Baking with pumpkin

Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Cookies, Pumpkin Muffins…the list goes on. Americans like to bake with pumpkin.

Its not something we do here very often, we usually turn our pumpkins into soup (or curry), or eat them roasted, so I have been intrigued.

The first time I baked with pumpkin was for my cookbook, and I made a chocolate pumpkin pie. It was sweet, creamy and a little odd to my taste-buds, being used to having pumpkin with gravy, not chocolate. It was pretty good though, and a very unusual dessert by Australian standards.

Now that I am cooking the USA, vegan style, I figure I should probably get on the baking with pumpkin bandwagon.

I chopped, seeded, skinned and baked one of my whole pumpkins. I let it cool, and gave it a good mash. Great…now what?

Scouring the internet, and my cookbook shelf, for recipes with pumpkin, I found some interesting looking recipes for pumpkin bread, and a recipe for pumpkin cookies (biscuits!) from my Lickin’ The Beaters cookbook, which looked promising.

So, off to work. I made the pumpkin read first, by combining a few recipes I found around the traps, including this one from IVU, and this one from gluten free goddess. Mine used white sugar and maple syrup as sweeteners, white and buckwheat flours, canola oil and sour cream as fats/wet ingredients, and I added walnuts. I didn’t use an egg replacer, and it didn’t matter.

Pumpkin Bread: My favourite!

As it turns out, pumpkin bread would be better described as pumpkin cake. It was awesome! I made two loaves, cutting the recipes by a third, and after two days (now) we have already run out (and there are only two of us). It was moist and sweet and spicy and just generally scrumptious. Definitely a winner, and something I plan to make again and again. In fact I might have another crack next week, with the remaining mashed pumpkin, which is sitting in my freezer.

Next were the Pumpkin Maple Cookies. I followed the recipe for these, uncharacteristically adding no changes or substitutions. They looked promising, but turned out a little underwhelming.

Maple Pumpkin Cookies: Not my favourite

They were spongy in a way I wasn’t keen on, and had a strong earthy flavour, which I just don’t think should be found in sweets. I think this recipe would be a good fit for some people, especially those who are less sugar-addicted than me, but it just wasn’t right for our house. To prove it, we have a biscuit jar full of them, hardly touched by either Mr or myself.

Today, I also made pumpkin muffins. I ditched the US theme temporarily, and made them savoury, as I just didn’t feel like any more of the maple syrup/mixed spice/pumpkin combination this week. We ate them with pumpkin soup, of course!

So my muffins are falvoured with nutritional yeast, tomato paste, salt and sage, and I used vegan sour cream as the moisture/egg replacer. The recipe for my savoury, not at all American pumpkin muffins is below.

Savoury pumpkin muffins and pumpkin soup

Savoury Pumpkin Muffins

makes 9

  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs dried sage
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

    Mmmm, muffins
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 2 tbs sour cream
  • 1/6 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup white flour
  • 1/4 cup wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp soy milk
  1. pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees, oil a muffin tray
  2. In a large bowl mix herbs, yeast, salt, and all wet ingredients together (except milk).
  3. Sift in flour and baking powder, and beat well.
  4. Add milk now if the mixture is a little dry.
  5. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin tray, filling each cup about 2/3rds full. It make 9 muffins in my tray.
  6. Bake at 170 for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife poked in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in tray for 10 minutes, then turn onto rack to cool further. Serve warm with margarine.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Johanna GGG says:

    Hi I am enjoying following your trip around the world on your blog. Before I started blogging I had no idea just how different the American cooking was to that in Australia. I bake and cook with pumpkin a lot but I have found that what we refer to as pumpkin is different to what the Americans talk about – you can check out a post I did about pumpkin and pumpkin soup here and have a look at the comments from a few Americans to get a sense of what they mean. However I continue to follow American recipes using a plain old Kent or Jap pumpkin. Like you I find many american recipes to be very sweet and the ‘breads’ (without yeast) are often what I call a cake or a loaf.

    And I love the look of your savoury pumpkins – I have made savoury pumpkin muffins once and had trouble finding recipes for it so will squirrell this away to try some time.

    1. Keira says:

      Love your post, Johanna. I’ve been using Butternut, which isn’t even real pumpkin, but its what I have on hand after an Aunt and Uncle sent me home with a few. I’ve read all over the place about Americans getting pumpkin in a can, I find that so odd! The sweetness of everything surprises me too- even the cornbread I’m about to make (actual bread this time) has maple syrup in it.

  2. Keira says:

    * Update* the muffins really do need to be eaten warm. I noted it briefly in the recipe, but its worth repeating… they’re moist, and will go doughy and yuck when too cold. They can be reheated though.

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