Pumpkin Spice Bread
A Few Changes Make for a Healthier Classic
This pumpkin bread is an irresistible fall favorite in our home. The original Bon Appetit recipe, published back in November 1995, is fantastic and decadently rich. With a few changes to cut calories and boost nutrition, this bread remains a crowd pleaser but emerges as a healthier classic.
I've reduced the sugar from 3 cups to 2 1/4 cups, so the sweetness remains but the spices can really shine. The original recipe called for a 16 ounce can of pumpkin, but I increased it to about 20 ounces for an extra punch of flavor. Canola oil, which is high in healthy monounsaturated fats, replaced the vegetable oil. I replaced one cup of all purpose flour with white whole wheat flour, which has a milder flavor than regular whole wheat flour but still packs extra nutrition. One thing to note about any whole wheat flour, though, is that it requires a bit of extra sifting to produce a more airy result. Unsweetened applesauce, in place of half of the oil, cuts fat but still maintains a moist result. The spices can be changed up; I've tried cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom to make up the 3 teaspoons of spices. My favorite combination, though, is the one I've listed in the recipe below. Feel free to experiment!
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 3 eggs, large
- 20 ounces canned pumpkin
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. Beat sugar, oil and applesauce in a large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture gradually, in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.
- Divide batter equally between prepared loaf pans. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool for 10 minutes. Loosen edges with a knife, turn loaves onto racks and cool completely.
- Pumpkin loaves can be frozen for up to 1 month.