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Oct 6, 2010 01:26 PM

Pumpkin bread with 1 whole can of pumpkin?

Does anyone know of a pumpkin bread recipe that uses a whole can for a loaf? It's always annoying that recipes call for a cup, forcing you to leave the rest of the can unused. Likewise, one can is not enough pumpkin for two loaves, in my opinion, and sometimes you don't want to make two loaves anyway. I believe I came across such a recipe once online, but it's never appeared again.


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  1. How about Pumpkin Bars?

    I sub yogurt for half the oil with no issues.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChristinaMason

      Ah! Thank you for posting this recipe! I know what I'm making this weekend... :o)

    2. I'd use the leftover pumpkin to make soup :)
      Hope this helps

      1 Reply
      1. re: iheartcooking

        Soup is a great idea, and I do it sometimes, but the problem is, I love pumpkin bread, and yet I have this deep seated suspicion that 1 cup is just not enough for a loaf.

      2. I regularly make 2 loaves using 1 can. One gets eaten right away, the other keeps well in the freezer.

        The recipe that I use is based on one in Joy of Cooking, but I've tweaked it various ways - using a mix of whole grains, using half the sugar, using oil instead of creamed butter, varying the spices. I've also used home cooked squash or sweet potato instead of the canned (though canned is most convenient). I haven't fiddled with the pumpkin proportions, but suspect there wouldn't be a problem increasing it by 50%. I'd aim for roughly the same batter consistency, reducing other liquid if needed.

        You might also try concentrating the pumpkin, either by draining (like you would yogurt), or by evaporation (at a slow simmer).

        Some people confuse the taste of pumpkin with the taste of pumpkin spices (cinnamon, cloves and ginger). The spices can be increased without affecting texture.

        1 Reply
        1. re: paulj

          Thanks, Paul.

          I know... I have to fiddle around a bit. I was just hoping that someone, somewhere, might have a recipe already on hand which uses the whole can. The truth is, I usually use home-roasted pumpkin anyway, which is way more watery, so I'm used to reducing the water content already, but I always keep some cans on hand because I truly love pumpkin bread, and, when necessary, am happy to make it with the canned kind, except that I always waste part of the can.

          Two loaves is not a bad idea, but the freezer is full, and I still have this feeling that 1/2 a can is just not enough to imbibe a loaf with true pumpkinness. But, your posting has inspired me to continue experimenting.


        2. Martha Stewart has recipe for Ginger Pumpkin Bread that uses 1 can. According to the reviews, it works in 1 loaf pan.

          1 Reply
          1. re: toveggiegirl

            The quantifies of that recipe are about 50% greater than the one I use. Mine does not completely fill the pan.
            2.5c flour (v. 1.5)
            3 eggs (v. 2)
            1 can (v. 1)
            2 c sugar (v 1c)

          2. I have one that uses the 15 1/2 oz can, not the large one. If that's the size you're talking about, I can post it if you want.

            25 Replies
            1. re: chowser

              Does it have less butter than the Martha Stewart recipe linked above, which calls for
              12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks)? If so, I'd be interested in seeing it!


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                If you use the cake method (creaming butter with sugar etc) you probably need the full butter amount. But if you use the muffin method (mix liquid and dry separate), then the amount of liquid fat (oil or melted butter) is flexible, especially with a pumpkin bread. I've omitted the oil entirely without adverse effects.

              2. re: chowser

                Yes, Chowser. Please do. I would be grateful. I should have been clearer: most recipes call for 1 cup of pumpkin per loaf, or, even more commonly, 1 (15.5 oz) can per 2 loaves.


                1. re: chowser

                  I should add that I use an extra large loaf pan for this--9x5. When I have made this in a regular loaf pan (8x3ish), it makes two smaller loaves. And, it uses vegetable oil not butter, DQ.

                  1 1/2 c sugar
                  1/2 c oil
                  2 eggs
                  1 can pumpkin
                  1/3 c water (works great w/ orange juice or apple cider--I never use water anymore)
                  1 3/4 c flour
                  1/4 tsp baking powder
                  1 tsp baking soda
                  1/2 tsp salt
                  1/4 tsp cloves
                  1/4 tsp cinnamon
                  1/4 tsp allspice
                  1/2 c white raisins
                  1/2 c chopped nuts

                  I play w/ the spices, increase cinnamon, use ground ginger, nutmeg. Mix dry in one container, wet in another. Fold together. Bake 350 for an hour (but usually longer if I'm using the large pan).

