My go-to quick bread is banana bread, as I often have overripe bananas in my kitchen or in my freezer and there are so many variations you can put onto it to make it interesting. But winter and fall give me the perfect excuse to switch things up and make more pumpkin breads. Pumpkin breads are very similar to banana breads, in that they are moist, perfect for snacking any time of day, and can be subject to almost any number of variations.
This pumpkin bread is nutty – very nutty. It is packed with lots of pecans and walnuts, which serve to add both a buttery, nutty flavor to the bread and add some crunch to each bite. They also give the slices a great look, as the nuts make interesting patterns in the bread when sliced. The bread itself is soft and moist, with a firm crumb that slices easily and holds up well to a smear of cream cheese or butter. It is not too sweet and you definitely get a good pumpkin flavor, but the bread has a nice spiciness from all of the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom in the recipe. Your kitchen will smell fantastic while your loaf is baking.
You can use other types of nuts in this recipe, if you prefer to use almonds or hazelnuts instead of either the pecans or the walnuts. That said, I do think that pecans and walnuts blend into this bread perfectly. I didn’t toast my nuts, but using toasted nuts will give this recipe just one more flavor boost. This bread keeps well for a couple of days when well-wrapped with plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container.
Nutty Pumpkin Bread
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, spices and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree and eggs until well blended. Add in the sugars, vegetable oil and vanilla and whisk until very smooth. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Add in remaining flour mixture and stir until everything is just combined, and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in chopped nuts and pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 60-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.