Pumpkin Bread

My two daughters are too old for trick-or-treating, but they’ll surely love a nice treat while watching a scary movie. I make this Pumpkin Bread every year for Halloween, it has become kind of a tradition in our house. I think it’s one of my favorite classic American sweet treats. I’m not really a dessert person, I can easily say no to something sweet, but I find it hard to resist this cake. I do not use canned pumpkin: too bland! I’d rather make it with roasted butternut squash. It’s a little more effort, but you will be rewarded with a deep and rich flavor.

Dessert, for 1 loaf
Action time: 25 minutes + 1 hour and 35 minutes oven time

1.2 lb/500 g butternut squash, peeled, seeds scooped out and diced
1 tbsp canola or sunflower oil
12.5 oz/350 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
10.5 oz/300 g sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
1½ tbsp pumpkin pie spices
1 stick/115 g butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp unroasted pumpkin seeds
whipped cream, to serve (optional)

Extra: food processor, greased loaf pan (about 9 inch/22-24 cm) and bottom lined with parchment paper

1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. In a small roasting pan mix the squash with the oil. Bake the squash in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven.

2. Set the oven temperature to 350F/175C. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor.

3. In a bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder, sugar, spices, and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the pumpkin purée, the melted butter, and the eggs. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour to one hour and 15 minutes in the oven, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool. Slice and serve with whipped cream if you like.

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