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October 4, 2017

My Mother's Pumpkin Bread Recipe: Around the Harvest Table


Around the Harvest Table


All the sweat, all the hours spent weeding and watering the garden are worth it when you harvest the fruits and vegetables of your labor. Baskets of potatoes, apples and onions, pumpkins and pecans sit on your kitchen counters and scent your home with harvest goodness, and you feel a sense of pride at the work of your hands.

Serving a meal to my family using those items I've grown myself is even more satisfying than the harvest itself. I don't know if that feeling will ever lessen - in fact, I hope it won't.

We all have our favorite ways of preparing and serving our homegrown harvest, and today I'm sharing one of mine with you.

When I was a child, as soon as autumn arrived my mother made her world-famous pumpkin bread. (Her recipe is world-famous because hubby and I have lived all over the world and I always used her recipes no matter where we lived.) I know it came from a cookbook originally, but Mom's pumpkin bread recipe is the best I've ever tasted, moist and delicious and rich with pumpkin and spices. It was Mom's way of celebrating the change of the season. There's nothing better I could do with a pumpkin.

My mother's pumpkin bread recipe - Around the Harvest Table

If you don't have pumpkins in your garden, you can buy one at the farmers market or a roadside stand, or use a can of pumpkin puree (that's what Mom did). Either way this quick bread is delicious, whether served as a dessert with whipped cream or as a snack slathered with real butter.

If you're making this from honest-to-goodness-scratch, you'll need to turn that pumpkin into puree. You can check out my post on that here, or try The Prairie Homestead's method of making pumpkin puree the easy way.


My mother's pumpkin bread recipe - Around the Harvest Table

This pumpkin bread recipe is what I call a "luxury recipe" because it requires four eggs. I come from a frugal family and four eggs was considered, well, a bit above our means at times. That's probably why pumpkin bread seemed like such a celebration to me; Mom didn't make it very often and it was a special treat.

But if you live on a farm and your hens are cooperative, four eggs is easy. (And conversely, if you live on a farm and it's cold outside and your hens are older, you might have to go to the store to buy a carton of eggs so you can make pumpkin bread. But the result is worth the trip to town.)

Mom's recipe calls for mace, which can be hard to find and quite expensive when you do spot it on a grocery store shelf. Mace and nutmeg both come from the fruit of nutmeg trees. Nutmeg comes from the seed of the nutmeg fruits, while mace is the covering of the seed, ground into powder. You can substitute the mace in this recipe with an equal amount of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, ginger or pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp mace
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups of fresh pumpkin or 16 oz of canned pumpkin
1/2 cup water if pumpkin is fresh or frozen OR 2/3 cup water if pumpkin is canned
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the flour, soda, salt, spices and sugar in a large mixing bowl. In another large bowl, combine eggs, water, oil and pumpkin; stir until blended. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, add nuts if you're using them and mix well. Lightly grease the bottoms of two 9x5" loaf pans and pour in the batter. Bake for one hour. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the loaves; the toothpick should come out clean. Cool slightly and take out of the pans to cool completely on a rack.

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Hubby and I always slice off the end of one loaf while it's still warm and spread some real butter on top. Yummmm, it melts in your mouth. Now that's some good comfort food.


Around the Harvest Table, a farm-to-table meal brought to you by homesteading bloggers using the produce from their gardens and some old-fashioned skills.


I'm happy to bring this post to you today as part of "Around the Harvest Table," a group effort of several homesteading and homemaking bloggers who have put together a farm-to-table meal using the harvest from our gardens and some old-fashioned skills. I hope you'll visit each post linked below, because each one of my friends is sharing the recipe for her dish for this communal meal. Have a seat at our table and join us!

Around the Harvest Table, a farm-to-table meal brought to you by homesteading bloggers using the produce from their gardens and some old-fashioned skills. Come join us!


Visit our participating bloggers and get their recipes too!

Italian Green Beans from Terri at Our Good Life

From Tree to Table - Homemade Applesauce from Michelle at Mid-Life Blogger

Crockpot Chicken from Danielle at Spring Lake Homestead

Create a Harvest Tablescape from Danielle at Spring Lake Homestead

Syrup on a Salad from Michelle at SoulyRested

Sugar-free Raspberry Coffee Cake with Zingy Raspberry Sauce 
from Kim at Day to Day Adventures

My Mother's Pumpkin Bread Recipe from Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead






This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Danielle - it was!

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  2. It was so good to read about your mom's way of "celebrating the changing seasons." (And I love the fact that it was world-famous. :-) ) As one who always clings tightly to each summer, never ready to let it go, I needed to be reminded to celebrate this new season. And what better way than with your mom's pumpkin bread and this amazing meal we have all put together, friend! It's been a ton of fun; I'll make a meal with you anytime! Sending <3 from New England!

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    Replies
    1. Likewise, Michelle! Autumn is my favorite season so to me it really is a celebration, but you're right, we do need to celebrate and mark the passing seasons even if it isn't our "favorite." So much lies ahead to look forward to.

      This was such a fun project. We had such a variety and yet, it all went together perfectly.

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  3. Ok now I'm hungry and since I have pumpkin in the freezer I know what I will be baking later today! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe and I love that it came with a story.

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    Replies
    1. I hope yours turned out perfect and delicious too, Kim.

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  4. This brought back wonderful memories. My mom, a self proclaimed "noncooker" made the best pumpkin bread. We loved it as kids. She drizzled some kind of glaze on it that hardened a bit and getting that little piece of sweet was divine.

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    Replies
    1. What a sweet memory, Terri. That glaze sounds delicious too.

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  5. I love pumpkin bread and so does my family. I've used homegrown pumpkin as well as canned. It's delicious either way. Lucky for me, I'm covered up in eggs and look for ways to use them, so this is a great way! Your recipe seems very similar to mine.

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    Replies
    1. Perfect, Michelle! I hope you love it as much as we do.

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  6. Love pumpkin bread! all year round, but especially this time of year. Thank you for sharing your mother's recipe with us - it looks delicious - can't wait to try it myself.

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  7. This pumpkin bread looks delicious! I'm going to save this recipe for later! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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