SMiLes by Meg

Pumpkin Bread

I love the Fall.  I say that about every season, but Fall has the best smells.  And after baking this pumpkin bread, I’ve been leaving my apartment just so I can walk back in and smell the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

I don’t know how I got all the way to the 20th of October without making something with pumpkin in it.  I’ve been drinking pumpkin coffee for weeks.  I think I got caught up in the apples and forgot about pumpkins entirely.  Fortunately, I still have another October weekend left, so you can expect another pumpkin recipe before the month is done.

Also, I don’t think the can for pureed pumpkin has changed since it was created.  Except maybe the addition of Spanish.  That may be new.

Pumpkin Bread - 1Anyways, this pumpkin bread was adapted from a Cooking Light recipe, which claims it only has about 150 calories per slice.  I know last week’s healthy adventure wasn’t my best, but this is a recipe I’ve made before so I knew it would be good.

And it is delicious.  Moist,  pumpkin-y, cinnamon-y, clove-y.  Everything Fall should be in a bread.  So let’s get to it.

First up, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, canola oil, applesauce, and egg whites in a large bowl.  For egg whites, I use the crack-the-egg-and-transfer-the-yolk-back-and-forth-between-shells-until-it’s-just-yolk method.  That’s the technical name, as opposed to the crack-the-egg-in-your-hand-and-let-everything-but-the-yolk-run-through-your-fingers method.

Pumpkin Bread - 2Pumpkin Bread - 3In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and baking soda.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but rather than sifting flour I’ve always used the technique I learned in 7th grade Home Ec. of scooping and dumping the flour back into the canister a couple times to add some air.  No idea if that’s a common thing, but it does prevent the flour from packing into the measuring cups, so that’s just what I do.

Pumpkin Bread - 4Then, add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk together until just moist.  I usually take this to mean until I can’t see anymore streaks of dry stuff.

Pumpkin Bread - 5Pumpkin Bread - 6Now this is where I chose to experiment this week.  Usually, this recipe is made with chocolate chips.  And I love chocolate, but using chocolate chips in a recipe means that I then have chocolate chips in my cabinet, which means chocolate chips become a nightly snack.  So when I was browsing the baking aisle (I can spend far too much time in that particular aisle of a grocery store), I came across baking raisins.

Pumpkin Bread - 7I was unaware that there were a specific variety of raisins made for baking.  But they promised to remain moist (not that I’ve ever had a problem with raisins staying moist while baking) and I was intrigued.  They also came in a convenient 1 cup package.  I was sold.  Plus, raisins taste like Fall, too, if combined with the other yummy spices.  Basically, they were raisins that were still a little juicy instead of dry.  Kind of like when you get a package of olives on an airplane and they seem a little slimy but delicious.

So I added the package of raisins to the mix and stirred until combined.

Pumpkin Bread - 8Spread the mixture in a 9×5 loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.  I spray pretty liberally, since I have an irrational fear of things getting stuck in pans and not looking pretty when done.  This fear is magnified by a million when it comes to cakes, but quick breads are usually fine.

Pumpkin Bread - 9Bake at 350° for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out without batter.  Not necessarily dry – but the batter shouldn’t be liquidy.  Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing.

Pumpkin Bread - 11Pumpkin Bread - 10Once you take it out of the pan, you can cut it as soon as you want.  Warm pumpkin bread is just as good as room temperature pumpkin bread.  I’m also in the habit of cutting loafs in half first because the middle pieces are the best and I want them first.

Pumpkin Bread - 12True to their promise, the raisins stayed extra juicy.  And the bread was extra good.  If you want to actually have 150 calorie slices, you have to make the loaf 16 slices.  This is doable if you’re as OCD as I am about cutting baked goods, but no one is going to judge you if you only get 4 slices instead.

Pumpkin Bread - 13Keep the bread covered with plastic wrap at room temperature.  Throughout the week, it will get a little dryer, but it probably won’t last long enough for that to be a real problem.  You could also freeze it if you were so inclined, but I’m just planning on having pumpkin bread for breakfast for week.  Or a couple days at least.


Pumpkin Bread - 14

Pumpkin Bread


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisins (baking raisins if you are so inclined, or chocolate chips)


  1. Whisk together sugar, pumpkin, canola oil, applesauce, and egg whites in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
  3. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix until moist.
  4. Add raisins and mix until combined.
  5. Spread in 9×5 loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.  Remove from pan and continue to cool on wire rack.
  7. Cut into 16 slices and serve.



    1. I actually have done it with a mini muffin pan. Just adjust bake time to like 10-15 minutes and keep temperature the same. Check them fairly often though, because I don’t totally remember how long they take to cook. Still delicious!

  1. Even regular raisins will plump up when baking. The problem is they can sometimes suck up enough moisture to throw off the balance of the recipe! The “baking raisins” are deliberately left a little less-dried to minimize that effect.

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