance the chocolate or stand on its own? Just curious.

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      I agree. I think we’re stuck with it :) I don’t think that the espresso flavour is very strong. I think it enhances the chocolate. That being said, you could omit it all together, or dial it back to 1 teaspoon. The pumpkin and chocolate are the prominent flavours in this bread. Thanks for stopping by Erin! Hope you have a great day!

      • http://www.thelawstudentswife.com/ Erin@theLawStudentsWife

        I made this for my family on Thanksgiving morning and we DEVOURED IT! Followed recipe exactly, made batter the night before, popped it into the fridge, then baked it off Thanksgiving morning. It’s so simple, but so incredibly good. Thanks for an amazing recipe!

  • Patty

    Your 3 year old toddler thinks like I do…that warm fragrant bread from the oven is pretty irresistible!!! Love all your flavors and pretty photos;-)

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks, Patty!

  • Rhu and Sam (Montse)

    This bread looks gorgeous! It says eat me!! Never made a pumpkin bread before, have to try!

  • http://tartineandapronstrings.com/ Jen Laceda

    Oh, I believe you! I just KNOW how good this bread here. It’s a winning combo: dark chocolate, espresso coffee, and pumpkin?! All the hallmarks of a wonderful Fall bread recipe! This is awesome, Jess!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks, Jen!

  • http://www.unegaminedanslacuisine.com/ Valerie

    When I first saw the photo I thought “Wow, this bread looks incredibly moist!” I’m guilty of using that adjective too! I’ve even tried looking for an alternative in the thesaurus. 😀 At any rate, your bread looks spectacular! Love the deep rich swirl of chocolate!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks so much, Valerie. Trust me, the alternatives are far, far worse. The word moist lives on!

  • http://twitter.com/Tutti_Dolci Tutti Dolci

    You incorporated my 3 favorite things (dark chocolate, espresso, and pumpkin) into one perfect bread. I’m ready to make a double batch right now!