Pumpkin purée makes for an aromatic, moist pumpkin bread, but it can also give the bread a soggy texture, so we use paper towels to blot away the moisture before baking. Gild the pumpkin-bread lily with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting.
- 1Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter; set aside.
- 2Place the flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and whisk to combine and aerate; set aside.
- 3Spread the pumpkin purée into a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover with a triple layer of paper towels and press until the towels are saturated with moisture (don’t worry—they won’t stick to the purée). Peel back the paper towels and discard; set aside the baking sheet with the pumpkin.
- 4Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium high until light in color, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating on medium high until the mixture is light in color and large clumps have formed, about 3 minutes.
- 5On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the reserved pumpkin purée and vanilla and mix on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
- 6With the mixer on low, slowly add the reserved flour mixture in three additions and mix until just combined, about 2 minutes total.
- 7Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in any loose flour and the nuts, if using. (Do not overmix.) Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- 8Bake until the bread is puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool completely on the wire rack, about 30 to 40 minutes.