Pumpkin Beer Bread

PhotosIt’s finally fall, and not in a “September is the end of summer” sort of way. I mean we’ve finally hit cold mornings and cool afternoons, leaves changing colors, and the end of summer tourists.  As a native New Englander I can finally embrace boots, scarves, and the flood of apple/pumpkin flavored everything. Oh happy day! Actually for me the official start of fall is the Eastern States Exposition, also known by the locals as the Big E. Regardless of whether the cold has come early or we’re experiencing an Indian Summer, the Big E has always signaled the start of school and fall outings. Candy apples, clam fritters, a Maine baked potato, and now that I’m older –  local craft beer. I don’t live around the corner from the fairgrounds anymore, but I make a point of going every year. I’ll be there this weekend with my family and friends eating everything in sight. See food, eat food right!

In the mean time I’ll have to settle with a fall favorite – pumpkin bread. In this case pumpkin beer bread. I came across this recipe last year and it has become a fall staple in my kitchen. This recipe is also very flexible. I’ve substituted or eliminated different ingredients many times and the dough is pretty tolerant to change.

Pumpkin Beer Bread

Modified from My Recipes


Yields 2 loaves

  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup water
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed (if you don’t have flaxseed, then add 1/3 to the total flour. I’ve done this several times in the past and the recipe comes out fine)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (you can use canola oil, however I prefer olive oil and use it in most of my baking)
  • 2/3 cup beer (I would recommend a pumpkin or Oktoberfest style brew to compliment the pumpkin in the bread, but use whatever you like)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin

Note: This bread can be finished with a topping or left plain. In the past I’ve used candied ginger, pumpkin seeds, or a streusel topping.  For the streusel topping see below.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice) in a bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine.

Combine water and flaxseed in a separate bowl (if you’re not using flaxseed, skip this step). In a large bowl beat sugar, oil, beer, and eggs until well blended. Add flaxseed mixture (or just water if not using flaxseed) and pumpkin; mix at low speed until combined.  Add flour mixture, and beat until combined.

Divide batter between 2 greased loaf pans (9×5 inch). Distribute desired toppings over batter. Press gently into batter to adhere. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans and allow to cool completely.

Streusel Topping

Modified from Damn Delicious


  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Combine all ingredients above in a bowl until crumbly. You should have a mixture of large and small crumbs. Set aside until ready to use.