Pumpkin Bread

One of my earliest memories is baking with my Mom (you should really first read about all the reasons I love my Mom). One of her specialties is pumpkin bread, a recipe she gave me right before I got married. She wrote in her scripty + neat handwriting that she had gotten this recipe in the 7th grade (though she didn’t note from where). Now I make this with my daughter; it’s one of the few foods we both love to eat + we will eat any time of year. Because pumpkin bread is always in season, yo.

Terri’s Pumpkin Bread
Makes 3 loaves (or 2 really giant loaves)

3 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 cups canned pumpkin (I typically use just one 15 ounce can of pumpkin)
1 cup vegetable oil (can substitute half or all the oil for applesauce; does change texture though)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Add eggs, water, pumpkin, and oil and mix until moistened.
4. Grease + flour three loaf baking pans; pour in batter (about half full for each pan if using 3).
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until knife inserted into center comes out clean.
6. Loaves should remove easily from pans when flipped onto cooling racks.
7. Enjoy! Share if you must.

Tips I Have Learned Through the Years
1. Use the Baking with Flour spray, kind of looks like PAM spray, on the pans. Makes life easier.
2. Recently Mom told me that the original recipe had another “1 teaspoon of” some spice but she can’t recall now what it was but she didn’t like this spice anyway and therefore didn’t include it in the recipe. I can only assume it’s something like clove or allspice or something else found in the Pumpkin Pie spice mix you can buy at the grocery store. So whatevs, get crazy, put 3 teaspoons of whatever you love in there. I personally do not like the Pumpkin Pie spice mix and stick to 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon (I’ve been trying all the different varieties of cinnamon out there, thanks to Savory Spice in Boulder, that place is AMAZING) and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg.
3. Applesauce cups, like ones you would put in a kid’s lunch, are each a half cup, perfect for subbing half the oil in this recipe.  
4. This stuff is full of nomnomnom, whether you eat it hot or cold. I sometimes freeze the extra loaves and use within 1-2 weeks (though they may dry out a bit). Butter or ice cream helps.
5. If you can find canned pumpkin, stock up on it. Famine struck pumpkin farmers in 2009 and in 2010, leaving empty spaces on grocery store shelves where cans of orangey goodness used to be (learn more than you ever wanted to know about the canned pumpkin shortage). I know, right? How does famine strike us these days? What is this, the end times?! I have had one heck of a time finding canned pumpkin, and so while I’d love to have the time to roast and hollow out a pumpkin myself, I’m a single mom on a tight schedule who’s gotta take shortcuts from time to time, my friends. This is one of them. The only luck I’ve had finding canned pumpkin is at Whole Foods, which is great because it’s organic and which is sucky because it’s $$$. Like I said, HOARD your pumpkin. (But not until I do first.) 
6. I have been known to add mini chocolate chips to one of the three loaf pans (just sprinkle on top and stir in gently) or sprinkle cinnamon+sugary walnuts or toss raw pumpkin seeds to form a crunchy crust on the top of another just before baking.
7. Just plain is pretty awesome, though.
8. If I make pumpkin bread for you, it means you’re tops in my book.

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4 thoughts on “Pumpkin Bread

  1. Melanie says:

    Mmmmm, glad I’m not the only one that loves pumpkin bread, or pumpkin anything, really, in any season!

  2. jean says:

    Question. You say applesauce changes the texture. Is that a good or bad change? I made banana bread with whole wheat flour and have to say, I didn’t find it as good as my regular recipe. So much for trying to go the healthier route : )

  3. Wow – that means I’m tops in your books! Thanks so much to you and the Kid for bringing us some of your goodness today! Snack this afternoon and wonderful dessert to dinner tonight!

  4. admin says:

    As is, the recipe comes out very cakey and like Kristi said, almost feels more like a dessert. The more applesauce you add, the more spongey, I would say, it becomes. I did like a half cup applesauce+half cup oil much much better than one cup applesauce. But some people care more about reducing oil than texture, so it’s neither good or bad. Just a preference!

    Also, I tend to reduce the amount of spices I add to 1-2 tsp if I’m going to add chocolate chips — no need for competing flavors!

    Also, I’ve been making this recipe in Colorado for almost 7 years now and don’t notice a difference so no need for high altitude baking adjustments.

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