Pumpkin Gingerbread

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

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

This pumpkin gingerbread is one of our favorite treats for fall!

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 started as an experiment to combine the two. The result? A tender, richly flavored loaf—spicy, molasses-y, and pumpkin-y. 

It’s easy to make too. You can make your own pumpkin purée from scratch or just use canned pumpkin purée.

Check out our video for Pumpkin Gingerbread:

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 (canned or homemade**)
  • 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 and prepare pan: 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 Mix dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3 Mix wet ingredients: 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 Bake: Place the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes, until a bamboo skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

6 Cool: 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 completely before slicing.

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 121 Comments

  • Sandy S.

    Made a GF version of this recipe and it turned out great! I omited the 3 tbls. of water by accident. Happily the bread turned out moist and delicious! Phew! Must say the molasses makes it look like a chocolate loaf, but the wonderful spicy scent that fills the kitchen gives it’s true identity away. Will be made again!

  • Julie

    I have made this twice in a week. The second time a double batch. Such a delicious treat! I used 100% whole wheat flour 1:1 substitution; also coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. And I left out the water so it wouldn’t have to bake quite so long. I bake it in an 8×8 pan and then top it with fresh homemade cranberry sauce after both are cooled. So delicious with whipped coconut cream! Thank you for this awesome recipe!

  • Connie spitza

    Can recipe be doubled for 2 loaves?

  • Sandra

    Great recipe! Just wondering why you don’t use baking powder as well as baking soda so you get a nice raise in your loaf?

  • Clara E Mejia

    Hi Elise!!!
    I would like to know… what is molasses. I am from Colombia and what we have is dulce quemado de panela, that is kind of burnt syrup from raw cane tablets… Could it be something similar?

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