It seems like every year as soon as leaves get their first specks of orange and the weather begins to cool, the pumpkin spice craze begins. I personally have always been rather skeptical of the way that pumpkin spice seems to find its way into everything. Lattes I can handle, but corrupting salsa, potato chips, and tacos with it is going too far. “Pumpkin spice” doesn’t even have pumpkin in it! Its just commercialized cinnamon and spices made to take advantage of our love of autumn-y things and convince us that whatever it is that we’re buying will be as good as that pumpkin pie that you spent so long toiling over last thanksgiving.
But I’m getting off topic.
What I’m really here to talk about is this delicious, just autumn-y enough pumpkin bread that has finally convinced me that pumpkin spice can be used for good. Eating it is like tasting all the richness and flavor of a pumpkin pie without all the trouble of making it, and the extra yumminess of a soft muffin-y texture. The bread is tender and moist without being dense, a problem I’ve had with a lot of pumpkin bread recipes in the past. It has just the right amount of sweetness, and is light and enough to convince me that its not cake and I can therefore eat it for breakfast, which is always a plus.
All you have to do is mix together the ingredients (only one bowl to wash 🙃), pour it into a loaf pan, and cook. No overcomplicated procedures, obscure ingredients, and virtually nowhere for anything to go wrong.
And there’s cinnamon sugar on top, which is always a bonus, right?
Unfortunately, although the bread came out absolutely tasty-as-can-be, I managed to somehow switch the camera settings so that half of the pictures look like they were taken in some foggy dream-world. And while this bread is quite dreamy, that’s not really the look I was going for. Being new to the whole photography and blogging thing, I didn’t even notice it until it was too late, everyone having long since devoured the loaf. Despite this, it looked so lovely sliced I can’t not post it. Oh well.
Enough chatting…. I’ll get to the recipe so you can find out for yourself just how good pumpkin (and pumpkin spice) can be.
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen’s pumpkin bread, with some minor adjustments.
- 1 15-ounce can (1 3/4 cups) pumpkin puree
- ½ cup (1 stick) melted butter (or other oil)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 tsp teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
- 2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp Pumpkin Spice, or:
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- Two pinches of ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 6-cup loaf pan or coat it with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs and sugar until smooth. Sprinkle baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices over batter and whisk until well-combined. Add flour and stir with a spoon, just until mixed. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth the top. In a small dish, or empty measuring cup, stir sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle over top of batter.
Bake bread for 65 to 75 minutes until a tester poked into all parts of cake (both the top and center will want to hide pockets of uncooked batter) come out batter-free, turning the cake once during the baking time for even coloring.