Posted by: Kath Usitalo | September 14, 2012

Recipe File: Pumpkin-Pear Bread

Look at those chunks of pear in the pumpkin bread. The loaf at upper right substitutes shredded zucchini.

With the cooler temperatures I was thinking pumpkin and Kate Lawson, food writer for The Detroit News, read my mind again. I’ve followed and featured many of her recipes over the years because they often coincide with a timely craving or ingredients I just happen to have on hand.

I’d just picked up a can of plain pumpkin that was on sale and—voila—the next day Kate’s Simply the Best column featured a recipe for Pumpkin-Pear Bread.

The recipe makes one loaf, but there was enough pumpkin in the can to make two loaves. I had only one can of pears so I doubled all the ingredients but substituted grated zucchini for pears in the second loaf. Both versions are sweet but delish. No sugar needed in the hot tea I had with the late afternoon treat.

Pumpkin-Pear Bread
Adapted from Vegetarian Times by Kate Lawson
Makes one loaf

1-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
15-ounce can pears, drained and diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9″x5″ loaf pan with cooking spray.

Whisk together sugar, flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together oil and egg in bowl until smooth. Whisk in milk, then pumpkin and vanilla.

Stir flour mixture into oil-egg mixture until just combined. Fold in pears.

Spread batter in the prepared loaf pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Manistique Farmers Market



  1. Going out on a limb here, but few understand how easy (and cheap) it is to obtain one’s own pumpkin puree and control what is in it. Don’t need to open a mystery can…just put your halved (scoop the seeds out with a soup spoon) pumpkin on a baking sheet, cover with foil and bake until your fork slides easily in. No watching. Go get your groceries…do yoga class, or watch tv, or do your blog….No worries. A couple hours later just scoop the pumpkin out of its shell and have a recipe party. Or freeze til’ you need. If you want, put it through a food mill or cone mill to further refine, but not necessary.

    • Sounds easy…and BONUS…you get pumpkin seeds to bake for munching, too! Do you recommend the small pie pumpkins, big ones, or does it matter?

  2. Yep…easy. I have baked the eyes, nose, and teeth cutouts from halloween jack o’lanterns with wonderful success. (don’t want to waste) Kids love the humour in this btw…. But if you aren’t carving your own lantern, the easiest are the little sugar pumpkins. Just cut in half, scoop and bake.

    • Too funny.

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