Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf 

Friends are an incredibly important part of my life. They always have been, but especially now that I am away from my home environment, I realize the valuable role they play in my day to day. Although I'm hundreds of miles away, it's nice to know they're as close as a text or a phone call.

One group of friends who have become like sisters to me are The Crazy Food Girls. As our name may suggest, we're all slightly crazy about food. Instagram brought us together last year but a solid friendship established through daily chats of baring our hearts and souls has kept us together. We've bonded in a way that goes beyond the 'what are you making for dinner' or 'what's your best curry recipe', although there is plenty of that. We've gone deeper, into issues of the heart that we feel safe to explore after many months of building up trust that spans continents. That's right, continents. Because we're seven cooks from three continents and four countries who have learned that friendship crosses both global and cultural borders.

If you can find friends like that, your life is truly blessed.

Anyhow, here's a recipe from one of the girls.  I absolutely love the explosion of spices in this Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf by dear friend, Jen.  I hope you fall in love with it, too. And check out her blog, The Lemon Apron.  She's a fountain, I mean FOUNTAIN of recipes.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with Olive Oil Glaze

(Recipe and instructions by The Lemon Apron


½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice*
¼ teaspoon anise seeds*
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

(* I didn’t have these two ingredients so I omitted them, but it turned out fine without these spices)


1 ¼ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted, plus a little extra if necessary
2 tablespoons hot water, plus a little more if needed
2 ½ tablespoons light or extra virgin olive oil (avoid strong grassy or pepper flavors)
1 ½ tablespoons minced candied ginger *
1 ½ tablespoons cacao nibs *

(*I substituted a small handful of chopped, roasted pecans and a small handful of roasted pumpkin seeds instead of the cacao nibs and the candied ginger.)


Preheat oven to 350F.

Spray a 9x5 loaf pan lightly with cooking spray and then line it with parchment paper leaving the sides longer so you can lift it out afterwards.

Cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Add the pumpkin puree and mix.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and spices together in a small bowl.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl in ¼ cup amounts. When everything is blended, transfer to the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top out.

Bake for 55 – 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Check at 55 minutes. (Note: mine was done at 45 minutes)

Let cool completely on a rack before adding the glaze. When cooled, use the parchment to remove the pan and return to rack.

In a small bowl whisk the sugar with the water until it is a thick glaze.

Slowly add the olive oil and whisk continuously. It should not be too runny.

Pour the glaze over the loaf, allowing the glaze to run over the sides. Sprinkle with the candied ginger and cacao nibs. (Or roasted pecans and pumpkin seeds.)

Let the glaze set and cool completely before cutting.

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