Subbing applesauce in pumpkin bread is very ‘gourd’

My mom always likes to say that bread baked after midnight tastes the best.

I think that’s just her way of making herself feel better about getting stuck in the kitchen way too many times on late nights during the holidays.

As an adult, the smell of cooling loaves of pumpkin bread and cinnamon wafting through the house makes me think of fall—probably thanks to those late night baking endeavors.

And I often find myself whipping up a late night concoction in my own kitchen.

So, that being said, after another nighttime baking undertaking, the pumpkin bread recipe I’m sharing with you this week turned out beautifully, and it was awesome because it used applesauce instead of oil or shortening.

But I also need to give spice credit to my mom, from whom I totally stole the perfect spice combo for a good pumpkin bread rather than following the recipe.

This is a recipe from the vegetarian food blog, “Trial and Eater.” You can find the original at In her recipe, she adds a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. In mine, I used vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and cloves instead.

Pumpkin Applesauce Bread


15-ounce can pumpkin puree

3 cups sugar

1 cup applesauce (I used unsweetened)

2/3 cup water

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons baking soda

1-1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cloves

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons ginger

3-1/2 cups flour


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two loaf pans by greasing and flouring them and set them aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, applesauce, water, eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

Mix in the baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and flour until everything is well combined, and pour the batter evenly into the two prepared pans.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans until they’re cooled enough to be handled. Run a knife around the edges of the loaves to loosen them and invert to remove them.

These loaves were super moist and delicious, but since I was also baking dangerously close to midnight, I have to warn you that part of the deliciousness might be attributed to the late hour.

At least that’s what my mom would say, and she’s never steered me wrong yet—on pumpkin bread or otherwise.

Lindsey Young is co-owner of Kansas Publishing Ventures which publishes the Free Press. She is also the Free Press office manager.