Pumpkin Bread is first in the series – Easy to make and so delicious with a cup of freshly-brewed coffee or a glass of ice cold milk. Serve for breakfast or a snack, pack in a lunch, or take it to your next church pot-luck dinner.
Harvest time has arrived and with it the amazing pumpkin, which is technically a fruit because it grows on a vine and contains seeds; however, it is typically treated like a vegetable . . . but I digress. Whatever it is, it is a delicious ingredient with a scrumptious flavor. Pumpkin pie is my favorite, but I wanted to share a number of other ways to use pumpkin in celebration of the season.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 1/3 cup water (or milk)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cube butter, softened (do not use margarine)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
- 1/3 cup raisins or dates, chopped
- Generously grease a 9” X 5” loaf pan
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
- Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well-blended – set aside.
- Combine the water (or milk) and vanilla in a small bowl.
- Place the butter and sugars in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand-held mixer until fluffy.
- Add the eggs to the mixture – one at a time, beating until well-mixed.
- Add the pumpkin puree and beat on low speed just until blended.
- Add the flour mixture in three parts – alternating with the liquid.
- Beat on low speed or stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. (Be sure to scrap the sides of the bowl several times while mixing.)
- Fold in the nuts and fruit if you are using them.
- Scrape the batter into the greased pan.
- Bake until the sides pull away from the pan ~45 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Unmold to cool completely on the wire rack.
Slice and serve warmed with butter or softened cream cheese. It is also delicious plain, especially when the nuts and fruit are added.