Happy Fall y’all! It’s FINALLY cooling off here in Charleston and starting to feel like autumn. One of my favorite things about Fall is pumpkins. I love carving them, decorating the house with them, and most importantly cooking and baking with them. I did a poll on Instagram asking people to vote for the recipe they wanted to see next on the blog – pumpkin bread or pumpkin scones. And guess what, it was a tie! Figures.
I decided to make the pumpkin bread first mainly because I didn’t have all of the ingredients I needed for the scones. Lucky break for me with the 50/50 vote split.
This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from Once Upon a Chef. What I love about this recipe, and also about my chocolate chip banana bread recipe, is that it’s made with butter instead of oil. I can’t stand biting into a luscious piece of pumpkin bread and it feels like there’s an oil slick on my face after I eat it.
For this recipe, you don’t need a lot of fancy kitchen tools. A hand mixer and a rubber spatula will do just fine. But, if you’re a beginner baker and want to really get into baking – check out my post about the 5 essential kitchen tools for beginner bakers.
Before I came up with the recipe you see here, I tried to do a mashup of my chocolate chip banana bread recipe and another recipe. #BAKINGFAIL. That was the universe’s way of reminding me baking is a science. However, through my trial and multiple errors, I did learn an important lesson about the difference between baking soda and baking powder.
Leavening Agents and Why They Matter
Baking soda and baking powder are both are leavening agents, meaning, they make a batter “rise” when it cooks. Baking soda requires an acidic ingredient (like buttermilk or sour cream) to create CO2 and make the batter or dough rise. A good guideline is to use 1/4 tsp. for every cup of flour. Baking powder is made of baking soda and cream of tartar and can be used when there isn’t an acid in the recipe, like if you’re making sugar cookies. A good guideline for baking powder is 1 tsp. for every cup of flour.
One thing to note about baking powder is that some brands contain aluminum. To avoid a “tin-y” taste, Rumford baking powder does not contain any aluminum. If you want more information on leaveners, I found this great website – Crafty Baking – that talks all about it.
Wow…that was a lot of geeky science stuff. Now to the good stuff…
Ready, Set, BAKE!
A few notes before you begin. Be sure to pull the butter out of the fridge before you start mixing the butter and the sugar. You want the butter to be semi-soft. It comes together easier if you do that ahead.
Combine all of your wet ingredients together in one bowl, and your dry ingredients in another. I recommend using a larger bowl for your dry ingredients. The final batter is going to be thick.
Let me know how it turns out!
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The BEST Pumpkin Bread
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 15 oz can pure pumpkin
- 2 eggs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inch baking pans with non-stick spray.
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Be sure to evenly distribute the baking powder and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer. The mixture should start to pull together and look like coarse sand. If you have some small chunks of butter after combining, that's okay.
Add the pumpkin and continue to mix.
Add the eggs one egg at a time.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until combined. Be sure get the flour mixture on the bottom of the bowl incorporated into the wet mixture.
Evenly distribute the batter into the two pans.
Bake for 60 - 70 minutes, depending on your oven. Start checking your loaves at the 1-hour mark (mine came out at exactly one hour). When a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean, pull them out of the oven.
For all of my quick breads and loaf breads, I use USA Pan Bakeware aluminized steel 1 pound loaf pans and the loaves brown nicely turn out beautifully.