Cozy, Spicy, Tasty Pumpkin Bread


Kitchen Helper

With 2 jars of leftover, homemade, organic pumpkin puree in the freezer, and a light snow falling outside, it was time to make the pumpkin bread.
Along with my little helper, we scoured the internet for recipe ideas, alighting on 3 that looked good, but not quite right. So, taking some liberties, I combined the best points of each recipe, keeping healthy ingredient options in mind,  along with availability in my pantry (no one is going shopping at 7 AM on Saturday morning!) and developed the recipe below. We found inspiration on Cooking Light and Food52 (a personal favorite for recipe ideas).


Cozy, Spicy, Tasty Pumpkin Bread

I liked the idea of a spiced pumpkin bread, since oftentimes fruit and vegetable quick breads can be indistinguishable. I remember my son calling the zucchini bread I made this summer banana bread. Blame it on him being a 3 year old, but he was on to something. So, I heavied up on spices in this recipe, resulting in a great aroma in the kitchen and a more flavorful, distinctive bread.

Instead of using 100% white flour, as many recipes suggest, I incorporated whole wheat and rye flours as well. The different flours add texture to the bread, and some would argue, slightly improve the nutrition profile. I substituted coconut oil for vegetable oil, which is found in most recipes. Coconut oil is nutrient-dense, adds another layer of flavor, and is a perfect substitute for any oil or butter. If you’re interested in how coconut oil can keep you healthy this winter cold season, read here. Plus, I had it in my pantry. Also, I used only a cup of sugar, reduced from 1 1/4 sugar in most recipes. But, I am not positioning this as a super-healthy, virtuous recipe. Just a tasty one, that’s also fun to do with little kids.

Cozy, Spicy, Tasty Pumpkin Bread Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rye flour (you can substitute with all-purpose flour if you do not have on hand)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (you can substitute with all-purpose flour if you do not have on hand)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup pumpkin pumpkin (homemade or canned)
  • 3 tablespoons softened coconut oil (can use canola oil or vegetable oil instead)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Butter to grease pan
  • Handful of chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 1 loaf ban with butter.

Combine flours, baking powder, spices, and salt and sugars in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

20131214-101846.jpgCombine eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pumpkin, oil, and vanilla; stir well. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter into loaf pan. If using, sprinkle walnuts on top of bread. Bake at 350° for 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack, and remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Yield: 1 loaf of pumpkin bread


Apple Picker Extraordinaire

Macoun Apples @ Riiska Brook Farm

Rustic Apple Orange Quick Bread

Last weekend we visited the lovely and peaceful Riiska Brook Farm in Sandisfield, MA. We were delighted to find the trees laden with apples, begging to be picked. Because of this year’s funky weather, some orchards in the area were hit hard by an early season frost. Apparently, Riiska’s trees suffered no such damage.

After eating more than our fill of crunchy Macoun, Empire, Fuji, Gala and Braeburn apples, I thought of what to prepare with our peck. I was intrigued by the “No Crust” Apple Pie recipe from the From Scratch Club blog and had planned to bake that. But when I awoke unnaturally early on Saturday morning, it seemed more appropriate to bake for breakfast.  I thought about  a variation of the yummy Zucchini Orange bread I baked during the summer. Apples and oranges go together, so why not? I had some OJ in the fridge, too. I consulted a few recipes and not finding one to my likening (i.e., did not want to use shortening), I improvised a little and hoped for the best. Improvising and baking  don’t usually go together, but the quick bread spirits must have been looking favorably upon me. This recipe below produced 2 delicious, moist, rustic and not overly-sweet Apple Orange Loaves.  Yum. I used a mix of apples, and gave them a rough chop. The result made for an attractive loaf, too.

Rustic Apple Orange Quick Bread Recipe

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1  teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups, peeled, chopped apples (roughly 3 apples)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans. Mix flour, cinnamon, soda,  and salt  together. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and add vanilla, sugar and oil. Add orange juice. Slowly add dry mixture – batter should be quite thick. Stir in apples.

Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour and check for doneness by inserting a toothpick. Bread is ready when it is lightly browned on top. Raise temperature to 350, if needed, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and place loaf pans on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Enjoy.

Yield: 2 loaves

Apple Picker Extraodinaire @ Riiska Brook Farm