Food + Wine

Pumpkin Bread for the ages

(sleepy drained abbey never hit publish on this last night and sleepy drained abbey wishes to not change the narrative to have it make more sense today, so use your time machine to pretend you got this at the end of yesterday, k?)

So I have legit drafted about 4 recipe posts in the past couple of weeks… then life keeps getting in the way and I get re-routed.  I’m sure I’ll get them to you eventually, but right now I have something

simple . delicious . seasonal . comforting

and baked

Today we had more work done on the house that we didn’t know was happening until the guys showed up on my porch and I was naked and sweaty and hungry.  So since I knew I couldn’t concentrate on writing or creating, I decided to just bake through the chaos… things I knew well and didn’t have to think about.  So I baked my tushie off today and charged right through this lingering cold slash infection with a demon cough that won’t seem to leave me alone.

I think it fancies me.

I didn’t sit down until about 4 pm when I swore I would never get back up again.  Then I realized I’m in charge of feeding people again later.  But boy did that little bit of sitting feel amazing.

Sitting is highly underrated.

Today I baked more Pizza Muffins to freeze for the kids’ school lunches, my Sourdough Bread that I rely on every single morning of my life, I prepped my dinner for the evening that we certainly hope I will get to you soon, and made two loaves of this Pumpkin Bread!

I wrote this recipe many, many years ago and haven’t made it in awhile.  I was wanting to bake something for the kids’ after-school snack, since they just finished off the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread yesterday… but we didn’t have any sad bananas to use up… and then I remembered it was October now and we can have pumpkin things!!  So I did a super pretentious thing that I find myself doing often and googled my recipes for Pumpkin Bread.  I stumbled upon this oldie and knew I needed to revisit it.

Not only because the original photo is horrendous.

But also totally a little bit because the original photo is horrendous.

This recipe came about when we lived in our tiny apartment, I had only one child, and he was still a little baby.  So he was most definitely in my arms when I made this, while I took the horrendous photo, and also while I typed up the recipe.  And was most likely nursing during all of those times as well.  Because that boy would not let me put him down and was always hungry.  But I cook every day of my life, so I just got through it all…  and would more often than not be breastfeeding him nestled in one arm, and then using the other arm to stir, chop, flip, and even knead that Sourdough Bread I’ve been making for us his entire life..

It is freakin’ amazing what a woman can do, ya’ll.  We are super humans as moms and even we can’t explain our powers.

This is actually a really smart recipe!  (I feel like I can get away with saying self complimentary things like that since Young Mom Abbey is an entirely different person than this 2017 model that craves sit-down time.) I can remember now what prompted me to write it.  And the reason still exists today…

So, ok.  I hate recipes that call for things like ‘half a can of’ something.  It drives me nuts.  NUTS, I tell you. You know you’re gonna throw away that half emptied can after you’ve let it sit in your fridge for weeks…  You gave it a nice go, you tried, you had good intentions.  You even put it up front to remind yourself to use it.  Then one day came when you were cleaning out the fridge on garbage day and you just started frantically chucking things in the trash because your fridge was cluttered and you were in a mood- that sad half-a-can, those chili leftovers from four Sundays ago, that cucumber that got shoved to the back of the crisper that had become plastic-wrapped pickle juice.

Life, people.  It’s a real thing.

Also, while we’re at it- I hate recipes that say things like ‘1 tsp minced garlic’ or ‘1 tablespoon of lemon juice’.  Nope.  Garlic is measured by the clove and lemon juice by the lemon.

Or when I see a cook chopping that garlic, or zesting some citrus or chopping herbs… and they pick it up and put it in a measuring spoon and then LEAVE SOME OF IT ON THE COUNTER.  What kinda mess is that?  Just put it all in there, ya kook.  A little bit more garlic, citrus or herb flavor won’t kill a recipe.  It may even make it better!  And don’t chop what you don’t need.

Stop being afraid of coloring outside the lines.  And please stop wasting things, so I won’t have to make my voice do this again!


So. *inhales* I try to write recipes that have you not wasting things.  When I was a young mom, I steered towards more convenient recipes, because that’s where my life was.  Now that I have more time, and have learned and evolved, I’m able to write things with more personality and complexity… yet hopefully still approachable.

That is the whole idea of this blog… showing you how easy it can be to have everyday celebration feelings 😉

This recipe for Pumpkin Bread uses an entire can of pumpkin puree, also a whole can of evaporated milk, so it’s easy to make with pantry staples.  I remember writing that milk part because I wasn’t always guaranteed to have fresh milk in the fridge, but I knew I always stocked my pantry with canned milk for baking.  So because you’re using a whole can of pumpkin, this recipe makes 2 loaves, which I looooove.  You eat one now and freeze the other!

Single effort for double results.  Boom.

It freezes beautifully, too.  I gave these for gifts that Christmas, and had them already made and frozen two months before the holiday!

I know there are a lot of Pumpkin Bread recipes out there that you can choose from, and the reason you want to choose mine is not only because you know mine will cut back on excessive sugar, you’ll get some whole grains, and it’s full of real ingredients…

But also because it was birthed from supermom powers with a tiny, hungry baby attached to me.

And that’s pretty damn awesome.


makes 2 loaves

You can use either your stand mixer for this (if you have a large one), or the largest mixing bowl you own.

Preheat oven to 350.

In the large bowl, combine your dry ingredients…

  • 5 cups flour of choice (use what you like here, but I always prefer using at least half of a whole grain flour.  Today I used rye, white whole wheat, and all purpose white… you can mix it up like that, or go all in on one!  The harder the grain – like rye, or even a red whole wheat would make this more dense, coarse and less light.  It’s really up to your preference!)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, rounded
  • 2 TB baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground, dried ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (I always grate mine right into the bowl and eyeball the amount)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Whisk to combine and break up any lumps.  Or use the whisk attachment on your mixer.

In another smaller bowl, work on the wet ingredients by first cracking in…

  • 4 large eggs

Whisk well.

Add in…

  • 1 cup applesauce (plain, unsweetened please)
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk (I use whole)
  • 6 TB unsalted melted butter, cooled slightly
  • splash vanilla extract

Whisk to combine.

Add in…

  • 2 cups light brown sugar

Whisk, dissolve, break up any lumps.

Add in…

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

Whisk again.  Make sure you’ve got a smooth custard.

Add your wet to your dry, whisking while you do.

Avoid overmixing, but get it as smooth as you can.

Switch to a rubber spatula and pour your batter into 2 standard size loaf pans that you’ve greased well (I like glass loaf pans for my quick breads as glass cooks things faster… so if you use metal, your baking time may differ.)

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  Check doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the center and when it comes out clean, or with some moist crumbs, you’re good!  It needs more time if you have wet goop on the skewer.

Allow to cool in the pans on a rack until safe to handle.

Either store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, then transferring to the fridge for another 3 or so.

OR wrap the completely cooled loaf in several layers of plastic wrap, then heavy duty foil, and freeze for up to 3 months.

This is awesome on it’s own… or you can toast it.  AND / OR slather it with cream cheese.  AND / OR mix that cream cheese with some softened chèvre.

You can also throw a couple cups of semi sweet chocolate chips into the mixed batter and make this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread.

It’s good all the ways.

also. guys. this couch beer tastes amazing.

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