Pumpkin Post #2 – Spiced Pumpkin Bread

I told you I’d make up for my recent dearth in posts this week, didn’t I? And we’ll continue with our pumpkin theme (a bit late for Halloween, but I trust you can still find pumpkins in the markets, and you can always use canned pumpkin). And hey, it’s probably even on sale for Thanksgiving. I know they’ve got out all the traditional Thanksgiving ingredients and have made little islands of them at my grocery store . . . It must be the Holidays.

For this recipe I used my freshly steamed, scooped, and pureed pumpkin. There is a freshness to even a baked loaf using fresh pumpkin. But I was a little surprised to discover that they didn’t have a more “pumpkiny” flavor. I admit I was expecting more pumpkin punch and I didn’t get it from fresh pumpkin. Not to say that the pumpkin bread wasn’t delicious – it was! – it just wasn’t noticeably different from making the recipe using canned pumpkin. There. Full disclosure. Now, on to the recipe!

I love this pumpkin bread recipe. It is totally unfussy, hard to mess up, and makes your house smell wonderful while its cooking! You can add nuts and/or cranberries (or, if you don’t have fresh, then craisins work really well too!), or leave them out if you prefer. There is no butter that wants to be at the perfect temperature to cream into the sugar and, by the time it comes out of the oven, you’ve had time to clean up the kitchen!

And, may I suggest that this lovely spiced bread is wonderful any time of the day? It makes a perfect breakfast bread, a lovely snack with cream cheese spread on top, and you could even jazz it up a bit with whipped cream for a simple dessert. Or, and I won’t tell, a midnight snack.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

makes two loaves

adapted, slightly, from Epicurious

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 16 oz. pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and prepare two loaf pans: line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter and flour all the way up the edges of the pans.

In the work bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer) beat the sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs and pumpkin puree and mix until combined.

In another large bowl, sift together the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In two additions on low speed, add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Stir until just combined. Add nuts and/or cranberries, and stir to combine.

Divide batter between the two prepared pans and bake until a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the loaves from the pan, and cool completely on wire racks.

Slice and serve with butter or cream cheese.

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