Dessert, breakfast or midday snack? You decide! There’s no denying that pumpkin bread is a classic fall favorite. You could purchase cellophane-wrapped slices at a coffee shop — or you could whip up your own at home.
If you do opt for the home-made variety — which you should — you’ll find that this “traditional” bread isn’t quite as traditional as most think.
The first pumpkins found in Central America were hard, bitter fruits that the indigenous people slowly cultivated into the large gourds that we’re familiar with today. Over centuries, pumpkins were used in soups, stews and more savory dishes(that is, pumpkin’s first use wasn’t in a latte.)
Pumpkin bread started showing up in American cookbooks around 1840. These early recipes use cornmeal instead of flour, and yeast instead of chemical leavening agents. The biggest difference, however, is that original pumpkin bread wasn’t sweet. While some early recipes do include ketchup and bacon grease (yes, really!), they don’t call for sugar.
If all of this talk about pumpkin bread has your mouth watering, check out the recipe below!
P.S. This recipe comes from our brand new FREE online class, Holiday Baking, which includes more delicious recipes from Bob’s Red Mill and instructor Nicki Sizemore.
Mini pumpkin spice loaves
This batter can also be baked in one 9″ x 5″-inch loaf pan—increase the cooking time to 55-60 minutes.
Makes four 3 x 5¾” loaves
- Vegetable oil or cooking spray, for coating the pans
- 1½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Baking Flour or 1½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 large eggs
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
- ½ cup neutral vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans, divided (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush four 3″ x 5.75″ mini loaf pans with oil or coat them with cooking spray. Line the pans crosswise with parchment paper that extends 1″ over the sides (this will allow you to easily pull the loaves out of the pans).
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice,
and cloves. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, pumpkin purée, ¼ cup water, vegetable oil, vanilla, and bourbon.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently until just combined. Switch to a spatula and fold until the flour is completely incorporated. Fold in ¾ cup of the chopped nuts, if using.
Divide the batter among the prepared loaf pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (the top will be cracked), 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Remove the loaves from the pans and let cool completely (it’s important that they cool completely before slicing).
Make it ahead: The cooled loaves can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
Bourbon cream cheese glaze
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon bourbon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons milk; more as needed
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed.
Increase the speed to high. Very slowly add the powdered sugar (if you add it too quickly, it could become lumpy). Beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and add the bourbon, vanilla, and milk. Beat until the glaze is creamy and drizzles easily in a thick stream. If the glaze is too thick to drizzle, beat in a touch more milk.
To glaze the loaves, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and place a wire rack on top. Arrange the loaves on the rack. Generously spoon the Bourbon Cream Cheese Glaze over each loaf, spreading it evenly over the top and letting the excess drip down the sides. Sprinkle the loaves with the remaining ¼ cup chopped nuts, if you’d like.
Make it ahead: The glazed loaves can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.