Like many, there are certain baked-goods that are my “go-to’s” for a select Holiday or season. My lavender cookies are my staple for Spring, my gingerbread cookies are my Christmas must-haves, and my strawberry cupcakes are…well, let’s be real, that can be enjoyed anytime of the year. Truthfully, any baked-good can be enjoyed at any time your heart desires.
Normally at this time of the year, my heart desires something warm, spiced and October-y, like this Pumpkin Bread with Salted Maple Butter. For two years in a row, it’s been my Halloween go-to.
I made this loaf of pumpkin-y, cinnamon-y, gingery goodness last year for our Halloween office potluck, and there wasn’t a crumb that remained. So I made it again this past weekend for an intimate Halloween house party with a different crowd, and again, no crumbs were left. People really like this. And why wouldn’t they? It’s moist, comforting, flavourful and it offers a nice bite with the roasted pumpkin seeds on the crust. This loaf is basically a pumpkin pie, but in bread form. What’s not to love?!
I wish I could take credit for developing this recipe, but it’s the geniuses at the Bon Appétit kitchen that did. If you want to go straight to the OG source, you can find this recipe on the BA website, or their YouTube channel (my #1 favourite recipe channel/publication).
I pretty much followed the recipe to a T, with a few minor exceptions (I used 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon instead of 2 teaspoons, and I used 2/3 cup of maple syrup instead of 1/4 cup. But I’d suggest starting with 1/4 cup, taste it, and add more if desired).
Now, some might consider this blasphemous, but in my opinion…you can skip out on making the maple butter. I know, I hear your gasps, but hear me out: the maple butter is delicious and delectable but ultimately, it’s a fancy add-on. It’s nice to know that you can have the option to spread a buttery-maple concoction on your slice of pumpkin bread. I just don’t think it’s needed. This means that the pumpkin bread is truly delicious on its own. So if you don’t have time to make the maple butter, don’t sweat it. Your pumpkin loaf will still be a success.
One thing I will encourage you to stick to: do the fresh ginger and the fresh clove. Those are definitely noticeable touches that enhance the texture and overall warmth, spiciness, Autumnal flavour that is this pumpkin loaf.
Final tip: although this recipe is simple, it took me the full 90 minutes to bake, and a good 2-3 hours for the loaf to cool down enough to slice up and store in a container. So maybe don’t do this at 9:00pm on a weeknight, and save it for when you have more time, like on a weekend morning or afternoon. Bonus: this loaf can be made ahead four days in advance and will remain deliciously moist and pumpkin-y if stored properly. To be enjoyed with coffee, salted caramel latte or S’Mores tea 🙂
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 15-oz. can pumpkin purée
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp finely grated ginger (from about one 3″ piece fresh ginger)
1½ cups plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
Salted Maple Butter
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
¾ tsp. flaky sea salt, plus more for serving
1) Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly coat a 9×5″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment, leaving a generous overhang on both long sides.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves.
3) In a large bowl, Whisk eggs, pumpkin purée, ginger, and 1½ cups sugar. Stream in oil, whisking constantly until mixture is homogeneous.
4) Gently fold half of dry ingredients into egg mixture until no dry spots remain. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients, stirring to combine but being careful not to over-mix.
5) Transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth top with spatula. Scatter pumpkin seeds over batter, pressing lightly to adhere. Sprinkle seeds with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.
6) Bake bread, rotating pan once halfway through, until a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, 80–90 minutes.
7) Let cool slightly, then run a knife or small offset spatula around pan to help loosen bread. Using overhang, transfer bread to a wire rack and let cool.
Salted Maple Butter
1) Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter in a large bowl, scraping down sides, until light and fluffy, 5–6 minutes. Add maple syrup and ¾ tsp. sea salt and beat, scraping down sides of bowl once more, just until incorporated.
2) Transfer maple butter to a small bowl. Season with more sea salt.
*Notes: Bread can be baked 4 days ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature. Maple butter can be made 5 days ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill. Let come to room temperature before using.