My sister and I have always baked pumpkin bread for our family and friends every Christmas. I remember spending an entire Saturday every year at home with her in our parents’ kitchen, slowly crossing off name after name on our growing lists. Once the loaves were cooled, she would show me how to wrap them in cellophane and tie a pretty ribbon around them (curling ribbon is the ultimate cool thing to do, right?). Then we would spend all Sunday driving around in her car, jamming out to Deana Carter and some Christmas songs, delivering loaves of pumpkin bread to our loved ones.
I still make our family recipe pumpkin bread for my friends and family this time of year. It always brings back this memory of our childhood home and the many things my sister and mom taught me in that kitchen. One of them was to love pumpkin bread before the pumpkin craze ever started, before Starbucks ever released their first Pumpkin Spice Latte. It was a simple family tradition that happened to make our home spell like a magical, Holiday bakeshop and tasted ever better than it smelled.
I will be making my annual batch in a few weeks to deliver to my loved ones. If you are looking for a recipe that’s easy enough to replicate tenfold and truly tastes like a recipe that has been handed down multiple generations and perfected over the years, this is it. Your friends will love you. Or you can just make the two loaves for yourself and your family staying in town with you over the Holidays – either way it is sure to create special memories for you, too.
Serves: 2 loaves
2/3 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
2 and 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 16-ounce can pureed pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3 and 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two loaf pans with shortening and dust with flour.
- Cream shortening with hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Gradually add sugar, beating well until combined.
- Add eggs and beat well.
- Stir in the pumpkin and water with a spoon.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.
- Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well with a spoon.
- Divide batter between the two loaf pans, and place on a rack in the middle of the oven.*
- Bake for about 60 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.