Mother In Law's Pumpkin Bread

Saturday 24 November 2018

One of my very first Christmas's as a young bride my Mother In Law, Elizabeth Ramsay, sent me a gift that I have treasured for over 40 years now.  It was a handwritten notebook in which she had copied out all of her tried and trues and favourite recipes. 

It is old now and pretty much careworn and falling apart . . .  pages splattered and stained . . .  the handwriting is fading in many places.  I really need to copy it out into another notebook before all is lost. 

This delicious Pumpkin Bread is one of the recipes that she shared.   

It is one of my favourite recipes from out of the book, and one that I find myself wanting bake every year at this time of year  . . .  it is truly a holiday type of bread. 

I have made a few changed to it over the years, but not many and none that would change the integrity of this bread.  The basic recipe remains the same. 

She did not add any spice to hers.  I add pumpkin spice because I enjoy the flavour of pumpkin pie spice.  You can find my recipe for making your own pumpkin pie spice in my side bar if you are on a PC, or at the bottom of the page if you are on a mobile device.  It is fabulously accurate, and it adds a special touch to this bread. 

I also add a touch of vanilla, which she didn't do either.  But if you are going to have pumpkin pie spice in a baked good, I find that you should also add some vanilla for balance.  They just work very well together. 

She only added raisins.  I have added dried cranberries in addition to the raisins, although I kept the total amount to be the same quantity as her original recipe.  Raisins and cranberries together are a wonderfully festive touch.  You could also leave one or the other out and add toasted walnuts in their place.

Back home where I come from, you would never eat a quick bread/loaf without some butter for spreading, and through the years I developed a lightly spiced Maple Butter to serve with this beautiful loaf.

It makes a beautiful addition, with only the mildest addition of spice and of course maple. I use pure maple syrup. You can't get more natural than that. 

It is the perfect addition to something which is already quite lovely . . .  dressed up for the holidays.

This moist delicious bread and that creamy butter just go together like peas and carrots!  You can't have one without the other . . . 

Well, yes . . .  you certainly can, but why not make both and enjoy both together.  Heavenly Bliss. 

You can also toast the bread lightly until the edges get all gilded and golden crisp  . . .  and then spread with the butter.  Oh boy, talk about good!

This went down a real treat while we were listening to our favourite Christmas Music and decorating the house for the holidays.  I think I will bake some more to give to the neighbours this Christmas.

I am pretty sure that a loaf of this and a small container of the Maple butter for spreading will be very well received!

Yield: makes 1 medium loaf

Mother In Law's Pumpkin Bread

prep time: 10 minscook time: 1 hour and 15 minstotal time: 1 hours and 25 mins
This is moist and delicious. I have added a few things through the years, but basically it is the same recipe that my MIL gave me back in 1979. It is delicious served warm with Spiced Maple Butter


210g plain flour (1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large free range eggs
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (see recipe in my right side column)
1 tsp vanilla extract
190g sugar (1 cup)
180ml vegetable oil (3/4 cup, I use sunflower or rapeseed)
140g tinned pumpkin (3/4 cup)
50g raisins (1/3cup)
50g dried cranberries (1/3 cup)
For the Maple butter:
120g butter at room temperature (1/2 cup)
2 TBS pure Maple Syrup
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice


First make the maple butter.  Using
an electric whisk, whisk all of the ingredients together until well
combined. Spoon into a serving dish.  Keep refrigerated and covered,
until you are ready to use.  Serve at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 165*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.  Butter a medium loaf tin and line it with baking paper.  Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Toss in the raisins and jiggle them around to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil and tinned pumpkin to combine well. 

 a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the wet just to combine. 
Everything should be moist, but it is not necessary for them to be
completely smooth.  Spoon into the prepared baking tin.

Bake for 1 1/4 hours until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

 cool in the tin for 10 minutes before lifting out onto a wire rack to cool.  Cut into slices to serve.  Store in an
airtight container.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I never bake this bread but what I don't think of my Mother In Law.  She and I were such good friends and so very close.  I have so many happy memories of time we spent together, baking, watching films, talking, laughing, sharing . . .  I really do miss her, especially this time of year.  Tis the season for happy memories for sure.
 Bon Appetit! 


  1. I used to have a good recipe for pumpkin bread and I've lost the card. For some reason -- maybe a longing of things past -- I was looking for it and thought I should find a new recipe. The need to bake that particular thing that day has moved on but this recipe is moving right to my file for future reference. It sounds good.

    1. This really is an excellent Pumpkin Bread recipe Jeanie. I hope you will try it. I also hope you have had a lovely Thanksgiving! xo

  2. Such a great gift..and such sweet thoughts.I know how fond of her you were..are:)


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