Pumpkin Bread Recipe

This pumpkin tea bread is moist and flavorful — one of the few things I make that both my girls absolutely love. Like most tea breads, it combines the virtues of low effort and large payoff quite elegantly. I like to make all my tea breads in small “1 pound” loaf pans as I believe the end result is not only more convenient but less dry. However I’ve included directions for conventional loaf pans as well.

1 lb. (3 cups) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb. canned pumpkin
3 large eggs
1 lb. 5 ounces (3 cups) sugar
1 cup vegetable oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (375 if using smaller pans). Prepare your pans by applying butter or cooking spray (either two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans or three smaller “1 pound” loaf pans). Sift together the flour, spices, leaveners and salt. Next, combine the pumpkin and eggs in a bowl and stir them together.

Combine the oil and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle (beater) and beat on medium for about 30 seconds, until well-combined. Add the pumpkin mixture and beat about another 30 seconds until combined. Add half the flour mixture and stir on low until mostly combined. Scrape the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture, stir and scrape again.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pans. Bake large loaves about 1 hour 10 minutes, rotating the pans after 50 minutes. Bake the smaller loaves about 50 minutes, rotating the pans after 40 minutes. Cool the loaves on a wire rack. Loosen the loaves around the edges with a butter knife and knock them out by tapping the corners of the pans on a countertop.

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12 Responses to Pumpkin Bread Recipe

  1. Eva says:

    Hi Joe,
    I love pumpkin bread! My recipe calls for creamed butter and sugar. How does the outcome differ when you use oil and sugar like your recipe calls for?

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Eva!

      The creaming method makes some very good tea bread. What I will say for oil breads like this is that they are extremely moist (the fat remains in liquid form) but that they also require more leavening, since they don’t get any help from their bubbles that the creaming method creates. That being the case, they have a little more of that bitter baking soda edge. Cll it a trade off…I think it’s worth it.

      Thanks for the question!

      - Joe

  2. Andrew says:

    Do you think if I used whole wheat flour it would work just as good? Would I have to adjust the recipe at all?

    • joepastry says:

      I don’t have much experience making tea breads with whole wheat flour. Like anything with whole wheat, you’ll get about 25% less rise and a denser crumb, but it should still be good!

      - Joe

      • Nicole says:

        In a desperate attempt to get some vegetables into her kid, my sister started making pumpkin muffins. Her recipe swaps out some white flour for whole wheat (about 60% white, 40% whole wheat), and I honestly can’t taste the difference.

        • joepastry says:

          That’s a good idea. Tomorrow’s recipe is along the same lines. Another pumpkin preparation that barely tastes like squash.

          More then!

          - Joe

  3. Ann P. says:

    Sounds like an awesome down-to-earth recipe that would be great to give to my new neighbors for Thanksgiving :)

  4. This looks incredible! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Silivu says:

    I’ve noticed the same thing with zucchini bread (and other cookie recipes for that matter)… 1 whole teaspoon of baking soda… and (apparently) no acidic ingredient…
    So sometimes I substitute the b.s. with b.p. (with the necessary adjustments), sometimes I don’t. I unfortunately I have never had the chance of a side-by-side taste test since I’m a disaster at planning out my baking, not to mention that every time I do quick-breads I end up twisting the recipe adding some other spice, vegetable or whatever the fridge or pantry need to get ridden of.
    Do you have any insight into this matter?

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Silviu,

      Pumpkin is actually acidic enough in this quantity to create the needed reaction, but there’s nothing wrong with baking powder, just make sure to at least triple the quantity to get the right texture ( 1 1/2 teaspoons in this case….2 teaspoons would probably not be excessive). There will be slightly different taste, but nothing objectionable.

      - Joe

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