The Christmas season is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. For as long as I can remember my mom Nancy has made her famous holiday pumpkin bread for friends and family! The aroma it creates while baking always makes me think of Christmas, it’s just heavenly! This recipe is so simple and makes a large batch, which is perfect for gift-giving. I made my first batch of the year earlier this week in our mini brown loaf pans which has inspired me to start celebrating a bit early this year! Bring on the holiday movies (it’s never too early for Home Alone), recipes, decorations and music!
Holiday Pumpkin Bread:
3 cups sugar (you can use brown sugar for more rich molasses flavor)
1- 15 ounce can of pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup water
3 ½ cups AP flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground all spice
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix the sugar, oil, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla together. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add half of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until combined. Add the water, then the second half of the flour. Stir until just combined and there are no flour lumps.
Pour into three greased and floured 8-inch loaf pans and bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. The recipe is also great for muffins or mini loaf pans. It makes approximately 16-20 of our mini loafs or 36 standard size muffins. For mini loaf pans or muffins reduce baking time to 18-22 minutes.
Variations: Add 2 cups of chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans or almonds for a bit of crunch. Add 2 cups of mini chocolate chips or fresh chopped cranberries (dried cranberries work great too!) for an extra burst of flavor!
Now this bread is divine all by itself. For many it needs no topping but we came up with a super easy 2 ingredient one with the idea that some may have some leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving that you need use up. Since pumpkin bread is a more dense dessert bread it pairs well with this light and fruity topping. There is just something about pumpkin and cranberries during the holiday season. This topping can be used on bagels, toast, other flavored breads or even pound cakes. I bet it would be great on a chocolate cake too.
Simple Cranberry Cream Cheese Topping:
8 oz container of Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese
1/3 to 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce depending on your taste
In a small bowl lightly mash the cranberry sauce so you break up some of the whole berries in the sauce. Fold in your cream cheese and mix until combines. Taste it to see if it is cranberry enough for you and if not add in a little more of the cranberry sauce. Spread a little on a slice of pumpkin bread and enjoy!
Happy Holiday Baking!
Shauna & Esther
This post was written by Shauna and photographed by Esther of The Bakers Party Shop. If you share a photo from our post a link must be displayed back to this post and credit given to The Bakers Party Shop. All photos and content are copyright of The Bakers Party Shop & The Bakers Confections, All rights reserved 2014.