Everyone has at least one or two holiday dishes that they are famous for (even if they’re just famous in the family). That one special treat that symbolizes the holidays arrival. The one which, if omitted from your seasonal table, just wouldn’t feel the same.
Maybe it’s your grandmother’s cranberry-orange relish, or oyster dressing. Roasted chestnut stuffing? Sweet potato casserole with gooey, melty marshmallows? For me, it’s pumpkin bread. Not just any pumpkin bread. Aunt Lynne’s famous pumpkin bread.
I had this for the first time, some twenty plus years ago. Aunt Lynne brought this to our Thanksgiving table one year and I went bonkers for it! I asked her for her recipe and like everyone’s favorite Aunt, she obliged. That’s where the tradition started for me. Because every year since, I’ve made at least 2-3 batches of this bread to share with family and friends. I am always complimented — but it’s really Aunt Lynne who deserves the credit.
It is an aromatic blend of pumpkin and warm spices that reminds me of pumpkin pie in bread form. For me, this is a great all purpose sweet bread. No time for breakfast? — Pumpkin bread. Need a quick snack? — Pumpkin bread. Something to bring to the office potluck? — Pumpkin bread. Even my husband who eschews pumpkin in any form — especially pie — enjoys this holiday treat. As do the rest of my family, which brings me to my conundrum. To share or not to share.
Several family members begged me not to. Why? I think it’s because this has become their holiday tradition as well. The dish that they are known for. I understand, but I say, “spread the love.” Maybe with this act of kindness your Bubbi will finally see fit to share the secret ingredient from her world-famous potato latkes. Don’t hate me family. Truly, I mean no harm.
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 - 16 ounce can pumpkin puree (not canned pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon mace
- 2/3 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare 3 medium loaf pans by spraying with vegetable spray and lining the bottom each pan with a piece of parchment paper. Spray parchment with vegetable spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, oil and beaten eggs. Mix to blend, then add the pumpkin and mix well.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add water a little at a time and blend until smooth.
- Pour into the loaf pans and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool to room temperature, then remove from pans.
- You can freeze the loaves for up to a month in plastic wrap and freezer paper!