We do love the idea of homemade hostess gifts for holiday parties, and really, for any get together or reason to bring something yummy and small batch to someone else. The ladies at SKS have done it again with these sensational mini loaves – they are seasonal and petite and so pretty. -Maggie
Confession: I’m a food blogger. And I am way better as a guest than I am as a hostess.
I’m not supposed to say that. I’m supposed to let you believe that when you enter my door, it smells like baked apples and cinnamon and I’m already dressed and I swan over to you and take your coat and the appetizers are amazing! And dinner is ready when I say it’s ready and everything’s warm at the same time and came out perfectly and everyone sits where they want to sit and there’s enough room between you and all the chairs match! Your drink is always full but never too strong! And you don’t have to do any dishes! Because I did them all while you were in the powder room! Like a magician! And you leave with your coat around your shoulders, the smell of baked apples clinging to your hair, full but not too full, and step out into the cold knowing that you were loved and cared for in every way, at least for a night.
I am, sadly, not capable of any of those things. But I have tried my best. And it’s given me such appreciation for those in my life who not only choose to host but do it so well, with ease and grace and warmth. For all that hard work and that masterful energy, they deserve a guest who arrives ten minutes after the time on the invitation (just in case they’re in need of a few more minutes to primp or put the kids to bed), one who arrives with a smile, ready to party. One who offers to pitch in but knows when to step back. One who slips a bottle of wine onto the counter for when all the guests trickle out later.
Hostess gifts are a wonderful thing, really. They allow you to give something back, something small and thoughtful that says thank you in a way that words really can’t convey on their own. They can be tucked in the back of the fridge or handed off at the door. If they’re as irresistible as these Pumpkin Gingerbread Mini-Loaves, they can be served to the guests or savored the next morning alongside a mug of hot coffee, a thick slice of love served on the last clean plate in the house.
This recipe makes two loaves or you can use mini-loaf pans and make four loaves. Top one with a dusting of powdered sugar, two with buttery streusel and the last with a pour of maple glaze.
Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with Streusel
Prep & Cook Time: 1 Hr
Makes: Two (2) 9×5 Inch Loaves or 4 Mini Loaves
- 3 Cups of sugar
- 1 Cup of vegetable oil
- 4 Eggs
- 2/3 Cup of water
- 1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree
- 2 Teaspoons of ground ginger
- 1 Teaspoon of ground allspice
- 1 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon of ground cloves
- 3 and 1/2 Cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 Teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 Teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon of baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter two (2) 9×5 inch loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, and eggs and beat until smooth.
- Add water and beat until well-blended.
- Stir in pumpkin, ginger, allspice, cinnamon and clove.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and baking powder.
- Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are mixed.
- Divide batter between prepared pans. Spread streusel topping over loaves.
- Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour.
- 1/2 Cup of brown sugar
- 1/3 Cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 Cup of butter
- Mix ingredients with fingers or pastry cutter until the crumbs come together. Spread topping over loaves. (See above.)
Alternate Topping: Maple Glaze
- 1/3 Cup of water
- 1/2 Cup of maple sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
- 1 Tablespoon of Half and Half
- 1/2 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Combine 1/3 cup of water and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir so sugar dissolves.
- Remove heat and stir in 1 TBsp of butter, the half-and-half and vanilla.
- Cool for 5 minutes.
Photos styled and taken by Nicole Ziegler.
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