Friends! I am super excited to share this recipe, er, these recipes with you. About a year ago I spent some time working on a recipe for pumpkin cake but never got around to sharing it anywhere. In the meantime, I adapted that recipe into a bread loaf! So, now’s the time to put it all out there. Both recipes are extremely similar although the cake is more light and airy. With the holiday just around the corner, I think the bread would make a wonderful compliment to your Thanksgiving table. Or, if your family is willing to forgo the tradition of pumpkin pie, my individual cakes would be an adorable addition as well. I leave it up to you!
What’s better than bread with butter? Yes, the Francophile in me can live on bread and butter alone. In this case I suggest a little extra flare – it is the holiday season after all. While I simply drizzled my buttered slice of bread with honey and sprinkled a little orange zest over the top, I would suggest whipping room-temp butter together with honey and orange zest ahead of time so no one has to deal with drizzling honey at the holiday table. Far too sticky! People get really excited about compound butters, too, so you’ll impress all your guests with something quite simple.
My favorite thing to do with the cake batter, and I’ve already done it twice this season, is to pour it onto a quarter sheet tray and bake it until a toothpick comes out clean. Then, after letting it cool completely, I use a ring mold or biscuit cutter to punch out rounds. Top these with icing and you have adorable little individual-sized cakes. I mean, who doesn’t love having their own little cake?! If cupcakes are more your speed, then pour the batter into a cupcake pan and have at it.
Decorate these cakes however you want. Really, the most fun part is changing them up each time. If you are a big fan of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, then top these babies with your favorite cream cheese frosting. Buttercream is also delish, but in this case I used a glaze made with powdered sugar and apple cider. Easy stuff I already had on hand. Nuts add a nice textural crunch, but these cakes are so good as is that if you don’t have nuts or don’t want to add one more thing to your grocery list, forget about ’em! The key for me when it comes to baking is E.A.S.Y. so I implore you to keep it simple.
Oh, one other thing I did above is I rolled the edges in cinnamon-sugar. I know I said keep it simple, but that is SO simple and you probably have cinnamon and sugar in the pantry already.
In either recipe, the batter comes together really simply. Start by whipping the eggs and sugar together, then add dry and wet ingredients in thirds until just well combined. For the bread, I just made a few changes to the ingredient list to make the final product a little more dense, and a little more healthy. Bake the bread in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and if you want another healthful element, add a few tablespoons of oats to the top for texture, and a little nutritional bite.
There really are few things more satisfying than pulling a warm and fragrant loaf of seasonal bread out of the oven. And if you weren’t in the holiday spirit beforehand, well, now you’ll be ready!
To make the bread or cake batter, start by creaming together the sugar, brown sugar and eggs. I use the whisk attachment on my upright mixer on medium-low speed for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture is light and airy looking.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour(s), baking soda, allspice, cinnamon and salt.
In a second mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil and vanilla.
Once the eggs and sugar are ready, with the speed on low, add about 1/3 of the flour mixture. Let it incorporate fully before adding 1/3 of the oil mixture. Each addition should be fully mixed in before adding another batch. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Repeat until all ingredients are added.
For the bread:
Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray if you have it. This helps the parchment paper stay stuck to the sides. If you don’t have spray, skip this step. Line the loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper that extends all the way up and out of the sides. This will help pull the bread out of the pan after baking.
Pour the batter into the pan, top with 1-2 tablespoons of oats. Place in the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.
Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes in the loaf pan, then use the paper to lift the loaf out and set it on a bakers rack to finish cooling. Can be wrapped tightly and stored at room temp for about five days.
For the cake:
Line a quarter sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly around the pan, being sure to get it all the way into each corner.
Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 17-22 minutes.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, the set a bakers rack over the top and carefully flip the pan over. The cake should easily release on to the baking rack. Allow cake to cool completely before cutting.
To cut the cake you can use a knife to make even squares or rectangles, or you can make rounds by cutting with a ring mold or biscuit cutter. The size of each portion can be determined based on how many people you are serving, but you can easily get 12 rounds or 15 squares out of one sheet pan.
The loaf can easily serve 6-10 guests, depending on how thick you make your slices. For the sheet pan, you can cut the final cake into 16-20 squares, or punch out 12-15 rounds depending on the size of each portion.