Halloween is my second favorite holiday, surpassed only by Christmas, because lets be honest, nothing beats a mug of eggnog and a twinkling Christmas Tree overflowing with presents. Here in the UK, Halloween is nowhere near as big a deal as it is in North America which has always surprised me. You would think Brits would be keen to spend a day dressed in crazy costumes and eating endless amounts of candy.
Last year I was excited to discover a grocery store in our neighbourhood that sold canned pumpkin. With an endless list of potential recipes running through my head I decided there was no better way to spread the Halloween spirit then to bake my friends and colleagues pumpkin flavoured treats. In typical hoarder fashion I decided it was best to buy 8 cans just in case (in case of what I’m not too sure, but unfortunately this is the way I shop). Fast forward 12 months and the cans remained untouched in the back of my cupboard with an impending expiry date, and that was how the spiced pumpkin bread was born.
I haven’t been a big fan of pumpkin breads in the past, as I find they always lack flavor, so my primary goal for this recipe was to give the bread a flavor boost with the help of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. I came across a small hiccup along the way when I discovered I only had whole cloves, but was convinced that with the help of a mortar and pestle it could be turned into powder in no time. An hour later and I was left with a sore wrist, a kitchen floor covered in cloves and a delicious pumpkin bread (if you ignored crunchy pieces of clove in each bite). After a trip to the grocery store, loaf number 2 was a great success. I topped this bread with a cinnamon icing but there is so much flavour in the bread, that the icing isn’t necessary, it just makes it look a little prettier. I have made this in both a rectangular bread pan and a shallower baking dish and find the latter to be much more effective at ensuring the bread cooks evenly throughout. This bread is great for breakfast, dessert or even as a healthy snack that the whole family will love.
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 can pumpkin puree (425 grams)*
- ⅔ cups chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- In a mixing bowl combine all of the above ingredients and stir until well combined
- Line a 11 x 7inch baking dish with parchment paper
- Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. If it looks like the top of the bread is browning too quickly cover it with tin foil
- Remove from the oven and serve
- 1½ cup cashews which have been soaked in water for 4 hours
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp honey (or other sweetener)
- Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Allow them to soak for a minimum of 4 hours. When ready to use drain the remaining water from the bowl.
- In a food processor combine the above cashews and almond milk and blend until the mixture becomes smooth and the cashews have completely broken down
- Add in the remaining ingredients and continue to blend. If the icing is too thick add another tbsp of almond milk.
- Ice the spiced pumpkin bread before serving and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.