Marbled Pumpkin Chocolate Bread

by Irvin on October 10, 2016 · 7 comments

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This beautiful and easy to make marbled pumpkin chocolate bread is bursting with Autumn flavor!

Marbled Pumpkin Chocolate Bread. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

“Wait, you’re taking off? What about the after party?” exclaimed my friend Yvonne of Tried and Tasty as I hugged her goodbye on the way to the airport. I was in Austin for the BlogHer Food conference where I had given a 20-minutes inspirational TED-style talk on creativity during their “Lightning Lesson” main stage. It was a quick 2-day trip for me, as I had to head back to San Francisco to speak at the Eat, Drink and Be Literary event of San Francisco’s Litquake on Sunday. In all the whirlwind traveling, I found time to bake up a marbled pumpkin chocolate bread for my ceramics class potluck critique. For someone who always professes to be an anti-social hermit, I sure was getting out there a lot.(Jump directly to the recipe.)

Marbled Swirled and Layered. Book by Irvin Lin

It probably will come as a surprise to many folk that I am a natural introvert. For new folks who meet me, I come across as pretty gregarious and (I have been told) rather energetic. But as much as I enjoy getting out and meeting folks and doing public speaking, it takes a not insignificant amount of mental and emotional energy for me to do it. For some folks who are natural extroverts, they gain energy from being around people. But for those of us who are introverts, going out and meeting and being with folks takes energy away. It doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy it or don’t have fun, it just means we need time to recharge from all that energy spent.

But right now I’m on the move, hitting up as many conferences and events that will have me, as well as meeting as many people as I can. And it’s not because I’m a glutton for punishment, it’s because I have my very first cookbook coming out! The book Marbled, Swirled, and Layered, has been in the works for nearly 3 years and I can’t wait for everyone to look at it. I got to show a few folks at the conference the one single copy that my publisher sent me in advance (the rest of my copies are slowly coming over on a ship from Asia where it was printed). The glee and joy when my friends flipped through the book made me so very happy. I can only hope that everyone that goes out and buys the book will feel that way as well.

Irvin at BlogHer Food 2016. Photo by BlogHer

The book comes out November 1st, just in time for the holidays but it is available for pre-order. And because I want to make sure EVERYONE knows about this book, I am putting myself out there, more than I have ever before. That mean back-to-back events like BlogHer Food and the San Francisco Litquake’s Eat Drink and be Literary event. But to keep myself from going crazy I’m also giving myself a little bit of “me time”. If you were one of the 300+ folks who were at BlogHer Food and watched me on the main stage, you heard me explain how doing things OUTSIDE your profession (whether it’s food, photography, or writing) can foster your own creativity. Doing things you love and enjoy, that seem almost like self-indulgences, can feed your soul. Doing a yoga class, going for a run, visiting a museum, or even just getting coffee with friends are so important to all of us and keep us sane.

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

And that’s why, even though I knew things were going to be crazy for me this fall with my book release, I opted to take a ceramics class at the local community college. I needed something to distract me from the chaos of cookbook promotions. And it has worked. There is something really nice and relaxing about playing with clay, slip and glazes. Mentally engaging in something that has NOTHING to do with what I do for a living nourishes me in ways that I didn’t even realize I craved. Learning something just to learn something, is immensely satisfying and empowering. With a pottery critique happening on the Monday after the back-to-back events, I knew that I wanted to also bring something for folks to nibble on as the class shares what everyone made for our first projects. And since Fall is officially here, a marbled pumpkin chocolate bread were the perfect autumnal treat.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

heather (delicious not gorgeous) October 10, 2016 at 10:24 am

congrats on your book! can’t wait to see it (: love that you used kahlua instead of the coffee in the bread, and love how that swirl came out!


Bonnie October 11, 2016 at 3:39 am

What a fabulous idea to use Kahlua instead of brewed coffee, which I never have. Congratulations on your book!


Marisa Franca @ All Our Way October 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm

I know exactly how you feel about putting yourself out there. My knees knock and instead of speaking up I kind of start to speak softly which is NOT my normal way. Now I have a suggestion or favor or whatever. I would love to have an autograph sticker to put in the cookbook I’ll be purchasing. Do you think that could be a possibility? I’d be glad to send in a SASE to get one. Your recipe above sounds fantastic!


Priya October 12, 2016 at 2:27 am

Thank you for this great recipe. I used gluten free flour instead and puréed fresh pumpkin. Simply divine!
Thank you once again for sharing your amazing recipe.


IGU Meerpur October 17, 2016 at 4:16 am

Love this recipe. It was actually pretty easy and yummy!


Sondra Priestley December 1, 2016 at 10:36 am

hey you!
I am just seeing your blog for the first time today! looks absolutely lovely…. 🙂 I will be bookmarking it for future references.. 🙂
so… a couple of questions for you, hoping you have time to read my novelette below:
1. do you know of any other way of making quick bread soft and moist without using copious amounts of oil? I find that all the ones that advertise as as being the ‘best breads or muffins’ always have .5-1 cup of oil in them…now, don’t get me wrong, I am ok with a bit of oil in stuff… but I am a tried and true buttah girl. I use only made from scratch stuff and like a buttery taste to stuff…. so adding a load of veggie oil is just about killing me…. ideas?
2. I live up north. like really north. like on the same latitude as Moscow. Thankfully? NOT Moscow. I am in northern Canada… and we have issues with baking with stuff that you guys down south can make with no problems! I find that I have to cut back on flour and add water/milk/Bailey’s/rum…. whatever (!) to recipes to keep them from being crumbly masses of ickiness… some things are ok.. and no issues.. but generally, due to our altitude and dryy climate? we struggle.
any ideas you share will be greatly appreciated!
oh, and congrats on 16 years together! <3



Irvin December 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

Hi Sondra,

So I’m a HUGE fan of butter as well. But the reason that a lot of quick breads and muffins use oil instead is because oil stays liquid at room temperature, while butter is a solid. Because oil stays liquid, when you bake with it, it leads to a more moist baked good. Butter, while a great fat, will lead to a more solid and dense baked good. This is why cookies use butter instead of oil because you want the cookies to hold together more. Brownies are an in-between baked good, and you’ll find recipes that use butter or oil or a mix of the two.

That said, if you really love butter, try using a mix of half melted butter and half oil. For instance, my recipe above uses 1/2 cup of oil. Try using 1/4 cup of oil and 1/4 of melted butter and see if you like those results. It might require some tinkering on your end to find the right balance. But that’s the reason why oil is often used in quick breads and muffins.

Finally I’m not an expert on high altitude baking. That said, my friend Jen over at Use Real Butter lives at a high altitude, so you might want to check out her blog and see what her recipes are like. I also usually refer people to King Arthur Flour’s webpage on high altitude baking. They are a really great resource. Good luck!


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