Spiced Pumpkin Gingerbread with Maple-Vanilla Icing
Let’s just dive right into it, shall we? Now that the calendar says it’s officially fall, there’s no excuse for not jumping right in with both feet. Cozy sweaters, fuzzy blankets, cinnamon apple in the air, pumpkin EVERYTHING. Case in point:
I know the pumpkin craze is a bit out of hand, but when it comes to pumpkin, I’m in. No matter what. Always and forever. If pumpkin is ever wrong, I don’t ever want to be right.
And so we have this new quick bread, a pumpkin-laced gingerbready wonder. Pumpkin and gingerbread are totally BFFs. I love how the combo bridges the divide between fall and Christmastime, although we are NOT thinking about Christmas yet (one thing at a time man!). But there’s no reason not to work a little gingerbread goodness into fall, is there?
I mean, hello. The spices that work so well with pumpkin – cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice – they’re also mainstays in gingerbread. So: Spiced Pumpkin Gingerbread mash-up it is.
I started working on this recipe last fall, but only just perfected it a couple of weeks ago. A luscious (and decadent) layer of thick maple syrup icing – sprinkled with Demerara sugar, of course – sealed the deal.
Note that I started Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago too. Timing: Not always my forte.
Anyway, this Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf is off-the-charts fall vibes.
Oh, and feel free to sub coconut oil for the vegetable oil. Honestly, I usually try to avoid vegetable oil, but it just gives quick breads such a wonderful moist quality that I can’t quite work my way away from it completely.
Happy fall, y’all!
Spiced Pumpkin Gingerbread
This rich, splurge-worthy gingerbread is pimped out for fall, with pumpkin puree, fall spices, and a decadent layer of thick maple-vanilla icing smothered over the top. If you really want to go for it, be sure to add the coarse Demerara sugar and candied ginger as a final touch.
Spiced Pumpkin Gingerbread:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsulphered dark or blackstrap molasses (see note)*
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree (here’s how to make your own)
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt or table salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1-2 teaspoons unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon chopped candied ginger (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Demerara sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a standard-size loaf pan (mine is 10 1/2″ x 5 1/2″, but if yours varies by an inch or so either way, you should still be fine). Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the oil, sugar, and molasses. Stir to combine. Add the eggs and pumpkin. Stir well until combined.
- Set a fine-mesh sieve over the bowl and add the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice to the sieve. Sift dry ingredients over the wet ingredients. (If you do not have a sieve, mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl then add to the wet ingredients). Mix with a spatula or wooden spoon just until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and spread the top with an offset spatula or butter knife to level. Bake until the bread starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the loaf cools, chop the candied ginger (if using) and make the icing. To make the icing, sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 teaspoon milk, and vanilla extract. Stir with a fork or a flat whisk until a very thick paste begins to form. If a paste does not form, add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup and/or an additional teaspoon of almond milk. You do want the icing to be very thick so that it will stay on the top of the loaf, and it can take a minute or two of working and stirring the mixture for the paste to form, so keep that in mind.
- When the loaf has cooled completely, pour the icing on top of the loaf. Working quickly (it dries out fast), spread the icing on over the top of the loaf. Immediately sprinkle with Demerara sugar and candied ginger if desired, gently pressing the toppings down with your hands to help cement it into the icing.
- Let sit for several more minutes until the icing has set.
- Slice and enjoy!
- To store, wrap loaf in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature. It should last for several days.
* Molasses notes: You can use either dark molasses for this recipe or, if you have a brand you already know and love in baked goods, go ahead and use blackstrap. Some people are very much against blackstrap in baked goods, but I use this organic unsulphered blackstrap molasses from Wholesome Foods and LOVE it in this recipe. So: Go with blackstrap if you’re comfortable with it, otherwise stick with a good dark molasses. Either way, make sure it’s unsulphered, as sulphur can add an unpleasant note.
Maple vanilla icing recipe adapted from The View From Great Island// All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.