The Pumpkin Bread I Can't Stop Eating

By • October 31, 2009 36 Comments

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Author Notes: Happy Halloween! This pumpkin bread recipe is adapted from the "Morning After Pumpkin Bread" in my book, which in turn was adapted from Bon Appetit. This time I used half white and half wheat flour (you can use all white if that's all you have) and I lessened the sugar and put in a couple of chopped apples. (I was going to say "threw in" but then I remembered how Gabrielle Hamilton is against that kind of talk). She's also against optional ingredients. I may continue to use them. I don't think any recipe is a perfect paradigm. There are options.Giulia Melucci

Makes 1 loaf, 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin or any other kind
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 good baking apple such as Cortland or Northern Spy, grated (you should have 1 cup grated apple)
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan whatever way you please (I use Pam baking spray).
  2. Whisk together the sugar and oil until blended, then add the eggs and pumpkin. Lay out two paper towels, stacked on top of one another. Lay the grated apples over the paper towels. Roll up the paper towels into a log and squeeze gently to remove excess juices from the apples. Add the grated apples to the pumpkin mixture and mix to combine.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the flours, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Mix in the walnuts and let batter rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. When ready to bake, pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until the loaf is very dark and a tester inserted deep into the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool in pan for ten minutes, then turn onto rack to cool completely.

More Great Recipes: Fruit|Bread, Rolls & Muffins|Breakfast & Brunch|Desserts|Bread

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Comments (36) Questions (0)


7 months ago Hannah Cofer

Loved this recipe! My canned pumpkin also made the final mix a bit too wet, so I added a few tablespoons of wheat germ & flax seed (because who doesn't want the extra nutrients?!), and reduced the white sugar so I could add chocolate chips. Finally, I added chia seeds, because I love how they give a nice texture addition to quick breads, but that's just a personal preference. Will definitely make again!


9 months ago Eliza

This bread was delicious! A made a couple of changes that I think made it even better. I did not use the apple - instead, to give it some freshness, I added fresh zest from one orange. I used just short of 1 cup of sugar, because I created a sugar crust that I sprinkled on top of the bread before baking. The crust consisted of about a teaspoon of course sugar, a hefty pinch of seasalt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and cloves. I also mixed in an extra 1/5 cup of flour at the end because I was worried reading the previous comments.
The bread turned out perfectly!! It rose beautifully and the crunchy crust makes it extra amazing.
Thanks for this recipe :)


9 months ago ghainskom

I skipped the apple because I have someone allergic in my household, Nd this turned out great!


9 months ago Isha

Can I use applesauce as a sub for the sugar for this recipe?


10 months ago Auntie Allyn

I made this bread yesterday and it turned out quite well . . . in fact, I think my loaf looks better than the one pictured! I was sure to squeeze all of the moisture out of the shredded apples as I could, and I cut back a bit on the amount of sugar (to about 2/3 cup). It baked in 75 minutes in my 9" loaf pan. Next time, I might ratchet-up the spices a bit as I like spicy cakes.


10 months ago Scribbles

I made this with fresh pumpkin puree - delicious! I will make it again and agree with cutting back on the amount of sugar. Fab cross between a breakfast treat and a dessert...thanks!


10 months ago Hemz7781

This was insanely good - I made a double batch and used only 1 2/3 c. sugar. I also made these as muffins (a double batch made 22 muffins) that took 15-20 minutes to bake. I agree with previous commenters that the olive oil is really key to giving this a more complex flavor. I think next time I will reduce the sugar to 1 1/2 c. for a double batch.


10 months ago Hemz7781

Oh, I also added a sprinkle of allspice


11 months ago Ticketytwo

Really, really good. I think next time I'll add some extra walnuts


11 months ago cbelako

I made this today using mini loaf pans, and it's disappearing fast. Baking time was about 1 hour. I used only one apple, and added some cranberries. Lovely stuff.


over 1 year ago Clive Jones

I made this Pumpkin bread 2 days ago, and its all gone, It sure was good.


over 1 year ago LPW2000

Is the recipe as of this date corrected?


over 1 year ago Stephanie Bourgeois

Stephanie is the Head Recipe Tester of Food52.

Yes. The current version of the recipe has been updated. Let us know if you run into any issues.


over 1 year ago Stephanie Bourgeois

Stephanie is the Head Recipe Tester of Food52.

Thanks everyone for let us know there were problems with this recipe. Based on feedback about the way the loaf was baking, we've re-tested this recipe and made some changes to make sure the loaf turns out.


over 1 year ago Lynn Tickner Swords

I chose this to make 5 loaves for a ladies breakfast this morning, and I have baked it for almost 2 hours, and now the bottoms are burning, and the inside of the bread is still like a solid pudding. ick. Such a waste of so many ingredients. This is the first time I've ever had a quick bread recipe fail. :(


over 1 year ago cookinalong

I had a similar result the first time I made it and was only seduced into trying it again because it smelled so great, even though it was inedible. I thought about it some and decided to follow AntoniaJames' lead (because you cand NEVER go wrong doing that!) and make it in muffin tins. Another commenter has used mini loaf pans, which sounds like a good plan, too. Another thing to consider is the brand of canned pumpkin. First time, I used an organic brand I found in Whole Foods and recall it seemed very loose. It poured out of the can. I probably should have drained it. Second time around I went for the good old standby, Libby's. Since apples and pumpkins are natural products, water content and consistency will vary, so you have to go off the page sometimes. It's so disappointing when you're baking something for guests and you have a flop! I feel your pain! But with a bit of revising, this recipe can work.


