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Pumpkin Bread

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Kids love it, grown-ups love it…this pumpkin bread is hard to beat!

Pumpkin Bread

My grandmother clipped this pumpkin bread recipe from a magazine over 50 years ago, and it is my most-cherished family recipe. One of my clearest childhood memories is baking the loaves with my mom and carting them off to every neighborhood potluck and holiday party. Now I bake pumpkin bread with my own kids, and it’s just as wonderful today as it was back then. It’s easy to make — just a bit of mixing and stirring, pop it in the oven, and, in about an hour, you’ll have a house smelling of sweet autumn spices and two scrumptious, pumpkiny loaves.

pumpkin bread

This is the original recipe from my grandmother’s recipe box; as you can see, it has seen its share of spills! After a bit of research, I discovered that the original recipe was published in the McCalls Cook Book (Random House, 1963). It is a typical sweet quick bread, similar to banana bread or cranberry nut bread, in that it is leavened with baking powder and/or baking soda instead of yeast. Quick bread batter can usually be made into muffins; my pumpkin muffins are almost identical to this bread but with a crunchy pecan streusel topping.

What you’ll need to make pumpkin bread

How to make pumpkin bread

Begin by combining the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. I like to add everything in neat little piles in case I lose track of what I’ve added.

Whisk well and set aside.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Beat until just combined. It will look a little crumbly.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Continue beating for a few minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the pumpkin.

Beat until combined. It will look a little grainy — that’s okay.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture.

And beat on low speed until just combined.

Transfer the batter to loaf pans.

Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let the loaves cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

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Video Tutorial

Pumpkin Bread

Kids love it, grown-ups love it…this pumpkin bread is hard to beat!

Servings: Makes 2 loaves
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 65 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15-oz) can 100% pure pumpkin (I use Libby's)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with butter and dust with flour (alternatively, use a baking spray with flour in it, such as Pam with Flour or Baker's Joy).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the pumpkin. The mixture might look grainy and curdled at this point -- that's okay.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
  5. Turn the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly, and bake for 65 – 75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Fresh out of the oven, the loaves have a deliciously crisp crust. If they last beyond a day, you can toast individual slices to get the same fresh-baked effect.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it securely in aluminum foil, freezer wrap or place in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (24 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 166
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26 g
  • Sugar: 17 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 117 mg
  • Cholesterol: 31 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • This turned out great! I substituted the eggs for applesauce to make it vegan and added some extra baking powder so it wouldn’t affect the consistency. It was moist and tasted fantastic, big hit at the potluck I brought it to. Will absolutely be making this again!

    • — Zoe on October 19, 2023
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  • BEST PUMPKIN BREAD EVER! Thanks for sharing! ❤️

    • — Sara on October 18, 2023
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  • Terrific recipe as-is and I have been making it for several years now. I use roasted and puréed fresh pumpkin. Recent mods are less sugar and more cinnamon, so for those ingredients I now use 1 3/4 cups total sugar (split 1 cup white and 3/4 cup packed brown sugar) and 1 3/4tsp cinnamon. I also split the 2 cups flour evenly between white and whole wheat.

    • — Kathryn Horner on October 17, 2023
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  • Can you use pumpkin pie spice instead of the individual spices

    • — Kim on October 16, 2023
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    • Yes, you’ll need 1 tablespoon.

      • — Jenn on October 17, 2023
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  • Great texture, but the bread didn’t rise much at all and the clove flavor was overwhelming. If I make again I will only do 1/2 teaspoon of ground clove vs the 1 tsp the recipe calls for.

    • — Jenna on October 16, 2023
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  • I made this for my family and we all loved it! My kids are pretty picky about food, so I was relieved they kept wanting to eat it 🙂

    • — Brenda on October 16, 2023
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  • Hi Ruth, I’m sorry you’re seeing so many ads and it’s impacted your ability to see the recipe — I know it can be really frustrating. If you’d like, you can install an adblocker on whatever browser you use. You still see some unobtrusive ads, but it’s a much better experience. It will also eliminate annoying ads on all websites you visit — not just mine. The only downside is that it blocks the videos too, and unfortunately, there is no way around that.

    • — Jenn on October 16, 2023
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  • I added walnuts and raisins. This is the best pumpkin bread recipe I have ever had. Thank you!!!

