Pumpkin Spice Bread ~ ElephantEats.com

Well, I’m back from my Italian vacation. I’ll have to tell you more about it in another post, but the highlight was definitely a private cooking class my parents and I had in Chianti with this awesome chef. He was a chemist before becoming a chef and he explained cooking very scientifically (Shannon, you would have loved it ;) ).

I ended up learning a ton! We cooked up grilled fresh porcini mushrooms on toast with truffles and truffle oil, homemade gnocci with an amazing bolognese sauce that didn’t have to simmer for hours, white beans with fresh sausage, and the creamiest tiramisu for dessert. 

But anyway, I’m SO excited it’s October!!! Autumn is my absolute favorite season (I can’t belive I got married last October!). Unfortunately it’s still a bit warm here in NYC, but hopefully soon the weather will cool down enough for me to pull out my sweaters and curl up with some tea. I just love when the air is crisp and it smells like dry leaves outside. Not to mention, autumn has my two most favorite holidays- Halloween and Thanksgiving. I can’t wait! :)

Storm King Sculpture Park ~ ElephantEats.com

Storm King Sculpture Park- not sure what I’m doing…

Nate and I headed upstate this weekend for a day of fun. First we went to Storm King, a really cool, huge sculpture park. The leaves are starting to change up there and they were so pretty :) The weather was overcast and sprinkly but we made the best of it.

Storm King Sculpture Park 2 ~ ElephantEats.com

Nate, finally doing some heavy lifting

Next we went to Fishkill Farms for some apple picking! Hopefully I’ll make an apple recipe soon that I can post.

Fishkill Farms Apple Picking ~ ElephantEats.com

I love apple picking but it was super crowded at this place and I’m not a fan of crowds. We still managed to take home a good haul, in addition to getting to enjoy some cider donuts and apple cider.

Fishkill Farms ~ ElephantEats.com

Nate hard at work again! I wish he helped that much at home ;)

After apple-picking we met up with our friends who live nearby for dinner, and then finally we headed over to The Blaze, which was the reason for our whole trip upstate. The Blaze is an elaborate walk-through experience of 5,000 individually hand-carved, illuminated jack o’ lanterns.

The Blaze, Hudson Valley ~ ElephantEats.com

My favorite pumpkins- piled into sunflowers!

I had heard great things about it from multiple people, so Nate and I thought we should do it at least once. It was definitely cool to see so many pumpkins lit up, but I wasn’t particularly impressed by any of them.

The Blaze, Hudson Valley ~ ElephantEats.com

I think it was the sheer magnitude of them all together that impressed me the most. We tried to take pictures but most of them came out blurry since it was so dark. 

The Blaze, Hudson Valley ~ ElephantEats.com

But back to the baking… Now that it’s officially October, I can post another pumpkin recipe. This recipe is the one my mom baked for us growing up, but I’m not sure what the original source is. 

Pumpkin Spice Bread ~ ElephantEats.com

Since I already know I love the recipe, I decided to give it a try subbing in the butter-flavored Olive Oil that I got from Star Fine Foods. I figured a little butter taste certainly wouldn’t hurt! It added an awesome flavor, but obviously you could definitely use regular oil as I’ve always done before now. 

This bread calls for both raisins and pecans, but since Nate is a nuts-in-baked-goods hater, I omitted the pecans. I personally think they add a great crunch. This recipe makes two loaves- one for you and one to give to a friend :)

Pumpkin Spice Bread 3 ~ ElephantEats.com

I’ll be back later in the week with a little feline Halloween fun ;)

Here’s a preview of LC with a cat-proportioned pumpkin we picked up for her at the farm.

LC and a pumpkin ~ ElephantEats.com

If you’re wondering why the pumpkin is shiny, it’s because LC licked it all over.

Spiced Pumpkin Loaves
An autumn spiced pumpkin bread chock full of raisins and nuts!

Yields: 2 loaves
Write a review
Cook Time
1 hr 20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 20 min
  1. 4 cups flour
  2. 2 tsp baking soda
  3. 2 tsp cinnamon
  4. 1 tsp nutmeg
  5. 1 tsp ginger
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 2 cups solid packed pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  8. 2 cups packed brown sugar
  9. 1 cup white sugar
  10. 1 cup oil
  11. 4 eggs
  12. 2 cups raisins
  13. 1 cup pecans, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Butter two 9 1/4 x 5 1/4 loaf pans and dust with flour.
  3. Sift first 6 ingredients into a medium bowl.
  4. Using mixer (or whisk), beat pumpkin, sugars, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Beat in the dry ingredients until just blended.
  5. Stir in raisins and nuts.
  6. Bake until test comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached- about 1 hr 20 min.
  7. Cool 15 min in pan, then remove and cool completely on wire rack before wrapping in foil.
  1. This gets better in time. The cooked loaves can also be frozen and defrosted at a later time. Wrap them well in foil and then put in a ziploc freezer bag.


