Pumpkin Pecan Bread

  • Serves: Makes two 8- x 4-inch loaf pans
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Photo by Sarah Phillips © Sarah Phillips

This recipe has won its share of ribbons over the years at the local county fairs and farm shows. This recipe can also be used for muffins, or even dropped out for a soft, cake-like cookie. I like to glaze them after they have cooled with a powdered sugar/milk glaze. This is always one of the recipes I use to make mini loaves to give away over the holidays.


 I like to use a large serrated bread knife for slicing the cooled bread.

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter; can be cold from the refrigerator
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs; can be cold from the refrigerator
1 cup solid pack pumpkin puree

2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans; chop and then, measure
1 cup chopped dates; chop and then, measure

1. Position and oven shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Liberally grease two, 8- x 4-inch loaf pans, set aside.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices.

3. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light, about 2 minutes.

4. Scrape the bowl and on low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, and stir in the pumpkin.

5. Add the flour mixture, slowly at the side of the bowl, and mix until ALMOST blended.
Unclamp the bowl and FOLD in the nuts and dates.

6. Divide into the two pans and smooth the tops.

7. Bake for 45+ minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, but not batter.

Let the baked bread sit on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes before unmolding. Place the bread on its side, to cool completely before slicing.

Wrap cooled breads with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for a day or two; refrigerate after that so it won't mold. If it is humid, refrigerate the bread right away, so it won't mold.

The breads freeze nicely, wrapped in plastic wrap and then sealed in an airtight container, for a month or more.

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