Dec 13

Strange But Good: Pumpkin Beer Bread (or Muffins)

My mom should have been a chef.


Everyone says that, but this is legit.

Growing up, she used to make the best breakfasts.  Maybe that’ where I get my love of the meal?  One of my favorites was her bread.  She mad it the old-fashioned way from a starter that she had to feed.  When it baked I could smell it all the way upstairs in my room.

As soon as she removed it from the over, mom brushed salted butter over the top, creating the perfect sweet-and salty crust.  The best part was that she brought it to me with coffee as I got ready in the morning… and the next day she used it to make french toast (which she also delivered to me… how spoiled was I?!  Thanks, Mom!)

This post is not that bread.  My mother’s daughter is too lazy for starters.  My bread is baked with pumpkin beer.  Strange… but good.

Anderson Valley Pumpkin Ale Bread


I feel a little less ashamed about my bread-laziness because my mom did taste and love this bread.  She even had me send her the recipe the day after I brought it to Thanksgiving!  Maybe it was the beer talking?

This idea isn’t my own – I saw Raven’s recipe weeks ago and pinned it to try.  I couldn’t help but to add my own spin after reading her recipe, and it’s inspiration from Cooking Light.

Pumkin Beer Bread


This must be the healthiest beer bread in the world.  I’m always nervous when I start switching up flours, sugars, and fats to lighten up a dish, but I couldn’t have been more proud when this came out perfectly… and when mom asked to keep the leftovers.

Egg whites and Greek yogurt replace some of the fat while keeping the bread moist, and give it an almost silk-y canvas.  Almond meal adds a great texture to that, and the spices compliment the pumpkin flavor perfectly.  And the beer?  It was a great yeast, but you wouldn’t know it was there if I hadn’t told you.

Pumpkin Beer Muffins


The original recipe makes two loaves, but I decided one was enough and used half of the batter for muffins.  I liked the muffins better because they are easier to freeze and keep on-hand for single-servings.  Also, the cooking time is much shorter… perfect for my impatient self.


Pumpkin Beer Bread

Pumpkin Beer Bread (or Muffins)

  • 2 C whole wheat flour (unbleached)
  • 1¼ C almond meal
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/4 C ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C xylitol (or more plain sugar)
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/3 C Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 C canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 C egg whites
  • 1 – 15oz can of pumpkin
  • 3/4 C cup Anderson Valley Pumpkin beer


Preheat oven to 350°.  Prepare 2 bread pans or muffin tins.

Combine flour, meal, baking soda, baking powder, and spices in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk.

In small bowl, combine water and flaxseed.  Set aside.

Place sugars, yogurt, oil, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended.  Add flaxseed mixture, pumpkin, and beer; beat at low speed just until blended.

Add flour mixture; beat just until combined.  Divide batter between pans.

Bake bread for 1 hour, muffins for 12-15 mins, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool at least 10 mins in pan before removing.

Makes 2 loaves, or 24 muffins.

Approximate nutrition (for 1 muffin): 164 calories, 6.8 g fat, 8.8 mg cholesterol, 122.8 mg sodium, 23.7 g carbohydrates, 3.1 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 4.5 g protein


How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


I know I didn't appreciate it enough as a kid, but I am so grateful to my mom for taking the time to prepare homemade food for my sisters and me.  It was an act of love, and continues to shape who I am today. 

Have you ever made bread?  The old-fashioned way?

Did your mom make you breakfast growing up?  After preschool... I'll assume you were fed as a baby. ;)



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  1. Melanie @ Nutritious Eats

    Oh goodness, yum! I love pumpkin bread and I love BEER bread! What more could you want? I haven’t made beer bread in years and now I will have to!!

    1. Laura

      Let me know if you try it! I’m making more today. :)

  2. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I bought a muffin tin the other day… AND IT’S MY NEW FAVORITE KITCHEN TOY – EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You’ll seee…. You’ll seee!

  3. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    I have always wanted to make bread the old fashioned way but never had the patience for it. Like you, I never appreciated the time and energy my mom put into making homemade meals but I do now! This bread looks amazing!

