Closeup shot of slices of homemade pumpkin bread containing chocolate chips, on a cutting board.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Pecan Bread


November 9, 2022

Unlike some recipes, this pumpkin bread recipe is low on sugar and fat, but still delicious.

Pumpkins, just like carrots and sweet potatoes, are a powerhouse of nutrients. One cup of pumpkin can give you 200% of your recommended daily vitamin A intake. Pumpkin is also loaded with potassium, which is beneficial for lowering blood pressure. Unsalted pumpkin seeds are crammed with minerals and plant sterols that raise HDL cholesterol levels and help keep blood pressure numbers down, too.

But even though pumpkin is good for us, that doesn’t mean that all foods with pumpkin are healthy choices. A pumpkin spice latte, filled with saturated fat, might not be a good choice. Avoid sugary and processed foods and make more nutritious pumpkin selections, like oven-roasted pumpkin, pumpkin puree, pumpkin hummus or pumpkin soup.

This healthy pumpkin bread recipe uses pumpkin puree and applesauce to keep it moist with very minimal butter and oil, and is a diabetic-friendly adaption from


Dark chocolate pumpkin pecan bread

Stacey Kendrick


  • Non-stick canola oil cooking spray
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons softened butter
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chips and pecans. Add this mixture to the large bowl and stir until moistened. Do not over stir.
  5. Spread half the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and pecans before adding the remaining batter to the top.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
  7. Cool the bread in the loaf pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Then, remove from the pan and cool completely on the rack before wrapping for storage.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1/16th of the loaf | Calories: 156 | Fat: 7 grams | Saturated fat: 2 grams | Protein: 3 grams | Carbohydrates: 21 grams | Fiber: 1 gram | Sugars: 6 grams | Sodium: 167 milligrams

Stacey Kendrick, MS, is a health educator with more than 20 years of experience in wellness and population health. She is a mother to two adult daughters. In her free time, she teaches healthy cooking classes, runs, gardens and enjoys backyard bonfires.