                    1. re: chowser

                      Thanks so much. This is exactly what I was searching for, and I cannot wait to try it!

                      1. re: chowser

                        It's in the oven now. I can't wait. I have always thought 1 can/1 loaf should be the holy grail of pumpkin bread, and this may be it, or at least the basis to begin some experiments. Thanks again.

                        1. re: director517


                          Thanks again for the recipe. It was not a total success. Taste is great, but I seemed to cook it forever, and yet, after ten minutes out of the oven, it totally deflated, and when I cut into it, the bottom seemed raw still. I don't know enough about quick breads to know what the science of this is. If you or anyone has a moment to comment, I'd appreciate it.

                          Some thoughts: not enough baking soda?
                          Not cooked long enough?
                          Oven poorly calibrated (I baked it while on a weekend at a rental house, i.e. not my oven).

                          The list of ingredients seems perfect, and it seemed to exactly fit a 9/5 pan, as you suggested. It came out of the oven looking beautiful: risen, slightly cracked at the top, firm, but, as I said, it deflated - completely flattened - within ten minutes.

                          Funny that when you browse around on line to try to discover why this happens, there is NO agreement.

                          All thoughts appreciated.

                          1. re: director517

                            I think you need to bake it longer. Did you test the bread before you took it out of the oven? It took me a lot of loaves of quick bread before I got it right because it looks like it's done but if not, it will sink after you pull it out. With a larger loaf, I found it easier at first to use a skewer than a toothpick to test it. If you have a thermometer, you want it to be about 205-210 degrees. It takes longer than the hour but I bake a lot of breads and cakes and can't remember exactly how long it takes for me on this one--but everyone's oven is also different.

                            1. re: chowser

                              Besides the skewer test, the sides should be pulling away from the pan a bit, and when removed from the pan, the bottom should sound a bit hollow.

                              My loaves, which have about 1 1/2c of flour each, take about a hour to bake. A deeper loaf would take longer, especially if it has a higher proportion of pumpkin.

                        2. re: chowser

                          I made this recipe last night and it turned out beautifully. I didn't have veggie oil so I used butter instead, used the suggested apple cider instead of water, the suggested extra spices and omitted the raisins and nuts. Because of the earlier comments, I made sure I baked it a while longer than when it superficially looked done - an hour and 20 minutes for a 9x5 loaf. It was even better for breakfast this morning than it was still warm last night for a halftime snack. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

                          1. re: peelmeagrape

                            Glad it worked for you! It does take longer since it's such a big loaf. I've never tried it with melted butter but now it's on my try list. I don't usually use raisins or nuts either (allergies and pickyness in family) but like it anyway. Can't wait to try out the butter.

                            1. re: chowser

                              I guess I'm a loser ;-). It failed again. Baked it for 1:20, it was rising beautifully, tested it, clean skewer, took it out of the oven, set the timer to let it cool for ten before taking it out of pan, came back.... totally deflated. A pumpkin brick. I'm demoralized. I've never had this problem with my other favorite quick bread - blueberry lemon loaf. Hmm. A quick question in any case... why the baking powder. I notice alot of recipes only use baking soda, or vice versa. Whats the advantage to both, and, anyway, don't you need something acidic to activate baking soda.

                              All thoughts welcome. I'm going to keep trying. A loaf a day.

                              1. re: director517

                                Just curious, you mentioned you're not using your own oven right now. I wonder if it would be worth investing in an oven thermometer/gauge?


                                1. re: director517

                                  Pumpkin is slightly acidic, enough for the baking soda. The baking powder will react both when added to the mixture and in the oven with heat so will give it more rise. I think in this case, since pumpkin isn't super acidic, it can only react with so much baking soda so baking powder might be needed (just a hypothesis since I haven't calculated the reaction). So, it's possible, if using apple cider, you could increase the amount of baking soda and eliminate the baking powder, but I'm just guessing.

