Made with a mix of spelt and white flour, this vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Pecan Bread is light, yet packed full of pecans, chocolate, and pumpkin.
It’s finally feeling like Fall here and really, today was the first day of solid rain we’ve seen in what feels like years.
Our rain barrels have been empty for months and we’ve been hauling shower-water to water outside plants including our trees. It’s been so dry.
But, with all this rain, it’s been a beautiful day to stay indoors and bake, photograph and write with the sound of gently falling rain and the Golden-Crowned Sparrow sweetly calling outside the kitchen door.
This vegan pumpkin bread has been a work in progress. I’ve been wanting to try spelt flour for the longest time but have been hesitant simply because I’m unfamiliar with it.
Spelt is an ancient, whole-grain that has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. It can generally be used in place of whole wheat flour in many recipes and works well as a 50:50 mix with all purpose in muffins and quick-breads, although I bumped it up a bit in this recipe. I’ve learned too, that spelt doesn’t absorb as much water as refined or whole wheat flour, so hydration needs to be reduced when making a substitution with spelt.
With gentle nudges of support from Alexandra of Occasionally Eggs and Aysegul of Foolproof Living, I finally garnered the culinary courage to give spelt a go. Rob was apathetic except for his concern that spelt is not regular (his word).
Undeterred, I forged ahead.
After roasting and pureeing almost 7 lbs of my favorite pumpkin, Winter Luxury from a local farm, I decided it was time to start experimenting. After-all, I had been planning this bread for weeks in my mind.
The flavors and textures in this vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Pecan Bread are varied yet come together in a way that immediately takes me to warm sweaters, a crackling fire, cozy blankets and a hot cup of tea. Fall is right here…
The crumb is tender yet sturdy with pops of bittersweet chocolate chunks and pecans to add notes of sweetness and texture. The brown sugar highlights warming pumpkin spice and the winter luxury pumpkin itself. Sweet, but not too sweet.
I finished it with an optional Maple Vanilla Bean Glaze, which ads just a bit more sweet to this demure loaf.
I’m curious to know your secrets about spelt. Have you tried it? How do you like to use it?
Pumpkin Chocolate Pecan Bread
For the Bread:
- 1/2 C Pecans rough chopped, 72g
- 1 C Spelt Flour 178g
- 1/2 C All Purpose Flour 86g
- 1 Tbs Corn Starch
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Nutmeg ground
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon ground
- 1/4 tsp Ginger ground
- 1/4 tsp Cloves ground
- 1/4 C Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil, warm to the touch, 46g
- 3/4 C Dark Brown Sugar 132g
- 2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 C Unsweetened Apple Sauce room temperature, 113g
- 1 1/4 C Pumpkin Puree' room temperature, 318g, not Pumpkin Pie
- 3/4 C Bittersweet Chocolate at least 70%, chopped into small chunks, 125g
For the Maple Glaze (optional):
- 3/4 C Confectioners Sugar 85g
- 2 Tbs Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbs Nut Milk
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract
For the Bread:
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or spay the pan throughly with pan spray. Preheat oven to 350F (177C).
- Place the chopped pecans in the warming oven for about 13 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk the spelt and AP flour, corn starch, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil and brown sugar until smooth. Be sure the oil remains in a liquid state. Add the vanilla paste or extract, apple sauce and pumpkin puree. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture in two batches. Stir until the last bit of flour is mixed in. Fold in the pecans and chocolate.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top. Using a sharp knife, make a shallow cut down the center of the batter. This will help the bread rise evenly.
- Place the pan on the center rack and bake for 55-60 minutes, checking for doneness at around 50 minutes. Insert a tooth pick in center of the loaf to check for doneness. It should come out clean of bread crumbs, although the chocolate will stick.
- Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes in the pan. Use the parchment to lift the loaf out of the pan and place on a cooling rack allowing it to cool completely. Cutting into the bread prior to cooling off will result in a gummy bread. Once cool to the touch, drizzle the maple glaze over the top.
- Store covered at room temperature for up to three days.
For the Maple Glaze (optional):
- Combine the sugar, maple syrup, milk and vanilla bean paste in a small bowl. Whisk well. It can rest at room temperature while the bread bakes although it will develop a slight crust. Rewhisk the mixture as needed to remove the crust.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
It is absolutely delicious!!!
I substituted the flour for 1 cup of gluten free flour and 1/2 cup of oatmeal flour.
Mine took 1 hour and 15 minutes in the oven.
It was moist and delicious. I will make it again!
