Streusel-Topped Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

I have a ton of pumpkin in my pantry right now after stocking up when I found it on sale at the end of last season. It’s certainly not a bad problem to have. The only thing is, I don’t have any small cans – they’re all the larger ones you’d find at a warehouse club. So, when I open a can to make one recipe, it really means I need to have 2 or 3 in mind in order to use the entire thing up. And yes, I know I could just freeze the leftover puree, but right now my freezer is packed with so many odds and ends that need to be used up, I can’t bear the thought of adding anything else. I’m working on reforming my freezer hoarding ways :)

Streusel-Topped Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Instead, after making this bundt a few weeks ago, the remaining pumpkin puree went directly into this bread. Honestly, plain pumpkin bread isn’t really my thing, but add chocolate chips and a streusel topping and immediately I’m about 100 times more interested. Because this is a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, it’s also got a little added twist that you don’t typically find in pumpkin bread recipes. The canned puree is cooked down on the stove top which gives the bread a richer, more intense pumpkin flavor. It only takes a few extra minutes, and I definitely thought it was worth it! After all, shouldn’t the pumpkin be the star of a pumpkin bread?

I love the contrast in texture the streusel topping provided too. It gave each slice just a little bit of sugary crunch on top. For the most crunch, try to eat the bread within a few days. It was still delicious on days 3 and 4, but the streusel sort of started to melt into the bread (as seen in the second pic above). I can almost guarantee yours won’t last that long anyway, you’ll be snagging a little piece every time you walk through the kitchen :)

Streusel-Topped Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
barely adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, September/October 2012

{Note: if chocolate isn’t your thing, you could sub toasted and chops nuts instead.}

Topping
5 tablespoons (2 1/4 oz) packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Bread
2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1(15-oz) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
1 cup (7 oz) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
4 oz cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup chocolate chips

To make the topping: Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mash together with a fork until the mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside while you make the bread batter.

To make the bread: Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. Add the pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to a large saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture has reduced to 1 1/2 cups (it took about 9 minutes for me). Remove the pot from the heat and add both sugars, the canola oil and cream cheese. Stir until combined (but not completely incorporated, there will still be clumps of cream cheese). Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until the mixture is completely homogeneous.

Combine the eggs and buttermilk in a large measuring cup and whisk to incorporate. Add to the pumpkin mixture, whisking until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the pan and fold them in with a rubber spatula. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans. Distribute the topping evenly over the loaves. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to wire racks, and let the bread cool for 20 minutes before turning it out of the pans. Allow to cool for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Makes two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaves