I was pretty up there in age before I ever tried anything with pumpkin in it. It just wasn’t something that was cooked a lot in my home. We always just had sweet potato instead, which in my opinion is very similar in texture and taste.
Once I did try it, I found out that, like sweet potato, it’s a pretty great baking ingredient. The flavor is subtle, but it works and can be enhanced in a number of different ways with great results.
At this time of year you’ll see quite a few of the mainstream coffee shops selling autumn baked goods featuring thick hunks of pumpkin bread, which is actually where and how I had my first tasting of pumpkin. Right off the bat, it sold me and one I decided to start practicing cooking/baking, pumpkin quick bread was one of the things I really wanted to learn how to do.
I was thrilled to find out that quick breads are one of the easiest recipes out there and I’d say they’re perfect for beginners like I was. The ingredients are minimal, the preparation is quick and no-frills, and the baking time is relatively short. Plus, the more comfortable you get with them, there are lots of ways to get creative with the results.
I’ve made a pumpkin bread once before several years ago as apart of the 12 Days of Christmas (which I cannot believe is coming up again already!!!). It became one of the more statistically popular recipes on the blog, I think for a lot of the aforementioned reasons–and also because it’s just a delicious loaf. Several years later, I think it’s about time for another go.
Like it’s predecessor, the ingredients for this are minimal and the pumpkin is the main star. However, flavor-wise I decided I would pair it with apple, adding both apple cider AND apple flavored granola to the loaf itself. I also added a healthy portion of pumpkin spice to the batter (which is typically comprised of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper)
A portion of the granola is folded into the batter, then the rest is sprinkled on top of the loaf just before baking as a ‘topping’ and textural component. (I used an apple flavored granola, but if there is another that you’re partial to or think would pair just as well or better with the pumpkin, feel free to use that)
I was really pleased with this. As you can tell, the pumpkin and oil ensure that it stays SUPER moist on the inside, and the addition of the granola provides a nice, crunchy contrast to the softness of the crumb. The pumpkin flavor really comes through, given a healthy boost by the spices. You would think that the apple flavor would get lost/overwhelmed, but it really doesn’t. It rounds it all out with a tart, crunchy sweetness that works. The loaf itself isn’t overly sweet, so this would work really well as a breakfast alongside coffee or tea.
Enjoy the autumn while it still lasts and try this out!
Pumpkin Granola Bread
Recipe Adapted from Food Network Magazine
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup each vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider or juice
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, paste or vanilla emulsion
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cup granola, divided (I used Trader Joe’s Honeycrisp Apple Granola, but any crunchy granola will do)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 heaping teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x5 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sided and spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, brown sugar, apple cider or juice, eggs and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup of the granola, granulated sugar, baking powder, pumpkin spice and salt.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of granola
Bake 60 to 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out mostly clean (a crumb or two is fine. Bread is done at an inner temp of 190-195 degrees Fahrenheit)
Let cool for one hour, then remove loaf to a wire rack to cool completely.
Sharing at Fiesta Friday #510.