Make Ahead

Pumpkin Christmas Bread

December  5, 2010
7 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

We don’t fuss with fancy breakfasts on Christmas. After all, there are more important jobs to attend to that morning, like opening presents. So at our house, we always have this pumpkin bread to nosh on. I’ve adapted this recipe from one I received from my friend Heather. The original made 3 loaves. I adjusted the quantities and spices to suit my taste and one loaf pan. Fair warning, the bread is highly addictive. It’s perfect spread with softened butter, or some fig jam, or softened cream cheese, or just plain nekkid. - mrslarkin —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: The Pound Ridge Scone Lady herself, mrslarkin -- a woman who knows her way around a kitchen.
WHAT: An eggless (!), dairyless (!) loaf cake for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert...
HOW: Dump, stir, bake.
WHY WE LOVE IT: In her testing notes, aargersi called this pumpkin bread "magic" -- and she's right. It's soft, it's tender, it's sweet, it's spicy, it's got height, it's got everything we want in a loaf cake. It's so good that two Food52-ers specifically recommended it. Plus, it makes a great edible gift -- it is both portable and scalable. Just make sure to make an extra (or two!) for yourself. —Food52

  • Serves 4 - 8
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 10 ounces pumpkin puree (just over a cup-full if you're measuring and not weighing)
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts, optional
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray one large loaf pan, about 9" x 5", with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together first seven ingredients. In another bowl, blend the remaining ingredients together.
  3. Combine all ingredients and stir well until smooth. (It is a thick batter!) Spoon into loaf pan and lightly smooth out the top with a spatula.
  4. Bake about 1 hours and 15 minutes, or until cake tester comes out dry and clean. Cool thoroughly. It'll seem like the loaf doesn't want to come out. Just give it a few good slaps on the bottom of the pan, and it'll come right out.
  5. Great to bake ahead and freeze. Wrap in plastic, then foil. Defrost at room temperature.
  6. If you'd like to make three large loaves, triple the ingredients, use a 29 ounce can of pumpkin puree, and mix in a great big bowl. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. This full recipe can make 7 mini loaves (3" x 6" mini loaf pans). Bake the mini loaves for an hour.

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