Okay, to be fair, calling this “Lazy W Pumpkin Bread” is a bit of a cheat, for a couple of reasons. First, our little tribe has been enjoying this recipe for many years, since the girls were in Kindergarten and preschool, long before we lived at the farm and identified ourselves as “The Lazy W.” More importantly, this is just an easy variation on another classic from Martha Stewart’s 1995 turquoise cook book. Totally her recipe, made simple for us.
Anyway, it’s a keeper, simple to throw together, and totally open to variations. I hope you try it. Everyone I share it with seems to really love it!
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
3 Tablespoons molasses (if I am out I just use really good maple syrup)
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup orange juice
1 can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling, that’s totally different)
3 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Extras, totally optional: chocolate chips, chopped nuts, flaked coconut, raisins, pumpkin seeds…
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare either cupcake tins or loaf pans. I like to butter my loaf pans a little bit then sprinkle them with both flour and cinnamon. Shake out the extra.
With an electric mixer, cream together the room temperature butter, the sugar, and the molasses (or syrup). Beat in the eggs one at a time until the whole mixture is brightly colored and smooth. Now with a wooden spoon stir in the orange juice and pumpkin puree.
Sift together the dry ingredients, including spices, and add this gradually to the pumpkin mixture. Mix by hand really well then add whatever fancy additions you crave. Handsome likes it plain or with chocolate chips. Jocelyn and I like it with chopped nuts (pecans are great) and flaked raw coconut. I think it would be fantastic with pumpkin seeds on top, too, though we haven’t tried that yet. Seems like a classy Starbuck’s move, right? Also, I have to be really honest here and say that no one at the W votes for raisins. But that is a legitimate option, so I included it. (eww)
Spoon the mixture into loaf pans or cupcake tins, maybe no more than 2/3 full either way, and bake at 350 degrees for between 20 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the thickness of your pan. I know that is a crazy wide margin, but it just depends. Muffins cook quickly; deep bread loaves do not. No worries; you’ll smell the heavenly aroma just before baking time is finished. The outer crust will harden, crack, and become darker. And when the bread is totally done its center will not be so wet (knife test).
That’s it! Quick prep, no rise time like with yeasted breads, and fast clean up too. I like to think of this as a fairly healthy but still indulgent treat. It tastes great with coffee, milk, or orange juice. It is excellent fresh and hot and slathered with butter but also cold and three days out, packed in your lunch box. A pumpkin muffin topped with pecans and coconut is super energizing.
I highly recommend you try this recipe. And thank Martha, not me.
Over and out.