Pumpkins claim a place of honor in fairy tales, folklore, and popular culture unparalleled by other vegetables. Cinderella traveled in style in her pumpkin coach. Jack Skellington, of Nightmare Before Christmas fame, was proclaimed the Pumpkin King. The Headless Horseman hurled a pumpkin in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Harry Potter and his friends enjoyed pumpkin juice in the Hogwarts dining hall. Linus missed trick-or-treat fun on Halloween night waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear—and all that came was a beagle.
These whimsical squashes are both cute and tasty, which is likely why we decorate, celebrate holidays, and cook and bake with them. This was my first experience baking pumpkin bread, and I adapted the recipe from another that I found online, substituting cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for ginger. Next time, I plan to add chocolate chips to the batter for an extra hint of sweetness and perhaps some toasted pecans for crunch. Once they cool, I may even drizzle them with powdered sugar icing.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 12 tablespoons butter, melted
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 eggs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease and flour two 8 x 4 loaf pans; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; mix well.
In another large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, butter, pumpkin, and eggs; mix well.
Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined.
Divide batter evenly between the loaf pans; I used a measuring cup to scoop about three cups of batter into each pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. You may have to cover the loaves later in baking, after about 45 minutes, to prevent them from over-browning.
Cool completely in loaf pans.
Drizzle with powdered sugar icing if desired; combine two cups sifted powdered sugar with one teaspoon vanilla extract and one to two tablespoons of water until you reach a drizzly consistency, then pour over loaves.