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Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Bread

This delightful Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Bread is flavored with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and mace, and will make your house smell better than any of those fall-scented candles you’ve been stocking up on.

Made with butter instead of oil and packed with goodies like walnuts, raisins, and oats, this pumpkin quick bread is rich, hearty, filling, and exactly what I’ve been craving now that my fuzzy slippers and cozy sweaters have come out of hiding.

We recently took Hazel on her first road trip to southern California. It was a whirlwind trip with an overnight stop in Thousand Oaks to visit her grandparents, then on to San Diego to see my sister and brother-in-law and their two English Bulldogs. My dad drove down and met us at my sister’s house, so we had a mini family reunion there.

Although Hazel had lots of fun hanging out with our families, I’m pretty sure the highlight of her trip was meeting Abby and Buford, my sister’s dogs. My child loves animals and the bulldogs were much more interested in returning her affection than our pets at home.


Buford the Bulldog Puppy |

Although it was great to catch up with my sister and the drive itself was surprisingly fun (road trip food!), a big highlight of the trip for me was the pumpkin bread and brownies that Phil’s mom made for us.

I ate a lot of pumpkin bread on that trip. And brownies. And fast food.

And now that I’ve suffered for an entire week and a half without any of those things, I decided it was time to make some pumpkin bread of my own.

Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Bread |

This recipe is based on the Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread recipe found in my Williams-Sonoma Baking book, but I ended up making quite a few changes. For one thing, I was out of whole wheat flour, so my bread was made with all purpose flour instead.

I also decided to swap rolled oats for cornmeal, buttermilk for water, and changed up the spices a bit because I wanted to try using mace instead of nutmeg. I also cut the original recipe in half to make one loaf instead of two. Really, my bread doesn’t resemble the original recipe all that much.

I chose the rolled oats because I wanted a heartier bread and I just really like the flavor and chew of oats in baked goods. I used buttermilk because I have a quart of Bulgarian buttermilk that is getting close to turning so I’m trying to add buttermilk to as many things as possible for the next couple of days.

The spices were again, just an experiment. I have a small jar of mace that hardly ever gets used and I love the flavor, so I’m going to try incorporating it in more of my upcoming recipes. I used it in some spiced blueberry plum jam over the summer and it was really delicious!

If you don’t have all of the spices I used in this bread, feel free to play around with what you do have or you can use pumpkin pie spice in place of the others.

I’m happy to report that my substitutions and experiments turned into a really delicious loaf of buttermilk pumpkin spice bread. My house smelled amazing for hours after taking it out of the oven and the butter, oatmeal, raisins, and nuts taste so good together.

You can enjoy this recipe as is or use it as a jumping off point to create a pumpkin spice bread that suits your own taste. Although I love raisins and nuts, feel free to change them or leave them out completely. Cranberries and pecans would be delicious here. If you decide to leave out the oatmeal, make sure to add some extra flour or even swap the oatmeal out for the cornmeal that was included in the original recipe.

Have fun!

Yields one medium loaf

Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Bread
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1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground mace (can substitute nutmeg)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup rolled oats

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree (mashed cooked pumpkin or canned)

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with butter and dust with flour (or use the baking spray with flour in it).

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, mace, and salt until everything is well combined then stir in the rolled oats. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar using a hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment. Beat in the pumpkin, eggs, and buttermilk until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Stir in the raisins and walnuts.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.


2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice can be used in place of the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and mace.

If you need to use a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, the bread might bake faster, so start checking 10 minutes early.


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Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Bread Recipe |