Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

This marbled chocolate pumpkin bread is perfect for fall! It's so delicious and flavorful with all the spices, pumpkin, and cocoa powder. It's easier to make than you'd think and swirling it to create the marbled pattern is actually quite fun!

Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Recipe | This Healthy Table

This bread almost set the house on fire - not in the "that's lit! everyone loves this bread" kind of way, in the "omg, Emily, those are burning embers on the kitchen rug" kind of way. Baking is a science (and also, art), and the science part sometimes causes reactions - like a small volcano in your oven, that you try to remove with tongs, but it accidentally explodes over your oven, then catches on fire, then your husband tries to blow on them (?!!) and they fly out and singe your adorable kitchen rug, and then you grab them again with the tongs and throw the burning embers on your back patio (sorry, squirrels!). 

The burning saga was test round #3 of this bread. Test #1 ended up with some overly moist, dense bread. Test #2 ended up with two weird hockey pucks - great taste, real weird look. Test #3 was an overfilled bread pan that resulted in lots of oven cleaning and fire. Test #4 ended up with the delightful recipe I'm sharing with you today. 

Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Recipe | This Healthy Table
Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Recipe | This Healthy Table

With every test batch of this bread, one thing was constant - the flavor of this bread is the best. It's got pumpkin, cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and, you know it's going to taste great. That's why I stuck with it. I'm not really a fan of things going wrong in the kitchen - once a recipe fails me, it's pretty much dead to me. 

There are a million fabulous recipes out there, so I don't waste my time on ones that are less than the best. But, I felt like this was a personal challenge and taste testing bread is not exactly a bad use of my time. 

Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Recipe | This Healthy Table
Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Recipe | This Healthy Table

I'm going hard on this fall thing. This is the third pumpkin recipe I've posted in the last few weeks. It's still warm-ish outside and the leaves are still verdantly green, but I've started taking Ottolenghi cookbooks to bed for some light reading and dreaming about the fall soups I'm going to make. 

Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Recipe | This Healthy Table

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! I've got loads of photos above outlining the steps, but make sure to really carefully read this recipe - it's not particularly hard, but there are some specific steps to follow.

This recipe yields 2 loaves of bread - eat one now, freeze one for later! Or share with your neighbors - they'll love you!

Yield: 2 loaves, 10 pieces per

Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

This marbled chocolate pumpkin bread is so delicious and flavorful!

prep time: 20 minscook time: 1 hour and 5 minstotal time: 1 hours and 25 mins


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

  • 2 3/4 cups flour, divided

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Stir briskly till combined.
  3. Add the eggs and stir till combined.
  4. Then add the pumpkin and again stir till combined.
  5. Combine the lemon juice and milk in a small bowl.

  6. Reserve 1/2 cup of flour (to be used later with cocoa powder). Add the remaining flour and milk/lemon, by alternating between the two and stirring in gradually.
  7. Then add the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Stir till fully combined.
  8. Add half the batter to another large bowl. Eyeballing this is okay.
  9. Stir in the remaining flour in one bowl and add the cocoa powder to the other bowl, mixing till fully combined.

  10. Butter two, 1 pound (8 1/2" x 4 1/2") loaf pans.
  11. Add spoonfuls of alternating batters to each pan. Then add a second layer on top, again alternating the pattern.
  12. Using a small spatula or knife, run it through the batter in a figure 8 pattern twice to add marbling.
  13. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  14. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, before removing bread from the pan.
  15. Store in a covered container. Can be frozen as well.



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This recipe was inspired by one of my all-time faves - Smitten Kitchen. She recently posted a marbled banana bread and I thought, I have to try this with pumpkin!