We didn’t eat a lot of quick breads when I was growing up. Not sure why, but we ate biscuits, cornbread, corn lightbread, hushpuppies, or just plain sliced white bread — never banana bread or pumpkin bread, both of which I learned to love as an adult. My favorite breakfast is a slice of warm, spicy pumpkin bread with fresh strawberries and blackberries.
My adventure with finding just the right amount of flavors for pumpkin bread began a few months ago. For some reason, when fall arrives, everyone starts making all things pumpkin: bread, cookies, cakes, pies, sausage, pasta…ok, maybe not sausage. But I bet somebody has tried it. In any case, most pumpkin breads are too sweet and light on flavor to me — they taste like pumpkin-flavored sugar bread. I wanted something more complex, a little less sweet and more spicy.
Molasses seemed like a good place to start, along with upping the amounts of cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. Most recipes call for light brown sugar and white sugar or just white sugar, so I thought dark brown sugar would up the ante as well.
After several attempts, I think I’ve got just the right combination of a moist, spicy and not too sweet bread. Whip this up today and your kitchen will smell exotic and mysterious, filled with cinnamon and cloves and pumpkin. You might even start belly dancing.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup melted unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 cups pureed pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup molasses
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9×5 loaf pans. In large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the other dry ingredients and whisk together until smooth.
Using stand mixer, or a large bowl and hand mixer, blend together the eggs, butter, canola oil, pumpkin, vanilla, buttermilk and molasses.
Turn off mixer and slowly fold in the dry ingredients, until well blended. Spoon into the prepared loaf pans and bake for one hour.
This recipe is a conglomeration of the best parts of many different recipes, with my own touches added in. Here are a few that I adapted from that you might like to try: