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Pumpkin Poppy Seed Loaf with Citrus, Cardamom, and Cognac

Makes 2 loaves
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season


  • 1 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c cooking oil
  • 1/2 c melted unsalted butter [or more cooking oil]
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon or orange juice
  • zest of 1 lemon or .5 orange
  • 1-2 tbs cognac
  • 3 1/2 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • tbs poppy seeds
  • 1/2 c buttermilk sour milk [milk with a bit of lemon juice, stirred, and set to rest for a while], or water
  • 1 15- oz can pumpkin or the equivalent of cooked puréed fresh pumpkin


  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • Grease the bottom and sides of two bread pans. [I prefer glass/pyrex for sweet breads.]
  • In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, beat sugars, oil, and melted butter until combined.
  • Add eggs and beat well.
  • Add citrus juice, zest, and cognac, and stir until combined.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom cinnamon, nutmeg, and poppy seeds.
  • Add small, alternating batches of flour and buttermilk [or water] to the sugar mixture, beating until combined.
  • Add pumpkin and beat until combined.
  • Pour into prepared bread pans.
  • Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre of the loaves comes out clean.
  • Cool in pans on wire racks for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from pans and cool completely.
  • Slice and serve.