  1. Amy it looks like you had the perfect fall weekend! And I can’t wait to hear more about your trip to Italy- so jealous of the private cooking lesson and all the food! And pumpkin is my favorite quick bread to make, yum!

    • Thanks, Meghan :) hehe, sorry to make you jealous…i’m going to try to share the recipes though, so at least you’ll be able to reproduce them at home!

  2. Amy! I don’t know where to start!! The cooking class in Chianti, Nate’s inhumanely strength ;-), the utter coolness of The Blaze and as if that wasn’t enough, you hit all our cute buttons with LC — cat proportioned pumpkin and all :). (Notice I still haven’t gotten to your gorgeous autumn loaf yet!!). Did it ever turn out well Amy, love all the colourful flecks of raisin coming through the slices and the mix of flavours — yup, the only thing missing are the nuts (sorry beardo! ;-)).

    • hehe, i know, Nate is crazy strong ;) Thank you so much, Kelly! I’ll make sure to tell LC your sweet comments :) hehehe, beardo definitely is missing out!

  3. You should mention why that pumpkin of hers is so shiny.

  4. Welcome back from Italy, Amy! The cooking class sounds incredibly amazing – I hope you’ll share some more details about it another time. The Blaze is so cool! I’ve never heard of it but now I need to look into it. Enjoy your lovely pumpkin loaves!

    • Thanks, Monica! I’ll definitely have to share some more details but I don’t have great pics. The blaze was pretty cool but definitely something I’d only do once.

  5. Loving this, and how it’s made with oil. Pumpkin season is so fun, although it could be a little bit cooler on the east coast to bury my face in this stuff. :-)

  6. Can we talk about your consumption of truffles and how I am uber jealous?!?! I want your life. I also want this loaf in my mouth right now! Also storm king is soooo cool! I’m glad I made it out there while I was still living the high life in NYC :)

    • Actually, I don’t like truffles so I requested my portion without them :( Sorry to disappoint you! haha. So glad you got to visit Storm King! It was our second time and we’ll totally be back. Thanks, Davida!!

  7. I can’t wait to hear about your trip. We weren’t able to fit in a cooking class when we went to Italy, but we ended up doing an amazing food tour in Bologna and saw how Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar are made and got to have a true multicourse Italian lunch. One of my favorite parts of the whole trip!

  8. My Tooter cat wants to be friends with LC.

    Also, I’m disappointed that you didn’t invite me to Italy. *sigh* But, I’ll live vicariously through you. And photos??? *hint*hint*

    This bread really makes up for all of it, though. :D

    • Let’s set up a kitty playdate!
      I’m sorry, next time you can come. I will try to post photos soon, although I only took them with my iphone. Thanks, Jen!! :)

  9. Spiced Pumpkin Loaves? Yes, please!!
    I love the picture of LC and her pumpkin. Super cute!

  10. So glad you are back safely and I can’t wait to see more! I love traveling, but we don’t have too many overseas trips planned in the near future. The cooking class sounds awesome! And this bread? This looks perfect for fall. Thank you for sharing them with us!

  11. I love everything about this post – learning that photos are coming soon from your amazing getaway, a pumpkin licked by a super cute cat, cut out wooden signs, Storm King and then finally this amazing pumpkin bread which I’m pinning to love dearly!

    • I will try to get photos up, but they’re mostly iphone ones. What can I say, my cat licks everything. She also eats any speck she sees on the ground, regardless of what it is (bug, lint, dirt). Thanks, Pamela!

  12. Welcome home! LOVE your pumpkin bread…one of my favorite autumn treats. And how cute that LC licked your pumpkin…Lambeau would have done that, too, but I think there would be some bite marks, too!

    • Thank you, Liz! It’s good to be home and back with my hubby. Haha, LC’s mouth is too little get around the pumpkin. If we left it there long enough she might have nibbled the stem though ;)

  13. What a fun weekend! I’m jealous you got cider donuts. I miss those from when I lived back east. The Blaze looks really cook! I can’t imagine that many jack-o-lanterns in one place. How cool! This pumpkin bread recipe looks so good. I love tried and true family favorites.

    • I was a little disappointed with the cider donut because they advertised them as “hot” and they were cold. I still managed to enjoy it though :) I can’t believe they dont’ have cider donuts out west! Thanks, Nicole!

