Oh, first day of Autumn, how I have lusted for you.
You, Bringer of Butternut. You, Siren of Cinnamon.
It’s been too long.
And, look! To welcome you back, I made this Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Streusel.
It’s dead sexy.
A bread that is so on the verge of being cake. Moist, dense, barely hanging together. The scent of it baking – all cinnamon, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg – is like breathing in Thanksgiving. And the topping? It’s a thick layer of pecans, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. If you can resist picking it off, I bow to your willpower.
This recipe makes two loaves, so share with a friend. Or freeze one. Or eat them both, and tell no one.
I’d be the last person to judge you.
Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Streusel
To make this bread a little healthier, substitute a cup of whole wheat pastry flour for 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
Adapted from Rebecca Rather’s “The Pastry Queen”
Makes 2 loaves or 36 muffins
- 1 1/2 pecan pieces
- 1 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces (taken from pecans above)
- To Toast the Pecans: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the pecans on a baking sheet, and toast them in the oven for 5 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup of the toasted pecans for the topping.
- To Make the Bread: Grease two 9 by 5-inch loaf pans or 36 standard-size muffin cups with butter or nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, pumpkin and water, and whisk until combined.
- Stir in the flour, baking soda, spices and salt just until combined.
- Gently stir in 1 cup pecan pieces.
- Divide the batter between the two loaf pans. (For muffins, fill the pans almost to the top with batter.)
- To Make the Topping: Stir the sugar, butter, cinnamon and the reserved 1/2 cup of pecan pieces in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the topping over the loaves or muffins before baking.
- Bakes the loaves for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Bake the muffins for 30 to 35 minutes.)