It seems we’ve begun a new tradition in our family. That is, if you consider two weeks of loaf cakes on Sunday a tradition. I certainly do and it’s one that I don’t intend to quit.

It’s these loaves that mix up in minutes, spend an hour in the oven (giving the right amount of time to sit with my coffee then cook up a few eggs to add more substance to our Sunday breakfast) and taste more complex than their recipe asks, that have us deeming it a new tradition.

There’s another, far more selfish reason for the Sunday loaf: It’s Monday when the cake is best and in a moment of settled quiet I enjoy another slice. With an overnight rest the flavor both richens and mellows and the texture settles into itself. With most cakes I’ve found this to be true. The second day cake is tender and springy. In this particular loaf the spices weave their way into the loaf and boost the pumpkin flavor while the texture relaxes and easily submits.

My Sunday slice is shared around the table with little fingers grabbing for crumbs and eager for seconds. Monday’s slice is savored slowly as the crisp sugary edges are eaten first, followed by the soft, spicy interior. Each bite is enjoyed in between pages of my book and sips of coffee. The kids have had their breakfast and are entertained with legos, coloring or Curious George while I sit on the couch with my pumpkin bread.

Around the table on Sunday I love the fluttering murmur of excitement around the still-warm loaf. I love the anticipation that builds when traditions are firmly established. But I also love having a bit of incentive to get out of bed early on a Monday morning and to start the week with a lovely loaf cake made the day before. Either way this tradition is destined to linger awhile.



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Pumpkin Graham Bread

Makes 1 loaf
This recipe pulls inspiration from a couple sources. From Grandma’s recipe box I decided to marry pumpkin with Graham flour as there are multiple versions of Graham bread scattered throughout. But since I was fresh out of “sour milk” I went with Elise’s recipe for pumpkin bread as the foundation.
Graham flour is essentially whole wheat flour with more texture. The parts of the wheat kernel are ground separately then joined together at the end of the milling process.
In order to ensure Sunday’s loaf leaves enough for Monday you may want to double this recipe to produce two loaves. You’ve been warned.

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup Graham flour (whole wheat flour could be substituted)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch white pepper (optional)
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup olive oil (or other neutral oil)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup water
¼ cup seeds/nuts (I used sliced almonds and sunflower seeds but you could use anything really)

Preheat your oven to 350*F and butter a loaf pan.
In a bowl combine the flours, salt, brown sugar, baking soda and spices with a whisk.
In another bowl mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, honey and water. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir to combine.
Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and top with seeds, nuts and a sprinkling of turbinado sugar (regular sugar is fine). Bake about 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Turn out of the pan and let cool on a wire rack.


53 Responses to “Pumpkin Graham Bread”

  1. Daytona @ Outside Oslo

    I’ve had loaf cakes on the mind this week too. I made a lovely one with lingonberry jam and spices last week, and can’t wait to make it again with the addition of some frozen lingonberries, chopped walnuts, and an almond-flavored icing, which will add even more of a Scandinavian touch to an already-delightful loaf cake. Yours sounds delicious!

  2. Jessica

    I really, really love the idea of a Sunday baking tradition, loafcakes or otherwise.

    The quiet moments you described when the loaf is still on the oven and you have time with your coffee sounds heavenly. I want that. And I just might start doing this.

    And, like you said, weekday cake-eating.

  3. ahu

    oh this looks amazing, and i love the story behind it. i can see eating it warmed up with a little butter shmeared on it! yum!

  4. Laura Dembowski

    I recently made my first loaf cake though it certainly won’t be my last. Your tradition sounds like a lot of fun. Baked goods are almost always better the next day or even after a short time in the freezer.

  5. Sophia Katt

    I pounced on the ingredient “pumpkin puree” in this recipe because we have a can of the stuff picked up God knows from where, and now I know what to do with it, plus what to do with 2 tablespoons from a little holiday cranberry honey jar that someone gave as a hostess present back in the day. And the remaining pieces of slivered almonds that are sitting in the fridge–not enough to “do” something but too much to throw out.