    • — Laurie Barrows on October 16, 2023
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  • i really like this recipe but some reasons my bread is very crumbly, can you help me figure out whats wrong? thanks

    • — jess on October 15, 2023
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    • Hi Jess, sorry found it to be crumbly – are you letting the bread cool completely before slicing it? That’s really important. If it is completely cool, are you using a serrated knife and a “sawing” action to slice?

      • — Jenn on October 16, 2023
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  • This is such an amazing recipe. It’s super moist without being too heavy. I’d like to try making it (parve) dairy free. What is your best guess on a butter substitute for this recipe? Thanks for any suggestions you may have,
    Randi

    • — Randi B on October 14, 2023
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    • Hi Randi, You can make it dairy-free by replacing the butter with (solidified) coconut oil. So glad you like it!

      • — Jenn on October 16, 2023
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      • Thanks Jenn,
        I finally made it dairy free and it turned out great! Perhaps I even liked it better :). I used mostly coconut oil and added Earths balance and some canola oil to add up to the amount of butter. Thanks for the suggestion!

        • — Randi on November 16, 2023
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        • So glad it came out well — thanks for taking the time to report back!

          • — Jenn on November 16, 2023
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  • Mine ended up falling instead of rising like classic quick loaf bread. Haven’t eaten any yet so no comments on taste. Any ideas?

    • — Amy on October 14, 2023
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    • Hi Amy, This is pretty low profile, the loaves don’t rise much – they’re more like a cake than a bread in that regard. If they sunk though, it sounds like they were a bit underbaked – if you make these again, I’d leave them in the oven for a few more minutes. Hope they tasted good though. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 16, 2023
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    • The taste was amazing and the bread was completely baked. From what I’ve read, maybe my liquid to dry ratio was off. Either way, making it again this weekend!

      • — Amy on October 21, 2023
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  • By far the BEST pumpkin bread recipe I have ever found! Thanks to your Grandmother and to you for sharing it!

    • — Christine on October 14, 2023
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  • How many cups of mini chocolate chips should o add?

    • — Maggie on October 13, 2023
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    • Hi Maggie, I’d add 1/2 to 1 cup. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 16, 2023
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  • The recipe makes a moist and tasty pumpkin bread. I find it too sweet, though. I will cut the sugar in half the next time I make this bread.

    • — Julie on October 13, 2023
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  • Hi, do you think I could use margarine for this recipe instead of butter?

    • — Sam on October 12, 2023
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    • Sure, as long as it’s in stick form. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 12, 2023
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      • Made this the other night and OMG so moist and delicious. Planning on making it again tonight but will omit the clove…..and double up on the cinnamon! I find the clove is too much but to each its own!

        • — Christina on October 12, 2023
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  • Hi! I just picked up some Cinnamon Girl pie pumpkins with my local CSA order. Would this recipe work with these if I roast and puree them first instead of the canned pumpkin?

    • — Tricia on October 12, 2023
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    • Sure, Tricia, that will work. Just make sure you drain off any excess liquid after pureeing it. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 12, 2023
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      • AWESOME!!!

        • — Kristin on October 12, 2023
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    • I made this today. It was easy and delicious! I added in a cup of (soaked) raisins and a cup of chopped, toasted pecans and topped with brown sugar before baking.

      • — Dale on October 14, 2023
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  • excellent recipe and delicious!

    • — Dar on October 12, 2023
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  • Made this last night and have already consumed an entire loaf. It’s absolutely go-to perfect with coffee and will be my go to recipe for years to come. I may next time try a bit less sugar for my particular taste, but this is a 10/10 winning recipe, easy to see why its stood the test of time.

    • — Anne on October 11, 2023
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  • Hi, I made this and it was really delicious I would definitely recommend. I’m trying to go on a bit of a diet before the holidays and I was wondering how many grams is in a serving and how many calories it would be?

    • — Andrea on October 9, 2023
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    • Hi Andrea! Glad you enjoyed it! While I know that each loaf has 12 servings, I’ve never weighed it so I don’t know how many grams in a slice, but each slice is 166 calories (you can see all the nutritional info immediately under the recipe).