  14. Wow those are a lot of jack-o-lanterns! How pretty. Also this spiced pumpkin loaf sounds like fall in baked goods form.

  15. What a cozy looking loaf! I could eat it ALL! xo

  16. first of all, !!!!!!!!!! i can’t believe you got to have a private cooking class while in italy, i WOULD have loved it! I fully expect that every time you email me from now on, that somewhere in it should contain a paragraph which begins “when i was taking private cooking lessons from that chef in Chianti…” . Girl, ALL the exclamation points! i can’t wait to hear more about your trip.

    and how much fun have you been having since you got back! that’s the best photo of nate EVER in that sculpture park, and i want to go to see all the glowing pumpkins! and you have time to make pumpkin bread? you RULE food this week, amy.

    • You definitely would have liked the private cooking class, but mainly because he explained everything in terms of chemistry…and I know that you’re a geek like me who loves that stuff. It was SO interesting! Hehe, I’ll totally start my paragraphs like that from now on as long as it doesn’t make you hate me. Thanks, Shannon!!!

  17. I LOVE apple picking!! It’s such a fun, fall activity!! And the bread looks delicious :)

    • Thanks so much, Cailee! Next year we need to find a new, less-crowded orchard, and hopefully we’ll go on a crisp fall day :) So glad you stopped by!!!

  18. I’ve just stumbled upon your lovely blog and it’s such a pleasure to read, looking forward to reading stories from Italy :)

  19. Welcome back Amy! Looking forward to your post about your trip. Sounds like you and Nate had a great time apple picking! Your cat is so cute! I love how the size of the pumpkin is about the same size as his/her head. :) This pumpkin bread looks awesome! Love the raisins here. Pinned! :)

    • Thanks, Anne! It’s funny you say that, because when we picked out the pumpkin we were looking for one about the size of her head :)

  20. The pumpkin loaf looks goooood! I giggled at the shiny pumpkin part. Your Italian holiday sounds amazing. Can’t wait to hear more.

    • Hehe, that cat loves licking things. In fact she’s kind of like a dog in that she licks my face when I come home :) Thanks, Trishie!

  21. Your Italian cooking class sounds amazing!! I probably wouldn’t have wanted to come home. :P And i love your fall-filled weekend. I went to Storm King once on a really really hot summer day but I bet it’s fabulous in fall.

    I’m not a huge fan of nuts in my baked goods either but in pumpkin bread they are a must! Love the sound of this, especially with the butter olive oil!

    • I went on a really hot summer day too, and it was definitely not as enjoyable…you should go back again while the weather’s cool! I agree about nuts in pumpkin bread…i should have added them to one of the loaves. Thanks, Joanne :)

  22. Welcome back, Amy, I cannot wait to read more about your Italian vacation! I’ve only been to Rome with Doni few years ago and loved their vegan pizzas from a famous bakery. As for cooking classes, that sound even more fun, I would love to take some one day in Italy.

    The Storm King Sculpture Park & Fishkill Farms (such a strange name…) both look lovely! I love events that have lights – that is an awesome place to see jack o’ latnerns! You’re making me want to celebrate Halloween more! Love all of these illuminated jack o’ lanterns! LC looks so adorable…what a cute baby!!! xx

    • Thanks, Rika! I wasn’t planning to write up much about my vacation but since everyone is requesting it, I guess i’m gonna have to!! Fishkill is the name of the town- although I realize that still doesn’t explain the name. Thank you…I think LC is so cute too :)

  23. what a perfect weekend! and i can’t wait to hear more about your trip to italy – the description of your cookery class had me drooling at my desk! i’ve bookmarked this recipe & can’t wait to give it a go :)

  24. That pumpkin bread looks so good! I am loving everything pumpkin right now! Can’t wait to read more about your trip to Italy. That cooking class sounds like it would have been so much fun!

    • Me too, Christin- I definitely need to be making more pumpkin recipes! Although now that we have an overabundance of apples, I guess I better get cookin with them too ;)

  25. I’m so happy to know you enjoyed your trip to Italy, I’ve always wanted to go there! And what a fun weekend you had, it sounded so so exciting!
    These loaves look amazing! I’d definitely love the pecans addition ;)

  26. Welcome back! Can’t wait to read more about your vacation. I went to Italy with my parents, too, a couple of years ago and had a blast :)

  27. Looks like a fun time!
    The pumpkin spice bread looks so wonderful.

  28. Pingback: Bread with Pecorino, Honeycomb and Orange Zest…and a Quick Recap of My Italian Vacation |

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