Pumpkin Gingerbread

Perfect for the holidays, richly flavored pumpkin gingerbread made with pumpkin purée, flour, butter, ginger, molasses, brown sugar, and lots of spices.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

This has to be the weirdest fall ever. High seventies on the first day of November. Beautiful and sunny, though the wind has picked up a bit. The gusts come and go, stirring up leaves from the trees, so it’s beginning to at least feel like autumn.

Trick-or-treaters paraded through the neighborhood last night, leaving a trail of candy wrappers and smiles. Mr. Jack-o-lantern is still sitting on his perch (maybe we’ll light him up again tonight!).

We almost always have extra pumpkin sitting around this time of year, either puréed and in cans, or fresh. Two of my favorite sweet quick breads are pumpkin bread and gingerbread.

This recipe (an experiment really) I’m delighted to report, happily combines the two—pumpkin and gingerbread. Spicy, molasses-y, pumpkin-y. Easy too. Happy fall!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Makes one loaf

By the way, we made one batch of this pumpkin gingerbread forgetting to add the melted butter and you know what? It's still turned out fine. Not as moist as the butter version, but still good, and better the next day. I still prefer the butter version, but if you are trying to cut back, you can leave it out.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (200 g) all purpose flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin purée**
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, or 112 g) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) molasses
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced candied or fresh ginger (optional)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

* I've also made this pumpkin gingerbread using gluten-free flour from King Arthur. Turned out great!

* *To make pumpkin purée from pieces of leftover pumpkin, just roast or boil the pieces until tender, then remove the skin. Smash the cooked pumpkin with a fork. If using a whole pumpkin, sugar pumpkins work best. Cut in half, scoop out the strings and seeds, bake the pumpkin halves at 350°F on a foil-lined baking pan until soft, about 45 minutes to an hour. When cool, scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork.

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Prepare a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray or butter to keep the pumpkin gingerbread from sticking to the pan.

2 In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3 In another bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the pumpkin purée, melted butter, sugar, molasses, fresh or candied ginger, eggs, and water.

4 Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the raisins if using. Stir only until incorporated.

5 Place the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a bamboo skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then gently run a knife around the edge of the loaf and invert the loaf to remove it from the pan. Let it cool on a rack for 30 minutes or longer.

The loaf's flavor will improve with time. If you cut into it while it is still a bit warm, it may be crumbly. In which case you may want to make your slices with a bread knife.

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Pumpkin Gingerbread

Showing 4 of 98 Comments

  • JIWA

    Well, went looking for pumpkin gingerbread. It is after the holiday season and I didn’t get all my treats in. Gingerbread is definitely one. It went together beautifully–and all by hand. I reduced the butter by about 1/3. After reading comments, I increased the ginger to 1 1/2 Tbsp added ! Tbsp freshly grated ginger AND a couple of Tbsp of good candied ginger I had chopped into tiny pieces. This smells wonderful. I forgot to add the water, so reduced the cooking time by a few minutes. Came out great. Also doubled the recipe and put it in a 9×5 pan. The gingerbread is moist, tender, flavorful with just a hint of pumpkin and a bite of ginger. Great recipe. Thank you and Happy New Year. (next up will be your fruitcake. I Love fruitcake, and missed this this season as well. Thanks for all the helpful comments, too.

  • Helen Reynolds

    Your bread is delicious. I needed a good loaf of pumpkin gingerbread for an idea I had to make french toast with it, topped with a lemon sauce. I used your bread and it came out so well. I blogged about it at http://www.3winksdesign.com/home/pumpkin-gingerbread-french-toast-with-lemon-sauce and used a link to your site! Thank you so much for this recipe.

  • Yasmin

    HI Elise this recipe looks yummy. I’d like to make it but my granddaughter is allergic to eggs. Can it be made without the eggs and still hold up ok or is there a substitute for the eggs?
    Thanks.

  • Claudia Lacoskie

    Made this today! Added 1/2 tsp Allspice and topped with a maple glaze! So good and spicy! Candied ginger is amazing! Think I found my Christmas gifts for this year!

  • Rosemarie Reiss

    Pure and simply delicious! Made it for the first time today, exactly as the recipe stated. No mess, no fuss, no fiddling with tweaks or any such thing! My 2 Grandsons (ages 5 and 11) . Each one of them finished off a thick slice, warm out of the oven.
    This is definitely a”keeper”, that’ll be going straight into the binder where only the best of the best of my recipes go!

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