Pumpkin Gingerbread

My, oh my.

My. oh. my.


This, more or less, will be the reaction you will get from people if you make this recipe for someone. It’s pumpkin gingerbread and pretty much it’s one of the only redeeming qualities I can find about fall – canned pumpkin is back.

By the way, did you know there’s a pumpkin shortage? More specifically, a canned pumpkin shortage? In a long talk I had with my Harris Teeter checkout woman, she told me it was so. I suppose I’ll believe her and stock up whenever possible. So it goes.

Anyhow, this is an AllRecipes favorite of mine that has been tried and true time and time again. It’s simple and the only change I have (which is fairly significant) is to double the amount of spices. All the spices. You won’t regret it. Live daringly! Live boldly! Live for pumpkin gingerbread!

Too far? Too far.

Here’s the cast of characters. Sugar, oil (I used canola, recipe calls for vegetable), 4 eggs, 1 can of pumpkin puree (honestly I don’t normally go organic, it was just all Harris Teeter had), ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. And three turtle doves. Just kidding, it’s a lot of spices, but really this recipe is simple. Simple I tell ya, simple!

At some point preheat your oven to 350°. My oven takes about 5 years to preheat and this recipe about 5 minutes to make, so the earlier the better.

Then in a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar…

The oil….

…and the eggs. Which I forgot to take a picture of. But mix them up, and here’s the consistency you’re looking for.

Then add 2/3 cup of water…

And beat that all up until it’s even smoother and less gloppy.

Then the good stuff. Add the pumpkin…

Just use a fork to get this congealed glob of pumpkin out and you’ll be fine.

Fact: someone once asked me why I don’t use real pumpkin for this. As in, cutting a pumpkin in half, taking the seeds out, roasting one half for hours and then another half for hours, and then scraping out the inside of it to use.


Anyhow, the spices come next. 4 teaspoons of ground ginger (remember the recipe calls for 2 but we’re living on the edge and going for double)…

Is “Living on the Edge” by Aerosmith stuck in anyone else’s head now? Just me?

2 teaspoons of allspice…

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon…

You’ll notice I don’t use perfectly-measured leveled-off amounts of these spices. I’m not saying to make them heaping, but if there’s a little extra, that’s acceptable. And encouraged.

And finally, 2 teaspoons of ground cloves…

Look at all those wonderful spices just sitting there harmoniously. Beauty.

Now, stir those all together and then grab a smaller mixing bowl.

Combine 3.5 cups of flour with 2 teaspoons of baking soda 1.5 teaspoons of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. Then mix it into those wonderful wet ingredients.

Stir it all up until it looks like this.

This finger was dipped in purely for demonstration purposes. It was licked off with great sorrow and pain. In no way would I ever do this normally.

Over and over again with every finger.

(Seriously though, if you get squeamish about raw eggs/batter…which I don’t…skip this step. But if you’re a little gutsy, this batter might just change the way you look at the world.)

Finally, your oven has been preheated, and you lightly spray two 9×5 loaf pans with cooking spray…

…and LSB declares he’s starving to death and may fall over dead at any minute and can’t wait for the hour it takes for these puppies to bake. So you then turn OFF the oven, pour the batter in, cover them with tin foil, pop them in the fridge, and come back.

Then come back, repeat the whole preheating thing, get annoyed at the electricity you wasted warming up an entire oven but get over it because, hey, life goes on, and bake for about an hour. You’ll probably need to do the toothpick test, but for me, 1 hour seems to work perfectly.

Here’s what it looks like baked. Bring a loaf of this to an enemy and you will become friends. Bring a loaf of this to a party, and you will rival the most interesting man in the world. Eat this all to yourself, and you will be content for a long, long time.


Here’s the recipe from AllRecipes again. My changes are in italics, but remember all I changed were to double every spice.

Pumpkin Gingerbread


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger (4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice (2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves (2 teaspoons)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large mixing, combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until smooth. Add water and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin, ginger, allspice cinnamon, and clove.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are mixed. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour.

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