Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Streusel

Autumn, Bread / Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Oh, first day of Autumn, how I have lusted for you.

You, Bringer of Butternut. You, Siren of Cinnamon.

It’s been too long.

And, look! To welcome you back, I made this Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Streusel.

It’s dead sexy.

A bread that is so on the verge of being cake. Moist, dense, barely hanging together. The scent of it baking – all cinnamon, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg – is like breathing in Thanksgiving. And the topping? It’s a thick layer of pecans, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. If you can resist picking it off, I bow to your willpower.

This recipe makes two loaves, so share with a friend. Or freeze one. Or eat them both, and tell no one.

I’d be the last person to judge you.

Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Streusel

To make this bread a little healthier, substitute a cup of whole wheat pastry flour for 1 cup of all-purpose flour.

Adapted from Rebecca Rather’s “The Pastry Queen”

Makes 2 loaves or 36 muffins


  • 1 1/2 pecan pieces
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces (taken from pecans above)
  1. To Toast the Pecans: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the pecans on a baking sheet, and toast them in the oven for 5 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup of the toasted pecans for the topping.
  2. To Make the Bread: Grease two 9 by 5-inch loaf pans or 36 standard-size muffin cups with butter or nonstick spray.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, pumpkin and water, and whisk until combined.
  4. Stir in the flour, baking soda, spices and salt just until combined.
  5. Gently stir in 1 cup pecan pieces.
  6. Divide the batter between the two loaf pans. (For muffins, fill the pans almost to the top with batter.)
  7. To Make the Topping: Stir the sugar, butter, cinnamon and the reserved 1/2 cup of pecan pieces in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the topping over the loaves or muffins before baking.
  8. Bakes the loaves for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Bake the muffins for 30 to 35 minutes.)

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