5-Spice Pumpkin and Date Loaf

5-Spice Pumpkin and Date Loaf

There are pumpkins everywhere, in all possible shapes and sizes. Aroma of autumn spices invades the kitchens. And even if this is not my favorite season (please, don’t throw anything in my head :), I do love this comfy smell, and the taste of a moist spicy pumpkin loaf. Speaking of spices, I love 5-spice powder here. In addition to the traditional set of autumn spices (cinnamon, cloves, and ginger) it also contains star anise and Szechuan pepper which adds some warmth. If you wish you can use a homemade pumpkin puree but I went with the store-bought this time. I usually make my puree a bit later, after the Halloween, putting all these poor organic Jack O’Lanterns to a good use.

Anita from the Dessert First is hosting this month SHF theme “Spices”, and there it goes.

Makes one 9×5-inch loaf


  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • Zest of ½ medium orange (don’t use too much zest, there’s just a hint needed)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups pumpkin puree (not a pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup roughly chopped moist dates (I always use Medjool), lightly dusted with a pinch of flour, pieces separated


Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and orange zest. Rub with your fingertips to release the orange oil. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine. Then whisk into the flour mixture. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold the dates into the batter. Transfer the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, place the pan onto a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for about 1 hour, until the top of the loaf is brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

5-Spice Pumpkin and Date Loaf

You might also like:

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Print this recipe...

Bookmark and Share       AddThis Feed Button

37 Responses to “5-Spice Pumpkin and Date Loaf”

  1. Aaaawwww…why do I have to live somewhere where seasons are in reverse with you guys? Everyone’s making something with pumpkin, apples, spices, ginger etc., and I couldn’t be a part of it! Fall’s not my favourite season as well, but I would willingly go through it in exchange for the produce! I just have to figure out how to grow winter squash in Australia!

  2. That’s an unusual combination! I love 5 spice powder and I’m sure it pairs well with the gorgeous flavor of pumpkin! Your cake looks fantastic!



  3. Ok.. I really need to find that Chinese 5 spice powder. :) I just this minute left The Bon Appetit site after reading a great article by Dorie Greenspan in which she tells of her cranberry spice cake and she mentions the 5 spice powder also! Tonight is the first I have heard of it, is this new Vera?

    Lovely recipe! :)

  4. I absolutely love baking with pumpkin. Where I grew up, it was very unusual to *bake* with pumpkin, so it was a new flavor to me when I moved here, but it epitomizes to me everything about the sweetness of fall, the warmth of the fireplace, snuggling down under the blanket with someone snuggly. Ahhhh…. I can almost smell those 5 spices.

  5. Oh yes. I could definitely eat some of this right now.

  6. Oh yum, yum! I swear I can smell it. I will have to try this one out! :)


  7. Nice recipe. Wish to try it . It s ideal for this time of year :)

  8. LOL Fall actually didn’t used to be my favorite season, I used to love winter more…then I moved to the East Coast and that changed everything :). This sounds delightful, I do love those fall smells!

  9. spices, pumpkin and dates – pure pleasure in a a cake. this is my kind of cake vera!

  10. mmm I do not use enough dates in my baking. I love them!

  11. that’s one hearty-looking loaf of bread! i’ve never had the combination of 5-spice and pumpkin–sounds delicious. i’m also loving the little jewels of dates scattered throughout. :)

  12. I love the idea of 5-spice powder in pumpkin bread! Looks delicious!

  13. Lovely loaf :) Saw you made this entry but could not get to it. Hope you got all the comments back.

  14. I love that you added 5 spice powder to your pumpkin bread!

  15. That’s an interesting twist using the 5 spice seasoning – I have some – I’ll have to try this.

  16. It looks so delicious… I must find some pumpkin puree somewhere, this recipe worth it.

  17. I too, can’t get enough pumpkin. This is another of your recipes that I am saving. Isn’t fall wonderful!

  18. Vera, the color of this bread is quite something, so beautiful!

  19. Sounds delicious! I’ve never used Chinese 5 spice powder in my cooking or baking.

  20. Your loaf or your life… NOW!

    I don’t want only one slice… I want it all!


  21. I love punkins. :D
    What IS your favorite season if not fall, and why?

  22. The only thing I’d throw at you is my admiration. :)

    I love all the spices in this loaf. I can almost smell them together. Yum!

  23. A huge thank you to everyone for paying me a visit and leaving a comment!

    Laurie, it’s not new. It’s actually very old Chinese seasoning. They use it for seasoning their roasted ducks. I think you might find it the Asian section of most supermarkets.

    Lisa, it would be summer :) As for my fall disliking…
    I seriously suspect it’s related to the start of school and the end of the summer break. Well, the school days are long gone but associative feelings are still strong :)

  24. Dragon, welcome back! It’s so sweet of you! Thank you!

  25. There are indeed so many pumpkin related recipes happening in the blogosphere at the moment. I love the sound of that pumpkin loaf. And it looks delectably moist!

  26. i can totally smell it from over here vera. beautiful!

  27. I love pumpkin and chocolate! Perfect for this time of year!

  28. Dates are definitely not my favourite, but with such a gorgeous loaf, I could change my mind…
    I should have also used Chinese 5-spices for my recipe posted today but I didn’t have some so I substituted with all-spices :)

  29. I am an unashamed date lover, and although I regularly eat them alone or in bars, I’ve never had them in a quick bread. Since pumpkin is just about the best kind of quick bread, this moves quickly to the top of the list. It’s also such a creative use of a Chinese 5-spice blend, which I’ve never used myself. I’ll start keeping my eye out for some now!

  30. Looks so beautiful! I am sure it tastes delicious!

  31. Lovely home-comfort food. Very easy to make. Thanks for the comments on my blog. Why did pumpkin come to associated with the witching eve I wonder?

  32. Y, thank you very much!

    Aran, thank you! It did smell nicely :)

    Maria, I love chocolate myself, but there’s no chocolate in this particular loaf. I should have put some, I guess :)

    Sandra, thank you! I’m so glad you liked it that much :)

    Andrea, thank you! I love dates, too :)

    Farida, thank you very much for the complement!

    Audax Artifex, thank you! I know the answer to your question. I think it’s because the world’s scariest thing is the pumpkin pie :)

  33. Thanks for great recipe. The cake is delicious! :) I loved Your blog. :)
    Ps. My photo session with “5-spice Pumpkin and Date Loaf” : http://pieprzczywanilia.blogspot.com/2009/10/dynie-potwory-i-ciasta-dwa.html

  34. Awesome, superb, delicious the most yummiest Pumpking loaf I have ever had. The only change I made was instead of Chinese 5 spice powder I put Allspice powder as I didn’t have that and it was perfect.

    Looking forward to many more such yum recipes from you.

  35. Seems, I’m glad you liked it! Thank you for the feedback!

  36. Down here in Australia, we grow the best pumpkins in the world!! Just made this recipie in cup cake pans…..turned out great!!!

  37. Fiona, I’m so happy you liked it! Thanks for letting me know.

Leave a Reply

Please, before posting a question, read the recipe and the comments above. It is very possible that your question has already been answered. Thank you!

Home page | About | Contact | Links | Archives | Awards | Subscribe | Artsy sweets

The whole site is protected by Copyright.
It is forbidden to reproduce any part of this site, in any form, without prior written permission from the author.

© Copyright Baking Obsession 2007-2014