Monday, November 16, 2009

It's the Great Pumpkin [Bread], Charlie Brown!

If you were Linus sitting in that pumpkin patch waiting and waiting for the Great Pumpkin, what would you be thinking? I would be thinking about all the yummy things that could be made with a patch full of pumpkins! (Actually, I might be too afraid to think . . . the pumpkin patch at night can be a little frightening . . .) So, what's your favorite pumpkin dish? Pie? Toasted seeds? At our house, pumpkin bread wins easily. It's moist and a little spicy and is great with tea! I don't always like breads/cakes made with vegetable oil - they often taste like oil, but this recipe is really good and the flavor is all pumpkin and spice. It's a great busy-day baking project as it takes only 10 minutes or so to prepare (obviously longer to bake . . .).

This recipe makes two 9x5" loaves - or one 9x5" plus three or five smaller loaves (depending on the pan sizes). In other words, you will have more than enough to share. It makes a great gift because you can give away the large loaf and one or two small loaves, and still have a little loaf to keep (much better for you than making a layer cake or pie as a gift which leaves you as empty-handed as Linus).

Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 cups sugar (don't panic! this makes many, many servings)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin (just plain unsweetened pumpkin, NOT pie filling)
  • 3 1/2 cups self-rising flour*
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour baking pans (or use Baker's Joy).
  2. In mixer, or by hand, mix sugar and oil.
  3. At low speed, add eggs and pumpkin. Mix well.
  4. In separate large bowl, blend remaining dry ingredients.
  5. Alternately add dry ingredients and water to pumpkin mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  6. Pour into prepared pans and bake 40 to 50 minutes - possibly less with small pans, or more with large pans. Bread is done with the sides pull away from the pan (you can also test with a toothpick/cake pick as you would for any cake).
  7. Place pans on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
Leah's Notes: I often make this without using an electric mixer - it's easy to whisk by hand. If using glass baking dishes, lower the temperature to 325. If using silicone pans, increase the baking time by 10+ minutes. While this is yummy all by itself, it's very good with pumpkin butter or turn it into an honest-to-goodness (emphasis on goodness!) cake with cream cheese frosting.

* If using all-purpose flour, add 2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon baking powder.
On final thought on the pumpkin bread - it makes your house smell festive!!


  1. Have you ever tried using yogurt or apple sauce in place of the oil? We do that often, and it works great. Thank you for the recipe! I'm looking forward to trying it!

  2. I have tried apple sauce in other baked recipes - not with this one. I may try it with this next time. Thanks!


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