Smells Like Fall (Pumpkin Bread Recipe)

This blog post was featured on Momma Blogger, so that is the reason for the intro 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

Hi, I’m Jenny and I blog over at SweetBakesandBabyCakes. I am a Mom to one very sweet little boy and expecting another at the end of December! When I’m not busy taking care of my son (which doesn’t seem to be very often 😉 I love to bake, and Fall is my favorite season so when Susan approached me about being featured on Momma Blogger I jumped at the opportunity as it gave me a reason to test out a new pumpkin bread recipe I’ve been dying to try!

Cooks Illustrated is a magazine/website we subscribe to that is sort of my “go to” when I’m looking to try a new recipe that I want to be great. I love that they test and re-test until they get exactly the results they are looking for, and that they institute the science behind the cooking. I can honestly say that I have never made a recipe of theirs’ that I did not thoroughly enjoy.
Although this bread is not something that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes, I can assure you that the prep time is well worth the end result! The bread came out perfectly moist with just the right amount of “pumpkin-y” (yes I’m pretty sure I just made that word up) flavor; and I’m so glad the recipe yielded two loaves because I have another one in the freezer ready to pull out the next time we have company! Not to mention, it made my house smell divine while it was baking.

You Will Need: Two 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pans. If you are using 9×5″ pans (which I did) just start checking for doneness about 5 minutes before the timer goes off

For the Topping: 
5 tablespoons packed (2 1/4 ounces) light brown sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Bread: 
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1(15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree (make sure you do not get the pumpkin pie mix)

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar

1 cup packed (7 ounces) light brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces

4 large eggs

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped fine


FOR THE TOPPING: Using your fingers, mix all ingredients together in bowl until well combined and topping resembles wet sand; set aside.

FOR THE BREAD: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Grease two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in bowl

2. Combine pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until reduced to 1½ cups, 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Remove pot from heat; stir in granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and cream cheese until combined. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until no visible pieces of cream cheese remain and mixture is homogeneous.

4. Whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Add egg mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk to combine.

5. Fold flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until combined (some small lumps of flour are OK).

6. Fold walnuts into batter. Scrape batter into prepared pans.

7. Sprinkle topping evenly over top of each loaf.

8. Bake until skewer inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let breads cool in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove breads from pans and let cool for at least 1½ hours.

Serve warm or at room temperature adding butter or cream cheese as you please (In my opinion the bread doesn’t need any of that) The brown sugar crumb topping seeped down into the bread and gave it just the right amount of sweetness it needed to be delicious all by itself.

Happy Fall, Enjoy!


24 Week Update

Only about 3.5 more months until we meet our next Little Man!!  In my last pregnancy update I shared how I felt like this pregnancy is going much faster than my first, well, I don’t what it is but now it feels like it’s just creeping along.  I’m sure that will change again once we really get into fall and all of the fun holidays that are coming up, but until then, I’m trying to enjoy every minute.  Really, if I think about it, I’m less than 4 weeks away from my third trimester, and when put that way, it sounds pretty great!

Even though time feels like it has slowed down,  I  think the baby has gone through a growth spurt since my half way point, but I had a Dr.’s appointment today and was assured that everything is measuring right where it should be!

Other than my fatigue returning a little bit over the past few weeks, and the occasional bout of lower back pain, I feel really good!  I’m still exercising about 5 days a week and my energy during the day is great!  It’s just that by 9:00 I’m usually wiped out.  But early bedtimes are sort of a must in this house as Garrett is an early riser, and is typically awake between 5:45 and 6:15.  Luckily he is great at entertaining himself in his crib in the mornings until we are awake and ready to start our day!

Monthly Update

How far along?  24 weeks, 3 days

Total Weight Gain: 15lbs from my first appointment

Symptoms:  Some lower back pain

Maternity Clothes:  Yes, and desperately looking for a new dress to wear to a wedding next weekend

Food Cravings of the week:  Oatmeal, apples and peanut butter and ice cream

Sleep:  Not the best.  I’m having a hard time picking pillows to use, and unfortunately my snoogle pillow that I used during my first pregnancy makes my neck hurt.  However I do notice that I sleep more soundly on Tuesdays and Thursdays after my pre-natal yoga class

Best Moment this week:  Watching Garrett walk around laughing outside while playing with the dogs (this is a big deal because since he’s started walking he’s hated to do it anywhere but inside)

Movement: Rolls, kicks and punches are in full effect and Dan has felt him move too!

Belly Button:  Innie but quickly approaching the surface

What I miss:  Being able to lean forward during a tough sprint sequence on the stationary bike in spinning classes

What I am looking forward to:  Fall, our good friends wedding in St Louis next weekend, my visit to Ohio the following weekend to see some of my best friends and to meet their new daughters!

Milestones: Creeping into the third trimester with only 16 weeks to go!

Weekend Recap

Whew!  I finally feel back like I’m back on track after our Impromptu Family Beach Trip for Labor Day Weekend!  We had a great time watching Garrett explore the beach, he had so much fun!

With last week being a short week, I had a lot of catching up to do  and was happy to have “nothing in the books” for this past weekend.  We spent a lot of time as a family and did a few fun things to go along with it.  Here’s a snapshot of the weekend

Saturday was spent at home and at Taco Mac for a boys lunch out with Daddy, Caden and his Dad, while I got some me time at the nail salon

Cheering on the Buckeyes!

Riding on his motorcycle

The cooler temps on Sunday meant yard work for Dan and meal planning for me while G took his morning nap, followed by lots of time outside

Trying to convince G that walking outside is really not that bad

Playing with his Doggies

And after a family trip to the Grocery Store, G (not so happily) got his first haircut!!!!!

First haircut!!

His certificate, before, and after shots

While G took his afternoon nap, I got busy in the kitchen baking my first ever homemade loaf of French Bread and Lentil Soup!  It was pretty yummy, but G was happy with his own dinner 🙂

Yummy Ravioli!

Now it’s Monday again, so we’ve been busy!  We were at the Dr. this morning because Garrett got a few bug bites while playing outside all weekend that swelled up and now look like knots on his head, so I naturally got worried and took him in to be sure it wasn’t anything serious.  Turns out, it isn’t at all, they don’t seem to be bothering him and since he’s still so young and hasn’t had many bug bites in his days, his body is reacting to them in its’ own way.  Hopefully they’ll go down and sooner rather than later his immune system will build up a tolerance to bug bites and he won’t look like he’s knocked his head multiple times!!

After the Dr. we went to to the Gym for my favorite class, Monday’s spinning and strength, and G didn’t get his 30 minute power nap this morning so of course he passed out on our 7 minute ride home at noon.  Luckily I was able to wake him, feed him lunch and put him back down without any problems.  These 2-3 hour afternoon naps are nice!


So…was our weekend fancy and exciting???  Not so much, but honestly those are usually the weekends that I cherish the most.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing this smile!




Have a Fantastic Week!!