Pumpkin Bread (or Muffins)

Recipes for Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Muffins are easy to find, but this is one of the best I've ever tasted. Moist, but not falling apart. Sweet, but not too sweet, and redolent with spices. Also freezes very well.

Ingredients:
  • 3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried orange peel (or 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest)
  • 2 cups puréed pumpkin (fresh or one 15-ounce can)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans (see Note, below)
Preparation:
  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and orange peel.
  2. In a second bowl, combine pumpkin, butter, oil, eggs and molasses.
  3. Make a well in center of the dry ingredients. Add the pumpkin mixture and stir just until mixture is combined and dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in pecans.
  4. For bread, divide the batter between two greased and floured 9x5-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out on wire racks. Makes 2 loaves.
  5. For muffins, grease two muffin tins (or use vegetable cooking spray). Fill muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in tins for 5 minutes; then turn out muffins on wire racks.
  6. Makes 20 to 24 muffins.

Bread Notes

Lightly toasting the pecans will make a big flavor difference. To toast whole pecans, spread them out on a baking sheet and toast at 350°F for 4 or 5 minutes, or until you begin to smell them. Pecan pieces or chopped pecans will take less time to toast.

This recipe can be varied by adding 1/2 to 1 cup of raisins, chopped dates, prunes or apricots. Honey can be substituted for the molasses. This recipe appeared in the article Puns and Pumpkins.

Total time: 1 Hr 30 Min

Kitchen tools you'll need: Loaf Pans or Muffin Tins, Mixing Bowls

Recipe editor