We adore this easy pumpkin bread recipe made with olive oil. It comes from a friend’s ancient family recipe.
Nothing says fall like a gorgeous slice of pumpkin bread brimming with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. How’s that for something you already knew? It feels like summer here in coastal NJ today, but tomorrow is the official first day of fall, and I’m going for it with the autumnal vibes.
This easy pumpkin bread recipe has been in our family for years now, and it’s so good I can’t imagine ever trading it in for a different one. It comes from my friend Vivian Hasbrouk’s old family recipe, which I’ve tweaked just the tiniest bit over time. Delicately flavored olive oil gives the bread an unbeatable texture, and traditional fall spices in a slightly unusual proportion give it wonderful flavor.
This is not the place for the type of bold, extra-virgin olive oil you might prefer for salad dressings. Here you’ll want a delicately flavored oil. I usually use Bertolli Classic or Extra-Light, which is easily available in our local supermarkets and online.
In case you’re wondering: yes, that is butter on the bread in those photos. It’s totally unnecessary, but dudes, it’s delicious. Cream cheese would be great too. Or absolutely nothing at all. You really can’t go wrong.
This recipe makes three loaves of pumpkin bread. Which, I won’t lie, is kind of a lot. That may be all the good news you need. But if you’re inclined to think of it as less than optimal, consider this: it freezes beautifully and gifts even better. Good problem to have, I’d say, in the grand scheme.
Talk to you soon.
Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe with Olive Oil
This pumpkin bread recipe is adapted from my friend Vivian Hasbrouk's ancient family recipe. The bread has a truly exceptional flavor and texture, and I can't really imagine ever making a different pumpkin bread.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup delicately flavored olive oil (such as this one or that one)
- 2/3 cup water
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree (or 2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin)
- 3 1/3 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Grease three 1-pound loaf pans (8.5-by-4.25-by-2.75 inches) with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. If you don’t have three pans, you can bake the bread in batches.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. Add the olive oil, water, sugar and pumpkin purée and whisk with a fork to combine thoroughly.
Sift some flour into a small bowl. Measure out 3 1/3 cups of sifted flour by spooning the flour into a measuring cup and leveling off the top with a knife. Then sift the measured flour again together with the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and baking soda into the mixing bowl. Stir into the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in nuts, if using.
Divide batter evenly among prepared pans, about three cups of batter (with nuts) per pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely. The bread will keep at room temperature for more than a week if tightly wrapped in plastic. It also freezes beautifully.