Pumpkin Gingerbread


Dark and intensely gingery, this quick bread is nevertheless exceptionally moist with a light and tender crumb, thanks to the pumpkin and molasses.

Canned pumpkin purée works well — or try making your own with our recipe. This recipe can be made in a loaf pan or in a 9-inch square pan, if you prefer to serve the dessert in small squares.

Serve with whipped cream garnished with minced crystallized ginger for a lovely and delicious presentation.


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (softened, plus more for greasing the pan)
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup boiling water
  Whipped cream (as garnish)
1/4 cup finely minced crystallized ginger (as garnish)


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Generously butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add the sugar and beat to combine. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the molasses and then the pumpkin.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon and salt. Add the dry mix to the batter and beat just until blended. Add the boiling water and mix until smooth. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top.

Bake until the gingerbread is set and a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely.

Once the cake is cool, place a platter on top of the pan and invert, carefully removing the loaf pan. Cut into slices with a serrated knife and garnish each serving with a dollop of whipped cream sprinkled with crystallized ginger. 

Nutrition Note:
Whole wheat flour is more nutritious and has more fiber than white flour because the bran and the germ aren’t removed during milling. However, baking with regular whole wheat flour produces baked goods that are heavier and denser than those made with traditional all-purpose white flour. The good news is that whole wheat pastry flour is becoming more widely available. While it still isn’t as light as traditional all-purpose white flour, it’s close in texture and taste, making it appropriate for all but the most delicate pastries, quick breads and cakes.

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