I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, but no worries; on my recent stop in Champaign, a friend asked me about this pumpkin bread recipe. I made some last fall for her and her family, and she told me she has tried making other pumpkin breads since then that don’t compare. She asked if I would share the recipe, and since I don’t believe in secret recipes, I obliged, and then made some for myself. I have found I like it better the second day because the top crust gets softened from being wrapped up, and spread with butter it makes a tasty breakfast!
3/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
or 1 3/4 cups cooked and mashed pumpkin, if fresh is more your style
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour the sides of 2 standard loaf pans and cut pieces of wax or parchment paper to fit in the bottom of each. My mom often makes this using 4 mini loaf pans, which are the perfect size for gift giving.
Beat the sugar and butter together, and then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat until light and fluffy, then mix in the pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients and stir well. Pour batter into the pans and bake for an hour (less for smaller pans) or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan and then use a thin knife around the sides to separate them from the pan.
You can invert the bread directly on a cooling rack, but since it leaves marks on the top, I usually take a clean towel in my hand and invert the bread onto it, peel off the wax paper from the bottom, and then place right side up on the cooling rack. Once it’s cooled you can wrap it in cling wrap or put it in a baggie to store. It will stay fresh for about a week sitting out, but you can also throw it in the freezer if you want it to keep longer. It thaws really quickly, so you can pull it out the same morning you want to eat it.