  4. Sue

    I’ve made a few quick breads, using either yeast or baking powder, but I also don’t have the patience for a starter.
    My mother-in-law should have opened a restaurant, too! That’s what I always tell her. Her food is amazing!

  5. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    I strange and NOT good for not having a recipe up for the first times in yonks…but I had to perfect the Anzac biscuit pancake recipe which only got perfected today. ;)

    I literally bought yeast today to try my hand at bread but every recipe calls for making it ‘sit’ for at least an hour. Don’t know if I can be bothered….

    When you come visit Australia I’ll get my mum to make you a Persian feast..with some #strangebutgood action.

    1. Laura

      I’m making your pancakes right now!!!

      I love Persian food. Tell mamma to start planning. ;)

  6. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    Homemade bread always amazes me. It really is an art. I’ve tried countless times but have never just got it right. Maybe it’s because I have zero patience? Yummy idea on the pumpkin beer bread!

  7. lindsay

    you know i will find a way to make it GF, although i am sure yours is 10x better. sigh…

    1. Laura

      I think it would be fabulous GF! Just have to find a good GF beer…

  8. Coco (@Got2Run4Me)

    Yum! I love pumpkin, beer and bread! This looks great.

    1. Laura

      Thank you! They’re 3 of my favorite things too. ;)

  9. Alex @ therunwithin

    I have never tried beer bread, could be the whole gluten thing but I hear amazing things about it.

    1. Laura

      It would be an easy GF hack – just use GF beer (and GF flour). :)

  10. Lee

    My mom was NOT a good chef. She made chicken a lot and I remember eating a lot of Lean Cuisines and Campbell’s Soup.

  11. Fran@BCDC

    Bread or muffins…this sounds wonderful! You sure were lucky!! Have a great day, Laura!

  12. Linz @ Itz Linz

    ok i admit it – i’ve never had beer bread before!!!!

    1. Laura

      Whaaaat?! You can have it now – the booze cooks out. ;)

  13. Kierston @candyfit

    Yes! This past weekend I made bread the old fashion ways. An amazing experience. I’m attempting my own bread this weekend, all by myself ;)

    1. Laura

      I loved reading about it! That bread looked amazing. :)

  14. RavieNomNoms

    YAY! So glad you tried this recipe out! I am going to have to try your modifications, they sound amazing! I love almond meal! Bake with it all the time!

    1. Laura

      It was wonderful – I’m making more today. Thanks for sharing it!

  15. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    Gotta love it when you play around with a recipe and it turns out well ;-) I’ve never tried beer bread, but I’m intrigued by the concept!

  16. Jennifer F

    i’ll have a beer with that beer bread, please!

    1. Laura

      It was a great brew – fall-spiced but not too sweet.

  17. Lucie@FitSwissChick

    Seriously girl, this bread looks so perfect. I can smell it until here! So nice of your Mom to bring you breakfast up – I was spoiled with breakfast too, Mom used to make huge muesli-yogurt-fruit-bowls or fresh bread with butter and homemade jelly. Hmmm.

    1. Laura

      Your mom’s breakfast sounds good too! That’s what my mom eats for breakfast these days. :)

  18. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    I haven’t made bread in ages,but it does make the whole house smell amazing! I’ve done friendship bread from a starter, but that was at least 15 years ago, maybe longer. I can’t remember the last time i had beer bread, but I remember it’s good!!!

    1. Laura

      I forgot about Friendship bread! Mom used to make that too. Man… that was GOOD!

  19. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Pinned it! This looks fantastic. Love your creativity.

  20. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    I have an AMAZING recipe for pumpkin beer bread I adapted that involves sage and cheese and caramelized onions. Oh, yum. Speaking of moms and breads, Mama Smart was obsessed with making beer bread for awhile–so much so that she would keep batches of the dry ingredients in the pantry so she could pull some out, grab a can of beer, and bake at any time! :)

    1. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

      We are also missing the obvious: Pumpkin Beer Bread Pudding.

      1. Laura

        OMG. You are RIGHT!!! Should I make that of the Bavarian thing for Christmas?! So many choices…

  21. Nicole @ FruitnFitness

    Oh man this sounds good! I’m not patient enough for a starter either however this sounds nice and easy and doable.

