Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Spiced Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bars

I have been making these bars for 15 years. The original recipe came from Bon Appetit Magazine, and it was called Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake. I liked the idea of baking this into bars instead of a loaf and topping with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. I have tweaked the recipe just a bit by swapping some of the white flour for white whole wheat, adjusting the spices and using coconut milk instead of regular whole milk.

the cake prior to being cut into bars
We had a going away party last week for an employee at our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, and the menu was potluck. Even though the weather was still warm during the day, the nights have a bit of a chill and, since it is fall, these bars came to mind. They were a hit; the four leftover bars were packed up for guests' breakfast the next day. Pumpkin and spices...welcome to fall.

My dog, Jasper, is very sad he could not have a pumpkin bar!

Spiced Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bars
adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine November 2000
(makes 20 bars)

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon alum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 organic sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup canned pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut milk (from the dairy case, not canned)
3/4 cup plus 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x9 square non-stick baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside

Cream together butter and sugar in a mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin and vanilla and mix until smooth. Mix in 1/3 of flour mixture. Beat in 1/2 of the milk. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk until just smooth. (Do not over-mix). Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips and walnuts.

Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of pan comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around side of the pan, turn out onto the rack, and allow to cool.

Cut cake into bars. Place remaining 1/2 chocolate chips and olive oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds. Remove and stir. Continue heating in 10-second intervals until chocolate sauce is thin and runny. Place bars on serving platter and drizzle chocolate sauce over the top.

Bars can be made 2 days ahead. Store in plastic containers until ready to serve.

It is Pumpkin week at Food Network's Fall Fest roundup. Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe to share? Please list (or link) in the comments below. And be sure to check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network.

The Hungry Traveler: Pumpkin Brown Butter Madeleines
Bacon and Souffle: 
Pumpkin Lasagna with Sausage, Kale and Parmesan
Homemade Delish: 
Warm Pumpkin Salad
Creative Culinary: 
Pumpkin Butter
The Lemon Bowl: 
20 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts
Virtually Homemade: 
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Dishin & Dishes: 
Homemade Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes
Red or Green: 
Spiced Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bars
The Heritage Cook: 
Roasted Pumpkin, Potato, and Sage (Gluten-Free)
Swing Eats: 
Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Taste with the Eyes: 
Sultry Pumpkin Soup - Southwest Flavors, Dressed To Kill
FN Dish: 
8 Ways to Eat Pumpkin All Day Long


I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.


  1. These look lovely! How much butter is a stick, for us foreigners?

  2. Sorry Sarah, 1/2 cup /125 mL 1/4 lb (4 oz) / 115 g 1 stick

    I hope that helps.