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What’s Up Wednesday: a Different Pumpkin Bread

Gails-Pumpkin-Bread_0006I actually can’t believe I’ve never posted my family recipe for Pumpkin Bread here. Now, don’t leave — this is not just another same ol’-same ol’ pumpkin bread! Honestly, you are going to want to try it and then you’re going to want to bake some for gifts. And then you’re going to want to bake a whole bunch more for yourself!

This is a very different pumpkin bread in flavor and ingredients. Wanna know why? There are no eggs. There is no butter or any other dairy. 


But there’s plenty of brown sugar!

You know what that means? You get a rich but light, clear, sweet pumpkin flavor! This is an often requested pumpkin bread recipe and an often requested treat from my family throughout the holidays.



 Sam’s younger sister Becca has become a pumpkin bread making fiend the last 2 years in Arizona because a) she misses my pumpkin bread, b) I’m not there to make it for her, and c) there’s no one to tell her that July in Arizona isn’t exactly pumpkin bread season ;) 

The recipe bakes up equally good in large loaves, small and mini loaves, and even muffins. In fact, this Pumpkin Bread  in muffin form is what I made Samantha for her first birthday cake! 

Throughout years of baking this recipe over and over in many different sizes, I have perfected the timing and oven temperature for all the pan sizes I have owned. And that’s pretty much all of the loaf pans you’re going to find! Missing a size below… 


I always save this recipe for last on a baking day — if I run out of eggs, I can still keep going. Also, it is best if aged for 12+ hours and I know I’m not strong enough to keep from cutting into it if I have to stare at it all day. You know what I mean.

Attention: you’ll likely have the pans ready for the oven before the oven finishes preheating. So easy! And your house will smell sooooo good! 

Bonus recipes for sweetened vanilla butter and for sweetened vanilla cream cheese included — both are perfect on this bread and almost any other quick bread recipes you may have.

Sweetened Vanilla Butter tastes delicious on quick breads

Gail's Family Recipe Pumpkin Bread
A sweet, rich pumpkin flavor not bogged down with eggs or dairy. A very different pumpkin bread experience from a recipe used by my family since at least the 1960's.
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  1. 1 c. brown sugar (dark brown is best)
  2. 2 c. white sugar
  3. 3/4 c. vegetable oil
  4. 2/3 c. water
  5. 2 c. canned pumpkin (15 oz can is fine, although 1/4 c. short)
  6. 2 tsp. baking soda
  7. 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  8. 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  9. 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  10. 1 tsp. ground cloves
  11. 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  1. Toss soda, salt, and spices with some of the flour. Combine all ingredients; stir by hand with a whisk or sturdy spoon until smooth.
  2. Pour into ungreased pans and bake according to directions below. Start testing for doneness before the time listed. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center; it should have moist crumbs, not gooey batter.
  3. Two 9" x 5" x 3" pans filled with about 3 c. batter each...
  4. bake at 325F for 1 hour 25 minutes.
  5. Three 8" x 4" x 2 1/2" pans filled with about 2 c. batter each...
  6. bake at 325F for 1 hour 15 minutes.
  7. Six 6" x 3" x 2" pans filled with about 1 c. batter each...
  8. bake at 325F for 55-60 minutes.
  9. Eleven to twelve 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" pans filled with about 1/2 c. batter each...
  10. bake at 325F for 40-45 minutes OR bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.
  11. 24 standard muffins (fill 3/4 full) ... bake 20-25 minutes at 350F
  12. If you are using dark pans, your larger loaves will likely be done 10 minutes or so earlier.
  13. Cool in pans 20 minutes for larger loaves, 10 minutes for smaller loaves. Turn out of pan and set loaves on their sides on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Do NOT let cool in pans or the outsides of the loaves will be extremely sticky.
  14. Wrap in plastic wrap or seal in a plastic bag and let age for 12-24 hours for best flavor.
  1. Can be frozen immediately after cooled -- freezes very well.
  2. Sweet Vanilla Butter: soften 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or stick margarine; stir or beat in 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar and a generous 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract. Sifting the powdered sugar is helpful to avoid lumps.
  3. Sweet Vanilla Cream Cheese: Substitute cream cheese or "1/3 reduced-fat" (Neufchatel) cream cheese for the butter in the recipe above; increase powdered sugar and vanilla if desired.
  4. These spreads are not meant to taste like frosting ;)
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Gails-Pumpkin-Bread_0005 Don’t forget to share! 

Happy Baking…


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