How to make pumpkin bread


Many families have those Christmas traditions that have always been there each holiday season. For the Parrett family, it was Aunt Bessie’s pumpkin bread. We have tried (and failed) to start many different holiday traditions, but this is the one that has stuck for so long; I do not even remember starting it.

I knew Christmas was around the corner when the warm, spicy smell would waft from the oven. Countless elementary school teachers have received a loaf of this bread wrapped in cellophane and red ribbon before we bounded off for Christmas break. We didn’t leave cookies for Santa. Santa liked pumpkin bread, of course! Many times I have baked it in my apartment on campus and had a twinge of homesickness when the aroma finally filled the little kitchen. This recipe has been like hot chocolate and new pajamas on Christmas Eve: it just feels right.

I never met Aunt Bessie, but when I get to heaven, I plan to thank her twice for this recipe and all of the memories it brought with it. I hope it brings a few to your home this Christmas.

Bessie’s Pumpkin Bread

Yields 18 muffins and 1 large loaf


  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (1 can)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans (optional)
  • ½ cup walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients (besides nuts) in a large bowl.
  3. Add wet ingredients to the bowl. Stir until combined.
  4. Fold in nuts, if desired.
  5. If making muffins, bake 20-25 minutes, or until brown on top. If making a loaf, bake 45 minutes-1 hour.

-Toria Parrett, Public Relations Intern



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