Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread (Vegan Gluten-Free)

This vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread is so easy to make and is perfect for the season. This loaf is warmingly spiced, packed with pumpkin and melting chocolate and is topped with a delicious chocolate ganache and pecans.

I love anything and everything pumpkin so it is no surprise that I am back with another pumpkin puree and pumpkin spiced recipe. This loaf bread is a really delicious bake that comes together in just a few simple steps and it’s always so rewarding to slice into the cooled loaf and see the gorgeous swirl patterns as the pumpkin and chocolate batters intertwine.

Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread with chocolate pouring
Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread

How good is this Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread?

This loaf really is special as it’s:

  • Light, fluffy and cake-y
  • Really moist and tender
  • Packed with warming pumpkin spices
  • Chocolatey and rich
  • Topped with a silky chocolate ganache
  • Decorated with crunchy sweet pecans
  • Easy to make in a few steps
  • Naturally vegan, easily gluten-free and nut-free

As I love banana bread, it’s no surprise that I love all kinds of loaf bakes and if you are already a huge fan, read on to the recipe below. Let’s discuss this bake in a little more detail.

What ingredients go into this loaf?

The pumpkin load itself is a simple, moist and delicious mix:

  • Pumpkin puree: I tend to buy my pumpkin puree in tins (make sure it’s 100% pumpkin) or you can make your own by steaming or roasting pumpkin until tender and then mashing up to a puree.
  • Ground chia or flax seeds: these act as a binder which are important as the loaf is quite moist.
  • Plant-based milk: any milk will work for this recipe like coconut (carton), oat, almond or soya.
  • Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice: this reacts with the milk to form a buttermilk which helps to bind the mix.
  • Sunflower oil: or you can use melted and cooled coconut oil. If using coconut oil, it’s important that the oil is in a liquid state but that it’s not too hot to avoid extreme temperature differences with the milk which would cause the oil to solidify. If using sunflower oil, you can use this as it is or try olive oil, too.
  • Coconut sugar: or you can use caster or golden caster sugar.
  • Vanilla essence: for the flavour.
  • Plain or GF plain flour: this keeps the mixture really light and fluffy. If using a GF flour, make sure it contains xantham gum and that it is a flour you usually use for baking.
  • Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda: for the rise.
  • Pumpkin pie spices: cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, nutmeg and cardamom are the ones we ned to make this loaf really warmingly spiced and so seasonal. If you don’t have them all, you can use a bit more of the ones you do have. If you only have cinnamon and ginger, for example, this will still taste great.
  • Cacao powder: this is the magic trick that turns the pumpkin batter into a chocolate batter. You can also use cocoa powder.
  • Chocolate chips or chopped chocolate: for the batter. These are so melty and delicious – just make sure your chocolate is dairy-free and you can use any chocolate you like. I tend to go for dark chocolate for my bakes.

As far as the method goes, simply whisk together the wet ingredients, sift in the dry ingredients and then combine to a smooth batter. Divide the mix in two parts and add the cacao powder (and a splash more plant-based milk) to one half to create the chocolate part and fold in the chocolate chips. Then alternate the batters to create the swirl pattern, outlined below.

Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread on a metal tray
Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread

For the ganache and topping, we only need a few ingredients:

  • Vegan butter: it is important to use butter rather than coconut oil or margarine spread for the best tasting and shiniest ganache.
  • Dark chocolate: I prefer dark chocolate for the ganache to keep it rich but dairy-free milk chocolate will also work well.
  • Chopped pecans: these add a wonderful crunch but you can use other nuts, or try extra chopped chocolate or seeds, too.

How do I create the swirls inside this loaf?

This is really easy to do, and doesn’t take much effort. Simply alternate spoonfuls of the chocolate and the original batter so you create a checkerboard pattern. Then gently drag a knife through the loaf tin, going side to side a few times to swirl the mixes together. See the images above, too.

Is this Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread gluten-free and nut-free?

To make this bake gluten-free, make sure you use a GF certified flour blend with xantham gum to help bind the mix and to keep the cake nut-free, skip the pecans on top.

A slice of Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread
Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread

How long will this loaf last?

If you live with me, this lasts approximately 24 hours, it is THAT good.  If you can resist, the cake will keep for 3-5 days in a sealed container in the fridge or for up to 1 month in the freezer. I prefer to eat it at room temperature, so always get it out the fridge an hour or so before eating it.

Will I like this even if I don’t like pumpkin?

The answer to this is YES. It has enough chocolate and sweetness from the rest of the batter that you can hardly taste the pumpkin at all. Instead, the pumpkin adds the best texture: such a lightness and moisture that makes for the most delicious bake.

If you are a fellow pumpkin and pumpkin spice lover, why not try these other recipes:

Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread is so easy to make and is perfect for the season. This loaf is warmingly spiced, packed with pumpkin and melting chocolate and is topped with a delicious chocolate ganache and pecans.


    For the bread:
  • 340g pumpkin puree (or from 400g pumpkin)
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds + 3 tbsp water
  • 60ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 120ml sunflower oil or melted and cooled coconut oil
  • 140g coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 245g plain or GF flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • 20g cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp plant-based milk
  • 120g chocolate chips
  • For the ganache:
  • 30g vegan butter
  • 75g dark chocolate, chopped small
  • To decorate:
  • Chopped pecans


  1. If using fresh pumpkin, slice the pumpkin into wedges, leaving the skin on and roast at 160Fan/180*C for 45-60 minutes or until tender.
  2. Allow the pumpkin to cool for 5 minutes then remove the skin. Add the flesh to a blender and whizz until smooth. Measure out 340g of the pumpkin puree. Or use pumpkin puree from a tin.
  3. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
  4. To a large mixing bowl, stir together the ground chia seeds with the water and leave for 1 minute to form a gel. Now whisk in the plant-based milk and the vinegar/lemon juice and leave for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour in the pumpkin puree, sunflower oil, sugar and vanilla and whisk again.
  6. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cardamom and add the salt. Whisk to a smooth, thick batter. Pour half of the batter into a second mixing bowl.
  7. To one batter, add in the cacao powder and extra milk and whisk until smooth. Fold in 50g of chocolate chips, and also fold in 50g of chocolate chips to the plain pumpkin batter.
  8. Take it in turns to spoon in some of the pumpkin batter followed by the chocolate batter until you have finished both bowls. Gently drag a knife through the batters to create a swirl effect.
  9. Sprinkle on the remaining chocolate chips and bake for 50-60 minutes or longer, until an inserted skewer comes out mostly clean.
  10. Allow the loaf to cool for 20 minutes then lift out using the parchment paper and cool fully on a wire rack.
  11. For the ganache, chop the chocolate very small and add to a heat-proof bowl. Melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave, working in 10 second intervals and stirring in between. Once melted, pour over the chocolate and leave for 5 minutes. Now stir in to melt the chocolate (microwave the bowl for 10 seconds at a time if needed). Pour over the cooled cake and allow to set for 10 minutes. Sprinkle over the chopped pecans and serve (once the ganache is cool, it’s best to slice the cake with a hot sharp knife).
  12. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days but enjoy at room temperature. The loaf will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Landscape image of Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread
Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make this loaf, I would love to see your bakes so please tag me in them – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With chocolate pumpkin swirl love x

  1. Heya Amy. Looks delicious 😋😊Amy and splendid photography as always and I am enjoying reading all of your pumpkin 🎃 recipes so sorry it’s taken me so long to read all of your new blog updates my WordPress app hasn’t been working for ages. Wasn’t sure if I could read your blog online xx so been waiting until my WordPress app was back working

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