It's fall and pumpkins are in abundance so this is the perfect time to make Pumpkin Bread. Whether you're using fresh homemade pumpkin puree or canned puree, pumpkin bread is an easy recipe to make and tastes absolutely delicious. This particular recipe is made with fresh pumpkin puree, full of delicious warm spices and topped with a cinnamon and sugar streusel and the perfect fall treat. To learn how to make your own puree get the details below. And if you want to keep up to date on new recipes sign up for my newsletter.
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN BREAD
Pumpkin Bread is a quick bread, which means it does not require yeast. Baking powder and/or baking soda are used to create the rise.
The dry and wet ingredients are mixed separately and then mixed together until just combined. I used a handheld mixer to mix the wet ingredients together and then stirred in the dry ingredients by hand to prevent overmixing. Overmixing can result in a tough chewy quick bread when what you want is something soft and moist.
What is overmixing? When you mix a dough that contains flour, you develop the gluten. Gluten is the protein in wheat that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. Imagine long rubbery cords. The more you mix, the more these cords develop and the stronger they become. For most yeast breads this is what you want, but for cakes and quick breads, you want a tender, soft crumb. Therefore you only mix the batter enough to incorporate the dry ingredients.
Since I like to experiment and the stores were full of fresh pumpkins I decided to learn how to roast pumpkin so I could make my own pumpkin puree. Even though I used fresh made pumpkin puree, canned puree can also be used for this recipe. I've included the instructions below on how to roast a pumpkin and make your own puree. Give it a try. The nice thing about roasting your own pumpkin is that you will have enough pumpkin for multiple treats, sweet or savory.
HOW TO ROAST A PUMPKIN
If I'd known that roasting pumpkin was so easy I would have done it much sooner. If you decide to roast a pumpkin for this recipe, not all pumpkins are created equal. There two kinds: carving pumpkins and pie pumpkins.
Carving Pumpkins have a thinner shell, less flesh, and are usually more watery than pie pumpkins. Pie pumpkins are smaller, have sweeter flesh and are easier to cook. I have not done an exhaustive study of the best pumpkins for baking, but I tried two varieties available in the Portland area: Amber Cup and Kuri. For this recipe, I used an Amber Cup pumpkin.
To roast the pumpkin, use a pumpkin that is 2 to 3 pounds. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the pumpkin in half, dig out the seeds and rub the pumpkin flesh with vegetable oil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pumpkin halves flesh side down. Pierce the shell with fork tines or the tip of a sharp knife. Piercing the shell will help release steam as it is baking.
Bake the pumpkin for 35-40 minutes until the flesh is tender and soft when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Allow the pumpkin to cool and while still warm scoop out the flesh. Process the pumpkin with a handheld mixer or food processor until it is smooth. Store it in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
In the end, you will have about 3-4 cups of pumpkin puree depending on the size of the pumpkin. Enough for multiple loaves of pumpkin bread or a couple of dozen pumpkin muffins.
INGREDIENTS FOR PUMPKIN BREAD
As the name suggests pumpkin puree is one of the main ingredients. If using canned puree do not confuse canned pumpkin puree with pumpkin pie filling. They are two totally different things and the pie filling usually contains all the ingredients necessary for a pie filling. I made this recipe with both fresh and canned and my favorite canned brand was Whole Foods 365 Pumpkin Puree because it was so thick and tasted good.
Here are the ingredients for the Pumpkin Bread:
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda
- Kosher Salt
- Pumpkin Puree
- Light Brown Sugar
- Unsalted Butter
- Whole Eggs
I like plenty of spice, especially for fall desserts, so there is plenty of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. The combination of these spices with the pumpkin is really delicious. I wanted the richness of butter, instead of oil, so I experimented a couple of times to figure out how much butter to use in combination with either milk or buttermilk.
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN BREAD
Pumpkin Bread is an easy two-bowl recipe. One bowl for the sugars and fats and one bowl for the dry ingredients. If you are making your own pumpkin puree, make that first. It can even be made one week in advance.
The topping is a simple brown sugar, cinnamon crumble that has the perfect amount of sweetness with the pumpkin bread.
Combine the flour, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda in one bowl. Place the brown sugar, white sugar, butter and pumpkin puree in a large bowl and beat on medium high speed for 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, and then add the buttermilk.
Add the dry ingredients and use a spatula to mix them in until no bits of flour are visible. I recommend using mixing the flour in by hand to avoid overmixing the batter. The batter may still be lumpy which is okay.
Scrape the batter into the prepared 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan, smooth the top, sprinkle the streusel over the top and bake at 375°F.
When the bread is removed from the oven, run a knife along the edges to loose the cake. Cool the pumpkin bread in the pan for 15 minutes. Use two spatulas to lift the bread out of the pan, set in on a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before slicing it.
I wait for the bread to cool, about 2 hours before slicing into it, but there is no rule that says you can't start slicing while it is still warm. Even better the bread tastes better the next day. The spices are more prominent and the bread is still moist.
This pumpkin bread is so good I hope you make it. Please let me know if you do by leaving a Comment. If you're on Instagram, tag me @bakesbybrownsugar.
Fresh Roasted Pumpkin
- 1 2-3 pound pie pumpkin
- 3 teaspoons Vegetable oil
- 1-3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (227 grams) fresh pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) white granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 (100 grams) large eggs room temperature
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons (37 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
How to Roast Fresh Pumpkin
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a half baking sheet with parchment paper
- Cut off a small piece of the bottom of the pumpkin. This step is to ensure it will remain stable as you cut it in half. Remove the top stem. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and the stringy parts surrounding the seeds.
- Rub each interior and cut edges with 1-2 teaspoons of oil. Turn the pumpkins flesh side and pierce the shell with the tip of a pairing knife. This step will allow the steam to escape as the pumpkin roasts.
- Place the pumpkin halves in the oven and roast until the inside flesh is soft and easily pierced with knife, 35-40 minutes.
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven and when it is cool enough to handle scoop out the cooked pumpkin and place it in a 4-quart saucepan. Cook the pumpkin over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it just begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. This step is to remove as much moisture as possible from the puree.
- Allow the puree to cool to room temperature before adding to the pumpkin bread batter. If not using immediately, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and use a fork or your fingers to mix the ingredients together until it is well combined and resembles wet sand.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan.
- Put the flour, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a medium sized bowl. Use a whisk to combine.
- In a large bowl combine the pumpkin puree, the butter, and the brown sugar and the white sugar and beat on medium speed with an electric hand mixer until smooth and well combined, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the buttermilk and beat on medium speed until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a silicone spatula until the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed in. There may be a few lumps and that is okay. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter in a loaf pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the streusel on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until long skewer inserted in the center comes out clean with no more than a few crumbs clinging to it. Rotate the pan after the first 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and place on a cooling rack. Allow the bread to cool to room temperature before slicing.
- You can use fresh pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin puree for this recipe.
- It is important to cook the fresh pumpkin puree on top of the stove to remove moisture. There is still enough water in the puree to affect the texture of the pumpkin bread if it is not cooked.
- If using a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan start checking the pumpkin bread for doneness after 40 minutes.