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Olive Oil Pumpkin Bread

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Serves 8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 113

Olive oil not only adds an incredible depth of flavor, but used in place of butter or shortening, it makes quick breads better for you by supplying healthy fat and antioxidants. Pumpkin seeds are an optional topping here, but they add a nice crunch.

Read Baking with Olive Oil to learn how you can swap in olive oil for melted butter or vegetable oil in many muffin and quick bread recipes.

  • Cooking spray
  • 3-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 3 oz. (2/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. 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 Tbs. unsalted pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas; optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk both flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, oil, and honey until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with a large spoon just until evenly incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to settle the batter. Sprinkle the top with the pumpkin seeds (if using), pressing them down lightly. Bake until the top is browned and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. (If the bread begins to brown too much before it’s fully baked, lay a piece of aluminum foil on top.) Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 290; Fat (g): fat g 12; Fat Calories (kcal): 100; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 2; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 45; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 280; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 45; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Best pumpkin bread ever. I also added 3/4 cup of currants and it added another layer of flavor. So very moist and easy to make. Great with a thin layer of flavor Philadelphia whipped cream cheese!

This is an excellent recipe. Easy to put together and bakes up like a dream. Moist, tender, and flavorful. The pumpkin seeds on top really do add to both texture and appearance, so I wouldn't leave them off. Will definitely make this again!

Made this today with 1 cup of shredded zucchini and for the olive oil I used some regular olive oil and some blood orange flavored olive oil. It was super fantastic and since my family polished it off completely, I will be making another one tomorrow!

LOVE this recipe. Simple and delicious. The taste and texture are perfect. May add a bit more nutmeg next time - otherwise, nothing to change.

This is amazing! Tender and melting, and not too sweet. I brought it to a party and no one could believe it was half whole-wheat and butter-free.

This has become a favorite in my house! My 11 year son just baked his second loaf in a week. Requires minimal supervision. He added pumpkin pie spice the first time and dark chocolate chips the second. Delicious!

Made this often since it came out and now that autumn has rolled around again, I'm ready for more! Pumpkin bread is one of my guilty pleasures, made less guilty by this wonderful recipe. It's even better than the standard white flour, white sugar, butter versions -- moist, really pumpkiny, and not overly sweet. I've also had great luck making it with pumpkin seed oil and with orange infused olive oil.

This recipe has been a hit with my coworkers and family! Incredibly moist and deliciously spiced. I love that I can bake something for my loved ones that is so delicious without any butter! I will use this recipe for years to come.

This is a wonderful recipe that adds a bit more protein and fiber than an all white flour bread! It's not too sweet either -- great with my morning cup of coffee and my toddlers loved it too! http://bostonchef.blogspot.com/2012/01/olive-oil-pumpkin-bread.html

This was delicious! I loved the combined texture of the whole wheat and regular flour. It was very moist. I actually tripled the amount to make some loaves to freeze (which worked fine) and so I wasn't sure how that would work out but it seemed okay. No canned pumpkin where I live but I roasted some fresh pumpkin, blended it and used that. I'll definitely make this recipe again, maybe substituting other veggies like zucchini or carrot.

Add me to the list of muffin makers! I also made some changes that added to the "healthier" goal: I made them "mini" muffins (just pop it in your mouth!), added chocolate chips (ok, maybe that wasn't so healthy...), toasted walnuts, added nutmeg to the spices, and swapped 1/4 cup of the whole wheat flour with wheat germ. I also replaced the all-purpose flour with King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour. AMAZING! The use of olive oil really allows for the addition of flavorful grains without sacrificing texture (at all!). The original was good (I made that first), but these changes took it to an even healthier, yet tastier level!

This bread cooks up light, yet moist and is not too sweet-- all making for a winning combination. I used leftover roasted butternut squash, added raisins and walnuts, and baked it as muffins. I baked the muffins for a bit longer than the other reviewer suggested-- more like 20-25 minutes, with convection-- and they came out both nicely browned and quite moist. I also baked part of a second batch as an 8x8 cake-- that was so good, you could slather on some cream cheese frosting and serve it as cake. Another winner from Ellie!

Moist, rich, flavorful--perfect for chilly weather. Most pumpkin breads call for molasses, but the taste of honey makes pumpkin sing. (I baked mine in three mini-loaf pans.)

Amazing! Very, very good bread. I used the recipe to make muffins as well. Split batter between 10 muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes at 350...it might seem like they are undercooked at that point, but just let them cool. They will be super tender.

Moist, delicious and easy to make. Bakes as promised! Neighbor just emailed asking for the recipe after receiving a loaf - that says a lot!

Excellent recipe from Ellie, as always. Super quick and easy and filled the house with aromas of fall! Thank you!

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