Hello hello! Are you all as cold as I am? Did you put on sweaters this morning (it was 50 degrees!!) only to be forced out of them by the mid-afternoon heat? Are you busily eating all of the slowly disappearing summer foods and also starting to bake with apples?
Good! Me too. Because it’s starting to feel a lot like fall. And despite what I said a mere week ago, I’m suddenly in the mood for all of the fall things: apple pie, thick soups, cozy sweaters and pumpkin; specifically, these pumpkin breads.
These pumpkin breads are pretty much the best thing to happen to the world of pumpkin desserts. You see, they’re not like pumpkin pie– unequivocally dessert- and not like pumpkin pancakes (or scones, or lattes)- undoubtedly breakfast, either. They’re like a wonderful hybrid of the two: thick, with a muffin-like crumb, and the coziest scent, but also dressed up by the addition of salted pepitas and a sweet, slightly bitter espresso icing. Either way, they’re perfect for any time: they take minutes to whip up and less time to devour, still warm, with yogurt and maple syrup for breakfast, or with whipped cream for dessert. I’d use leftovers in a pumpkin mousse trifle, make mini loaves and gift them to friends, or serve these, sans icing and sugared top, as a seasonal side at a fall meal.
In fact, that’s exactly what I plan to do tonight, for our Sukkot dinner. And if you do too, well, you won’t regret it- the versatility of these beautiful orange loaves (more cake than bread, if we’re being honest) is out-shined only by their easy, uncomplicated method and taste.
Happy Fall and Chag Sameach! Chaya
Yields: two large loaves
Adapted from a variety of sources
Why I love this recipe: brown sugar, milk and oil, not butter, keeps these loaves moist and flavorful. Deeply spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, these sweet pumpkin breads are topped with salted pepitas for a crunchy contrast and a sweet, slightly bitter espresso icing takes them from breakfast to dessert.
For the pepita pumpkin bread:
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 packed cup dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup milk
- 15 oz. canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 2 tablespoons roasted, salted pepita seeds
For the espresso icing:
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons liquid espresso
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine beaten eggs, 2 cups sugar, brown sugar, oil and milk. Add the pumpkin and mix well to combine.
- Add all the dry ingredients except for the pepita seeds and mix well again.
- Divide the batter evenly into two large loaf pans. Sprinkle each loaf pan with one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of pepita seeds.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes or until knife inserted in center of pan comes out clean and the loaves are risen and well browned.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and espresso, until you have a smooth, lump-free mixture, adding a little more espresso if needed.
- When the loaves are done, remove them from the oven. Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then drizzle each loaf with icing. Serve warm or cool, with Greek yogurt and maple syrup or whipped cream, if desired.