I am still on a pumpkin spice kick, and I expect that will continue until Thanksgiving when my focus will be on holiday baking, Christmas cookies in particular. This beautiful loaf combines canned pumpkin with spices used in gingerbread, for a loaf that everyone will enjoy. I was shopping in a discount store recently, and came across pumpkin spice extract and couldn’t help myself. I just HAD to buy it! I used the extract along with some extra powdered cinnamon and ginger and found the loaf had just enough spice flavor. The pumpkin helps to keep this bread very moist and adds a lot of nutritional value to this loaf. Pumpkin is high in vitamin A, C, fiber, and antioxidants. I prefer to use organic canned pumpkin if fresh is not available, but if you have the time, fresh pumpkin is always best!
This recipe makes two loaves, and they are nice sized loaves with rounded tops. I often use smaller loaf pans than what a recipe calls for because I just do not like the look of short, squatty loaves, but these loaves are perfect in size. The best part about making two loaves at once is that you can freeze one to enjoy at another time. These breads are delicious simply as they come out of the oven, but if you wanted to make them a little more special, skip the addition of nuts on top, and glaze them once they cool. A glaze flavored with cinnamon or orange would be lovely on these loaves. Not being an icing person myself, I just topped the loaves with some chopped walnuts before I popped them into the oven.
Deborah Mele 2016
- 3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (12 Tablespoons)
- 1 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Molasses
- 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Spice or Vanilla Extract
- 2 3/4 Cup All-purpose Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon Powdered Ginger
- 3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray two 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” loaf pans with baking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until blended.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, then add the molasses and extract.
- In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
- Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture with a wooden spoon, then add half the pumpkin puree, mixing just until blended.
- Add the rest of the flour and pumpkin mixture and stir until mixed.
- Divide the batter between the two loaf pans, and sprinkle the top of each loaf with the chopped walnuts.
- Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the pans and continue to cool on a wire rack.