With toasted walnuts, fresh sage, and a crumbly cinnamon sugar topping, these loaves are a perfect way to start the morning or to wrap a long autumn evening. We suggest serving the pumpkin bread with fresh butter alongside hot apple cider or hot chocolate.
For the Topping:
- 5 tablespoons packed (2 1/4 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the Bread:
- 2 cups (10 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed (7 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1 tsp fresh sage, minced + 6-8 leaves for garnishing the loaves
- 2 tbsp turbinado sugar for garnishing the loaves
Prepare the Topping:
- Mix 5 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp salt in a bowl until well combined--don't be afraid to use your hands! When the topping is ready, it should look like wet sand. Set aside.
Prepare the Batter:
- Preheat to 350F.
- Spray two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and 1 tsp minced sage in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the pumpkin mixture, stirring frequently, until reduced to 1Â½ cups (about 6 to 8 minutes).
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and cream cheese until well combined.
- Whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Add the egg mixture to pumpkin mixture, and whisk to combine. Gently fold the flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until just combined.
- Fold walnuts into batter.
Bake the Loaves:
- Scrape the batter, half into each of the two sprayed pans.
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of each loaf.
- Press 3-4 whole sage leaves into the top of each loaf and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean (about 45 to 50 minutes).
- Let the loaves cool in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes. Then, remove the loaves from the pans, and let cool for at least 1 hour.
- Slice and serve slathered (with fresh butter and hot apple cider?!).