The beginning of fall weather and a trip to Half Moon Bay resulted in the idea to alter my favorite gingerbread recipe to include roasted pumpkin puree. The puree not only adds nutrients and fiber, it also creates a wonderfully moist, almost silky texture. Three kinds of ginger and a good amount of cinnamon make the bread nice and warming, perfect for dessert on a cool night with whipped cream, ice cream, or–as our Grannie always served gingerbread–with lemon curd, but also delicious lightly toasted for breakfast or afternoon tea.

Pumpkin Gingerbread

1 small pumpkin (or your favorite winter squash, except spaghetti squash) roasted until very tender-results in about 2 cups pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 ts. baking soda

1  tablespoon each ground ginger, and fresh grated ginger

1/4 cup candied ginger, finely diced

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated if at all possible)

1 ts. salt

1 egg or 1 tablespoon of flax meal in 1/4 cup warm water

1/2  cup brown or turbinado sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 c. olive oil

2+ tablespoons sugar for topping (optional)

2+ tablespoons rolled oats for topping (optional)


Cut your pumpkin into large chunks and roast face-down on a baking sheet or aluminum foil at 350 degrees until very tender (save the seeds and roast them too!) Allow to cool before you begin to mix your batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine roasted pumpkin flesh (omitting skin), egg, sugar, and oil in a food processor and blend until smooth

Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the wet ingredients. Add molasses and gingers. When all ingredients are combined, add the boiling water and stir until combined.

Pour batter into pan of your choice (I made mini-loafs and a larger loaf, but muffins or a cake pan would work well)

Sprinkle with sugar and oats before baking, to create a caramelized crust, if desired.

Bake about 30 minutes for a loaf or cake, 10 minutes for muffins. Watch for the sides to turn dark brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, and test with a toothpick–insert into the middle of the cake/muffin and wait for it to come out almost completely clean.

If using the topping, set oven to broil for 2-3 minutes at the end to caramelize sugar.

Cool on a rack.