Sugar and spice and everything nice make the best pumpkin bread.
Something about a pecan pumpkin bread recipe feels perfect right now. This recipe is truly excellent, and is the only pumpkin bread I make. The combination of pumpkin sweetness and baking spices and mellow orange color makes it just right for autumn and winter’s cozy weather. But honestly, I bake it all year ’round.
Pumpkin bread makes a lovely edible gift, and a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving bread basket. (Make some room, biscuits and corn bread.) Personally, though, I mainly like to horde it all for myself and have a buttered slice with breakfast, or after dinner with a cup of tea.
Some notes on this pecan pumpkin bread recipe:
- The spices should go in with the liquid ingredients. This goes for pretty much any cake or bread where spices are added, but I like to add the baking spices (ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg) and salt to the liquids to bloom the flavor as much as possible. Most recipes will call for adding the spices as a dry good, but that is not always the best practice.
- Toast the pecans. This takes all of five minutes in a 350 degree oven, and brings out maximum nutty flavor. Then let them cool to room temperature in the sheet pan while you make the cake batter.
You will also like: Better Pumpkin Pie and Jewish Apple Cake
This recipe makes two standard-sized loaves, or two 9″ round cakes. You can also turn them into pumpkin muffins, or a combination. Loaves will take about 50 to 60 minutes to bake; cupcakes and round cake layers will be shorter.
You will know the pumpkin bread is done when a cake tester comes out clean, and the tops spring back a bit when lightly pressed.
What is your favorite winter dessert? Tell us in the comments below.
Pecan Pumpkin Bread
- 4 large eggs
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease two standard-sized loaf pans or 2 x 9" round cake pans.
- When the oven is preheated (or at least at 300° if you're in a rush), place the chopped pecans on a sheet pan and lightly toast them in the oven for five minutes, then cool.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the eggs and sugar on medium-high until light. Scrape the bowl.
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, salt, and oil. Mix on low until the oil is mostly emulsified to prevent splashing, then raise the mixer to medium and beat until lightened and smooth, about two minutes total. PRO TIP: Almost all baking recipes will have you add the spices with the flour as a dry good. The better thing to do is to add them with the liquids so that they can "bloom."
- Add the pumpkin puree and combine fully. Scrape the bowl. Add the flour and mix on low until fully combined, and no lumps remain. You can briefly kick the mixer up to medium if necessary.
- Fold in the pecans.
- Divide the batter into the two prepared loaf pans, and bake until the tops of the loaves spring back and a cake tester comes out clean, approximately 50 to 60 minutes.
- Cool in the pans on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes. When the loaf pans are cool enough to touch with bare hands, run a knife or offset spatula around the edges, and turn out onto the cooling racks until full cool.