• Asher Cusack

Spiced Bourbon Pumpkin Bread with Whipped Vegan Maple Butter

The most perfect breakfast, dessert, or snack for big autumn vibes.


If you know me or have been following my recipes, it'll come as no surprise to you that I love pumpkins, squashes, gourds, whatever you like to call them. I grow them, use them to decorate my home, and eat them all through late summer, autumn and winter. They are probably my favourite vegetable (I know, they're technically a fruit...). So for just a little while there might be an excess of pumpkin here on the blog. Sorry in advance to Lee who has to join me in my pumpkin-based-diet and to you guys for bombarding you with squash after squash. But not really. Because here's the thing, it's delicious.


This recipe is a heavy adaptation of one from NYT Cooking - their brown butter bourbon pumpkin bread. I've played around with it to make it vegan-friendly and heavier on the booze, as well as adding my own finishing touch with the whipped maple butter. You can certainly serve it without, or even try icing it with a simple icing sugar, vanilla and milk mixture drizzled over top. It's great fresh from the oven but keeps well for several days and can be toasted or microwaved to warm it. Toasted and topped with apple preserves or maple butter it makes a wonderful breakfast but you can also fancy it up for dessert. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and spoon over the buttery nuts leftover from making the brown butter, or some other textural topping treat. Oh the possibilities!


Spice Bourbon Pumpkin Bread & Whipped Maple Butter

servings 8


For the pumpkin bread:

  • ¼ cup bourbon or rye whisky

  • ½ cup milk (I used soy)

  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil

  • ¼ cup brown butter (my recipe for vegan brown butter here) or neutral oil if you prefer

  • ¾ cup roasted & mashed pumpkin/squash or canned pumpkin puree

  • 1 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 cup plain flour

  • ¾ cup spelt or whole wheat flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

For the maple butter:

  • ½ cup of butter of choice (a firm butter rather than a spreadable margarine will work much better here) or vegetable ghee

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • a pinch of fine sea salt

Optional extras to stir into the batter:

chocolate chips

sesame seeds

chopped toasted nuts

additional spices


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c / 350f.

  2. Mix together the bourbon, milk, vanilla, oil, brown butter and pumpkin in a large bowl.

  3. Beat in the sugar until noticeably lighter in colour and consistency.

  4. In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining pumpkin bread ingredients.

  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet.

  6. Grease or line a loaf tin and pour in the mixture.

  7. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  8. Cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the tin.

  9. To make the butter, simply whip all of the ingredients together until light and fluffy, adjusting the salt to taste.

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