Pumpkin bread is a delicious welcome to fall and the upcoming holiday season. It tastes and looks just like Starbucks and the whole house smells wonderful from the spices! Use a combination of unrefined sweeteners including; brown sugar, raw cane sugar, unsweetened applesauce and honey for a not too sweet, moist and healthier version of traditional pumpkin bread that is made with white granulated sugar. For a richer flavor, add dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter. If you like, add chopped walnuts or pecans. To make muffins, spray muffin tins with spray or line with paper liners. For a denser cake, substitute half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. If possible, use flour for baking or cakes. It will result in a lighter loaf.
Yields: 2 loaves
1 cup unrefined sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour.
2 teaspoons ground cloves
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dark chocolate or semi-sweet chips
1/2 chopped walnuts or pecans
2 glass or metal loaf pans, sprayed and lined with parchment paper. Note a glass baking dish will result in a darker bottom and faster baked bread.
Standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment or hand mixer (optional)
Preheat oven to 350º F and get started on preparing loaf pans by spraying with oil and lining with parchment paper so there is a several inch overhang on each of the long side of the pans. Spray parchment paper lightly and set aside pans.
In a medium bowl, beat sugar and oil to blend.
Mix in eggs, beating after each addition. Add pumpkin, applesauce and honey. Mix well. Set bowl aside.
In a large separate bowl, sift together flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder. If you do not have a sifter, use a fine mesh strainer or whisk the flour mixture to aerate. Sifting or whisking results in a lighter bread.
In two additions, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring after each addition. Stir just until combined. Do not over stir. If adding chocolate chips or nuts (or both), add after wet and dry ingredients have been combined.
Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.
Top with pumpkin seeds and press down very lightly to set.
Bake until tester comes out clean, about 1 hour for loaves and 20 minutes for muffins. Tent loaves with foil if top is browning before tester is clean.
Transfer to cooling racks and cool for 10 minutes. Option to lift loaves out of pan and cool on a cutting board or cooling rack.