Sometimes right smack in the middle of the week I'll get a big time craving for baked goods. I think it's my mind coping for still having another half of the week to get through. Either way, I've found myself regretting not having any fresh baked goods laying around to house to stuff my face with. I always plan on baking, but I never have enough time, or I'm missing one key ingredient (which is why I always have plenty of eggs, butter, and buttermilk on hand now).
Last week the craving hit, and I wanted pumpkin. Trader Joe's is selling 100% organic pure pumpkin puree for $1.99. You know the canned pumpkin puree you buy at the grocery store? That's not actually 100% pumpkin. It's mixed with other squash. You know how it's that bright orange color? Well the good stuff from Trader Joe's is a much more natural light yellow-orange color. And you can taste the difference too. It was so good, in fact, that I stocked up on a ton of it last weekend, in fear that it would be gone from the store forever in too short a time.
So there I was, Wednesday night, wanting pumpkin bread and having no recipe. Naturally, I went to the interwebs. I wasn't in the mood for an extensive search, so I went to a few of my go-to sites. They all had some delicious pumpkin bread and muffin recipes, but each one I came across I found I was missing one stinking ingredient for. Arg! How could I forget to buy more buttermilk? Why don't I have an aversion to keeping heavy cream on hand? I didn't find a single recipe that caught my eye. Then I saw the banana bread recipe I made a few weeks ago, and a thought struck me. What if I swapped the banana with pumpkin? What if I used pumpkin pie spice instead of, well the spices in the recipe were pretty much already pumpkin pie spice minus the ginger. What if I put in a little whole wheat flour for a bit more fiber and protein and nutty taste? I decided to go for it.
The results were amazing! See in how the loaf is already a fifth of the way or so gone in these pictures? That was my "it's not really all the way cooled, but I want to taste it before I walk Theo" bite. The bite may have ended up being two slices...but who's counting? This pumpkin bread was no long for this world. It was nutty and spice-y and substantial without being heavy. Not too sweet. Perfect for fall. And I only dirtied one bowl! A quick cleanup is always a plus.
I know all I did was swap an ingredient or two, but Husband was a little blown away. He kept saying how proud of me he was. He knows all about my neuroses with following recipes, and what a total chicken I am about adapting or changing things. What if it doesn't come out right? What a total waste of food that would be! Thankfully these breads are pretty easy. If the batter tastes good going into the oven, chances are it'll taste even better coming out, right?
One Bowl Boozy Pumpkin Bread
adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Jacked Up Banana Bread
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (up to 1 cup if you like it sweeter)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or the equivalent of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, which you can find on the interwebs)
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the pumpkin puree and melted butter.
- Add the brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and bourbon (you may find 1 tablespoon is not an adequate amount, feel free to add more), then add the pumpkin pie spice.
- Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Then add the AP flour and whole wheat flour and mix until just combined. Don't over mix your flours! As Alton Brown says, just walk away.
- Pour mixture into a buttered or baking sprayed 4×8 inch loaf pan.
- Bake for 35-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean (at 40 minutes mine was perfectly done: the tester was clean but the cake was moist, and my oven runs a little on the hot side, so definitely err on the side of caution). Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.