After what seemed like a brief Indian summer, the weather has turned its attention to fall. The air is cool, the breeze is brisk, and swirling leaves fall off trees and crunch underfoot. Scarves and boots have made their seasonal debut and Thanksgiving is just two weeks away.
One of my favorite fall activities is baking. I’m pretty sure that one of the best things in the world is the aroma that fills your home when you’re baking. And the cinnamon spiked scent from this spiced pumpkin bread is irresistible (say that five times fast).
Given this weekend’s forecast and something called the bomb cyclone, this bread will be best enjoyed with some warm chai while curled up on the couch with your thickest socks, coziest blanket, and a great book (or Netflix).
Spiced Pumpkin Bread
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 vanilla bean
- ⅓ cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 °F and prepare your baking pan. I used two 8” x 4” loaf pans that I sprayed with cooking spray.
Place milk in a small saucepan on low heat. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and, using the unsharpened side of a knife, carefully scrape the seeds from the inside. Place the seeds and the scraped vanilla bean into the milk and stir. Keep the heat on low while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, stirring occasionally. This will allow the vanilla to infuse the milk. Allow milk to cool before using.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and all of the dry spices (salt cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves) in a bowl.
In another bowl, beat the butter until it is creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat to incorporate. Then add the eggs, one at a time, ensuring each egg is incorporated thoroughly. Beat in the pumpkin puree.
Next, add in the dry flour and spices to the pumpkin mixture in three additions, alternating with the cooled vanilla-infused milk.
Pour batter into your prepared pan(s), spreading evenly, and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow bread to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pans.