Every year at the beginning of December, I help my cousin’s mother bake dozens of mini-loaves of pumpkin bread for the church’s gift baskets for the elderly in the community. You’d think I’d get tired of it, but it just makes me want to bake some more–for me! Whether you’re fixing holiday gift baskets to share, or just a sweet, warm treat to enjoy at home, pumpkin bread, especially with fresh pumpkin puree, is irresistible.
Servings: 2 loaves or 15 mini-loavesCook Time: 1 hr (reg loaves) or 25 min (mini-loaves)
2-2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup shortening
3-1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup nuts
2 cups canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup water
2 cups raisins
Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, pumpkin, and water. Mix thoroughly. Stir in flour and the rest of the dry ingredients then add the nuts and raisins. Spoon into greased loaf pans.
Bake at 350-degrees, one hour for standard-size loaves or twenty-five minutes for mini-loaves. Makes two standard-size loaves or fifteen mini-loaves.
*For holiday pumpkin bread, press a candied cherry into the top of each loaf before baking, and use 2 cups raisins and candied fruit, mixed, to the batter, instead of just raisins.
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