Slice Pumpkin Bread on Plate with Coconut by Dena T Bray ©

I’m drawn to culinary blogs that are not just about the recipes. I started reading Poor Man’s Feast by Elissa Altman after I came across an essay Elissa wrote shortly after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. She is a member of that community and wrote about how she felt hearing about the shootings over the radio. I learned about Made by You and I, by Steven Santos after he commented on this site. He had just started reading Gathering Flavors and wrote to tell me how much he liked my writings that intertwine food and family. I have since been deeply impressed with his writing about being an American living in Japan, about his complicated early life,  and by the street photography on his blog. He has a remarkable  ability to capture the story in someone’s face.  Sara Forte, of The Sprouted Kitchen, recently gave birth to her first child. She has a beautiful voice that tells tales of new motherhood in all its complexities. Her husband Hugh’s photos on the site capture the textures of food in a style that is uniquely his own. They are beautiful.

Tiny Pumpkins and Props by by Dena T Bray ©-001

Sometimes it’s the courage of these bloggers that gives me the courage to write from the heart. Last week I wrote about my sister’s death and the struggles to deal with dark emotions when I am with my mother. It’s a bit scary to put something like that out there, but I was overwhelmed by the love and support sent my way as a result. A friend from Chicago who I haven’t seen in years contacted me. A neighbor took the time to comment about it on my blog. Still another person stopped me at the gym not only to offer her condolences but to let me know she’d had a similar set of losses and frustrations in her life. My courage, she said,  gave her the courage to talk about it as well.

Thank you, all.

White Pumpkin on Lace by Dena T Bray ©
Pumpkin Bread Loaf Overhead in Sunlight by Dena T Bray ©

This recipe for Pumpkin Bread Laced with Toasted Coconut, Nuts and Cinnamon is adapted from a recipe that appeared on The Sprouted Kitchen last week. A moist and rich dark orange batter is laced with a swirl of cinnamon, coconut flakes, pine nuts and maple syrup then topped with brown sugar before baking. The result is a pudding-like loaf. Best eaten warm, it is a perfect fall breakfast with some hot coffee and a plate of sliced apples and yogurt.

I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.


P.S. A couple of other wonderful squash and pumpkin recipes from around the web recently include Grilled Butternut Squash Bruschetta on My Savory Spoonand Pumpkin Lassi on A Brown Table.

Pumpkin Bread on Platter by Dena T Bray©


Yield: 1 10-inch loaf


For the cinnamon swirl:

  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts, peanuts or tree nuts such as walnuts or almonds
  • ½ cup toasted coconut flakes, sweetened or unsweetened
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 2 t. ground cinnamon

For the batter:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. sea salt
  • ¼ t. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ t. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée, fresh or canned
  • ⅓  cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

For baking and topping:

  • Oil and parchment paper for pan
  • ½ cup brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a ten-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly oil.

To make the cinnamon swirl:

  1. Combine the nuts, coconut, maple syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  2. Set aside.

To make the batter:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients to combine.
  3. Add the liquid mixture to the dry and stir just enough to combine.
  4. Pour half the batter in the bottom of the loaf pan. Spread evenly. Layer the cinnamon swirl ingredients over the batter. Spread evenly. Top with the remaining batter.
  5. To create a swirl, run a knife in a zig zag through the batter. Sprinle  the brown sugar on top.
  6. Place in oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about one hour.
  7. Allow to sit for ten minutes before removing from pan.
  8. Serve warm and enjoy.


  1. This recipe is adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen, whose pumpkin bread recipe is dairy and gluten free. That recipe was adapted from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin.
  2. If you are serving this for breakfast, serve with steamed milk, coffee or tea, some sliced and apples with honey and Homemade Yogurt. If serving for dessert, serve with sour cream or créme fraiche and Baked Apples Stuffed with Honey, Nuts and Ginger.

Cinnamon Laced Pumpkin Bread
Dena Testa Bray has been writing Gathering Flavors, a culinary blog, since 2011. She is a trained chef & ran a home based cooking school. Dena now designs websites, focusing on work with creative people. You can see her website work at She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and family.