The problem with pumpkin breads is that a lot of them don’t taste that much like pumpkin. They tend to taste like cinnamon, sugar and pumpkin pie spice. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as a good spice bread can be absolutely amazing, but pumpkin has a subtle natural sweetness that can get lost when you start piling in too many additional flavors and it is nice to be able to taste it once in a while! This Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bread is a fantastic example of a pumpkin bread where you will actually taste the pumpkin. It balances sweetness and spice for a bread that lets you really taste the pumpkin in every bite.
The secret ingredient in this loaf is greek yogurt. The yogurt helps to keep the bread moist and tender, without making it heavy and overly “wet” – a common problem in breads with too much pumpkin puree in them. You can use nonfat or full fat yogurt, and I typically use Fage for baking because I like the flavor, though other brands will work. The bread has a great pumpkin flavor that really stands out and is complimented by a balance of cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as that faint tanginess from the yogurt. The bread is not too sweet and that makes it pretty versatile. You can eat it as-is, toast it and spread it with your favorite salted butter, or top it with a cream cheese glaze to make it more dessert-like. I topped mine with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar before baking, which gave the bread a nice crisp top, in addition to adding a little extra pop of sweetness and spice.
Since this bread is so moist, it keeps quite well when stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly. It can even be sliced and frozen, if you don’t think that you’ll be able to finish the whole loaf within a few days. If you like your bread with a bit more texture, you can stir in a cup of chopped, toasted nuts to add a little crunch, too.
Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bread
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup plain greek-style yogurt
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tbsp cinnamon-sugar (optional, for topping)
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Blend in pumpkin puree until mixture is smooth. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the yogurt. Whisk in the remaining flour mixture and stir just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain, then add in the melted butter (yes-at the end) and whisk until the batter is smooth and uniform. Pour batter into prepared pan and dust with cinnamon-sugar, if desired.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
Allow bread to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, turn turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 loaf.