Olive Oil Pumpkin Loaf

No matter how hideous life feels, you know that it’s really ok when:

1) You have kick ass blog readers like I do. Whenever I go on and on and whine about my first world problems, you all rally around me instead of rolling your eyes as you should. Everyone’s lovely comments on my last post really lifted my spirits. And to my dear friend, Mrs. Krabapple – she read my post and was so concerned about me, she texted me to make sure I was ok and then called so that we could chat. It’s nice to know that people care! You guys are the best! You’re all invited over for booze and chocolate.

2) You have a puppy. Look at this face.
Now imagine a wriggling, jumping, smiling puppy racing to the front door to greet you when you come home at night. No matter how high strung and bitchy I’m feeling, my cold, black heart just melts.
3) You see all the Christmas decorations out before Halloween has even passed and although you think, what the fuck, it’s only October, you corporate freaks stop trying to milk the hell out of this holiday, you’re secretly excited and doing a happy dance in your head because you love the shit out of Christmas.

4) Long weekends exist. Who bloody cares what you’re supposed to be celebrating. The main point is an extra day off work! We just celebrated the Thanksgiving long weekend in Canada. I foolishly went grocery shopping on Saturday afternoon and it seemed like the whole world was grocery shopping with me. There was nary a parking space or a can of pumpkin puree to be seen among the massive pulsating throngs of maddened last minute holiday shoppers, preparing for all of those turkey feasts. Gobble gobble indeed. I then spent Sunday baking and cleaning so thank Gawd I didn’t have to work on Monday so that I could recover from a weekend of domestic labour.

5) [SEMI-SPOILER ALERT FOR BREAKING BAD FANS WHO HAVE NOT WATCHED THE FINALE]. Technology has made it so that I don’t need to plan my schedule around t.v. anymore. Instead of waiting with anxious bated breath every week, the Husband and I binge watched the last 8 episodes of Breaking Bad last weekend and it was glorious. Screw you, commercials! You’re a thing of the past. Unfortunately, so are Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. So long, fellas. Walt did some wickedly evil things over the past 5 seasons but my God, I rooted for him until the last possible minute. I didn’t want him to get caught. I wanted him to kill everybody. I wanted him and Jesse to reconcile and although it didn’t happen that way, you knew there was some semblance of peace between the two. Poor, meek, pathetic Walt had been kicked around all his life. We can all relate. We’ve all had the yearning to abandon our fears and inhibitions, to do things that we’ve been told we couldn’t possibly do. We all secretly want to get revenge on people who have wronged us, to feel in control, to have the upper hand. That’s why no matter how reprehensible Walt’s actions were, I still wanted to see him go out on top. And I think he did. He went out on his own terms. He did exactly what he needed to do. And good riddance to that neurotic bitch, Lydia. They should’ve let Mike kill her when he wanted to. I can’t wait for the spin-off of my legal idol, Saul Goodman.

6) You have the luxury of losing yourself in something as well crafted as The Conjuring. I love horror movies but only when they’re done well. They need to scare me. They need to trigger something extremely primal and visceral inside of me. Please, spare me the guts ‘n gore. That ain’t my bag. I want to be holding my breath because I’m too afraid to move. I want to believe that ghosts and demons and evil things exist and that they can come and get me at any time. I want to scream from terror at every well placed bang, creaking door, sudden apparition and terrifying doll. The Conjuring did all of those things. We just watched it over the weekend with all the lights off and it was deliciously creepy. I loved it.

7) Heroes exist! I read so much crap in the newspaper and court decisions every day, detailing the horrific actions of society’s bad apples. It really warms my heart to see that guys like this will risk their lives to jump onto a Skytrain track to pull an injured person to safety. Bravo!
Life is definitely wonderful when you can combine simple things like flour, oil, sugar and pureed pumpkin, and create something as delectable as this pumpkin olive oil loaf. Y’know that huge coffee chain that sells pumpkin loaf? This loaf kicks that loaf’s ass. Just sayin’.

Olive Oil Pumpkin Loaf (adapted from Fine Cooking)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp ground flax (optional)
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp table salt
2 large eggs, room temp
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1 cup loosely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, flax, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, oil, and honey until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until evenly incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Cover the top with the walnuts, if using, and press them down into the batter slightly. Bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is browned and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. If your loaf browns too much, cover it with aluminum foil until finished baking. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing.
This is the perfect pumpkin loaf. Unlike the pumpkin bread I usually buy at unnamed cafes, this is light, fluffy, moist and incredibly flavourful. I like to add a lot of spices because they complement the pumpkin flavour so wonderfully. The crunchy walnuts on top provide a welcome contrast in texture. I didn’t feel bad about polishing this off in just a few days since the ingredients are fairly healthy. It’s ridiculously good with a tall mug of tea or coffee. Seriously, I am never buying a pumpkin loaf ever again!

18 thoughts on “Olive Oil Pumpkin Loaf

  1. I must have missed your last post! I’m going to read it! Seriously, your puppy is sooo adorable! I literally said “awwwww” out loud! I just want to squish those cheeks. This loaf looks PERFECT. Tender, moist and delish! I know what pumpkin loaf you’re talking about and it’s yummy but yours definitely looks more tender. I have yet to make a pumpkin loaf recipe yet on my own. My only pumpkin recipe is chocolate pumpkin cake squares. I need to get in the kitchen and create some pumpkin goodies!! I just hope it can look as beautiful as yours!

  2. 1.) I was in the grocery store today and heard “White Christmas” or some other shit. I almost just dropped my basket and walked out. Because screw you, stupid local grocery store for trying to shove that crap on me October.