      • — Jenn on October 9, 2023
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    • FWIW, I subbed two bananas for the sugar and it worked very well! I may add a bit of honey next time to up the sweetness a bit, but it was perfectly delicious with just banana.

      • — Brian on October 13, 2023
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  • Delicious! Made exactly according to directions, except I cut sugar to 1 & 2/3rd cups. May even cut it to 1 & 1/2 cups next time. My husband loved it. Will definitely make again!

    • — Jane S. on October 9, 2023
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    • I did the same and it was perfect!

      • — Christina Cole on October 22, 2023
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  • Hi there! Quick question, I am home with a sick kiddo and can’t get to the store. I’d love to whip this up today but only have salted butter. Would you cut the salt to 1/4 teaspoon or eliminate it altogether? Thank you so much!

    • — Lora on October 9, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Lora, I’d use 1/8 tsp. salt. Hope your kiddo feels better and you enjoy the pumpkin bread!

      • — Jenn on October 9, 2023
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  • I made this diabetic and cholesterol friendly by substituting honey for the sugar and olive oil for butter. Don’t worry all the spices cover the taste of the olive oil and the honey. I also used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. This is so moist and delicious 😋

    • — Donna Thornburg on October 8, 2023
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  • Delicious bread. I sprinkled some Trader Joe’s shelled pumpkin seeds on top for crunch.

    The problem I’ve been having with this and other quick breads is that they’re not rising. When I made this recipe yesterday, the bread came out at about 2 inches tall. I know it’s not the recipe because the same thing happened with a pound cake.

    I use coated loaf pans. Could that be the problem?

    • — Shirleen Holt on October 8, 2023
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    • Hi Shirleen, glad you liked it! This bread is more like a cake and doesn’t rise very much. That said, if you’re having a consistent problem, getting your baked goods to rise, check the date on your baking powder. If it’s very old or expired, it will definitely affect your rise. Also, make sure you’re using the right sized loaf pans.

      • — Jenn on October 9, 2023
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  • I would use the whole recipe for one loaf, not two loaves in a regular size loaf pan

    • — Baker on October 8, 2023
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  • Disappointing cake-like texture. The recipe language was peculiarly written also – “may look grainy and curdled” did not apply and seemed contrived. There was nothing “curdled” looking about it. I like recipes to be clear, straightforward, complete and detailed, not flowery.

    • — Lucy on October 8, 2023
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    • Hi,
      My looked curdled and I am grateful she mentioned it, otherwise I would have tossed it thinking something was wrong. That being said, the flavor and texture were great, but it was pretty flat.

      • — Victoria on October 11, 2023
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    • Mine was grainy and curdled looking. I was also glad she mentioned it because I would’ve thought something went wrong!

      • — MK on October 15, 2023
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    • Disagree. I even said out loud to myself that I was glad she put that in there, otherwise I would have freaked out – because mine was very curdled looking. Don’t assume your experience is universal.

      • — Kate on October 22, 2023
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    • Loved this recipe, mine also looked a bit grainy and curdled, wondering maybe you are not sure what curdled looks like? Next time I make it will cut down the cloves to 3/4 tsp instead of 1 tsp. even though I love the 1 tsp my family thought it was a bit clove heavy. Yum!

      • — Sharon C. on October 24, 2023
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  • This was disappointing. It had a good structure but it didn’t taste really good. Just a little bit dull.

    • — Sophie on October 8, 2023
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  • Hi! I am needing to make this recipe with gluten free flour and was wondering if I needed to change the measurements regarding amount! Thanks!

    • — Tori on October 7, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Tori, no, I think that should work with gluten-free flour; a number for eaters have commented that they’ve made a gluten-free version successfully. You can keep the measurements the same. Would love to hear how it comes out!

      • — Jenn on October 9, 2023
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  • Incredible recipe! Soft, moist melt-in-your-mouth but not dense! Right amount of sweet and spice. Super easy to put together and then the overnight does the rest for you!

    • — Georgi on October 7, 2023
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  • This was absolutely delicious. I went ahead and put all of the batter into one loaf pan and it was perfect. So moist, not crumbly and perfect for fall. I also added mini chocolate chips and it was amazing!

    • — krissy on October 6, 2023
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  • This is really good, i also added few handfuls of dark chocolate chips. Very moist and delicious. I also used fresh pumpkin baked in the oven instead of canned.

