Autumn Pumpkin Bread
My Go-To Recipe

My long-time recipe for pumpkin bread, almost elegant in its very simplicity. The crumb is firm and moist, spiked with autumn spices and studded with seasonal nuts.

Autumn Pumpkin Bread

When the weather cools down, it’s somehow automatic to crank up the oven. During hot summer days, baking is like a too-rich dessert, a treat to be consumed sparingly. During cool autumns and down-right cold winters, a hot oven warms both house and belly.

This pumpkin bread is a long-time favorite and makes up in just a few minutes, a real “quick loaf”.

The recipe makes two large loaves. One for a neighbor? One for the freezer? Serve it plain, toasted for breakfast or in half-sandwiches with a bit of cream cheese. I’ve lowered the calorie count by substituting buttermilk for part of the vegetable oil. A side-by-side taste test yielded no difference at all. You can also reduce calories by eliminating the pecans, although nuts do provide a welcome crunch to a fairly dense loaf.

ALANNA's TIPS If you don’t expect to use this up in a couple of days, do keep it refrigerated. While this pumpkin loaf is delicious made with cinnamon and nutmeg from the grocery store, I’ve become partial to a product called 'cake spice' from Penzeys, the Wisconsin spice people. Cake spice is a blend of China cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves. When a recipe calls for cinnamon or nutmeg, I substitute cake spice in the same amounts. Cake spice’s flavor is somehow a little sweeter, a little brighter – and gets raves. Get a catalog or place an order by calling 1-800-741-7787 or visiting www.penzeys.com. Black walnuts are an excellent substitution for pecans! For Christmas, throw in a dried cranberries, chopped in the food processor to distribute fewer cranberries more evenly.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite quick bread recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!

AUTUMN PUMPKIN BREAD

A loaf for home, another for a neighbor
2 loaves, 12 slices each
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) canned 100% pumpkin purée
  • 3-1/2 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 9x5 loaf pans with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, buttermilk and sugars and beat until smooth using an electric hand mixer. Add eggs and pumpkin; beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Separately, combine flour, spices, salt and baking soda. Add to pumpkin mixture and combine until just blended. Remove beaters. Add pecans and stir in with a wooden spoon. Pour evenly into two loaf pans and bake 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into center is removed cleanly. Remove from oven, let cool five minutes Remove from pans and continue to cool. Keeps several days but do refrigerate if not eaten within a day.

PLAYING AROUND Substitute up to half the flour with whole wheat flour. The 'crumb' will change to a heavier, more substantial bread, versus the almost cake-like crumb with all-purpose flour. I've also used 100% whole wheat pastry flour, it's expensive flour but turns out nearly as light as with all-purpose flour. When I make Light 'n' Fluffy Whole-Grain Bread, I use the leftover pumpkin to make a loaf of Autumn Pumpkin Bread. There's no missing the 1/3 cup used in the yeast bread. I've substituted eggnog for buttermilk, just be sure to add 1 teaspoon baking powder.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in pumpkin bread? How many Weight Watchers points in pumpkin bread?) Per Slice (with/without nuts): 168/116 Calories; 2 g Protein; 11/6 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 16/15 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 279 mg Sodium; 41 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 4/3 points

In a Baking Mood? More Quick Breads!

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I don't know if it was just my oven, but 45 minutes is nowhere NEAR enough time for these to bake. I kept putting them in and taking them out 15-20 minutes later, but they were as good as gone...Should I try a full hour and a half next time?
 
Cady ~ Oh dear, I've never had that trouble before and the recipe goes way, way, WAY back. Who knows, really, but let me think this through a little. Baking dishes can make a difference (mine are metal, what are yours?); where you place the dishes can make a difference (should be in the middle); if you happen to have a baking stone in place, remove it (at least here it interferes with baking time); how much air gets beaten in might make a difference (but the 2min is specified) and I suppose the ingredients might vary some too, even though as I look through the list, the only thing that comes to mind is the relative wetness of the pumpkin.

I sure hope it's not a total loss. If so, please accept my apology.
 
Wow, this bread was awesome! The onnly change I made was adding a teaspoon of cloves to really give it that autumn taste.
 
Hello, I am wondering I can substitute 1 percent milk with 2 tablespoons of vinegar in place of the butter milk?
 
Hi Jean, I think that would work fine, my own substitute for buttermilk is with the other buttermilk.
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna