How My Mom’s Famous Pumpkin Bread Recipe Brings Back Fond Memories


It’s a simple recipe – but I love it – and it seems to be a hit with friends and family. I’m talking about my mom’s pumpkin bread recipe.

It’s Thanksgiving week, which means I’m baking some loaves for our family and some for my friends and colleagues. What they don’t realize is that baking is a gift to me. The smell of pumpkin bread running through my kitchen gives me warmth, love and comfort.

I lost my mother six years ago this month, and as anyone who has lost a parent knows, the mere smell or sight of something can bring back memories. For me, his mother’s pumpkin bread.

I remember I started cooking when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, it was a special time with my mom. I floured the pans, cracked the eggs, and she let me use the blender, all the while watching me and giving me directions as she smoked her Kent cigarettes in our tiny kitchen.

While we waited for the bread to bake, we sat at our Formica table with cold Diet Cokes and chatted. She was sharing her childhood vacation memories and I stood there, wide-eyed, listening to every word. They were certainly special evenings.

So last night I tried to do the same with my girls (minus the Kent cigarettes and the Formica table). It started out great – the Christmas music was blasting, everyone was measuring stuff, getting the pans ready, it was really sweet.

There was a brief argument about WHO would use the blender, and there were tears and a slamming of the door, but once I could calm things down, we went back to the kitchen and started to to cook.

Madison was great at measuring, Morgan was fantastic with the mixer, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I talked about my mother and shared memories of my childhood, when the pumpkin bread was baking and the smells filled the kitchen – I was so happy. I felt like she was there for a while, it was wonderful.

I packed the bread this morning, dropped it off at some friends and brought some for my co-workers – they don’t know how baking this bread makes ME so, so happy.

I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving, — oh and here’s my mom’s recipe. Enjoy!


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1.5 tsp salt

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2/3 cup water

  • 2 cups pumpkin

  • 3.5 cups flour

  • 2 cups of sugar

  • fat and flour plans

  • cook for an hour

Related blog: Karen Drew: I said I was never going to be one of ‘those moms,’ but look at me now

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