Spiced pumpkin loaf with dark chocolate and pecans

This nourishing loaf is filling and just sweet enough to satisfy a sweet craving. It's a variation of my Easy Pumpkin Loaf, which I've lightly sweetened and studded with pecan nuts and dark chocolate pieces. Because I like "bits" in my baking.

It's gluten-free, dairy-free and depending on your stance on buckwheat (which is technically a seed) it's grain-free as well. I've recently been using buckwheat flour quite a bit in my baking to reduce the need for large amounts of nut meals (which, in large quantities, tend to make me bloated). I also love the slight earthiness of the buckwheat flour in contrast to the sweet spices and dark chocolate. And the pumpkin does its job to keep the loaf moist.

I love to make the loaf on the weekend and freeze it in slices to warm up during the week for a snack or treat. You can wrap up a nice thick slice to take to work for afternoon tea, or have it in the morning if you're in the mood for a quick, sweet breakfast (that's a hell of a lot better for you than many store-bought loaves, which are usually loaded with refined sugar and flour).


360g pumpkin purée *
55g melted coconut oil
3 free-range eggs
100g rice malt syrup
140g buckwheat flour
100g almond meal
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
90g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
120g pecan nuts, broken into pieces


1. Preheat your oven to 160°C (fan-forced) and line a loaf tin (base measurement 9.5cm x 19.5cm) with baking paper.

2. Beat the pumpkin purée, melted coconut oil, eggs and rice malt syrup together in a large bowl. Add the buckwheat flour, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt and stir everything together until just combined. Fold through the dark chocolate and 80g of the pecan nuts.

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle over the remaining 40g of pecan nuts and lightly press them into the top of the mixture with your fingers.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing it up with a serrated knife. Store in the fridge or freezer.


* To make the pumpkin purée, chop about half a large pumpkin into wedges removing the seeds but leaving the skin on. Enclose the wedges in foil and bake in a 200°C oven until the flesh is soft. Scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork until smooth.