By Angela McRae, The Shopper Kitchen

All things pumpkin are getting their well-deserved time in the spotlight this month, and I remain an eager and adventurous fan, although I did think it was a joke when I heard about pumpkin spice dog treats. Turns out, it’s a thing. Who knew?

This year, a grocery store display persuaded me to try Quaker’s new Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal (quite tasty), and I’ve been tempted by but have so far resisted some of the more decadent treats, including the new Ghirardelli chocolate squares in the Pumpkin Spice Caramel flavor. I was scarred by the Pumpkin Pie Kit Kat bars I tried last year—some things, you simply don’t mess with—so I’m skipping the chocolates for the time being.

But I will never tire of cooking and baking with pumpkin each fall. From soups and pies to quick breads, pumpkin truly seems to spice up whatever it touches. And clearly, I am not alone in my pumpkin passion.

According to Nielsen.com, our fondness for this fall flavor has resulted in booming business for pumpkin-flavored products. By August 25, sales of these pumpkin products had already reached more than $6.9 million, up nearly 10 percent in revenue over last year. (Sales of pumpkin-flavored dog food are up 123.7 percent over last year, in case you wondered.)

One pumpkin product I can always bypass, however, is a boxed mix for pumpkin bread. It’s just too easy to make a loaf from scratch. Here’s a simple recipe for pumpkin bread that you can make extra flavorful by drizzling a little pumpkin glaze on top. I love how glazes seem to make a loaf of quick bread extra moist, and this one is perfect for enjoying with your favorite hot beverage this fall.

Pumpkin-Walnut Bread with Pumpkin Glaze


2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each of ginger, cloves, and nutmeg
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Glaze:


1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment, and set aside. In large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, and nuts and stir. In smaller bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Make a well in center of flour mixture, add pumpkin mixture, and stir just until combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan to finish cooling. If desired, top with glaze.

To make glaze: In small bowl, add confectioners’ sugar, pumpkin, and milk and combine well using a small wire whisk. Drizzle over bread as desired.