What a week, huh? And it’s only Tuesday! I learned a dear, dear cousin of mine in Puerto Rico is sick. The family here stateside was devastated. My cousin in Tallahassee and I were in the process of planning a last minute trip to PR, furiously texting back and forth, when suddenly I received not a text but a phone call from her. She had been pulled out of her grad class and was on her way to the emergency room and would I please say a prayer for her. Her oldest of three had been hit by a car while riding his bike home. She knew nothing else of his condition but that. She heard my voice calm and soothing assuring her my siblings and I would immediately start a prayer circle. She heard my words of quiet strength and hope. She could not see my knees buckle with fear nor did she see my eyes fill up with tears. Hours later I received the text stating he was fine! His face and hands were all bloodied up. His glasses were lost and his bike mangled but he was more than okay. He had worn his protective helmet and it had done its job. I wanted to do something for them. I wanted to jump in my little car and 400 miles later show up at her door arms filled with baked goods. I wanted to wrap her entire family in my arms because family is everything to us.
And this is what I would have taken. It’s an easy quick bread that when baking fills your house with the warm smells of fall. The smells that make you feel cozy and safe from harm. Whether you have a slice with a cup of coffee or hot tea or even a glass of milk, this quick bread is satisfying and positively luscious. I use reduced fat cream cheese in the icing because it’s a bit tangier than whole fat and that tang is more than welcome in the rich frosting. It also marries quite well with the piquant ginger. Here’s to hoping the rest of the week is a little easier to handle. I heard a rumor today’s election day but after last night I can handle this hands down. Good luck everybody!
Pumpkin Spice Bread with Ginger Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 350°.
- Cover a 1.5 quart glass loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, allspice and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl use a hand mixer to combine pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, butter, canola oil and vanilla. Mix until all ingredients are well combined and mixture is smooth.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir by hand until there are no more flour streaks.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Place pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes then turn bread out of pan and allow to cool completely on cooling rack.
Ginger Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 8-ounce block cream cheese, I prefer reduced fat, room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons ginger paste or finely grated fresh ginger. Ginger paste is in a tube found in the produce department of your grocery store.
- 1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
- Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and ginger until completely combined.
- Add the confectioners sugar and mix until smooth.
- When the pumpkin bread has completely cooled mound the icing on top and smooth to your liking.
- If you’re not serving the bread for a day or two keep the bread in the refrigerator. Just prior to serving mix up the icing, top the bread with it and serve. Or serve the icing dolloped on top of individual slices.