Of the popular breakfast quick breads, it seems to me that pumpkin bread is often outshone by banana bread, and this really shouldn’t be the case. Of course, most pumpkin breads you may find in the wild are overly sweetened and often covered in some sort of gloopy icing, so you might not understand why I’m on Team Pumpkin Bread. Here’s the thing: Ripe bananas are very sweet, while pumpkin is more vegetal, so when people make banana bread they hold back on the sugar, but not so much with pumpkin. However, the real way to get a good pumpkin bread is to treat it the same way as banana bread—to use a reasonable amount of sugar and call it a day. I promise, the bread will still be sweet.
This recipe makes 2 pumpkin breads, working under the assumption you’re using a 15-ounce can of pumpkin and don’t want to be left with an open, half-filled can. If you already have your own pumpkin puree on hand, divide the recipe in half and make 1 loaf.
Preheat the oven 350ºF and coat two 8- or 9-inch loaf pans with cooking spray or butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2½ cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, and 1 ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 15-ounce can (about 1¾ cups) pumpkin puree, 3 eggs, ½ cup safflower oil (melted coconut oil or butter will also work delightfully here), ¼ cup brown sugar, and 1 cup granulated sugar.
Fold half the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until combined, then repeat with the rest of the flour mix and ¾ cup pine nuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake the breads for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean with poked in the center of each loaf. Let the loaves cook for at least 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool completely. As the bread cools on the rack, feel free to slice into it. Devour thick slices (popped in the toaster first to get them piping hot if you’d like) smeared with nut butter, cream cheese, or softened butter.