Pumpkins and Pumpkin Bread
Oh pumpkin season! There’s a chill in the adults, air and kids alike are planning their Halloween costumes, and carving pumpkins are pouring out of the local market. Now’s the time for pumpkin bread, don’t you think?
Can I Cook with a Halloween Pumpkin?
Not all pumpkins are equal when it comes to cooking. Those large carving pumpkins? Probably best left to carving, and maybe salvaging the seeds to roast.
Jack-o-lantern pumpkins are raised more for their durability than for their taste.
Most people use canned pured pumpkin for baking recipes like this because of the consistent results. If you want though, you can easily roast up a sugar pumpkin, butternut squash, or kabocha pumpkin for its pure. You’ll get more roasted and caramelized flavor that way. You’ll miss the extra flavor from the roasting, though steaming also works.
How to Make Pumpkin Bread
This pumpkin bread recipe is quite adaptable to different types of pumpkin pure and spice mixes. We took an old recipe from Fannie Farmer as a base and have made several changes to it over the years.
These days we use melted butter instead of vegetable oil (though you can easily use oil if you want), and we’ve added some ground ginger, grated orange zest, and molasses, which we think results in the best pumpkin bread. We have also made a lovely optional glaze —with orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, and powdered sugar. We hope you enjoy this delicious pumpkin bread!
More Great Pumpkin Recipes!
Recipe updated, first posted 2006. If you are missing the original version of pumpkin bread we had posted, just swap out olive oil for the melted butter, and omit the groundmolasses and ginger, and orange zest.
Pumpkin Bread Recipe
You can easily double this recipe. There is enough glaze for two pumpkin bread loafs if using the glaze.
We’re using melted butter in this updated version of the recipe. You could easily use light olive oil instead, same proportions. In our opinion, butter tastes better.
Don’t have molasses? You can sub the 1 cup of sugar and 2 tsp of molasses with 1 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar, packed.
Optional Orange Glaze:
* To make pumpkin pure, cut a small sugar pumpkin in half horizontally. Use a large metal spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy stuff. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a foil or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 minutes to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don’t use for future use. If you are working with pumpkin pieces, roast or boil them until tender, then remove and discard the skin, or.
1 Preheat oven and prepare loaf pan: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Put in the middle rack of the oven. Butter the insides of an 8 x 4 x 3 -inch loaf pan.
2 Whisk together thesalt and flour, baking soda, ground nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger and allspice in a large bowl.
3 Mix together the pumpkin pure, sugar, the melted butter, beaten eggs, 1/4 cup of water, molasses, and orange zest (if using) in a separate bowl.
4 Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined and there is no more dry flour in the batter.
Do not over-mix! Stir them in if adding chopped pecans or walnuts.
5 Bake: Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 45 to 60 minutes (depending on your oven and the color of your loaf pan—dark pans cook the contents more quickly than light pans), or until a tester poked in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
6 Remove from pan and cool completely: Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
Then run a blunt dinner knife around the edges of the pumpkin bread to gently separate it from the pan.
Invert it to loosen it from the pan and put the loaf on a rack to cool completely.
7 Glaze: If using the glaze, whisk together in a medium bowl the powdered sugar, orangezest and juice, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. If too thick add a little more juice. Add a little more powdered sugar if too thin.
Wait until the pumpkin bread has cooled completely before drizzling with glaze or slicing. Tip: use a serrated knife to slice. Less crumbs that way!
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