Hi Leonora! Thank you for your note and sharing your tips! SO happy to hear the gluten free flour and oat flour worked out!
sue | theviewfromgreatisland
hehe… time to whip up another batch Sue! xo
I’ve made this twice in two weeks. Delicious with a pumpkin latte. The nuts and chocolate take this cake over the top. Would love to see a recipe for a healthier pumpkin cheesecake.
Thank you for your hard work and wonderful recipes.
Hi Rita! Thank you so much for sharing and enjoying the recipes! I love this recipe too! Hooray! Can you tell me more about a “healthier” pumpkin cheesecake (because healthy means so many things to different people)? Please feel free to email me the details.. I’d love to learn more! traci@VanillaAndBean.com
This looks absolutely AMAZING!! All of my favorite Fall flavors in one loaf of deliciousness!! I do have a question though. What would you use as a substitute for the spelt and what added liquid would I need? Thanks! :)
Hey Holly.. thank you for your note! I love this recipe too and can’t wait to make it again this fall. I’m going out on a limb here since I’ve only made this recipe with spelt. However, if you do give it a go, you can try using all, all purpose flour (1 1/2 C) and bump up the pumpkin puree up to 1 1/2 C (instead of 1 1/4 C). You may have to bake it a bit longer due to the increased moisture, just keep an eye on it and do the toothpick test to test for doneness. I hope this helps!
Yes, love spelt flour, Traci! It’s probably my first choice flour for baked goods. Often I use a combination of whole spelt flour with white spelt flour to keep things light. In general I find that it has both a more pleasant texture and taste than regular whole wheat flour. All of the the photos are so mouthwatering, but that last one especially with those chocolate chunks- shows how perfect you nailed this one!
Vicky @ HowDaily
Looks nice, Traci.
This recipe is great on fall season. Love the color.
Hello Vicky, was wondering if you can help me, I can’t work out what the T stands for in the Maple glaze recipe Next to the Nut milk. It says ..
1 T Nut Milk. Does it mean Tin I’m not sure.
Hi Julie! The T is for Tablespoon. I’ll fix that. Thank you fir your note!
This recipe, Traci, is a golden treasure! I also have always wanted to work with spelt! And I live for pumpkin bread so I seriously can’t wait to try this!!
Hey Deb! I absolutely love this recipe… the chocolate chunks totally highlight the pumpkin and spelt is delicious! I hope you enjoy it!
I love the photography here, especially the top photo. The drips getting shorter from left to right are absolutely perfect! And a very delicious-sounding recipe this is as well, of course. :)
Thank you Nicole! Sometimes magic happens in front of the camera and the dripping glaze was one of those moments! So happy for the capture. :D
GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth
I just used spelt flour to make pumpkin bread this week. I used my standard recipe for sweet quick breads, but subbed the whole wheat flour I usually use for spelt. The first try was good, but way too moist, which I guess was because I had too much liquid.Second go was amazing though!
Definitely looking forward to trying some other recipes using spelt flour :D
Ahhh, yes. That was my experience too. Spelt doesn’t require as much moisture as other flours. Your bread sounds delicious! I too am looking forward to using more spelt! :D
Lynn @Heavenlynn Healthy
Traci – oh my goodness! You did it again! That pumpkin bread looks so amazing that I just had to show my boyfriend. We’re in love with anything pumpkin and I am definitely going to make this soon. Wow!!
Thank you for this great recipe, Traci.
xx Lynn from Heavenlynn Healthy
Thank you Lynn!! You and your’s will love this! I hope you’ll give it a go! xx :D
This is the most insane pumpkin bread I’ve seen! Have just cooked a large batch of pumpkin and cannot wait to get baking. Have been baking with spelt flour for quite some time now and it’s a fabulous alternative to AP or wholemeal flour. The results are deliciously healthy. Great recipe Traci.
Hehe.. thank you Di! Oh yay for getting that pumpkin baked up.. now it’s on the ready when the mood for baking strikes! Thank you for your note on Spelt. The more I hear/learn, the more I like! :D
Katalina @ Peas & Peonies
You can never go wrong with pumpkin and chocolate and glaze, that glaze is calling my name.
Pumpkin and chocolate was a recent discovery for me.. and woah! Agreed! Can’t go wrong! :D
Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom
Stunning photos, Traci! Very moody for fall. I’ve never cooked with spelt before, but your tips having me thinking that I need to give it a try! And as far as I’m concerned, the Maple Glaze is not optional! I think I could just spoon that into my mouth as is! :)
The darker days… you know! It’s quite tasty, with a subtle nuttyness to it. I’m enjoying it. Haha.. A large spoon is what I used! :D Thank you Kathleen!
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
This pumpkin bread looks fantastic! I love the glaze and your pics are beautiful!!
Thank you Rachelle! :D
Goodness, I don’t even know where to begin with this one…Your visuals, both literal and figurative, cause such a stirring in me. Autumn is a favorite time of year for me (like many…) and you have captured its essence to the letter with your recipe, writing and photography. Thank you for sharing and for providing yet one more gorgeous example of why I follow along on your foodie journey. XO
You always send a smile in your notes, Annie. Thank you my dear! So happy to have you here! xx :D
Tessa | Salted Plains
Such gorgeous photos, Traci!! I love that you made this with spelt – I don’t have any experience with it, but I find every time I try a new-to-me flour it adds such a different and wonderful dimension of flavor. Have a great week, lady!
New flours.. oh I know! It’s fun trying new flours and thing is, there’s so much to choose from thanks to Bob! Thank you Tessa!! :D
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
These photos = gorgeous! I could stare at them all day! I’ve used spelt flour in the past, but it’s been a while. I should get back on that horse I suppose. This is fall baking at it’s finest. Glad you guys finally got some rain. Hard to believe all the weather reports about Washington this year – no rains, fires, etc. It’s a bit scary!
Thank you, Liz! I hope you’ll give spelt a go again.. I won’t bake with it all the time, but it certainly is a better flour than AP as far as using whole grains go. No doubt, WA has had a tough Summer. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen Doug Fir Saplings dying from lack of water. :(. Scary, yes.
Samina @ The Cupcake Confession
I love the chocolate and pumpkin combination in this bread and that delicious vanilla maple glaze must be compulsory!
Hehe… I think so to, Samina! :D
Katie | Honestly Nourished
These photos. Wow. I honestly am at a loss for words. They are so beautiful. You make me want to abandon my bright white photography and head to the dark side! HA! I also love how you included a link to the type of sparrow chirping away – so pretty! Were you able to nail it on the first try or did this take multiple attempts? I’ve never cooked with spelt flour either but like some of the other readers, I’d have to use a GF flour and attempt to recreate this beauty. Then again perhaps it’s best to make it and share it with my friends who can eat gluten because to mess with something this perfect might be a crime! XX Katie
Hehe…. go to the dark side, Katie! I love bright white photog, and your especially, but I wanted to try something new, different. So birds… they’re a big part of my life – wild birds, and I love to share their joy. This bread took multiple attempts, three tries to be exact. That’s the norm around here, especially if it’s a new recipe I develop. I hope you’ll give this a go with GF flour, although I think the hydration will be different. Thank you Katie! :D
this bread is stunning! and i love how you describe the crumb. i would slather a slice with the best butter i could find. :) happy fall traci! xo
Oooooh, that’s exactly what my dad said! :D A good slather of butter! Thank you Amanda! You too! :D
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
Wow, Traci! Wow, wow, wow, WOW! This bread looks spectacular! I have not yet tried to cook with spelt… just like you I fear new flour I haven’t yet tried to bake with! But, thanks to your tips, I am going to have to give it the good ole college try! Anyways, back to this magnificent bread- SO YUM! Your photos have me drooling (like always)! I am LOVING the addition of pecans to this.. and the chocolate, but you know I am allergic, so I will have to make two loaves – one as is for Boy and one without for me. Do you think white chocolate can be substituted? I have to be honest, I have never tried pumpkin with white chocolate. Or should I just 86 the chocolate all together? (<– Man I'd Kill to not be allergic to cocoa!!). Anyways, that Maple Vanilla Bean Glaze is not optional if you ask me! That looks far too fabulous to be skipped! I want to slurp that stuff up by the gallon!! Love love love! Pinned! Cheers, my dear- to a beautiful weekend! xo
:D Thank you Cheyanne! Stepping outside of one’s box can sometimes take a but of nudging, right? Get that spelt my dear! If anyone, YOU can do it!! Pecans? Probably my favorite nut of all. It’s got a subtle sweetness to it that pairs with so many things, sweet and savory. So yes, make two loaves… Dang allergies!! I think the white chocolate could be nice in this, Cheyanne, if you like white chocolate. Just make sure it’s white chocolate couverture and not coating chocolate if you use it. The glaze? I know, right? Thank you for your pin! :D
Alison @ Food by Mars
NO. THIS IS TOO LOVELY, TRACI! This is on point, I really want to try but have to make it GF. Gorgeous, dark photos too <3
Thank you Alison! I’d love to hear the results with GF ingredients.. do it!! :D
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
I had a hard time reading this post because I was so distracted by the pictures! haha! They’re stunning and are making my mouth water!
