This is an absolutely delicious, moist, perfect pumpkin bread for a holiday brunch, an afternoon “get-together”, or even a weekday morning. The pumpkin flavor is not too overwhelming, and combined with the spices, it simply wonderful!! If you really want to make a good impression on someone (or just want an extra special treat) spread this perfect bread warm with a little spiced cream cheese frosting (recipe follows). I promise, this bread will not disappoint! It is easy to make, very moist and flavorful, has a fantastic flavor, and keeps for a week wrapped on the counter – even the most skeptical “pumpkin-flavored” critics will be asking for a second slice!
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened, all natural apple sauce
1/2 cup water
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×5 inch (standard) loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine the sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, apple sauce, water and eggs in a medium mixing bowl and stir to blend well. In a larger bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and cloves; stir to sift all of the dry ingredients together. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and stir well. If using nuts and/or raisins, fold them in to the batter at this point.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and place it on the center rack of the oven. Bake for about 60 – 65 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean). Allow the bread to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing it from the pan.
Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 239 calories, less than 1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 48 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 7 g added sugar, 4 g protein, 217 mg sodium, 2 mg cholesterol
Cream Cheese Spread
1 package (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash ground cloves
Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves in small bowl and beat well until smooth (I have found that if my cream cheese is soft, I don’t even have to drag out the mixer for this – a sturdy wooden spoon works just fine). Cover the spread with plastic wrap, or transfer to a lidded container, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Makes 12 servings. Per serving (about 1 heaping tablespoon): 21 calories, 0 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 2.5 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber, 1 g added sugar, 2 g protein, 19 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol