The Pumpkin Bread My Family Has Made for Over 20 Years

Plus, how to spend one last week in New York

This pumpkin bread started as a gift (the recipe was passed on from a long ago neighbor) and now is our family's go to gift. My mom met Corinne, the recipe's originator, when I was a baby (Corinne also had a baby my age who was one of my first friends). They walked our strollers around the streets of Kew Gardens, Queens and became fast friends. Eventually, my parents tried her pumpkin bread, studded with chocolate chips and walnuts. They loved it, and my dad asked for the recipe. When he gave it a try, the results were disappointing: leaden and dry.

After a quick back and forth, Corinne realized she had omitted something crucial from the original recipe: eggs, which add structure and moisture to the loaf. My parents remade it and the rest is history. The bread became a family classic, all year long. My dad bakes two loaves at a time and freezes individually wrapped slices. When my sister was younger, the promise of a pumpkin bread breakfast was the only thing that would get her out of bed for school. I've received loaves in college and even in Guatemala, where I lived for a year. When my family came to visit, they brought a taste of their home for my host family: a tightly wrapped, slightly banged up loaf of pumpkin bread. When I visited Guatemala again in 2019, I brought a loaf of pumpkin bread and my former host family relished the taste. When Dale and I moved in together my parents gave us a bottle of sparkling wine and a loaf of this (what more do you need?). It's a universal delicacy and I hope it becomes a favorite of yours as well.

Pumpkin Bread
(via my dad via Corrine Abramson)

Note:  You can make this with a vegan butter and an electric or hand mixer makes it way easier. If you have two loaf pans, double the recipe so you use an entire can of pumpkin. Gift or freeze the other loaf.

Ingredients

4 oz. butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

¾ cup pumpkin puree

1 ¾ cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

¾ cup chocolate chips

¾ cup walnuts (or pumpkin seeds)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and pumpkin, blend to combine.

  2. Blend in the dry ingredients and beat until the batter is smooth and uniform. Fold in the chips and nuts.

  3. Transfer batter to a greased loaf pan and bake for 65 minutes. Let sit for five minutes in the pan and then turn onto a rack to full cool.

Storage: This slices more cleanly after some time in the refrigerator.  Individually wrapped slices freeze well (and taste pretty good frozen).


Recommendation Station: Here’s where I answer your questions about restaurants, cooking, kitchen gear, books, and anything else you want to know! If you don’t live in New York, I can provide recommendations if I’m familiar with the place or refer you to someone great. As paid subscribers, I’ll get back to you within 24 hours. You can send questions by replying to this email or sending me a DM on Instagram.

Q: This is my last week in New York after living in Williamsburg for 5 years. I was wondering: what restaurants would you suggest for some great last meals in the neighborhood? I’m moving to Paris!

A: So exciting! My friend Dani moved to Paris last fall and her Instagram stories are the closest I’ve come to international travel in years (we did a Q&A here too). For your last week in the neighborhood, I'd recommend doing rooftop drinks at the Westlight (for the views), a final happy hour at Lighthouse. If you like steak, try and get some either at Cozy Royale or St. Anselm. I also think it can be nice to say goodbye to old favorites too. For coffee or breakfast, go to Nick & Sons or Lella Alimentari and then take a stroll. I also think you'll have good luck telling restaurants you're about to move! I also would definitely get a slice of pizza at your favorite spot (L’Industrie just renovated and has lots of seating now). Safe travels!


Thanks so much for supporting This Needs Hot Sauce! Let me know if you try the pumpkin bread. If you have any recipe requests or holiday specific topics you’d like me to cover, I’m all ears!

xo, Abigail