Y’all know how much I love baking, especially quick breads to savor and share! Quick breads use baking soda and baking powder instead of yeast as leavening, and therefore require no kneading or rising time. They’re easy, versatile and flavorful; perfect for breakfast, snacks and gifts, they’re a staple in our house. Pumpkin Bread is one of the tastiest ways to welcome autumn (my favorite time of year); that’s why I’m happily sharing it in Direct Magazine’s September issue of The Recipe Box!
Obviously, quick breads are a given go to for breakfast ~ warm from the oven, sliced and toasted or at room temperature – but years ago, I discovered that they make tasty lunches too! When my daughter started first grade she decided she didn’t want the usual run-of-the-mill sandwiches in her lunch. Turkey? Ham? How boring!
Rather, she requested alternatives made with her favorite fall quick breads – Pumpkin, and Apple-Cheddar – sliced and spread with cream cheese, if you please. I was happy to make them for her; I much preferred that she ate her lunch (reasonably healthy with pumpkin, apples and cheese) rather than trade or discard it.
The recipes are simple and quick to prepare, and the pumpkin bread freezes very well (great for holiday planning!). I’ve shared them both below (bonanza!), along with my favorite icings to top them…they’re perfect plain, but we know a delicious bread will only be more so with Caramel or Vanilla Bean Icing drizzled on top, right? Right!
I bake both breads all year long ~ life’s too short to wait for a season to bake your favorites! ~ and it brings a smile to my face when I watch my granddaughter enjoying these treasured recipes now.
And since we’re already on the subject, here’s another one of my absolute favorites: My Grandma Helen’s Date Nut Bread. She used to make it in coffee cans, and I remember the warm and comforting aroma drifting from the oven; it was almost impossible to wait until it was cool enough to slice and spread with cream cheese or butter. When I found her recipe and made it (years after she had passed away), I felt like a little girl again as I inhaled the exact same scent in my kitchen.
There! Now you have three – count ’em – delightfully delectable quick breads that you can bake up in a snap – and I know you’re going to be baking them year round too. Enjoy!
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot
- 4 eggs, beaten lightly
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup light oil – sunflower or canola recommended*
- 1 - 29 oz. can pumpkin puree (not Pumpkin Pie Filling)
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 ½ Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice or 1 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, and ½ tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 ½ cups flour
- *substitute ½ cup unsweetened applesauce for ½ cup oil, if desired
- Caramel Icing
- 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) sweet butter
- ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp. vanilla or vanilla bean paste
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Spray 2 large loaf pans with non-stick baking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and oil (or oil and applesauce) with a whisk.
- Add the pumpkin puree and whisk again until well blended.
- Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices, and whisk again,
- Add the flour in two batches, mixing after each batch. (You will need to use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix the last of the flour in.)
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
- Bake approximately 60-70 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Mini-loaves will be done in 45-50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and let set for 10 minutes.
- Turn out of the pans onto the rack and cool completely.
- Store in airtight bag or container.
- For the Caramel Icing:
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add brown and granulated sugars and heavy cream.
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat and cool for 20 minutes.
- Whisk in the sifted powdered sugar and the vanilla until smooth.
- Spread over the warm Pumpkin Bread, or drizzle over with a spoon.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. Apple Pie Spice
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup milk
- ⅓ cup sweet butter, melted
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (sharp is best; I like aged white cheddar)
- 1 ½ cups peeled, chopped apples (2 medium apples should be about right; Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples are good in this recipe as they have a nice sweet-tart taste)
- ¾ cup chopped nuts (walnuts – especially red walnuts - and pecans are a good compliment to the apples and cheese)
- Vanilla Bean Icing
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tbsp. milk or half & half
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- ½ tsp. apple pie spice
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Spray a loaf pan or 4 mini-loaf pans with cooking spray.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Combine the eggs, milk and butter, and add to the dry mixture, stirring well. (No need to use a mixer; a whisk and wooden spoon do just fine.)
- Use a spatula to fold in the cheese, apples and nuts.
- Spoon into the prepared pan (s) and bake: 65-70 minutes for large loaf; 35-40 minutes or so for mini-loaves*, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. I start checking at about 55/25 minutes and go from there.
- Rotate your pan if the bread isn’t browning evenly.
- The baking time will vary depending on the size of your pans and your oven. Cool, slice and serve. Store in an airtight bag/container.
- For the Vanilla Bean Icing:
- Whisk together the sifted powdered sugar and the milk/half and half until smooth.
- Whisk in the vanilla bean paste and the apple pie spice.
- Drizzle over the cooled loaves.