Seasonally Confused + RECIPES: Pumpkin Bread with Oat Crumble & Hot Buttered Bourbon


I’ve got my seasons all mixed up and jumbled together. Seriously, I can’t decide if I should be eating pumpkin-inspired desserts or holiday cookies. Hint: since I can’t decide I’m having everything.

I’m holding on to fall tightly, wearing scarves and sweaters as if they’ll keep me warm on their own and like I don’t need to pull out my winter coat (they don’t). Then the next day I’ve got my Mariah Carey Christmas Pandora station playing just as loud as it will go.

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It snowed in Wisconsin for the first time this weekend. Nine inches in the span of 24 hours. 15 inches at the farm! That’s a sure fire way to get you seasonally confused. I want to relish in fall and not let go. But, snow you guys. Pretty snow everywhere. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

We spent much of Saturday braving the elements. Kyle made his first blaze orange hunting visit to the land we plan to build on next year. I pushed piles of snow off the greenhouse and spent the better part of the afternoon helping my mom move boxes out of the attic. We returned exhausted to a warm and cozy home. Kyle threw wood on the fire while I raced to the kitchen to make pumpkin bread and hot buttered bourbon. Also known as dinner.

It felt like the best possible way to celebrate fall’s transition into winter. After all, November is the month for merging all things seasonal. (Have I mentioned I love November?). Why can’t we have our pumpkin bread and spiced cocktails and eat/drink it too?!

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This pumpkin bread lacks the density and sweetness of other loaves, making the buttery, oat crumble all the more well-appreciated. It can do double duty as a breakfast bread or a stunning dessert. The moist, tender bread uses half oil and half water alongside pumpkin puree yielding a fluffy texture without all the fat. The healthier the quick bread, the less guilt over a beverage that is equal parts butter and booze. (Or you could slather everything in heaping amounts of maple syrup infused whipped cream because who’s looking for healthy this time of year?!)

Speaking of butter and booze, has everyone already heard of and become totally obsessed with Hot Buttered beverages?! I had Hot Buttered Rum for the first time last winter and have never looked back. Don’t ask me why sugary, spiced butter whisked into hot water is phenomenal because I don’t understand it either, but I plan to keep drinking it until the snow melts.

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Lots of love,

Inspired by Molly Yeh & Joy the Baker

Makes two 9×5-inch loaves (in other words one to eat and one to gift)
Takes 1 hour, 10 minutes

2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt (or 1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extra
3/4 cup water
Oat crumble topping:
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
Pinch (or more) sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9×5-inch baking pans with butter and flour so that the bottom and sides are well-coated. Set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spice in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well-combined. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin, oil, vanilla extract and water. Whisk until well-mixed and smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pans.
In a small bowl, combine flour, oats, butter and salt. Use your fingers to rub together mixture until crumbled. If it’s not a uniform texture and you have some pea-sized pieces of butter, don’t stress. It was still taste spectacular. Sprinkle oat crumble over pumpkin bread batter evenly.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and the crumble is golden brown.

Bakes great ahead of time for all your holiday needs!  I left mine uncovered on the counter for over a week which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend but totally worked for me.


Makes enough for 4 pint-sized beverages
Takes 15 minutes

Spiced Butter:
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pinch sea salt
Maple Whipped Cream:
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Pinch (or more) sea salt

6 cups hot water (near boiling)
1/2 cup favorite bourbon
Cinnamon, for serving

Combine all spiced butter ingredients together in a food processor. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can soften the butter and stir together in a medium mixing bowl until smooth).
In a pint class, combine 3 tablespoons of spiced butter with 1-1/2 cups hot water. Stir with a stir stick or fork until well-incorporated. Add 2 tablespoons bourbon and stir until combined. Top with about 1/4 of the maple whipped cream. Top with cinnamon if you please. Repeat. Enjoy warm.

Butter can easily be made ahead of time. Process and store up to a week in the fridge until ready to use.
If you are planning a holiday party, make a quadruple batch of the butter. Have it out on the table all evening with a bottle of good bourbon, a large 30-cup coffeemaker or air pot filled with hot water, stir sticks, your favorite canned whipped cream and cinnamon for sprinkling.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. vanessa jean says:

    Oh my goodness. I want to eat and drink all of this. You totally inspired a loaf (and a dozen muffins) of pumpkin goodness!


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