When Halloween gets close, it reminds me every year to make my favorite pumpkin bread. This is a recipe I have tweaked over many years to get just right. It’s moist and delicious with spice and sweetness that screams “FALL IS HERE!” I make many mini-loaves to share with friends and family and it’s a huge hit. It also freezes extremely well so it’s a perfect holiday baking treat.
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 large can (29 oz) solid pack pumpkin
5 1/4 cups AP flour (I use King Arthur’s unbleached white whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 t salt
1 T each of baking soda, ground allspice and ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl. Add sugar, oil and pumpkin. Mix well. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt and spices using a whisk to get good distribution. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just blended. If using, stir in the nuts and raisins.
Grease and flour 12 mini-loaf pans (3 1/2 x 5”). You can instead spray the pans with Pam Baking Spray with Flour though you will get a slightly better result doing it the old fashioned way. Allow 1 cup of batter per pan. Note: if you eliminate the nuts and raisins like I do for my kids, you will end up with less batter. Bake in a 350 degree oven until a wooden pick comes out clean from the center, about 40 minutes. Cool on racks for 10 minutes and then remove from pan to cool on racks completely.
Wrap airtight in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for longer. To freeze, place plastic wrapped loaves in sealed bags for best results. Enjoy!