Monday, November 5, 2012

The Best Pumpkin Bread Ever (with Cream Cheese Glaze)

Okay, NOW pumpkin can come out and play. 

And just for the record, I am SO not kidding on the title either. It's the best I've found by far and it's also ridiculously versatile, but I like it just like this. No bells, whistles, or chocolate chips. Just plain ol' pumpkin in all its crowning glory.

Pumpkin and I didn't become lovers until I was in my late, late teens. Like thisclose to my twenties. It was Pumpkin Roll that finally did me in. My Mom made it for Thanksgiving and I have been in love ever since. 

Sure, I've dabbled a bit in pumpkin muffins, cookies, and even puddings, more so in college, but I always come back to the stodginess and comfort of bread, especially this one.

This is the perfect snack after a cold day outside with a nice cup of tea or coffee. 

Or a double hot toddy by the fire. Preferably with a cute boy. 

And super cute boots.


3½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups brown sugar, packed

½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin - not pumpkin pie filling
½ cup chopped pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sanding sugar (optional) 

For the Cream Cheese Glaze

½ block cream cheese, at room temperature
4-6 tablespoons milk 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼-½ cup powdered sugar

In a small bowl, beat the 3 ingredients together until you get a smooth and creamy consistency. You may need to add more milk and sugar until you get desired taste and consistency.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray two 9-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda; set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla. Beat until incorporated. Add pumpkin and mix well. 

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until just incorporated, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. 

Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. I used an offset spatula to smooth out batter in pans. Sprinkle pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sanding sugar on top. 

Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick or skewer comes out clean.

Yield: 2 loaves.

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