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Pumpkin Loaf Cake – a richly spiced loaf cake with a moist and light texture that holds together beautifully. The fragrant spices are warm and sweet, and the easy to make recipe yields consistent, delicious results.
I LOVE this time of year! The colors of fall are gorgeous with vibrant hues of red, orange and yellows. Even our baked goods can take on the warm colors of fall. Most importantly, during this time of year, we get to add canned pumpkin to just about everything we eat from smoothies and puddings, to cakes and cookies! Pumpkin is a great, healthy substitute for an egg or two in baked goods, and pumpkin puree leaves cakes with a soft moist texture, plenty of flavor and terrific color too.
Have you ever wondered about the nuances between loaf cakes and quick breads?
Like the subtle differences between muffins and cupcakes, you’ll get a bunch of different answers to a not-so-easy question. Can it be as simple as making a cake in loaf form? Also what about banana bread which, to me, is more like cake without icing but it’s called bread? What do you call it when we put icing on a quick bread, besides a delicious homemade treat? Quick breads are designed to come together quickly using a whisk or spatula, skipping the mixer completely. However loaf cakes and quick breads often have the exact same ingredient list as a layer cake.
And what about breakfast cakes, and parking on a driveway, and driving on a parkway? In the end it all makes perfect sense … we should make more muffins, cupcakes, cakes and quick bread recipes and see for ourselves!
The texture of this easy Pumpkin Loaf Cake falls somewhere in the middle of quick bread and cake.
It’s a richly spiced loaf cake with a moist and light texture that holds together beautifully like a good slice of banana bread. The spices are warm and sweet and the recipe is super easy to make with consistent, delicious results. That makes this cake (loaf or bread) a wonderful hostess gift or perfect treat to store in your freezer. The icing is a nice addition for a sweeter dessert, but the cake is just as terrific with a little sprinkle of turbinado sugar.
Finally, if you’re looking for a quick, easy and perfectly wonderful recipe with lots of pumpkin flavor, this is the one! Be ready for rave reviews and repeat baking requests. This Pumpkin Loaf Cake recipe is a keeper!
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Pumpkin Loaf Cake
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- ⅓ cup buttermilk, well shaken
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (see NOTES for a DIY recipe)
- 1 tablespoon turbinado or coarse sugar, optional
For the buttermilk icing:
- ½ cup powdered sugar, more or less as needed for desired consistency
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk, plus more if needed
- Chopped pecans for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease the sides and bottom of an 8 ½ by 4 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, eggs and vegetable oil until smooth.
- Add the pumpkin puree, buttermilk and vanilla to the egg mixture and whisk until combined.
- Place a fine mesh sieve / sifter over the bowl with the egg and buttermilk mixture. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and spice to the sieve and sift over the bowl with the egg mixture. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg and buttermilk mixture. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, if using.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 to 55 minutes or until the center is set and firm to the touch, and the cake is lightly browned and cracked down the middle.
- Remove and allow the cake to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. Drizzle with icing if desired.
To make the buttermilk icing:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste and buttermilk until smooth. Add a little more sugar or buttermilk as needed for desired consistency. Drizzle over the top of the cooled cake, sprinkle with chopped pecans, slice and serve.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator if using the buttermilk icing. Otherwise store in an airtight container at room temperature (or freeze until needed). Do not ice cake before freezing.
- DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground allspice and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg. Blend or shake together in a small jar. Makes 2 teaspoons.
Here are a few more pumpkin recipes you might enjoy:
- Pumpkin Crème Brûlée ~ from Saving Room for Dessert
- No Churn Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream ~ from The View from Great Island
- Pumpkin Coffee Cake Muffins ~ from Recipe Girl
- Pumpkin Chiffon Pie ~ from Better Homes & Gardens
Happy Halloween to you and yours! I hope you give out all your candy tonight so you don’t have to eat the leftovers – because you’re going to want to save room for this simple, moist and tasty cake.
Goodbye October … I’m not sure where you went but you must have had wings! Thanks so much for stopping by!