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Davis, California

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Recipe: Simple Pumpkin Loaf

Who knew how versatile pumpkin pie spice is?

With the transition from summer to fall finally happening in Davis, Calif., the time has come for fall traditions that make this season’s cozy atmosphere to come to life. All things pumpkin and spice have been on the shelves of Trader Joe’s for some time, but the crisp air and crunchy leaves now make it appropriate to delve into autumn recipes. 

While a Pumpkin Spice Latte and several servings of stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner usually fulfill my fall cravings, this year I decided to expand my seasonal food fare. I wanted to make something simple that would fill my apartment with an autumnal aroma and put me and my roommates in the fall spirit. Accordingly, I made a pumpkin loaf. 

Most pumpkin bread recipes are pretty basic, other than the incredibly long list of spices which they call for. Along with pumpkin pie spice, recipes usually call for ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg… the list goes on. Upon examining the pumpkin pie spice ingredients, I noticed that all the called-for powdered flavors were in the one little jar. Working with a budget and limited cabinet space, I decided to ditch all the other spices and just buy that one. Thus, the following is a college-friendly (and gluten-free) pumpkin loaf recipe.

Ingredients (this recipe makes one loaf, perfect for you and your roommates to share):

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup pumpkin puree

⅓ cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil instead)

1 ½ cups flour 

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

2 ¼ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes to an hour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the loaf pan with parchment paper. This recipe is made for a 9-by-5-inch pan, but mine was closer to 8-by-6 and it worked fine — most loaf-shaped pans will suffice. 

Beat together eggs, the two sugars and vanilla extract in a large bowl (use a mixer if you have one. If not, use a whisk and a quick wrist).

Add the pumpkin puree and oil and mix until fully combined. 

Next, add all the dry (and remaining) ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice.

Once everything is mixed, fill the pan evenly with the batter and place it in the oven. Set a timer for 50 minutes, and then check it with a toothpick (or knife) — if it comes out clean, it’s done. Check every five minutes or so if the knife came out with batter on it the first time. 

Take some photos of your loaf, let it rest for ten minutes, then slice and enjoy with butter. 

Wrap whatever you don’t eat and store it in the fridge or freezer. 

Written by: Allie Bailey — arts@theaggie.org


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