Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread

Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread

The moment there is a crispness in the air and a changing of the leaves, I pour myself a cup of coffee, add a dash of cinnamon, and start to dream about what pumpkin based dessert I am going to create for the fall season. Over the years I have made various pumpkin themed goodies - cupcakes, cookies, bundt cakes, mousse, cheesecakes, and, of course, pie. All of these confections are delicious in their own right; however, the one baked treat that is consistently gobbled up by my family and friends is this Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread. I believe its moist texture and spicy flavor is what makes this recipe a fan favorite. Not to mention the decadent, “moreish” cream cheese icing that sits on top of this dessert - I have no doubt it keeps people coming back for seconds (and thirds)!

One of the main reasons I adore this recipe is its pure simplicity. The ingredients are readily available in your pantry, the batter is hand mixed, and the frosting is whipped up in no time. In addition, this recipe can be frozen for up to a month by simply wrapping the undecorated loaves in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freezing makes it the perfect make ahead holiday treat - I readily have a couple of these quick breads tucked away in my freezer so that I have a hassle-free goodie on the ready for when company arrives. A bonus is that this recipe makes three loaves. That means that you can share with your family, bring as a hostess gift, and still have one to serve at your holiday table.

The versatility of this recipe makes it a critical component to your baking arsenal. Feel free to omit the walnuts and chocolate chips. Better yet, experiment and substitute some of your favorite add-ins. Chopped pecans, pepitas, crystalized ginger, raisins, dried apricots, or even shredded coconut all make for excellent additions. Divide the prepared batter into two or three bowls and then add different fruits or nuts to each bowl. Bake the variations in separate loaf pans and discover your favorite flavor combination!

The recipe calls for three 7 ¼ x 4 ½ inch pans. If you have the Cranberry Ginger Tea Bread baking kit - then you have the exact pan for this recipe! You can, however, substitute different sized loaf pans to make this bread - 9 x 5 inch, 8 x 4 inch, 5 x 3 inch all work well with this recipe. Just be sure to only fill the loaf pans ¾ full to prevent the batter from spilling over as it bakes. Also, be sure to adjust your baking time accordingly. Larger (9 x 5 inch) pans will only produce two loaves and will take a little longer to bake; while smaller (5 x 3 inch) pans will produce four loaves and take less time to bake. If you are using different sized pans than what the recipe calls for, check frequently on your loaves while baking and use a cake tester to confirm when they are completely cooked.

This quick bread is perfect to serve any time of day - an early breakfast, a weekend brunch, an afternoon tea, or as a shining star on your holiday dessert table. Be sure to stock up on plenty of cans of pumpkin puree - one slice of this bread and you are going to not want to wait until the next fall season to bake it again (and again).

Servings: 3 Loaves

Ingredients:

Bread:
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, plus more to grease pans
  • 2 ⅔ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 ½ tsps ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 ½ tsps salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsps demerara sugar
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

MAKE THE PUMPKIN BREAD:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Lightly grease three 7 ¼ x 4 ½ inch loaf pans with vegetable oil. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, water, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir until just combined.
  6. Fold walnuts and chocolate chips into the batter.
  7. Pour batter into the prepared pans and smooth the top of each loaf. Evenly sprinkle the tops with demerara sugar.
  8. Bake the pumpkin bread for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean.
  9. Remove the pumpkin bread from the oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove pumpkin bread from pans and let to cool completely on a wire rack prior to decorating with the cream cheese frosting.
MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
  1. Using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar to the butter mixture one cup at a time, fully incorporating between each addition of sugar. Continue to beat the frosting for about 5 minutes, until the powdered sugar is completely incorporated, and the frosting is thick and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if your frosting has not obtained the correct thickness.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Decorate the pumpkin bread with the cream cheese frosting.
DECORATE:
  1. Use an offset spatula to generously smear the cream cheese frosting over the top of each pumpkin bread.
  2. Dust the tops of the pumpkin bread with cinnamon.
  3. Enjoy!
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