A loaf of moist flavorful bread makes the perfect gift to bring to a friend, co-worker, or as a “thank you.” You can even bake mini versions in cute holiday-themed ceramic baking dishes (you can find them at most craft stores for only $1). After baking, place the ceramic loaf pan with the bread on top of a large piece of cellophane wrap. Gather the wrap up and tie with a pretty ribbon. Remember to add a message that will lift the spirits of the receiver. Make several and you can check off most of your Christmas list! A homemade gift made with love, and at minimal cost. What’s not to love about that?!
This Pumpkin Bread is absolutely the moistest pumpkin bread I have ever had. You can change this recipe up a little by changing your add-ins. My son’s favorite is with mini chocolate chips so that’s how I typically make it. Pumpkin and chocolate go so well together! I also like it with just pecans and then topped with a streusel topping. Well… I also like it with dried cranberries and pecans. It’s a dilemma. But, because this recipe makes two loaves, you can divide the batter in half and make two versions. It’s just awesome no matter what you decide to put in it. Add whatever you like and make it your own! If giving as a gift, leave out the nuts just in case the recipient has a nut allergy.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 15-oz can pumpkin (not pie mix)
- 2/3 cup apple cider (or use apple juice)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. (I don’t always sift – this recipe works if you put these ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together. I’m all about a shortcut.) Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and oil until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated.
Alternating, add a little of the canned pumpkin and a little of the apple cider, beating well after each addition. (Add a third of each at a time.)
Stir in the pecans and raisins (or mix-ins of choice).
Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans. (If your loaf pans are different sizes, just fill them 2/3 full.)
Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pans.
At this point you must force yourself not to eat an entire loaf while it is warm. Try… I don’t think you can do it. But that’s OK. There is a second loaf – LOL
- Add mini chocolate chips instead of the pecans and raisins.
- Replace the raisins with dried cranberries.
- Replace pecans with walnuts.
- Top batter with streusel topping before baking.
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Combine all ingredients (except pecans) with your fingers until the topping resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the pecans.