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Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Loaf

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I love to start the month off with a seasonal pumpkin recipe, and this one is my favourites. I think it’s going to be hard to top my beloved pumpkin quinoa muffins, but I’ve given it a go with this one-bowl, super healthy baked good that can be packed in the school lunchbox, served for a snack, and even gussied up for Thanksgiving, if you like.

As a die-hard fan of snacking cakes, a thick slick of cream cheese frosting is all this loaf needs to take it from healthy and hearty to decadent and over-the-top delicious. If you want to make something homemade, but have a hard time committing to a big project like layer cake and/or pie on a hectic holiday weekend, this ‘sweet’ treat could be the solution.

I used the word “sweet” loosely because, as you can see from the ingredient list, it’s really anything but. There is no refined sugar to speak of, and only a bit of honey, which for a large loaf, is really not too much at all. Assuming you get 8 to 10 servings of this cake, each piece will have just a smidge more than a tablespoon.

Whole grains and wholesome spices round out the remaining ingredients, plus the pumpkin, of course, and the result is one that you’ll be making all month long, I’m sure of it.

You’ll Need

  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk (any kind)
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Prep and Cook

  • 1
    Preheat oven to 325°F and lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  • 2
    In a large bowl, beat oil and honey together. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Stir in pumpkin purée, vanilla and milk and mix to combine.
  • 3
    Sift the flour over top and add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold the dry ingredients into the wet, just until combined.
  • 4
    Scrape the batter into batter into the greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with a big pinch of coarse sugar and bake for 55 to 65 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the centre of the loaf. It should come out clean. If the top of the bread jiggles when you pull it out of the oven, return it to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  • 5
    Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

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