I love shooting on a cloudy too. It rarely happens but when it does, it creates the most beautiful light. Ugh, I wish it would rain here!
And yes, I’ve seen Sur La Table’s cooking classes and really want to take one soon. I’m waiting for a new store to open up 5 mins from my house and then it’s game on. I have my eye on a class for Indian cuisine. Mmm…
Thanks for sharing this beautiful bread, Traci! I hope you have a lovely weekend!
Thank you Sarah! Ooooh, I’ll have to look for an Indian cuisine class.. I’d love it! You’re in trouble if you have a store 5 minutes away. I think they’d have to throw me out to get me to leave. My closest store is two hours away! :D
I think Rob & my hubby might be “bratha from another matha.” Mine doesn’t like anything that deviate from the original recipe either, but oh well, what’s he gonna do? :)
This bread looks SO DELICIOUS!!! Your photos are SO GORGEOUS!!! One of these days I need to muster up the courage to play with spelt flour. Until then, I’m just gonna drool looking at this post.
Hahhaaa !! I laughed so hard reading this, Pang! ‘what’s he gonna do!!” LOL! :D No doubt, I’ve lovingly said the same thing! I hope you’ll give spelt a go. I just read from another blogger it’s fabulous in pie dough! Hooray! Thank you Pang! . :D
Meagan @ The F&B Department
I wanted to go to IFBC so bad, but I just couldn’t make it work out. Oh well. Hopefully next year. I’m so happy you had such a fun time! And this Pumpkin Chocolate Pecan Bread looks ridiculously tasty!!!!
I would have loved to have met you, Meagan! It was good.. perhaps next year? :D
Oh my Traci! This cake sounds and looks incredible. After my several tries I was so discouraged with baking with spelt that I abandoned it for a minute. But now after seeing this, I am encouraged to give it another try. Though with all the moving it will be sometime before I go into the kitchen and do crazy spelt flour baking. :)
And may I just say that the very first photo in this post is EPIC?!!! Dark food photos speak to me more than any other style and I think you have done an incredible job with the light in this post. I love how you used the shadows on the right side of the image and how romantic they look.. I can only imagine how fun it must have been to shoot this cake with the sound of the rain coming from outside. So beautiful..
Big hugs and kisses… Cheers, my friend!
Get back at that Spelt Aysegul! I’m still easin into it.. I mean, there are baking considerations when working with it, so while experimenting is one thing, when I need a tried and true, I’ll either use a trusted spelt recipe or just revert to AP and Whole Wheat White – of which I am more familiar with when it comes to quick bread, scones, and muffins.
Thank you for your feedback on my photog, which means so much given your art. Dark photog is new to me, and I’ve been practicing. It can be tricky for sure, but I think I’ve found a few things that work – Hooray!!
Best to you during your move my dear! Looking forward to your inspiration when you return to the kitchen! :D
Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
This bread looks sooooo good, Traci! That shot with the glaze dripping down – mmmm! And the inside looks so fluffy and moist. You and Aysegul have both convinced me I need to get on the spelt flour bandwagon. And you’re amazing for pureeing all that pumpkin….please come rescue my lazy butt from the canned kind! ;)
Thaaank you Beeta! The bread must have glaze or streusel (one or the other!). Go get some spelt, Beeta! I can’t wait to see what magic you work with it! I’ve not tried it in pastry yet, but am looking forward to it. Now go get you some pumpkin, roast it up and puree it, Beeta! It’s so easy and soooo goooooodd!! :D
Claudia | The Brick Kitchen
Traci this pumpkin bread looks gorgeous! Love the photo especially of your hand dripping the maple glaze over – absolutely stunning. I love that you roasted your own pumpkin for it as well – we can’t even buy tinned pumpkin puree in NZ so so helpful to have a from-scratch recipe, and I can imagine the depth of flavour would be massively increased. The spices and dark chocolate chunks look equally good <3 <3
Thank you Claudia! That glaze is a dream to drizzle.. especially because I get to lick my fingers! Roasting pumpkin is so easy. Most of the work is the clean up… but it’s well worth it. I hope you’ll give this a go! Enjoy my dear! :D
Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
Oh yum – this is gorgeous! I recently bought spelt too – so far I’ve made pancakes with it, which were good! Now I’ll have to give this one a go.
