Sep 25, 2013 10:04 AM WV Food
WV LIVING shares their favorite foods
No-Fail Pumpkin Loaf (or Muffins)
Confession: I get grumpy when I bake.
A few weeks ago, I spent an entire Sunday afternoon in the kitchen trying to create cupcakes inspired by my favorite ice cream flavor, butter pecan. When I got done, there was powdered sugar and butter splattered over every inch of my kitchen. I had a headache. The icing was dripping off the cupcakes.
God bless the bakers of the world. Your patience and perseverance amazes me. I like to cook because it’s flexible. Your chicken dish too dry? Deglaze the pan with some white wine and create a sauce. Red sauce a little bland? Throw in some red pepper flakes for a kick.
I adore this pumpkin loaf recipe because it has that flexibility. It’s dairy-free and could easily be tweaked to be gluten-free as well. It comes together in a single bowl, and you absolutely cannot fail. Does it taste a little bland? Add a couple shakes of pumpkin spice. Doesn’t look wet enough at the end? Mix in some canola oil. Craving chocolate? Throw in some chopped semi-sweet chocolate. Want muffins instead of bread? Use a different pan.
No mess. No headache. No grumpy outbursts. Only sweet, spicy success. Happy Fall, y’all!
No-Fail Pumpkin Loaf (or Muffins!)
½ cup shortening
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2–3 tablespoons cinnamon
2–3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1–2 tablespoons of canola oil (optional)
3 tablespoons chopped dates
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 325º. Grease your pan, or spray with nonstick cooking spray—shortening really is a dream to work with here, though. Such easy cleanup!
Cream the shortening and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix in vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients. Blend in the pumpkin puree. If the mixture doesn’t look wet enough, add some canola oil until you’ve reached a batter-like consistency. Fold in the dates and pecans, and pour batter into your pan.
If you’re making muffins, they’ll be done in about 30 minutes. If you’re baking a loaf, it’ll take 45 minutes to an hour. As always, check with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go.
If you want a pecan crumble on top of your muffins (or your loaf), I used this recipe: fifteenspatulas.com/oat-muffins-with-brown-sugar-pecan-crumble/
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