Thursday, November 5, 2009

Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread

Don’t you hate it when someone won’t share a recipe with you? What is with the secrecy? I understand if it’s a national treasure like Kentucky Fried Chicken. But really, what is the purpose of secretly guarding a recipe (unless of course it’s your own creation and it is awaiting entry into a contest)? I don’t get it.

Back in the ‘70’s, my sister had a neighbor who made a very nice loaf of pumpkin bread. It was more than nice. This was fantastic pumpkin bread. Plus, it was round! How did it get that way? So, my sister begged him for the recipe. “No, no!” he said, “It is a secret. I swore never to divulge the ingredients.” Well, then, that was a challenge for me, and it didn’t take me too long to get the recipe out of him. Of course, I had to swear never to divulge the ingredients…..especially to my sister!

Flash forward to the year 2002 when I discovered the world of online recipe websites. There were hundreds and hundreds of recipes, just ripe for the picking. The premier site, at that time, was Funny how a simple search lead me right to the same recipe I had been guarding all of those years. Someone had already let the cat out of the bag! I guess that gave me the permission I needed to share this really wonderful recipe. The cool thing about it—and this was different from the online recipe I found—is that this recipe is made in a coffee can! This is very cool if you want to wrap it up and use it as a nice gift.

Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread
Printable Recipe

• 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
• 4 eggs
• 1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
• 1 cup oil
• 1/2 teaspoon cloves
• 4 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ginger
• 2 teaspoons nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon mace
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 2/3 cup water
• 3 1/2 cups flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grease and flour 4 (1 lb) coffee cans (you may substitute 3 foil loaf pans or 6 mini-loaf pans)

3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended.

4. Divide the batter between the 4 coffee cans.

5. Bake for 1 hour or until the tops spring back when touched.

6. Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes before removing from cans.

They make great gifts. Just wrap them in some cellophane, tie a ribbon around the top, and voilĂ ! Instant gift!

Oh, and by the way, you have my permission to share the recipe!


  1. Kathy--you made me laugh so hard with the "unless you are going to enter into a contest" comment! It is so true! Hold on to those recipes for dear life!

  2. I don't care for "top secret" when it comes to recipes. If something is good the whole world should know about it (after you've won the contest, of course :D )
    That's a great gift idea. And the pumpkin bread sounds a real delish.

  3. Hahahahahaha, I love you man! Well put and another great recipe!

  4. I'm so glad you posted this. When you guys were talking about baking in a coffee can I really couldn't imagine it! Who knew that a coffee can is oven safe? lol I sure didn't. I wonder if it's only certain cans. Anyway, the recipe looks great and the shape reminds me of Italian Panetone. You can be sure I'll be making this!

  5. That's so cool!!!

    I bake little ones in mason jars and just give the whole jar with a pretty wrapping on the lid. =)

  6. That looks wicked good. I love pumpkin bread! As for secret recipes, I suggest you check this out. ;)

  7. what a cool gift idea! hell, I'd put the coffee can lid on it and give it away like that LOL. and yes, I hate when people don't give recipes. I have one that i'm not suppose to share cuz the lady is going to market it, so I guess thats ok..but its sooo hard! LOL. What about when people give you a recipe and omit an ingredient or change the measurements on purpose so you can't make it as good as they can. that irritates me to NOOOOOOOO end.

  8. Laurie--it is so hard for me to not share a recipe. I often refer to myself as a "recipe whore". LOL

    Dajana--I even force my non-winning recipes on people.

    DD--I love you, too, man!

    Michele, there is definately a difference in coffee cans. The red ones you see in the picture are the best because they don't seem as thin as some. You also need to make sure you take off any of the shrink wrapped plastic some of the cans have. I like to spray them with that cooking spray that has the flour in it already--it makes it so much easier to get out of the can.

    Spryte, that sounds like such a cute idea! I love making little gifts like that. They are a lot less expensive and better received than some of the store bought stuff.

    Bob-what a great site! I totally agree!

    Dani, I'll share a story with you. When my sister was first married she had to bring a dessert over to her in-laws. Despite (or maybe because) having spent way more time in my Dad's bakery than I ever did, she wasn't much of a baker. So--she made a Snackin' Cake--the spice kind--and put penuche frosting on it. Well, they loved it so much and wanted her to give them the recipe. She was so embarrassed that it was a Snackin' Cake that she found a recipe for spice cake and gave them that instead. They never could figure out how hers (and mine!) tasted better than theirs every time! :O

  9. I am glad you are not a recipe horder! Thank you for sharing!

  10. This is really cool, thank you for sharing! I actually received one recipe as a wedding gift once. But that is the only recipe I cannot share LOL!

  11. I was just talking to a friend who said she was going to try to make them in a tomato can. She thinks they'll rise a bit over the top. Ever try that?

    1. In answer to your question about whether it is safe to use a coffee can. My grandmother always used coffee cans in the 70's and 80's. However, many manufacturers now use either plastic or coated cardboard cans. Also, many 'tin' cans now have a vinyl type coating on the inside. Obviously, you don't want to bake in something that can bleed into your bread. In my search for an alternative, I've found a 46 oz. Dole pineapple juice can does the trick. It is taller than a 1 lb. coffee can, but has a similar diameter. I have also baked smaller loaves in 14.5-16 oz. vegetable cans; just check for that coating before using. Hope this helps.

  12. Thanks for that- I am always looking for new recipes using pumpkin.

  13. My mom made this all the time in the 70s! She added raisins, too, which was delicious to me as a kid.

  14. I've been baking Bran Raisin Bread in soup cans for years !

  15. What a delicious solution for some of my empty coffee cans! =) Thank you!

  16. I love this idea! It looks great wrapped for a gift.

  17. My mom made thousands of these for church dinners and community food baskets and everyone that liked them. Try slicing and toasting with cream cheese, simply delish.

  18. I just found this recipe and it looks good. I plan to make mini loaves to give out to members at a luncheon – how would that affect the cooking time – and I will be making them in the rubbery type pan.

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