    The loaf is mixed now and is 10 minutes into baking. I theorize that this will go well enough with the cumin-simmered pinto beans and the sliced leftover pepper steak that we can call the total dinner.

  6. Pamela

    I just made this. It is too good, I don’t know if I can wait for the morning. I didn’t use eggs, I used whole spelt flour and I didn’t use the honey.

    Amazing. I think I could make it again and take out some of the sugar too. SO delicious. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Pamela – YES!! Love that. I cut the sugar by half – good to know it can be cut even more.That’s what I love about these little loaves. They are so adaptable.

  7. MG Atwood

    You have more patience than I. I know I would continue eating this bread, and there wouldn’t be the day by day slice. Looks fabulous!

  8. Nicole

    I recently bought 5 bags of graham flour for a recipe that ended up being a flop, so I’m THRILLED to find something else to do with it. Thanks Ashley!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Nicole – Perfect! I should send you one of Grandma’s graham bread recipes too. I’m intrigued by it. I bought a few bags so will have to try it. I guess I could just sub buttermilk for her sour milk. 🙂

  9. Eileen

    Look at all those beautiful seeds! OM NOM NOM. I heartily concur that Sunday bread is a tradition well worth continuing!

  10. sara

    two times totally constitutes a tradition! I’ve been doing this with hugh too, especially with the holidays coming, as there is something about ‘tradition’ that makes it feel like you’re really making the time memorable or something (on Dec. 1st, we always have french toast, the two of us open gifts on xmas eve and it’s a tradition to eat breakfast on the porch on saturdays!). I tip my hat to your Sunday tradition. Sundays at home should always feel special.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Sara – I LOVE the December 1st french toast tradition. When did this start? We always have a Pomegranate on Thanksgiving. Big or small, traditions are wonderful. I love the thought of my kids passing along some of our silly traditions to their family.

  11. Dave

    This looked so good, I went straight to the store, bought some nuts and medium stone ground whole wheat flour and baked some within 4 hours of getting the recipe! OMG. Awesome! Thanks!

  12. dervla @ The Curator

    Seriously, tea breads are my new favorite things to cook. It’s so wonderful to have a loaf to slice up with a cup of tea – so comforting on these dark, cold nights. I’m adding this to my list of weekly breads, thanks!!

  13. Renee {The Way to My Family's Heart}

    Having just polished off what I’m sure will only be the first slice of many today, I can say with confidence that this bread is awesome! Now I finally have a use for that bag of graham flour lingering in the pantry after a failed cracker attempt. Thank you Ashley! P.S. thanks also for the roasted pear oatmeal, I have made it several times since you posted it. Heaven!

  14. Missy

    I tried the bread last night and it was wonderful! I used 100% whole wheat flour (no white) and only honey to sweeten it (1/2 cup). I love the nuts on top – a nice, different touch to pumpkin bread.

  15. Dana

    Ashley, I am totally making this. Stat! I have been searching around for graham flour because I wanted to make my own graham crackers and it has been surprisingly hard to find. This is the Bay Area people! But I just got some last week and this will be an offering to guests we have coming to stay next weekend. Miss you!

  16. Christine Somers

    I love baking for my family and they are great about savoring and enjoying everything I prepare. My granddaughter is allergic to tree nuts so I am always looking for recipes that are a little different so we don’t miss the nuts. The addition of sunflower seeds without almonds is perfect along with the graham flour. I will be giving this a try. As a side note…your grandmother’s chopped apple bread was a big hit at my house. Hugs, C

  17. Vicky

    Delicious recipe! I bought some graham flour, then could not find the recipe it was originally going to be used in. Found this one instead, and so glad I did. I did not have pumpkin on hand, so I subbed applesauce. The only other changes were less nutmeg (personal preference) and I used a mix of melted butter and olive oil. Loaf pan size is not noted, so I guessed at a medium pan, approx 4 1/2 x 8 1/2. The larger bread loaf pan would result in a significantly smaller loaf, height-wise.The seeds with turbinado take this bread over the top. Thank you!

  18. Amy's Favorites

    Great recipe! I used coconut oil, but otherwise didn’t change the recipe, and really like how it turned out.


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