Who knew you could bake bread in a slow cooker. Probably you did. But I didn’t.

That is until my talented friend Jane sent me this pumpkin bread recipe and told me to give it a whirl. I had my doubts. Bread is baked in an oven, lady, not a countertop plug-in appliance.

But I trust Jane…and she was right. The bread worked beautifully, better even than plenty of oven loaves I’ve made. The moist environment of the slow cooker results in a particularly tender loaf. Best of all, no babysitting; my bread bakes while I run errands and carpools.

I suppose it’s not surprising that Jane knows her stuff. She’s the writer and recipe developer behind the blog, The Zen of Slow Cooking. Her pumpkin bread is simple to prepare and calls for wholesome ingredients: whole wheat flour, maple syrup instead of sugar, olive oil instead of butter, and a full cup of pumpkin, which means a generous amount of vitamin A, along with vitamin C and potassium. I threw in crystalized ginger and ground cinnamon for the warm flavors that epitomize fall baking. Chocolate chips work well instead, too.

I’ve now made enough loaves — both pumpkin as well as a banana bread version — to open a slow cooker bakery. I may never turn on my oven again.

Have you baked in the slow cooker? Do tell.

1. Gather your goodies.

2. Whisk together dry ingredients.
3. Add the maple syrup and other wet ingredients.
4. Stir in the pumpkin, ginger and walnuts and pour into a loaf pan
5.Get it into a slow cooker. Walk away for about 2 hours.

Side Note: For the “gluten-freers” amongst you, I spied this GF pumpkin bread recipe in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food this month.


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  1. Cynthia
    10.31.2012 at 9:54 AM #

    I couldn’t resist trying the Pumpkin Bread in the slow-cooker last night – just sounded like the right thing to do w/Halloween today. It came out great and is amazingly moist. I might up the spices just a bit next time, but should say that if prepared as written it is very kid-friendly.
    Thanks Katie,

    • katiemorford
      10.31.2012 at 10:07 AM #

      Oh good, Cynthia. Absolutely, you can up the spices. Even a dash of cloves and nutmeg might be nice.

  2. Pam
    11.14.2012 at 2:56 PM #

    I made this a couple nights ago in the oven (no slow cooker) and we all love it! I’ll probably make it again tomorrow since it is gone already.

    • katiemorford
      11.14.2012 at 4:01 PM #

      Oh good….I love how easy it is…all in one bowl.

  3. Alison
    01.21.2013 at 1:13 PM #

    Could I use 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour instead of 1 c of white and 1 c of ww?

    • katiemorford
      01.21.2013 at 2:31 PM #

      I bet that will work just fine.

  4. rubidooh
    10.11.2013 at 3:35 AM #

    How do you fit a loaf pan in a crockpot? What size loaf pan and what size crockpot?

    • katiemorford
      10.11.2013 at 7:39 AM #

      Hi there,

      A standard loaf pan is roughly 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches. My loaf pan just fits into the crock pot so that I can put on the lid. Mine is an oval-shaped 6 quart pot. Does that help?


  5. Kate
    11.09.2013 at 1:23 PM #

    I am excited to give this a try! Quick question – if I want to use ground ginger instead of crystallized, how much should I use? A teaspoon? Thanks!

    • katiemorford
      11.09.2013 at 3:10 PM #

      I think 1 teaspoon would be about right.

  6. vee
    01.25.2014 at 9:04 PM #

    Can I use a disposable bread tin in the slow cooker?

    • katiemorford
      01.26.2014 at 10:01 AM #

      I would imagine that anything suitable for the oven would be suitable for the slow cooker.

  7. 10.01.2014 at 3:22 PM #

    Wish I had an oval crockpot so I could try it! Mine is round :/

    • katiemorford
      10.04.2014 at 11:36 AM #

      Maybe try making it in a cake pan and adjust the cooking time. Just a thought!

  8. 10.07.2014 at 4:41 AM #

    yum another awesome pumpkin recipe!

  9. Cheryl
    10.12.2014 at 9:24 AM #

    you do not put water or anything into the crock pot ? I did not know that you could run the crock pot without something in it so that it would not mess up .

    • katiemorford
      10.12.2014 at 9:08 PM #

      No…it works like a little oven and results in a very moist quick bread.


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