mrs watson’s pumpkin bread

mrs. watson's perfect pumpkin bread | via she likes to eat

in the fall, i sometimes get a little too excited about christmas being so close. i confess, i begin to listen to christmas music and bake things that remind me of the holidays. all because the temperature has dropped, like, 15 degrees.

when we were traveling a few weeks back, we spent some time in oklahoma city with a few close friends. one of those dear friends had just moved into a new house and i was seriously drooling over her new kitchen. (white + marble + gold fixtures make me a little giddy.) THEN she had me drooling yet again over this homemade pumpkin bread she had made from scratch. literally the day we got home, i immediately gathered the ingredients and made it for my family.. well, for myself, let’s be honest.  i only made a few small changes and, after a few batches, truly it’s the best i’ve made. or ever had. it is super moist (i ain’t afraid to say it); light & fluffy yet superbly dense, while not being overly sweet. it has a ton of flavor from all the spices and, well, yeah. it’s the perfect pumpkin bread.

mrs. watson’s perfect pumpkin bread
makes 2 loaves


2 1/2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp coarse sea salt

1 16-oz can pumpkin (not pie filling)

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

2 tsp vanilla


1. preheat oven to 350. spray 2 large loaf pans (or 6 small) with cooking spray – i use coconut or grapeseed oil spray. set aside.

2. in a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. then add pumpkin, oil, water, and vanilla. mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until incorporated. pour into the prepared loaf pans.

3. bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted fully into the center of the bread comes out clean.

pumpkin bourbon milkshakes

my mother-in-law found this gem of a recipe and brought them over for one of the many desserts we had for thanksgiving this year.
i don’t have much to say but PUMPKIN. and BOURBON. and ICE CREAM.
need i say more?

pumpkin bourbon milkshakes
recipe via sunset
4 1/2 cartons – 14 oz each – vanilla ice cream
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup milk
1/2 cup bourbon (can be omitted, if desired)
1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
fresh whipped cream

1. blend a third of the ice cream, pumpkin, milk, and bourbon at a time in a blender until smooth, adding sugar and spices to the last batch. pour into a large bowl and stir to combine.
2. ladle milkshake mixture into 8 tall glasses and top with whipped cream, if desired, and a dash of nutmeg on top.

note: to make ahead OR if you are wanting a thicker milkshake – do step 1 up to one hour ahead & freeze in an airtight container. stir well before ladling into glasses.

photo via the kitchn

pumpkin vanilla cinnamon roll cake

my husband and i just went to our first holiday dinner party of the season with a handful of our closest friends. it was potluck-style, so each of us girls brought several dishes. i brought the i-can’t-stop-eating-it marinated cheese,  sweet potato pudding and this amazing dessert from the picky palate.
it’s now one of my favorite holiday desserts.
mainly because it has this cinnamon roll buttery-sugary-icing going on that makes me now crave it all year long.
simply said, it is melt-in-your-mouth, butter and brown sugar gloriousness.

pumpkin vanilla cinnamon roll sheet cake
makes 16-20 squares


1 box yellow cake mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix

1/2 cup sour cream

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

1 stick butter (8 tbsp)

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream (start with 1/4 cup and add a little more if needed)

1. preheat oven to 350. spray a jellyroll pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. place cake mix, eggs, oil, buttermilk, pudding mix, sour cream and pumpkin in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and beat with a mixer until well combined (about 1 1/2 minutes). pour into prepared jellyroll pan, spreading evenly.

3. place butter into a microwave safe bowl and melt, about 30 seconds. add brown sugar and cinnamon to bowl, mixing until combined. drizzle mixture evenly over the cake, then take a knife and run it through to swirl.

4. bake cake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and remove. while the cake is cooking, place powdered sugar and cream into a bowl and mix until creamy and smooth. drizzle over warm cake then let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares. (refrigerate if not serving the same day.)

enjoy with milk!