Each fall, pumpkin seems to take over the grocery stores, coffee shops, and restaurants just a little bit more than the year before. While I normally would roll my eyes at such a runaway trend, I have to grant an exception for pumpkin. I eat a ridiculous amount of pumpkin treats throughout October and November, and e-mail alerts with the word “pumpkin” in them set my heart to racing. One such e-mail from WeightWatchers a few weeks ago had not one but SIX pumpkin recipes! My printer got a workout that day as I immediately perused and printed every single one. The first of the recipes I tried was this Pumpkin Oat Bread. The online reviews were promising, and I was wanting a baked treat to send to work with John for his UIL Lit Crit team meeting.
I made two slight alterations to the recipe. Instead of the walnut halves, I sprinkled finely chopped walnuts across the top of the entire pan. And I only had 1 can of pumpkin on hand, which is a little shy of 2 cups, so I added a little bit of unsweetened applesauce to make up the difference.
Upon my first bite, I knew this recipe was a keeper. The bread was incredibly moist, and it did not taste like a diet-friendly recipe thanks to the inclusion of regular butter in the ingredients list. Both John and I rated the recipe a strong 4 stars! The bread works as a dessert, an afternoon snack, and a breakfast baked good. I will be making this Pumpkin Oat Bread at least once every fall, even when the pumpkin trend has fallen away and I have to dig to the back of the grocery shelves to find a can of pumpkin.
Pumpkin Oat Bread
1 spray cooking spray, flour-variety recommended
½ cup regular butter, softened
1½ cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups canned pumpkin
¼ tsp table salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or more to taste
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups uncooked quick oats
2½ tsp baking soda
24 half walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10- X 15-inch baking dish with cooking spray. (I used a 9 X 13.)
2. Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and pumpkin; beat well. Add salt, pumpkin pie spice, flour, oats, and baking soda; mix thoroughly. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and place walnut halves on top so there will be 1 walnut in the center of each piece of cake. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.
3. Cool in pan and cut into 24 pieces.
Yield: 24 servings. Per serving, 4 PointsPlus.