Better than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread

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I’m gonna be straightforward with you: I’m not a Starbucks fan and I’m not crazy about their pumpkin spice latte -gasp!- BUT: I have always loved their pumpkin loaf! Although a little too sweet, it has the perfect amount of spice and is so moist, but not gooey. How do they do it??? Well, I have an idea how they get it that way, and that’s why I’m not buying most of their stuff anymore. Aside from the crazy amounts of sugar, it’s probably loaded with all kinds of preservatives, dough conditioners, artificial flavors, and who knows what else.

But I love pumpkin bread… so I set out to search for the perfect recipe to make my own. Unfortunately, everything I found was either too crazy healthy (there is such a thing – some things you just have to keep simple), or it was too un-healthy with over a cup of sugar per loaf!!! Holy pumpkin! I guess I have to create my own.

healthy pumpkin bread recipe

I basically married 2 recipes that sounded great, and tweaked the ingredients until it had everything I wanted and more (secret ingredient – makes a huge difference!).

I’m not the most adventurous person, but I decided to not just bake 1 but 2 loaves on the first try. And that’s not all: I planned on taking most of it to our school’s first Parent Teacher Organization meeting the next morning! It was a 4-hour meeting (forming the exec. board) so I wanted to be nice and bring something for breakfast.

Well, either I was damn lucky or I must have had all the baking gods in my kitchen that night because my recipe experiment turned out so friggin’ good! No, seriously – I’ve done this kind of experimenting crap before and it can turn out awful! I’m talking tasteless, dry, or fall-apart disastrous. But not today. Those loaves smelled amazing, they came out of the pan in one piece, and they sliced beautifully!

Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Bread

But what really mattered to me was the spice & moist factor. All there! It was perfect. Not as crazy sweet as the Starbucks version, but you don’t want that anyways (diabetes, anyone?). I’m totally happy with this recipe, and so were quite a few parents at Saturday’s meeting. I still took a few slices home, but I guess I should have labeled my mess instead of just plopping it next to the three dozen Dunkin Donuts and Einstein bagels…

So, what was the secret ingredient? Well, read on and find out ’cause here comes

the recipe (for 1 loaf):

1 cup whole wheat flour (you can try whole grain spelt flour too)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup ground flax meal

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1.5 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 large eggs

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup real maple syrup

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp fresh orange zest (THIS is the secret ingredient! Please don’t leave this out!)

2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds

OK, I know what you’re thinking – what’s so simple about that? It’s like 100 ingredients!!! No, it’s not. And you only need to dirty one bowl, and you won’t even need your hand mixer. It’s quick and easy. Trust me!

Crank your oven to 350 degrees F to preheat. Then grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set that aside.

Get a bowl and add all the dry ingredients – whisk them to mix everything evenly.

Then add the eggs and whisk with some of the dry mix. Then add the honey, coconut oil, vanilla,  and orange zest. Once that’s combined, fold in the pumpkin puree, but don’t overmix.

Pour the batter in the loaf pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top and then get this in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

whole grain pumpkin breadLet it cool all the way before you slice it. I know that’s gonna be hard because it just smells so damn good, but don’t do it! You’ll just ruin the slices. Be patient and distract yourself with something else for a couple of hours.

This loaf is delicious even the next day, or the 3rd day – if it lasts that long. Enjoy!!

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