                                  It sounds like you're not baking it long enough-- your oven may be off, as DQ said. Have you tried taking the internal temperature of it when you take it out of the oven? It should be about 205-210 degrees. Because it's a deep pan, you want to take the skewer nearer the bottom.

                                  1. re: chowser

                                    Thanks for your responses. I'm back in my own house and oven now, where I made the last attempt. Im pretty sure the oven is well calibrated. I'm going to try again tomorrow and see what happens, using a thermometer to test for doneness. Wish me luck. Oh one other thing: if you use fresh pumpkin vs canned, do you do it by weight (15.5oz)? And do you have a suggestion for how to compensate for its relative wateriness? I really want to get this right.

                                    1. re: director517

                                      I use canned--the 15.5 ounce one. I've even used the larger one (is it 32 oz) and it's a heavier dense loaf but as long as it's cooked, it doesn't sink. It also occurred to me--where do you check for doneness? You need to be in the center and go pretty deep.

                                      I haven't made this in a year but I'm going to do it today and I'll let you know how long I bake it for. It's a nice light loaf for how much pumpkin there is in it.

                                      1. re: director517

                                        I just made this. As I was doing it, I remembered that I usually use a bundt pan for it and that takes less time. I used a 9x5 stoneware loafpan and checked at 1 hr 10, then added 10 minutes, checked and added 7 more. The other thing is every time you take it out to check, adds more time for the bread to come back up to temperature. I think next time I'll just check at 1 hr 20 as peelmeagrape had.

                                        1. re: chowser

                                          The bundt pan sounds like a good idea (I'm assuming you're talking about a 10" one), since I always thought it seemed like a lot of batter, but in any case I'm going to try your recipe to the letter one more time tomorrow and see if I can get the damn thing right. I've been checking for doneness in the center, pretty deep, and I would swear that last loaf seemed cooked when it came of the oven... but I was out of luck. I'm also going to look into my oven temperature (i need to buy one of those little hanging thermometers), but I'm 99% sure that's not the problem, since I use the oven daily and have never detected a problem.

                                          1. re: director517

                                            Try it for 1 hr 20 mins before opening the oven and then go from there. Hope it works for you.

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              Thanks. It's in the oven now. I'm hopeful. It's such a bizarre thing. I do wonder if the concentration of pumpkin makes it more temperamental than something like a good ol' blueberry loaf, but... as the title of this board suggests, I am bound and determined to get it to work.

                                              1. re: director517

                                                This one has a really nice heavier pumpkin flavor w/ all the pumpkin. I go through recipes at the drop of a hat and have kept this one for 18 years, despite trying a lot of different recipes. I play around w/ the liquid and the spices but stay w/ the basic recipe.

                                                1. re: chowser

                                                  Well, much to my chagrin, I think you and the Dairy Queen were right. After 3 more attempts - once i even left the damn thing in the oven for 90 minutes, took it out, it was still deflated and raw in the middle - I finally dusted off the manual to my gas oven and figured out how to cailbrate it upwards by 30 degrees (the manual says not to bother trying to use a thermometer to manually gauge the oven's temperature because they range wildly). I baked another loaf, and, finally, had some results. So, as I said, I guess it WAS the over temperature. So strange, because I use the oven just about every day, and have never noticed anything. Of course, quick breads are probably more sensitive to temperature than a braised chunk of meat (which, really, you can braise at ANY temperature above 250), but even with the yeasted breads i normally make, I never noticed anything. So strange.

                                                  Anyway, you're recipe is a keeper. In my attempts to get it right before I gave in and decided it was the oven, I ended up with one variation, which was that I am using buttermilk for the liquid. THinking the baking soda just wasn't getting enough oomph, I tried that, and it's tasty. I'm also using 100% whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup of sugar. I've never been much of a sweet tooth.

                                                  Many thanks to you and everyone.

                                                  Now I'm going to start experimenting with apple breads, since the kitchen is suddenly overflowing with apples.... any suggestions?

                                                  1. re: director517

                                                    Glad it worked for you. It's surprising how oven temperatures can affect things like this. I use 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 3/4 cup ap flour and love the light texture from that combination. I cut the sugar, too, and have used brown sugar which gives it a nice caramel undertone. If you start a thread asking for apple bread, I'm sure you'll get a lot of new suggestions! There is a thread about apple/brownie bars.