It’s chilly and raining outside and finally feels like Fall, so it’s time to shift gears, turn on the oven, and bake. Hooray! I love making desserts, but I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Ironic for someone who used to work as a pastry chef, huh? Sure, the first bite of a really wonderful dessert can make me swoon, but after that my taste buds get bored with the sweetness and I lose interest. If you try my recipes you’ll discover that my desserts probably aren’t as sweet as what you’re accustomed to. Cutting down on the sweetness allows for a more complex taste experience because the other elements of the recipe aren’t masked or overpowered by sugar. This pumpkin bread is no exception, with just a hint of wholesome maple sweetness to complement the pumpkin and allow the flavors of the lovely warming spices to shine through. Speaking of spices, I’ve added cardamom to the mix here. It’s not one of the traditional components of “pumpkin spice” and you won’t find it in your coffee-chain latte, but I love how it plays with the other aromatics in this bread. It’s earthy, citrusy, floral, warm, and oh so fragrant. (Can you tell that I love cardamom?)
One last thing makes this pumpkin bread extra special – a luxurious sauce, redolent with vanilla from whole beans and reminiscent of creme anglaise (but for this you don’t have to mess with tempering egg yolks). Pour it over the entire loaf, drizzle it on individual slices, dunk each bite into a dish of it…or all of the above.
It’s hard to believe that this moist, tender and delicious bread is whole-grain and dairy-free. If any of you are coconut-haters, I promise you can’t taste the coconut milk so please don’t let that deter you. If you really can’t abide coconut anything (or you’re allergic), message me or leave a comment and I’ll help you adjust the recipe. It’s formulated to work best with the unique consistency and fat content of coconut milk so we’ll have to make a couple of changes. The sauce is an easier fix – just substitute heavy cream for the coconut milk and simmer carefully so you don’t scorch it.
See all those flecks? Pure vanilla heaven. The sauce will take on a golden or tan hue from the vanilla and coconut sugar.
If you’re feeling indulgent, pour some of the sauce all over the bread after you release it from the pan.
- For Pumpkin Bread
- 96 grams (1 cup) nut flour - I recommend pecan or almond
- 46 grams (½ cup) certified GF oat flour*
- 80 grams (½ cup) brown rice flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 3 eggs
- 120 ml (6 ounces or ¾ cup) full-fat coconut milk
- 248 grams (1 cup) pureed pumpkin, canned or fresh, whisked until smooth
- 60 grams (6 tablespoons) maple sugar (or substitute 117 g/6 tablespoons pure maple syrup)
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) melted coconut oil or neutral oil
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) pure vanilla extract
- For Sauce
- 280 ml (7 ½ ounces or 1 ⅓ scant cups) full-fat coconut milk
- 20 grams (1½ tablespoons) coconut sugar
- Seeds from one vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon ground vanilla*
- Pinch of salt
- Make the batter: Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a large (9”x5”x3”) loaf pan or 3 mini (5 ¾" x 3 ¼" x 2”) pans. In a medium bowl whisk together the nut flour, oat flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and cloves; set aside. In a large bowl whisk the eggs until uniform, then mix in the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, maple sugar or syrup, oil, and vanilla. Shake or sift the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until no clumps or visible streaks of flour remain.
- Bake the bread: Spoon or scrape batter into the prepared pan(s), smooth the top(s), and tap pan(s) firmly on the counter several times to pop trapped air bubbles. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake large loaf for 55-60 minutes or mini loaves for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and allow bread to cool in pan for 45 minutes before turning out onto rack.
- Make the glaze: While bread is baking, add all glaze ingredients to a small saucepan over medium high heat, whisking to dissolve sugar and salt. Bring mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, whisking occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 1 cup in volume. Transfer glaze to a bowl to cool (you can speed up the process by placing the bowl in an ice bath, just take care not to splash any water into the glaze).
- Serve: Cut the bread into ¾- or 1-inch thick slices, arrange on plates, and drizzle glaze over the slices. Serve extra glaze on the side for pouring/dipping. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days, in the refrigerator for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
**Vanilla seeds straight from the pod or ground vanilla are my preferred way to go here, but if you can't get whole beans or don't want to buy them, you can substitute 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla paste or extract. Stir in the extract after you remove the pan from the heat.
Now grab a fork and dig in!