over 1 year ago Judithaltman

Unfortunately I had the same experience as others. I made the recipe as specified (9 inch loaf pan). Way too wet! Baked for over an hour and a half and it was more like a pudding than a bread. Very disappointing to find such an "off" recipe here on Food52. I don't recommend making this.


over 1 year ago Liming McMillan

"The Pumpkin Bread I can't stop eating" is a misleading title for this recipe.


over 1 year ago Luba

Turned out delicious! I used fresh baked pumpkin (about 13oz) and just one large apple, chopped by hand. Since a few comments mentioned the batter being too runny and taking too long to cook, I used 4 mini loaf pans. This worked out perfectly and they were done in an hour. Also, I left out the nuts since I didn't have any on hand. Still delicious.


over 1 year ago cookinalong

Is there some reason to use olive oil rather than something more neutral like canola or safflower oil?


over 1 year ago maro holland

If you intend to make this you will not get what you expected. You will be sadly disappointed in the final product. It is barely edible. I cooked mine for 2 hours because it was very wet on in the inside. Worse thing I ever tasted. You should delete this recipe from your website so that you do not lead innocent cooks spend time and money and get nothing in return.


over 1 year ago Mary Moore

Anyone tried this using gluten free flour?


over 1 year ago nolongrecipes

Seems like a couple of the commenters had issues with the batter being too runny. I wonder if shredding the apples instead of pureeing them would help with that. When you puree them in the food processor, what consistency do you aim for? Oatmeal-y, or applesauce-y? Also maybe the variety of apple matters? Some are juicier than others. Would love to hear your comments about this. Thanks!


almost 2 years ago Sabine Gagnon

I made this last week. The only thing I changed was the addition of dried cranberries. I'd have to agree with Antonia that my batter was much too runny. Unfortunately, I didn't add any extra flour and my loaf came out just a bit too moist (even after baking for 1.5 hours) . I'll add a little extra flour next time and I have a feeling that I'll have the perfect recipe! The flavors are SO wonderful together.


almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I made this last night, but put it into a muffin tin + one mini loaf. I used freshly roasted and pureed butternut squash, but the liquids when mixed seemed too thin, so I added an extra 1/4 cup of flour to the dry ingredients. It worked perfectly! And they were absolutely delicious. The olive oil makes all the difference. Great recipe!! ;o)


over 3 years ago DebraD

"throw in" some fresh cranberries....fantastic addition. I once added 1/4 can of whole berries during Thanksgiving and the bread came out like a cake consistency. It was wonderful!!!


over 3 years ago pianogirl

Made this today with spelt flour (3/4 cup) and all purpose (3/4 cup) and reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup. The spelt was perfect and I didn't miss the extra 1/3 cup of sugar because of the sweetness of the apples. Very moist and delicious. Thanks for the great recipe!


almost 4 years ago alasully

My recent pumpkin kick drew me to this recipe (as did its compelling title) -- one of my all-time favorite quick breads, I love the integration of apples and olive oil in this version. (Went crazy with the walnuts too -- "threw" some on top for a little extra crunch). Might have to pull this one into the weekly rotation.


almost 5 years ago allie

I made these into mini-muffins for my kids last - were wonderful. I used all whole wheat flour (was aiming for healthy-ish breakfast muffins) and omitted the nuts and apples (my kids would pick them out), but next time will try adding those ingredients to the muffins meant for the grownups. Really liked using olive oil in baking.


almost 5 years ago Giulia Melucci

I need to make this too! It's that time. And I still have a can of pumpkin left over from last year. I'll go all whole wheat too. I love whole wheat. Glad they were a success.


almost 5 years ago allie

Next time, I will also experiment by adding a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to the top of each muffin. Thanks for a lovely recipe.


almost 5 years ago JSCooks

Cara Giulia -- I don't know about the "throw in" reference, but I am all in favor of optional ingredients! Especially with baking, too many people are scared off by the aura of precision, so much that they don't bake at all. If you produce a product for sale and must have it come out exactly the same every time, sure, you will have to weigh, measure, check temps, etc. However, if you wish to make use of what is available in season, or in your kitchen, then substitution and experimentation are required. Will you be happy with the result 100% of the time? No. (And that's true even with the best recipes -- so many variables are outside your control.) But if you don't play with your food, how will you ever discover something new? Thank you for the opportunity to rant!!


almost 6 years ago Kelsey Banfield

I've made this from your book before, it is fantastic. I agree with your perspective on the writing, too - I "throw in" and have options with my recipes all the time! I like the additional of apples here.


almost 6 years ago mariaraynal

Giulia, long ago I had the perfect pumpkin bread recipe, and I lost it. Much mourning ensued. This may be the perfect replacement. Love the addition of whole wheat flour, olive oil and apples. And, Amanda, your comment made me laugh!


almost 6 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Love your headnote, Giulia. Glad to know our Piglet judges have terrorized the food52 community. Did you see that you posted this and within hours Mrs. Wheelbarrow had made it. Very cool.


almost 6 years ago Giulia Melucci

I have been duly chastised. I will never say "throw in" again. I will have that phrase cleansed from the paperback edition of my book. But I'm keeping my options open. Yes, Mrs. Wheelbarrow and I are twitter intimates.