This easy pumpkin loaf covers all bases as far as pumpkin ingredients are concerned and will easily exceed your expectations.
Ahh… yes…It is shamelessly moist and sweet and while it’s baking you could also whip up some pumpkin spice honey butter to slather on it. And brew some coffee. Pumpkin heaven is a real thing.
Essentially you will be baking a moist pumpkin bread with a great texture and rich flavor. Both courtesy of fresh grated pie pumpkin, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin ale. It pays to use the right ingredients!
What you will Need
Besides your oven, a loaf pan and parchment paper you will need the following ingredients (or the noted closest substitutions) to bake this loaf in all its glory:
All purpose flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin spice, brown sugar, eggs, olive (or vegetable) oil, butter.
- a small pie pumpkin (substitute with unsweetened pumpkin puree from a can)
- raw pumpkin seeds (no shell) aka pepitas (substitute with pecans or your favorite nuts)
- pumpkin ale or apple cider or soda water (if soda water increase the brown sugar by 2 tbsp)
TIP: Do try to use a pumpkin ale. Both its carbonation and spiced sweetness immensely elevate this pumpkin loaf. Pretty much any pumpkin ale will do just fine, even if you reach out for a pumpkin stout. Baking with pumpkin ales is just pure fun.
Aromatic, moist and sweet - this pumpkin loaf also has a delightful texture. Everything pumpkin is covered - from fresh grated sweet pie pumpkin, to pepitas and even pumpkin ale (star ingredient actually). Easy recipe that you can also use to bake pumpkin muffins.
- 1 1/2 cup fresh pie pumpkin, grated (or 1 cup pumpkin puree)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, plus more to toss grated pumpkin and sprinkle over loaf before baking
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice, divided
- 2 eggs
- 12 oz pumpkin ale OR apple cider OR soda water
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (no shell), reserve 1 tbsp to sprinkle over loaf before baking
- 2 tbsp butter, divided into 5 pieces to place on top of loaf before baking
- 1 stick butter unsalted
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1/4 cup honey
Turn oven on to 350 F and grease a parchment paper lined 9x5 loaf pan.
Cut, clean, peel and grate the pie pumpkin (enough to fill 1 1/2 cups), toss with 1 tsp pumpkin spice and 1 tbsp brown sugar OR measure out 1 cup of pureed pumpkin from can. Set aside.
Beat the eggs, add the brown sugar, incorporate. Add the pumpkin ale (or substitute) and mix.
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt and add the egg mixture. Stir to incorporate. Add the olive oil and stir until smooth.
Fold in the grated pumpkin (or puree) and the pumpkin seeds. Transfer to loaf pan. Top with brown sugar, the reserved pumpkin seeds and the sliced butter.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool off completely before slicing or it will crumble.
Cut a stick of butter into slices and bring to room temperature. Add pumpkin spice and honey and use an electric mixer to whip it (about a minute is enough). Slather over pumpkin loaf slices.
Save the rest of the pumpkin to use in a different recipe or simply bake it with brown sugar at 375 F until soft and enjoy with vanilla ice cream.
If making muffins reduce the baking time to about 45 minutes.
How to Make Pumpkin Loaf
Begin with the pie pumpkin as it requires the most
work attention. I like to say attention instead of work because I list cooking for oneself under the pleasure category.
Carefully slice the pumpkin in half, clean out each half and peel it using a potato peeler. Cut in pieces small enough to grate and grate about a cup and a half worth. Sprinkle it with pumpkin spice and brown sugar, mix and set aside.
TIP: Save the rest of the pumpkin to make our savory Roasted Pumpkin Dip. Placed in an airtight plastic bag it will save well refrigerated for up to a week.
Peeling and grating is by far the hardest thing in this recipe but it is absolutely worth it. And really not that difficult… I don’t even find it necessary to set up a food processor to shred the pumpkin. It will require more work and time to clean up the thing than to actually grate the pumpkin the old fashioned way.
NOTE: Yes, you can use pumpkin puree from a can instead of fresh pie pumpkin, but the texture of the loaf will not be the same. I recommend that you use grated pumpkin if you can. In this recipe your effort will be very much worth it.
The brown sugar coated fresh grated pumpkin bakes with the bread and gives it the most delightful texture.
Step by Step
- Turn your oven on to 350 F and grease and line with parchment paper a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
- Prepare your pumpkin as per the above and set aside or measure out one cup of pumpkin puree and set aside.
- In a bowl beat the eggs, add the sugar and incorporate it and add the pumpkin ale (or apple cider or soda water). Mix well.
- Next, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice and add the egg mixture from the previous step.
- Mix together and add the olive oil, continue to mix until a smooth batter forms.
- Fold in the pumpkin seeds and grated pumpkin (or puree) into the batter and transfer to the loaf pan.
- Top with pumpkin seeds, brown sugar and butter pieces and bake.
Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter
To make it (and you better make it, it is soooo good) cut a stick of butter in small pieces and bring it to room temperature.
Place the butter in a tall container such as a plastic jar, add a teaspoon of pumpkin spice and 1/4 cup of honey and whip it for about a minute with an electric mixer. Transfer to a suitable container and sit tight until the pumpkin loaf is done baking.
Watch the recipe video above to see me make it. Easy and fast work.
You will want to slather the butter onto a slice as soon as you can and I will be the last person to blame you if you sliced the loaf way early. I usually do not give my fresh baked loaves enough time to cool off.
To me the cost of minor crumbling is insignificant compared to the benefit of biting into a still warm slice with melting butter.
But if you’d like to avoid crumbling altogether, do let the loaf cool off for 5-10 minutes while still in the pan. Then gently ease it out with the help of the parchment paper, place it onto a cutting board and let it cool off completely.
If you can wait for that you will be rewarded with a bread that does not crumble when you slice it.
Pumpkin Bread Muffins?
Yes, you can absolutely use this pumpkin loaf recipe to bake pumpkin bread muffins. Bonus – the time it takes for them to cool off is significantly shorter.
To make muffins transfer the batter into greased muffin liners placed in a muffin tin, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and brown sugar in the same manner as shown above for the bread and place a small slice of butter on top of each muffin.
Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean.
This recipe is part of the Virtual Pumpkin Party organized annually by Sara from the blog Cake Over Steak. If you’d like to browse a ton of pumpkin recipes ranging from ultra healthy to sinfully decadent be sure to visit the online event’s page where she has links to all of them.
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