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Dharma Kitchen


Pumpkin-Date Bread, or It's Finally Fall


unbaked pumpkin bread
unbaked pumpkin bread

It's fall, so that means it's finally socially acceptable to commence drooling over all things pumpkin, including pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin beer. This bread is adapted from a recipe my friend Kelly gave me. I've cut back on the sugar, added wheat germ and flax and upped the spice amounts; I also added ginger. I know I've made a gluten free version (without the wheat germ of course) for her, with a mix of flours and maybe 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum; I honestly can't remember the specifics. This iteration is fairly healthy as far as quick breads go. The flax and wheat germ up the nutritional profile here. Pumpkin contains some serious Vitamin A, some fiber, Vitamin C and iron; dates have some fiber, magnesium and B-6, which helps keep the bread moist. You could even add some chopped toasted walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts. This bread keeps well for a few days and it happens to be very good toasted and slathered with cream cheese.


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 T. wheat germ
  • 1 T. ground flax
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (sunflower, grapeseed, canola; I used organic expeller pressed canola)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • Demarara or turbinado sugar for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour a 5 x 9 loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour through cloves) in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugars, making sure no clumps of brown sugar remain (I like to break up brown sugar clumps with my fingers). Add the eggs, oil, pumpkin and vanilla, and whisk until all parts are combined completely. Gently fold in the flour and then the dates. Do not overmix. Sprinkle the top with the turbinado or demarara sugar.
  4. Bake for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean; a couple of crumbs are okay. Let it cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and then remove from the pan to cool completely before cutting.
pumpkin date bread
pumpkin date bread