Aimee’s Pretty Palate: Pumpkin Spice, Thrice

Photos by Aimee Broussard

I have found that as an adult, I no longer rely on the passing of Labor Day to signal the start of the fall season. Instead, I acknowledge when Starbucks rolls out their highly acclaimed Pumpkin Spice Latte and then I wait. I wait patiently for the temperatures to drop ever so slightly, and once the meteorologists begin hinting at “gumbo weather,” I break out the spices that fill my kitchen with the sweet aroma of fall … and pumpkin. 

If you, however, were first in line when the seasonal lattes returned in late August, you’re probably tired of them by now or, at the very least, could use a few ideas to enjoy the warm, cozy vibes of pumpkin spice but in a different form. 

My Pumpkin Praline Bread Pudding is synonymous with fall. It’s pumpkin pie turned bread pudding and one of my most requested recipes. It has been used for birthday brunch, breakfast during the holidays, and church potlucks. In fact, a friend in North Carolina brought it to Bible study and was asked to share the recipe. 

This year’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Loaf creation just may top the bread pudding, though. It’s moist and flavor-packed, thanks to the addition of pumpkin spice brewed coffee. It’s the ultimate dessert bread that works in tandem with filling your kitchen with fall fragrance as you convince yourself it’s finally time to haul down the seasonal décor.  It’s also a sweet reward for doing so!

And speaking of sweet reward, the Whipped Pumpkin Dip is also quick to serve as it can be made in 10 minutes flat. I present it in a hollowed-out mini pumpkin as a cute addition to seasonal entertaining. You could use a more orange-colored pumpkin and surround it with plastic spiders, and it’ll work for your pumpkin-loving adult Halloween guests. Just be sure to stick with my Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Dip from a few seasons ago for the kiddos—I’m not sure how pumpkin will go over. 

Cheers for pumpkin-spice-and-everything-nice season! 


Pumpkin Spice Latte Loaf

Ingredients:
Loaf:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. allspice
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp. pumpkin spice coffee, brewed (I used Sprouts brand)
1 cup pure pumpkin purée (not pie filling) 
Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 to 3 Tbsp. milk (plus more as needed)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup chopped walnuts, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf baking pan with nonstick baking spray or flour, and line with parchment paper the length of the loaf pan, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add oil and vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined and scraping down sides of bowl between each addition. Add coffee and pumpkin purée; mix until fully incorporated.  
Add flour mixture to wet ingredients a little at a time, mixing between additions, just until combined. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out mostly clean, about 55 minutes. 
Transfer loaf to a cooling rack and let cool slightly, then use parchment handles to remove it from pan. 
For Frosting, in a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, and vanilla. Beat until just combined. To thin, add 1 tablespoon more of milk. Add more confectioners’ sugar for a thicker consistency. 
Once loaf has cooled, use an offset spatula to evenly spread frosting. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, if desired. 
Makes 8 servings.

Pumpkin Praline Bread Pudding

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Bread Pudding:
1 (1-lb.) loaf day-old French bread, cubed into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
1 15-oz. can pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. melted butter
4 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice 
Praline Sauce:
1 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and place cubed bread pieces in bottom of dish. 
In a large bowl, whisk together all remaining Pumpkin Bread Pudding ingredients. Slowly pour mixture over bread pieces, making sure each piece is coated. Bake for 1 hour. 
While bread pudding is baking, make Praline Sauce. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together butter, heavy cream and brown sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and stir in pecans. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.    
Pour sauce over bread pudding prior to serving. Lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired. Serve warm.
Makes 6-8 servings.

Whipped Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 mini pumpkin (optional, used for serving) 
Add all ingredients to a medium mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Spoon into a serving dish, or cut the top off a mini pumpkin and hollow out the inside. Serve immediately or refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. 
Makes 6-8 servings.

Aimee Broussard is a Southern food blogger and award-winning cookbook author. Seen on QVC, Rachael Ray and more, she is a self-proclaimed accidental entrepreneur with a penchant for porches and sweet hospitality. Find her online at aimeebroussard.com.