Perfect pumpkin bread

One thing I genuinely miss about autumn in America is the presence of pumpkins everywhere.  Pumpkin patches, picking pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds, carving them…and of course pumpkin bread and pie!  Oddly enough I’m not that big a fan of pumpkin spiced lattes—one or two sips is plenty for me, otherwise the sugar is too cloying.  But in Scotland, there aren’t really pumpkin patches to visit.  You can buy pumpkins from supermarkets to carve, but it just doesn’t have that same charm as competing with your friends or significant others to find the best carving pumpkin!  So I did what any normal person would do, and ordered a large parcel three tins of pumpkin purée to satisfy my hankering to bake pumpkin everything.

My first autumnal bake has been a lightened up Starbucks copycat pumpkin bread, originally found here on the AllRecipes website, altered to lower the fat and refined carbohydrate levels while increasing the amount of protein per slice.  After all, while Starbucks pumpkin bread is delicious—and my main source of pumpkin-flavoured joy in stores around here—at 410 calories a slice it’s a bit too decadent for me to justify all the time.  I’m also still trying to avoid excessive fat, and each slice of Starbucks’ pumpkin bread has a solid 15 grams—more than I’m trying to take in for a serving of anything!  This recipe still isn’t friendly to low-carb diets, though there’s definitely room to adjust the macros by lowering the sugar to your taste and swapping out more flour for protein powder!

I will say this recipe turned out great; lowering the vegetable oil didn’t have an impact on the moistness of the bread, as I used more pumpkin purée than originally called for, and you can hardly notice a difference in sweetness.  In fact, when I make this again because over half the loaf is already gone and I just made it yesterday I’ll probably reduce the caster sugar by another ¼ cup, replacing it with more protein powder…so I will update this post with those macros if it works out well!

Ingredients you will need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 can pumpkin purée (425g)
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup unflavoured protein powder
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1-2 tsp each ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon (to taste)

*Note that I listed 1-2 teaspoons of each spice; the original recipe called for 1 teaspoon apiece, but when I added more pumpkin purée I wanted to ensure the spices weren’t lost in a sea of pumpkin flavour.  Having 2 teaspoons of each spice kept that harmonious blend, and helped with the lower sugar content as well!

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This loaf could make anywhere from 8-10 servings depending on the thickness of each slice, so I’ve included a nutritional breakdown for both 8 and 10 servings with the printable recipe.  With all that, let’s get baking!

To start, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 175 Celsius (turn it down to 165 if you’re working with a fan oven.  While that’s heating up grease your loaf pan—I use a non-stick spray—and begin mixing your dry ingredients together.  Sift all your dry ingredients together into a large bowl: flour, baking soda, baking powder, protein powder, caster and light brown sugars, salt, and spices.  Sifting the protein powder will take some time, and you might want to use a spoon to gently press the powder through, but I promise it’s worth the extra minutes to avoid dealing with those clumps that form when you add protein powder to liquid!

In a separate large bowl whisk eggs and egg whites until well beaten; add vanilla extract and whisk again.  Once the egg and vanilla has blended well, whisk in vegetable oil and pumpkin purée.  After all wet ingredients have been incorporated add the dry ingredients, a bit at a time, mixing all ingredients together.  Be sure to mix enough so there aren’t pockets of dry ingredients, but don’t go overboard—you want your bread to turn out fairly soft and over-mixing flour will do the opposite!

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Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  With protein powder I like putting my pan on a lower-middle rack, so the top of the bread doesn’t crisp up too much.  Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing to cool on a cooling rack.  After it’s cooled a bit more, slice (top with almond butter or cream cheese and a dash of cinnamon if you’re feeling really cheeky) and indulge in a taste of autumn!

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Excuse the brewing tea

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Printable recipe:

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