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Alternately add the pumpkin and the dry mix to the creamed-sugar/egg mixture until all of the ingredients are well-mixed. Add the nuts, dates, and/or raisins.
Pour mixture into three 1-pound well-greased coffee cans or loaf pans. Bake for ap-proximately 55 minutes at 350 degrees. The top of the loaf will feel solid when done.
Remove loaves from the oven and let rest for 3-4 minutes.
*--Mom\'s changes from the original 1973 recipe:
--using 2/3 cup liquid coffee instead of the water.
--adding ½ tsp. pumpkin-pie spice and margarine instead of the shortening.
--the chopped nuts and/or dates and raisins are a personal preference.
To avoid crunchy crusts: Remove loaves from the cans or loaf pans onto a terrycloth towel. Cover the loaves with two heavy terrycloth towels. Roll the loaves over after 20 minutes to keep them from getting flat on one side.