By Kelli Ra Anderson
Some combinations are just right for each other. Pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting is one of them. However, with the addition of a sparkling sugar top crust, the resulting light crunch is delightfully next-level. Incredibly tender and moist—and arguably even better the day after baking—this is the perfect no-fuss breakfast, especially ideal for a hectic Thanksgiving morning. For more convenience, this bread can be frozen for up to three months (don’t forget to double wrap!) before thawing overnight to serve at room temperature. It’s delicious enough for the holidays but easy enough to make any day of the year.
MAKES 8 servings
1½ cups pumpkin purée
1¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon clove
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup oil
¼ cup orange juice (or substitute any milk)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Lightly oil just the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of an 8-by-5-inch loaf pan. Place parchment paper cut to size in the bottom for easier release.
3. In a large bowl, mix flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.
4. In a separate bowl mix oil, eggs, sugars, orange juice, and vanilla.
5. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry mixture with a spatula until just combined. (Don’t over mix. A few small lumps are fine.)
6. Pour batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle with sugar.
7. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (May need to tent with foil if the top begins to over-brown but still needs to bake longer.)
8. Cool completely before removing from the pan.
9. Serve with cream cheese frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1¼ cup butter, room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1¼ pounds full-fat cream cheese, softened
1. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth.
2. Add cream cheese, beating until incorporated. (Do not use low-fat cream cheese.)
3. Scrape down sides of the bowl and continue to mix until smooth.
4. Add vanilla.
5. Slowly add 4 cups of powdered sugar, scraping down the sides, and mixing until all is smooth and no lumps remain. (If too thin, continue to add up to 1 cup more of sugar.)
6. Chill frosting for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up slightly before piping or spreading over bread.
PRO TIP: For endless variations, mix in one or a combo of extra ingredients such as ½ cup chocolate chips, raisins, Craisins, or nuts. Or bake as muffins for 20 minutes at 350. Or add 1 teaspoon maple syrup or other flavorings for a change-up.
Photos: Kellira Media