    1. Laura

      Yes – this is MUCH easier…. and faster. :)

  22. Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

    Yeah we definitely had different breakfasts growing up…cereal and toast were made by me myself and I each morning haha. My mom did make the occasional Saturday pancake breakfast though. Including Mickey Mouse shapes. ;)

    1. Laura

      Haha – we used to think that was the best thing about Disney World. :)

  23. Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A.

    This looks delish! I don’t think I will ever get tired of pumpkin, or beer for that matter haha!

    My mom usually just gave us cereal in the morning, but she made wonderful home cooked meals every evening for the family. She also worked full time and carted us kids around to all of our sporting events for which I’m very grateful.

    Yay for moms :)

    1. Laura

      Your mom sounds amazing! I bet she was worn out after all that! (And deserving of a beer ;) )

  24. Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

    This sounds so yummy! Beer makes the perfect ingredient for bread. :)

    1. Laura

      Thank you! It is the beast bread-baking hack. :)

  25. Megan (The Lyons' Share)

    OK, I’ll say the unpopular thing … my mom should NOT have been a chef :). She is amazing and good at so many things, but hates cooking and … well … it kind of shows. Ha! She’s learning to love it more now, though! Your bread looks delicious, not that I’m surprised!

    1. Laura

      I can’t believe that since you are such a good cook!

  26. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Homemade breakfast delivered to your ROOM?! I was lucky to get a bowl of oat meal from a friggin PACKET!! Haha! My mom used to cook for dinner though…and I still love a bunch of stuff she would make. Her pot roast and veggies or chicken pot pie? YUM! But on Sundays she would always make a big breakfast of eggs, bacon, biscuits, and home fries…which is exactly what I had her make for my birthday this year! LOVE!

    Oh and guess what?! I got the best news on my birthday! This year, for Christmas, we’re doing BRUNCH!!! Ahhhh! Eat all the biscuits!…and eggs…and bacon…and pancakes…and omg, I’m gonna be hurting! Lol

    1. Laura

      Awwwww…. I didn’t know oatmeal CAME in packets. LOL! My mom was Betty Crocker. :) Your mom’s breakfast sounds delicious. Especially for Christmas brunch. I still need to figure out what I’m making! Gah!

  27. purelytwins

    just pinned!!! love it!!

  28. Jody - Fit at 56

    You are ingenious! I am not a beer person so… but I could take that out! :)

    1. Laura

      You can’t leave it out, as it acts as the yeast here. BUT I swear it doesn’t taste like beer once it’s baked. ;)

  29. Jan @ Sprouts n Squats

    Yum this looks delicious!! I so wish we had canned pumpkin here so that making pumpkin recipes like this would be that much easier, yes no shame I am too lazy to cook pumpkin in advance ;)

    1. Laura

      I would be too! Last winter I finally bit the bullet and baked a giant one. It did freeze really well so I could have it on hand!

  30. Hannah

    You know how I’ve been nagging you for this recipe for weeks? Because I had beer and several cans of pumpkin in my kitchen, just waiting? WELL THIS WEEK I DRANK THE BEER AND BAKED OTHER THINGS WITH THE PUMPKIN AND NOW I HAVE NONE OF IT AND I REFUSE TO GO OUTSIDE AGAIN INTO THE SNOWSTORM.

    So you should make this for me, spread it with melted butter, and deliver please and thank you.

    1. Laura

      Dooooode! I didn’t know you really were going to make it. I’d have emailed it to you. :P

      I’m not sure it would travel well with the melted butter… but I’m willing to try it!

      1. Hannah

        I find it amusing that I wrote this message to you during a snowstorm, and you replied a week later… and now I’m living through an ice storm that has cut power to 250,000 homes and caused all the streetcars to not run. Why aren’t I living in Atlanta already with you? ;)

        1. Laura

          I’m keeping up the best I can. :(

          If you moved to Atlanta you would get a faster, more personal reply. Ice-free.

          1. Hannah

            Oh my gosh, that wasn’t at all about when you comment! It was about the awfulness of Toronto’s weather :) I don’t know how you fit everything you do into your days :) x

  31. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    This bread is intriguing. Pumpkin and beer. I’d try it and then I’d ask to keep the leftovers too.

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