This maple pumpkin bread recipe is moist and flavourful, made with both maple syrup and maple sugar.
Canned pumpkin versus homemade purée
For the pumpkin purée, you can used canned pumpkin or you can make your own by roasting a sugar pumpkin until the flesh is soft, then puréeing the flesh until smooth. If you do so, I highly recommend straining the pumpkin purée through a few layers of cheesecloth to remove some of the extra moisture. That moisture may lead to a gummy layer on the bottom just like with banana bread because the cake doesn’t bake through. In general, always take the time to check if your cake is done baking using visual cues, touching the surface of the loaf gently to make sure it bounces back and feels set, and poking a skewer through the middle to make sure the loaf is baked in the centre.
You want to be extra careful when verifying that this pumpkin maple bread is baked through because you are baking with a liquid sugar that can add moisture to the batter than granulated sugar. Take the time to use several methods to check if the cake is done before pulling it out of the oven, or you might find that your cake sinks as it cools.
I kept the flavourings in this cake very simple: it’s all about the maple and the pumpkin. The cake is not overly sweet, but the topping of maple sugar not only makes this loaf cake super pretty to look at, but also adds an extra hit of real maple flavour that can sometimes get lost in the baking. Remember when you want to make a baking substitution where you are replacing a granular sugar product (either white sugar or brown sugar) with a liquid sugar, like honey or maple syrup, it’s best to only replace a portion of the sugar, and not all, in order to maintain the texture of the cake and also to avoid having to make other adjustments to the recipe. So if you’ve ever wondered if you can make pumpkin bread with maple syrup, the answer is yes!
This is the perfect recipe to make if you have a leftover cup of pumpkin purée and you don’t know what to do with it. Recipes you can make with canned pumpkin include pumpkin tarts, pumpkin pie shake, baked pumpkin doughnuts, and even cute pumpkin whoopie pies. Some of these recipes take less than a can’s worth of pumpkin, so you might have some leftover.
This is an easy recipe that you can literally throw together like any muffin batter that follows the two bowl mixing method. The dry ingredients are combined in one big bowl, and the wet ingredients are combined in another bowl. Then the wet ingredients are poured over the dry and the mixture is stirred until the dry bits are all moistened and “gone.” It can easily be done by hand, with just a whisk and a wooden spoon.
Because of its simplicity and its maple flavour, this cake would make an excellent addition to your Thanksgiving brunch table, or just because you didn’t get enough pumpkin the first time around. Feel free to add pumpkin spice or a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg to bring in more traditional flavours, as in this pumpkin loaf cake. For an eggless version of this recipe, try this healthier pumpkin bread, which is also low in sugar, dairy-free, and vegan.
Maple pumpkin bread
- 250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour 2 cups
- 10 mL (2 tsp) baking powder
- 2.5 mL (½ tsp) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 63 mL (¼ cup) canola oil 1/4 cup
- 100 grams (½ cup) light brown sugar 1/2 cup
- 83 mL (⅓ cup) pure maple syrup 1/3 cup, medium grade
- 2 large eggs
- 5 mL (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
- 250 mL (1 cup) pumpkin purée 1 cup
- 50 grams (¼ cup) maple sugar 1/4 cup
- 30 grams (¼ cup) pumpkin seeds 1/4 cup
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan (like this one , then line the bottom with a rectangle of parchment. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the granulated maple sugar and pumpkin seeds.
- Bake for about 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
- Let cool for about 15 minutes or so before unmolding (some of the sugar will fall off when you flip it out of the pan, but simply flip it back right side up, and then transfer any lost toppings back to their rightful place).
- Cool completely before serving.
Janice Lawandi is chemist-turned-baker, working as a recipe developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and cooking at l’Académie Culinaire. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Concordia University and a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Visit janicelawandi.com to see my portfolio.