    2.) I’m still not sure who I was rooting for in Breaking Bad at the end. Jesse, definitely. But I just couldn’t decide what I really thought of Walt at the end. Although him telling Lydia she was going to die because of “that Stevia crap you always put in your tea” sort of made me come back to his side.

  3. I’ve only watched the first half of Breaking Bad Season 1. This is because I have learned that I can’t watch it whilst eating (it’s too hard to enjoy my dinner when freaking out) or before bed (it makes me too jittery to sleep) – which is most of the time. I’m already anxious and worried about Walt and Jesse, and my sister happily chirps about how it’s gunna get soooooo much worse. BUT I LOVE IT.

    I also love this loaf and your dog.

  4. Yum yum yum! This looks faaaantastic. Seems like it could be great as muffins, too (for those of us sad individuals who still don’t have loaf pans…) Also, on my WP Reader this popped up first as a picture of Abby and I was like OHMYGOSH I KNOW WHO THIS IS BEFORE I SCROLL DOWN AND I’M EXCITED. She is too precious. I’m so glad you have her, both for your down days and for um, me over here on the other coast gobbling up every picture you post of that darling face.

  5. Omg I have a large can of pumpkin sitting in my fridge and have been wondering what to make with it…it’s gotta be something special! I think this is it. I literally want to stuff that loaf into my face right now. Also, you are adorable. I arrived at work this morning in a horrible mood but your post actually brightened my day a little! I mean, imagining coming home to that cute dog…ahh!! Also, now I’m excited to make this loaf later. ❤

  6. It’s so hard to be grumpy with a puppy. Seriously, how can you not smile at that face? Breaking Bad—oh my soul. I don’t think it could have ended any better. Truthfully, I thought Walt needed to die, but I was going to be SO PISSED if Jesse didn’t get out alive. He seemed like he always got the raw end of the deal to me–here’s hoping he’s carving wood somewhere now. I’ve been waiting for this recipe since I saw it on Instagram. Love that you put olive oil in it!

  7. Hey!!! I freaking love #2 and #3 . . did you see that other doggie pic from instagram I tagged you on? omg, love it. . I saw this last night and dreamt of pumpkins. . love that you made an olive oil pumpkin loaf!!! can’t wait to try this one. the photos are gorgeous!

  8. A couple of items:

    1) I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you’re offended that stores have Christmas decorations up in October considering you can walk into a Macy’s here in the States the last week of August and greet Santa.

    2) I need to get you away from canned pumpkin and get you to puree it fresh. Once I did, I knew I would never buy the shortcut again. My feelings are the same with chicken stock.

    3) Totally get you regarding scary movies versus gore-fests the movie studios are pushing on the kids today. I love a good scary movie, but hate the gory ones. A great example I always refer to is Blair Witch. Ever see it?

    4) Despite the canned puree, how can I get my hands on a slice of that loaf? It looks delicious!

  9. Happy Thanksgiving for blessings like the ever-witty, smart Miss Nancy! And her scrumptious baked goods…I am ever so intrigued by olive oil in the pumpkin loaf…Definitely a 2 thumbs up from this household where the husband is super-duper health conscious. I just won’t tell him about the sugar and white flour =)

    P.s. You may belong in LA. Everyone with the exception of a few of us were addicted to Breaking Bad =)

    P.s. 2. My cares melt away, too, when a certain pure white (adopted) kitty greets me at the door.

  10. My goodness, I just discovered your blog from the BC Food Bloggers directory. I can’t stop clicking through every single one of your posts (I guess I have lots of catching up to do!). I’ve got one pumpkin left so just might have to your pumpkin loaf or that bourbon pie.

    ps. I totally understand how you feel about Christmas decorations being up early. At Costco, they were up by early September!

  11. Ah, I just love your blog. You always make me smile…and I know that you bless so many of your readers with your words and recipes. We thank you! And yes, that puppy is too adorable and this loaf looks too good. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Oh, yeah…Abby makes me smile every time I see her sweet face! And I had to giggle as I read through your list…and want to high five you across the boarder. Your pumpkin loaf looks phenomenal. Another recipe to try 🙂

  13. You know I’ve wanted an ‘abby’ ever since you got yours! Still thinking I should at some point. I’m used to medium large dogs, so it’s quite a different scenario. Sitting down to write all the good stuff going on in our lives alwasy does the trick. We take a lot for granted, but then it’s ridiculous to think we can be 24/7 thinking that life could be worse. It could be better too! I pinned this pumpkin bread, can’t get enough of baking with olive oil. Looks delish!

  14. Aww love this post too. Maybe, just maybe I will too count my blessings and post about it. I would be a total copy cat but this is so inspiring. 🙂 I also love the olive oil in this cake and I always say I never bake enough with pumpkin and I totally should!

  15. Booze and chocolate-I’m there!:) You’re so cute, Nancy. I think it’s nice to have each other to talk with and sometimes whine with…that’s what friends are for. Your pup’s photos always make me smile when I see them on IG:)) Oh, love this loaf. What I would give to have it here for breakfast tomorrow morning…sigh…

  16. Goodness! I just discovered your wonderful blog. I’m a serious home baker and will try this recipe tonight. Good thing I’ve got lots of willing taste testers at work or I’d weigh hundreds of pounds. I’ve got several great recipes for pumpkin bread but you know us bakers, we’re always looking for something better and different! I’m a Breaking Bad fanatic….what a show. The ending was the best series finale I’ve ever seen, along with Six Feet Under. Happy baking!!

  17. Pingback: Guest Post: Apple Spice Cake from Gotta Get Baked - Hip Foodie Mom

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