Thursday, 29 November 2012

1995 - Mom & Dad's Pumpkin Bread

Michelle helps Dad make a giant batch 
of Pumpkin Bread.
We didn't make Pumpkin Bread this year because Dad has been baking mega batches for the last few Christmases. He really enjoys it and he loves giving it away as presents to friends, family, co-workers and neighbors at this time of year (and they love getting it too!).

Even though he technically makes it, he gets lots of help in the kitchen. Of course, various children and grandchildren in the vicinity are called on as assistants to mix and measure. Mom used to combine most of the ingredients for him (probably saved her numerous trips into the kitchen to find ingredients hiding in the fridge and cupboards!). She would measure out all the spices and dry ingredients, so all he had to do was grab a few eggs and a can of pumpkin, and measure out some oil and water. But he would make so many wonderful loaves that she couldn't keep up. So, she wrote the recipe out and taped it to the inside of the spice cabinet for him. 

Whenever I open my own spice cabinet, I think of Mom. Mine is just as full and unorganized as hers always was. When I was a girl at home, I would have to drag a chair over to see and reach inside to find the spice or herb I was after. She had the stalwarts and standbys — cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, thyme and dill. But there were exotic mysteries too — mace, cumin, saffron and turmeric. And what in the world was cream of tartar?  Those unfamiliar titles tended to stay near the back, in smaller jars; while the giant tin of cinnamon was always up front to make cinnamon-sugar for our toast.

We used to use Grandma Baker's recipe but Mom made changes to it over the years and we now call it Mom & Dad's Pumpkin Bread. They've always baked it in coffee cans ever since I can remember (and the lines from the cans — much like the lines on tinned cranberry sauce — serve as a guide for slicing). A loaf pan will do as well but tends to result in hunks without the trusty guidelines but metal coffee cans are a rarity these days.

Lisa, like most people, eats it as is, which is delicious. Mom and Dad almost always put butter on it. I like it that way too but I sometimes have it with a smear of cream cheese. Any way you slice it or top it, it's delicious and, in our family, it's Christmas.

Mom & Dad's Pumpkin Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Me "helping" Dad pour batter into coffee cans.

Whisk together in a large bowl:
3 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 c sugar

Stir in:
2/3 c chopped pecans
2/3 c raisins

Make a well in the center and add:
2/3 c vegetable oil
2/3 c water
4 eggs
15-ounce can of pumpkin

Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

Pour mixture into greased loaf pans (or coffee cans, if you can find them), or muffin tins, filling 2/3 of the way.

Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Yields vary, depending on size of pans.

NOTE: If you want to make Lisa's Un-pumpkin Bread, just leave out the pumpkin! It's still delicious, according to her family.

Pumpkin muffins keep very well in the freezer.
This recipe was shared with the blog hop, Frugal Food Thursdays


  1. I love reading about family food memories and family recipes! Your Mom and Dad's Pumpkin Bread sounds wonderful - I love all the warming spices in it! Thank you for sharing this post with The Gallery of Favorites :)

  2. That's very kind of you, April! So many foods, so many memories, right? I hope you'll try it some time - it's simple and everyone loves it. :)

  3. My Dad used to make fudge at Christmas. I've taken over for him, but it will always be Dad's fudge recipe. April and I are including your post in our bread recipe feature on the Gallery of Favorites this week. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

  4. Thanks, Alea! Glad to hear you are making the fudge your Dad used to make! You and April are so kind! I've changed the link to reflect the inclusion in the Gallery of Favorites. Have a great weekend!

  5. Your pumpkin bread is one of our features at The Gallery this week :) Thank you again for sharing it!

    1. My pleasure! The Gallery of Favorites is a lovely place to visit, share and discover!