Admit it: It’s pretty hard to find a pumpkin bread recipe you really love! At least that’s how I felt years ago. That was before I found the Tartine pumpkin tea cake through a bake-off ranking from Erika Kwee of The Pancake Princess. It was also before easygayoven was a thing. So I recently thought ’tis the season to develop a classic pumpkin bread recipe of my own. Since it’s just another quick bread with fruit puree, it’s is similar to my best banana bread but has less butter, more oil, and a heaping load of warm fall spices.
Some great things about this pumpkin bread: It comes together in just two bowls, no mixers required — just a whisk and a rubber spatula. There’s no waiting for butter to come to room temperature, only waiting for the loaf to cool before slicing in. You can leave the pepita (pumpkin seed) topping off and you can even add chocolate chips if you want. No one is stopping you!
Quick breads don’t require much mixing after the dry ingredients are added. Over-working the batter can result in a tough pumpkin bread. Seeing just a few streaks of flour in the batter is a good sign that it’s ready to be transferred to the pan.
I found over the course of testing that using an organic pumpkin puree like the brands from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s worked best. These had more moisture and a vibrant orange color, resulting in a more moist, tender loaf with the bright pumpkin color you want. Whereas the more traditional Libby’s is darker and thicker and produced darker, dryer loaves. No hate to Libby’s! Still a good product, but for this recipe I wouldn’t use it if I had other options.
Making sure your oven is at the right temperature (get an oven thermometer and thank me later!) is key to avoiding sinkage in the middle, ensuring the center of the loaf is baked through, and the edges don’t over-bake. Avoid peeking in the oven until the last quarter of baking time. Drastic changes in oven temperature or sudden bumps can cause loaves to deflate.
I really am a broken record on this, but the correct way to measure flour is either with a digital scale (I include metric and US standard amounts to make this easy) or using the spoon and sweep technique. Loosen up your flour a bit with a spoon, then spoon it into your measuring cup and sweep off the excess with a straight edge. Do not shove a measuring cup into a bag full of flour — this will result in a dry, crumbly loaf.
Did you make the classic pumpkin bread? I want to see! Tag me @easygayoven on Instagram and TikTok.
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