I know you've likely been inundated with pumpkin recipes at other blogs you visit, Instagram, Pinterest or your local newspaper ever since fall arrived, so I apologize...a little :) Because, if you make one pumpkin bread this season, I'd really like you to try this one. Not a fan of dates or can't eat nuts? Just leave them out. The bread is delicious on it's own.
I first became aware of this recipe when Barbara, an Instagram friend of mine, shared it recently. Since I love dates and nuts, and pumpkin of course, I was excited to make it.
The recipe was published in Maida Heatter's Cakes cookbook. I adapted it slightly by using less cloves and adding a generous sprinkle of raw sugar on top of the unbaked loaves. I also used my Wilton 4-cavity mini loaf pan. The small loaf size is perfect for my husband and I can freeze the other loaves to enjoy later.
Delicious with a cup of coffee in the morning or tea in the afternoon! It's a keeper!
I have to share some photos of an exhibit we visited last weekend. We are so fortunate to have China Lights, also known as the Asian Lantern Festival on display near us right now. The gorgeous displays are handcrafted by Chinese artisans, some of which are 150 feet high. This year, the theme is Chinese Treasures and Endangered and Extinct Animals. One of the exhibits was a replica of the Terra Cotta Warriors discovered buried in an emperor's tomb, and another spectacular exhibit is of a huge dragon and baby dragon. We were so happy we chose of the few nights it didn't rain last week!
If you have the opportunity to visit this exhibit on display near you, do not hesitate. It's beautiful!
Then, have some pumpkin bread when you return home :)
Pumpkin Date and Nut Bread
2-1/2 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup avocado oil, or other healthy oil
1 can of your favorite brand of canned pumpkin (15 oz)
8 ounces (1 cup) pitted dates, cut up (see note)
4 ounces (1 cup) walnuts, broken or coarsely chopped
1-2 tablespoons of raw sugar for sprinkling on top of the loaves, optional
Notes. I used a kitchen shears to first cut the dates in half lengthwise and then cut each half into 2-3 crosswise pieces. I used my Wilton 4-cavity mini loaf pan and had just the right amount of batter to fill the 4 cavities.
Preheat oven to 350 and place rack to the lower third of the oven. Butter or spray a 10x5x3 inch loaf pan and dust with fine bread crumbs. (I used Baker's Joy baking spray and did not use bread crumbs).
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves and set aside.
In a large bowl, with a hand mixer set on low, beat the eggs just until combined. Add the sugar, beating just to blend. Add the oil, beat just to blend. Mix in the pumpkin, then add the dates. Add the flour mixture and stir or beat only until it is blended, then stir in the nuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan(s) and smooth the top. Sprinkle with a little raw sugar over the top of each loaf.
If you are using a large pan, bake for 70-80 minutes. If using smaller pans, baking time will be less, about 45-55 minutes. Start checking the loaves with a clean toothpick before the recommended time is over as all ovens are different. The toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf should come out clean. Cool in the pan(s) for 15 minutes before removing to cool on a rack.
Cover and store at room temperature or refrigerator for several days or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
Recipe adapted from Maida Heatter's Cakes cookbook.