Olive Oil Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts & Raisins

One of my mom’s best friends shared her recipe for this special pumpkin bread with me. I first tried it last year over the holidays and absolutely loved it. She recommended using olive oil and whole wheat flour. I used olive oil and half whole wheat pastry flour this time. 🙂 It was incredibly moist and delicious.

I made one loaf in a standard loaf pan and the other in my new Nordic Ware fluted loaf pan to make it that much more special. I froze the special loaf to serve over Thanksgiving weekend. I love recipes that make one batch to enjoy right away and another for later- or to share.

Yield: 2 standard loaves

  • 4 extra large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 15 to 16 oz can pumpkin purée (about 2 cups)
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Butter two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pans. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  3. Beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl with a spout.
  4. Blend in the oil and water.
  5. Add and whisk in the pumpkin purée.
  6. In a separate large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.
  7. Add the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; whisk to combine.
  8. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the pumpkin-egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
  9. Fold in the nuts and raisins.
  10. Using a ladle, disperse the batter between the two loaf pans.
  11. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the bread tests clean in the center. (I baked mine for 62 minutes on convection.)
  12. Cool on a rack in the pans; remove when cool.

Apple-Cider Doughnut Cake

I had my first apple-cider doughnut this past fall at a beautiful farm on the East end of Long Island. It was freshly made, hot, and delicious. Naturally, this recipe caught my eye. It is a giant version of fabulousness- even incorporating whole wheat flour and olive oil.

This cake was magnificent. I will make it again in the fall, although I think it is truly season-less. The olive oil and applesauce made it incredibly moist as well. This recipe was adapted from A New Way to Bake, via Martha Stewart Living. I reduced the baking temperature because my Bundt pan has a dark non-stick coating. I also reduced the amount of cinnamon sugar topping. We enjoyed it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Yield: One 10-inch Bundt Cake
For the Cake:
  • room temperature unsalted butter, or melted butter, for the pan
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups natural cane sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh apple cider
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream, for serving, optional

For the Topping:

  • 2 T natural cane sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees if using a dark pan, or 350 degrees in a standard pan, preferably on convection.
  2. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. (This step in incredibly important in a Bundt pan- make sure all of the crevices are coated.)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups sugar, cider, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; whisk until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  5. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet; let cool 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, mix together 2 T sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
  7. Invert warm cake onto rack. Brush with melted butter, then sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar.
  8. Let cool completely before serving. Cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature up to 2 days.

Zucchini-Chocolate Chip Muffins

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My kids needed a rock star snack for the first week of school. I had plans to make a Martha Stewart zucchini bread until I saw this recipe on Fiesta Friday. I loved the use of olive oil- and they looked delicious! You are thinking that zucchini bread doesn’t sound like much of a rock star snack- right? But… zucchini-chocolate chip mini-muffins were a perfect (rock star?) snack! 🙂 I am such a muffin fan. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from The Joy of Cooking, via simple pairings.com. I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour, slightly increased the sugar, and modified the baking time. I made 1 1/2 times the recipe (the amount of zucchini I had on hand) and made 12 standard muffins and 18 mini-muffins. Healthy and delicious! Great!! My kids were pleased. 🙂

Yield: Makes 12 large muffins or 36 mini-muffins

  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 T granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners (important, because these muffins tend to stick.) (or 36 mini-muffin liners)
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs, olive oil, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the dry ingredients. Keep stirring until the mixture is thoroughly blended, being careful not to over-mix.
  4. Add the zucchini and chocolate chips, and stir until well combined. You’ll see the mixture loosen up again, resembling a standard muffin batter.
  5. Divide amongst the lined muffin tin cups. Bake standard muffins for 22 minutes (on convection), up to 30-40 minutes in a conventional oven, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin tests cleanly; I baked the mini-muffins for 12 minutes on convection. Serve warm, or let cool completely and then store in an air-tight container. The muffins will keep well for a few days.

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