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I found some pumpkin in the freezer earlier this week and was concerned about it getting freezer burn, so I moved it to the fridge to thaw for baking. I didn’t quite realize that it was a lot of pumpkin, about 5 cups worth. Huh. What am I going to do with all that? I was given this recipe for banana bread by my friend S a few weeks ago; she let me know that she had successfully subbed in pumpkin puree for banana with good results. And so pumpkin bread it would be.

I got a new silicone pan for Christmas that makes four mini loaves of quick bread and was eager to try that baby out. I made up a single recipe of pumpkin bread and discovered that it only filled two of the four loaves, so I decided to make another batch, this time with a twist. I further adapted the recipe and turned it into something reminiscent of the pumpkin cheddar muffins from Baked Explorations. I was concerned mostly with echoing the flavors, knowing that the bread wouldn’t have the unbelievably rich flavor of the muffins, but man!, did I come close. I am pleased as punch with both versions of bread and will throw away my old too-much-oil-and-too-many-eggs pumpkin bread recipe in favor of this.  Or should I say these?  I can’t tell which I like better and don’t plan to make a firm decision. As soon as we have any bananas ripe enough, you better believe I will be testing the banana bread recipe– minus the cheddar, of course.

Pumpkin Bread with Yogurt

  • 1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 c. plain yogurt*
  • 5 T. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 3/4 oz. flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. flaxseed (optional)
  • 1/4 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan or two mini loaf pans.

Whisk the pumpkin, yogurt and butter together in a large mixing bowl; add the eggs and mix until combined. Stir in the sugar and brown sugar, then add the vanilla. Mix in the flaxseed, if using. Measure the flour into a small bowl; add the baking soda, salt & cinnamon and stir together. Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture, mixing only until combined; it’s okay if there are a few lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s); sprinkle with chocolate chips, if using.  Bake for 55 mins. or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

*I didn’t have any plain yogurt, so I used a honey-sweetened Greek yogurt by Greek Gods.  It was delicious.

Savory Pumpkin Bread with Cheddar Cheese (adapted from Baked Explorations)

  • 1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 c. sour cream (or plain yogurt)
  • 5 T. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 c. sharp cheddar cheese (I used English Coastal Cheddar), separated
  • 6 3/4 oz. flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 c. flaxseed (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan or two mini loaf pans.

Whisk the pumpkin, sour cream and butter together in a large mixing bowl; add the eggs and mix until combined. Stir in the brown sugar and 3/4 c. cheddar cheese; mix in the flaxseed, if using. Measure the flour into a small bowl; add the baking soda, salt & cayenne and stir together. Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture, mixing only until combined; it’s okay if there are a few lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top. Bake for 45 – 55 mins. or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

*Update 2/4/12: Today I made muffins using the yogurt-based sweet recipe and they are delicious! Very moist and very tender, maybe the best pumpkin muffins I’ve ever made. The only difference from the quick loaf was 1/2 tsp. nutmeg I added as an experiment (I couldn’t really taste it, so wouldn’t say it was better or worse) and the cooking time, which dropped to 30 mins. A single recipe made 6 large muffins, which means it would also fill 12 standard muffin cups; for that, I would further reduce the cooking time, maybe 20 mins. to start. Loving this recipe!

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