    • — MV on October 6, 2023
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  • I’ve tried several of your recipes and they are always spot on. This recipe sounds like exactly what I am looking for, except that it doesn’t have walnuts and raisins in it. Can I add a cup of raisins and chopped walnuts to this recipe? I don’t want to add something that will make the bread not bake right. Thanks!

    • — Tia McCarty on October 5, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Tia, it’s fine to add nuts and raisins!

      • — Jenn on October 6, 2023
      • Reply
  • I have been making this for years (it’s the best recipe out there) but this year it definitely didnt come out full like the pictures. Seems many others are having this problem. It was like 2″ tall. I’ll probably use the full recipe for one loaf. Did the recipe change at all?

    • — Brian on October 5, 2023
    • Reply
    • No, the recipe didn’t change at all. This has always been pretty-profile bread as it’s more like a bread than a cake. That said, is you baking powder old or expired? Did you use 8 x 4-inch loaf pans?

      • — Jenn on October 6, 2023
      • Reply
  • Can I use a pyrex for this?

    • — Rachel on October 5, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, but the loaves may take slightly less time to bake in them, so just keep a close eye. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 5, 2023
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  • This is THE go-to pumpkin bread recipe in our house. Our whole family LOVES it, kiddos included. I was hoping to make mini loaves to give to neighbors as a thank-you for a surprise baby shower they had for me before we move. Do you have any recommendation on how many mini loaves (5.75in x 3in) one recipe would make and how long to bake?

    • — Lauren on October 5, 2023
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    • So glad you all like this! I’m guessing this will make 3 to 4 mini loaves, and I would start checking for doneness around 35 min (they may take longer). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 5, 2023
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  • Question: My bread pans are 9×5, will they work for this recipe? If so what would be any adjustments to make for baking?

    • — Christina Bourdet on October 4, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Christina, If you only have 9 x 5-inch loaf pans, I’d increase the batter by 1.5 and bake in two 9 x 5’s. Bake time may be a touch longer but keep a close eye on them. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 5, 2023
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  • This pumpkin bread is delicious…perfectly spiced and very moist. I’ve tried many pumpkin bread recipes over the years, & this is my favorite by far.

    • — Julie on October 3, 2023
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  • I enjoyed making this recipe and the house was wonderfully fragrant while they baked! I live at 5,000 feet though and the loaves didn’t rise well and weren’t fully baked after 75 minutes. I haven’t experienced this with my other batter bread recipes. I wonder if you have any ideas?

    • — Laura on October 2, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Laura, I’m sorry you had a problem with this! How long did they take to fully bake? If it wasn’t much longer than 75 minutes, it could just be that your oven runs a little cool. Here are some suggestions for checking it. And these loaves don’t rise a ton; they’re more like a cake than a quick bread. And I don’t have any experience baking at high altitude, so it’s hard to say whether or not that had any impact. Regardless, I’m sorry if they didn’t come out as you had hoped.

      • — Jenn on October 2, 2023
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  • I’ve been making this for years. So unbelievably delicious. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • — Alexis on October 2, 2023
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  • I would say I’m a rather seasoned baker… and unfortunately my pumpkin bread never cooked right.

    I followed all of the steps (I’ve reread them too!) and measured ingredients correctly and somehow my pumpkin bread- no matter how long I baked (1 hour) (+10 min on 350) (+25 min on 350) the pumpkin bread was more like a thick pudding when cutting into it. (Yes I let the bread sit to cool before doing so).

    Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s the recipe. Unfortunately I think it’s the recipe that I followed (the one at the bottom that has 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 butter, 2 cups sugar, etc)

    • — UnhappilyWOpumpkinbread on October 2, 2023
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    • I’m sorry you had such a problem with this! What you’ve described sounds very unusual for this bread. Is there any chance you mismeaured an ingredient?

      • — Jenn on October 2, 2023
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  • Mine sunk right in the middle… 😔 I never opened the oven during baking time. What could have I done wrong?
    I used coconut oil instead of butter and flax meal eggs instead of regular eggs, but that usually is fine. Any ideas? Taste wise, delicious, just not a pretty bread this time around.