Thank you Chelsea! Hooray for spelted pancakes! I did recently try it in Waffles too and it was really tasty! I’ll be doing more with it.
The dark photog is absolutely stunning. And different for you. I am in love with the effect. Now, gotta experiment with spelt! I bet it would be great in my sourdough.
Thank you, Deb. And different, yes.. I’ve been practicing :D . Yes, yes… go get some spelt! You’ll love it. Check out http://www.mydailysourdoughbread.com/ Natasa has done some work with spelt in her sourdough! :D
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
Wow – these photos are just stunning, Traci! The pumpkin color of the bread against the dark background just jumps out at you – truly gorgeous. I have yet to try spelt – it wasn’t even on my radar – but after seeing this lovely bread I will have to look for some. Have a great weekend, T!
Thank you, Geraldine! :D I’m learning more about dark photog.. and it’s a learning curve for sure. But it’s fun trying out different natural light situations by creating shadows and bouncing light. I hope you’ll give spelt a try.. it wasn’t on my radar either, but the more I read about it, the more I’m warming up to working with it in baking. I’m curious about pie crust! :D You have a great weekend too, Geraldine! :D
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely
Feeling very jealous of your rainy day. Haven’t gotten one of those yet this fall, and they are my very favorite kind of days. Perfect for staying in and baking. This pumpkin bread looks gorgeous Traci! And you’ve inspired me to try spelt flour.
Oh no, Natalie.. still so dry there too? : ( I hope it rains soon… so you can stay in, and bake. I hope you’ll give spelt a try. I really like the subtle nutty flavor and it just feels good eating whole grains, ya know? Thank you my dear! :D
Sounds delish…..must try! I have two sugar pumpkins just waiting to be baked.
Ohhhh, sugar pumpkins are so fabulous! I’ll be picking up a few of those next week and roastin them up! :D Thank you, Sue!
Oh, I’m so glad you forged ahead, Traci! This bread looks incredible. A good cup of coffee, a slice of that…perfect afternoon!
Thank you for your support Andrea! :D Ohhh a cup of coffee, rain and this? Why, I think that sounds perfect!
Love everything about this bread! And the way you described it – I just want a slice right now! :) Great photos! Pinned!
If only we had insta vending, right? Thank you Mira and for your pin! :D
Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)
This is really sensational. Like wowza girlfriend!
Thank you Jocelyn! :D
Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs
Gorgeous as always! Agreed, your darker photos are beautiful and inspiring. I’m so happy you posted a recipe with spelt! It really is a wonderful grain. It’s so fun baking with whole grain flours and having the different flavours and textures with. I find spelt much nicer for baking than standard whole wheat flour, hands down. And white flour just isn’t exciting enough by itself ;) I have a bunch of winter squash from the market, and no pumpkin loaf recipe, so this might be a weekend project! Thanks Traci!
Thank you for your inspiration Alexandra! I hope you enjoy this… and have fun at the market this weekend! :D
Looks and sounds delicious. Especially with the maple glaze. I need to head over to my local farm and see if they have Winter Luxury. Love to try different pumpkins. If I was to substitute the spelt for whole wheat flour, what hydration would you reduce? Also if my market doesn’t have coconut oil, can I substitute vegetable oil? Thanks.
Hi Donna! Just to clarify, when subbing with spelt, hydration needs to be reduced slightly (this is for recipes calling for refined or whole wheat flour). This is a work in progress for me as I am new to the spelt world. But, I have made this with 50:50 whole wheat white and AP flour and in that version, I added, If I recall, 3-4 Tbs of water to the wet ingredients. Then when I made this version, I tweaked the sugar (which impacts moisture as well) and then reduced the water to zero because I added spelt. Vegetable oil will be fine. If you give this a go, please let us know if the substitutions work for you and in what quantities. Thank you, Donna!
thanks Tracy. I’ll play around with it and will definitely let you know. Thanks for your reply.
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
Oh Traci, this bread looks wonderful! Your photos with the dark background and shadows just evoke the warm, cozy feeling of fall for me! I LOVE the wonderful fall flavors of the pumpkin, pecans, cinnamon and maple you incorporate into this recipe. I have not tried spelt flour yet. I saw it in a recipe I came across for a coconut cup crust, but have yet to try. Now it will be on my list, as will this delicious bread! Thanks for sharing, and have a great weekend!
Thank you Mary Ann! :D Cozy yes… in need of cozy now! I’m looking forward to working with spelt more as I enjoy the whole grain factor and that it’s easy to use. I’m looking forward to seeing how you use it too! :D