I've made a lot of pumpkin bread. As one of my favorite treats I make at least two or three new recipes every year. I love to try different variations of it, and literally always have a loaf of it in my freezer throughout the fall months.
So it's saying something when I tell you that this is the best pumpkin bread ever. Don't take that lightly. I make a lot of pumpkin bread.
I may stop trying new recipes now, though. Because this one is seriously the best.
No, scratch that. I could never stop trying new recipes. That's impossible. Now I'll just have to make two to three new recipes PLUS this one every year!
I think that the difference is because you cook the pumpkin before using it in the bread to caramelize it a bit. I thought that seemed a little crazy and not worth the time when I saw it, but decided to try it anyways. You know, try something new for a change like following the recipe. (I really didn't, I changed several other things, but I followed that part!)
Now I will probably try cooking the pumpkin first in absolutely every pumpkin recipe. I'll likely be a little annoying about it and insist it's always necessary.
Now the only question is — how many different variations of this perfect pumpkin bread can I come up with?
I clearly can't just leave well enough alone. That’s no fun.
For the Topping:
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the Bread:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, about 12 ounces or 355 milliliters
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into 12 pieces, about 113 grams
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 medium apple, grated finely, about 1 cup grated apple
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans and set aside.
- In a small bowl, prepare the topping by mixing together the brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Combine the pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly for 6-8 minutes until the mixture has reduced to about 1 1/4 cups and is darker in colour. Remove from the heat, add the sugar, brown sugar, oil, and cream cheese, and stir until well combined. Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk and add to the pumpkin mixture. Whisk to combine, and stir in the grated apple.
- Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, and sprinkle the topping over top. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pans and cooling completely before slicing.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, replace it with 1/2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice mixed with 1/4 cup of milk. You can easily halve this recipe to make just one loaf.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book