    • — Nina S. on October 1, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Nina, I’ve never baked with flax eggs, so I can’t confidently say that it wouldn’t have impacted the bread. That said, when. quick bread sinks in the middle, it usually means that it’s underbaked, so next time leave it in the oven for a few extra minutes. Glad it tasted good though. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 2, 2023
      • Reply
  • Followed the recipe exactly, and this was a flop. It is incredibly sweet- probably has twice as much sugar as it needs. It also didn’t rise well. If I remade it, I would only use one loaf pan and 1 cup of sugar. This batch is headed for the trash.

    • — Kelly on September 30, 2023
    • Reply
  • This pumpkin bread came out so delicious! Today I am making it again and will share a loaf with my Air Bnb rental guests. I love all of your step by step instructions and photos. I have made several of your recipes and they have all turned out great. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and skills with those of us who also want to be good cooks!

    • — Donna on September 29, 2023
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    • I also have made this pumpkin bread and it turned out moist and delicious. Doubled the recipe and decreased the ground cloves to 1/4 teaspoon, other than that followed the recipe . Thanks for sharing

      • — June on October 4, 2023
      • Reply
  • Can I use almond flour instead of all purpose flour and if so, do I need to make any other adjustments?

    • — islander on September 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • You may be able to swap part of the all-purpose flour with almond flour, but I’m concerned the texture of the bread won’t be right with all almond flour. If you scroll down to the bottom, this piece on gluten-free baking has some information on using almond flour and potential tweaks that may. be necessary. Hope you find it helpful!

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2023
      • Reply
  • I didn’t have two loaf pans so I used my Bundt pan and added a little crumble topping…. Baaaaby, when I tell you it came out perfect …I could have ate the whole cake, very moist, perfect spice… great recipe!

    • — Deena B. on September 28, 2023
    • Reply
  • I really love this recipe….only thing I changed was the amount of sugar…I did 1 cup instead becuz 2 was just way too sweet for our liking..I also jus did 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice….mmmmmmmm my go to recipe…thanks!

    • — Tesy Clark on September 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • For all those whose bread was more dense and flatter than in the photos, I just made this for the second time and I think the trick to getting the rise is really beating the eggs, sugar and butter until very very fluffy, for several minutes as stated in the recipe. Mine was much higher the second try and that is the only thing I did differently. Either way it’s delicious!

    • — Shannon on September 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe was absolutely perfect! I did not have clove so I substituted ginger. My daughter asked me multiple times to make it again; each time while stuffing her face with big bites! Can you recommend how to keep that crust on the exterior for day two? When I stored it, it became soft/moist- still amazing though!!

    • — Tracy on September 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • Best recipe ever. I didn’t have nutmeg, but it didn’t matter. Added ginger instead. I added raisins, which made it even better. I also made small loaves in my pan that makes 8 little ones. The rest were muffins. So moist. Next time, I’ll put walnuts in it. Thank you

      • — Maria Stevenson on September 27, 2023
      • Reply
  • This is a really good recipe. The only thing I changed was swapping a cup of the white sugar out for dark brown sugar.

    • — Shelby on September 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • I did try this recipe. It turned out ok and tasted delicious. The only thing is that it did rise as much as the pictures in this web page show. It was pretty flat. It gets dense after being in the fridge overnight. I’m sure it’s something that I did wrong. I would try again.

    • — Jen on September 24, 2023
    • Reply
    • Just made this for the second time and I think the trick to getting the rise is really beating the eggs, sugar and butter until very very fluffy. Mine was much higher the second try.

      • — Shannon on September 27, 2023
      • Reply
    • Hey there! What is the baking time needed for Muffins? Are there any other adjustments needed? Thanks

      • — Kelsey on October 24, 2023
      • Reply
      • Hi Kelsey, if you’d like to make muffins, I’d suggest this recipe (and you can skip the topping if you’d prefer).

        • — Jenn on October 25, 2023
        • Reply
  • I was looking for the same recipe my mom used to make, this is it! I’ve made this several times and I’ve settled on 1 1/4 cup of sugar, can’t even tell a difference. Cut the nutmeg and cloves down to 1/2 tsp to help with heartburn. Also when I double the recipe, it fits with plenty of space in my 6 qt kitchen aid mixer, cooks for exactly 65 mins.

    • — Mary Draffin on September 23, 2023
    • Reply

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