This festive pumpkin bread combines pumpkin, spices and shelled pumpkin seeds. A touch of olive oil makes it tender and moist.
Folks, this is my second attempt at making Olive Oil Pumpkin Bread. My first, back in 2011, ended in comical results. You see, while I have been cooking for several years, I don’t know everything. For example, I have very limited experience with pumpkin seeds other than what I scoop out of the inside of my jack-o-lantern every year.
Pumpkin Seeds or Pepitas?
My dad gave me a small bag of roasted and salted pumpkin seeds one year in my Christmas stocking. They looked much different than what I remembered — small and green. I just decided it was a different type of seed. They were strangely crunchy and addicting and became a constant addition to my dinner salads.
The first time I tried making this bread, the original recipe called for pumpkin seeds sprinkled over the top. I remember I stood in the corner of the produce section of my grocery store in front of the shelf where various roasted nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and trail mixes were on display and held two containers in my hand. One called “pumpkin seeds” and one called “pepitas.” The pepitas – which were what came in my stocking – looked a lot more like what was in the picture in the magazine.
But the recipe specifically called for pumpkin seeds, which looked more like what I scoop out with the pumpkin guts every year . Deciding to stick with the original recipe (the fact that the pumpkin seeds were about $1 cheaper helped with the decision too), I opted to buy pumpkin seeds.
As I prepped my bread for baking, I popped a seed in my mouth and to my surprise it did not taste like what I remembered. It was chewy and hard and little fragments would get caught in my throat. Buyer’s remorse set in and I wished I had forked out the extra dollar for the pepitas.
I didn’t think the bread would look nearly as pretty without the seeds, so I still sprinkled a few across the top before I put it in the oven. My disappointment continued to grow after I pulled the finished bread from the oven, envisioning golden brown toasted seeds like in the recipe, only to discover my pumpkin seeds were pale and tough.
Later, I discovered just what those pepitas were that I should have bought. They’re shelled pumpkin seeds! While pumpkin seed shells are totally edible, it is recommended that you used shelled seeds for cooking and baking. You live, you learn and you shell out an extra dollar for pepitas for a new batch of pumpkin bread.
How to Make Olive Oil Pumpkin Bread
Step one. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
Step two. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. In a large, separate mixing bowl, combine eggs, canned pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, and honey.
Combining wet and dry ingredients separately ensures the ingredients will be mixed evenly and prevents overmixing, which can lead to tough bread.
Gradually all the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Mix just until dry ingredients are moist.
Step three. Spray a 9×5-inch bread loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter into loaf pan. Lightly tap pan on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles. Sprinkle with pepitas. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Step four. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a rack to finish cooling.
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Olive Oil Pumpkin Bread
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons raw pepitas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. In a large, separate mixing bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar, oil, and honey. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Stir just until dry ingredients are moist.
Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into loaf pan. Lightly tap pan on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds/pepitas if desired. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool bread in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a rack to finish cooling.
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking magazine.