Spiced Pumpkin Bread, or Is It Cake?

The line is very fuzzy between a quick bread and cake.  The naming seems to be traditional.  I mean the ingredients are almost exactly the same and who could argue that your average zucchini bread or banana bread is anything but dessert.  It’s baked in a loaf pan like bread, but so is pound cake and fruit cake.  So what to call this pumpkin loaf with eggs, oil, flour and lots of sugar?  Is it a bread?  Is it a cake?  Let’s say bread because that sounds so wholesome.  And this loaf contains lots of pumpkin providing healthy fiber, like a high-fiber bread.  Do I sound convincing? Of course, if you were to cover the “bread” with Cream Cheese Frosting or Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting, there would be no more pretending, would there?  

This is a simple pumpkin bread without any additions like nuts or dried fruit.  I like the silky texture of the finished slices without any interruption by crunchy or chewy bits.  However, if you prefer the flavors and textures that these additions provide, go to town.
  • 1 cup 100% pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (like canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra to flour pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • butter for greasing pan

PRINT-FRIENDLY RECIPE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9 X 5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until well blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, kosher salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until well blended. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes in the preheated oven, turning once about halfway through.  While baking, the aroma from the pumpkin and spice permeated my house in a most excellent way.  It’s almost worth making just to have the scent of Fall in your house!

Your bread is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Bring it to room temperature and wrap well after slicing.  It stores well at room temperature, still delicious the second and even the third day.  After that, I cannot comment because it was gone gone gone.

VARIATIONS

  • Add chopped toasted nuts or dried fruit like raisins or sweetened cranberries.
  • Top it with toasted pumpkin seeds.

PRINT-FRIENDLY RECIPE

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