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Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Serves: Makes 1 loaf


  • 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup (2¾ ounces) water
  • 1½ cups (10½ ounces) sugar
  • 1 cup (9 ounces) canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup neutral-flavor vegetable oil (such as canola)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) chopped toasted walnuts


This is the loaf you want on that gorgeous fall day, when it’s too beautiful outdoors to fuss in the kitchen for long. It takes no time at all to whip this up because it is made using the muffin method, meaning you simply stir everything together by hand. The hardest part is measuring out all the spices. It freezes beautifully, so you might want to double the recipe and tuck one away for another day. Want to dress it up a bit? Add a generous layer of cream cheese frosting on top (and maybe in the middle as well) and try to resist cutting another slice.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the loaf pan with melted butter or high-heat canola-oil spray and line it with a piece of parchment paper that extends 1 inch beyond the edge of both sides of the pan. In the large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, and salt until thoroughly blended. In the medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Add the sugar and blend well. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and blend well.

Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until blended and smooth. Add the walnuts and stir until they are evenly distributed. Use a spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and level the top.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until the bread is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. To serve, cut into ½-inch thick slices by sawing gently with a serrated knife. Any leftovers should be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Cindy Mushet and Sur La Table, The Art & Soul of Baking (Andrews McMeel)

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