Specialty of the House: La Farm’s Pumpkin Loaf

La Farm Pumpkin Loaf from Lionel Vatinet, baker and owner of Cary’s La Farm Bakery.
La Farm Pumpkin Loaf from Lionel Vatinet, baker and owner of Cary’s La Farm Bakery.

Editor’s note: We seek recipes from Triangle restaurants requested by readers.

I am a great baker and am good at reducing sugar and fat in recipes. I am usually content with tweaking recipes to suit me, but someone gave me a loaf of pumpkin bread at Christmas from La Farm Bakery. Even though I’m sure it’s not lowfat, it was the best pumpkin bread. Can you see if they will give out the recipe?

Patricia Nichols


The pumpkin bread has been a staple at Cary’s La Farm Bakery for about 10 years.

The French bakery, which opened in 1999 near the entrance to Cary’s Prestonwood neighborhood, is known for its artisan breads, croissants and other treats, especially its white chocolate mini baguettes. The culinary force behind the operation is Lionel Vatinet, a French-born, guild-trained master baker.

However, his wife and business partner, Missy Vatinet, explained in an email: “This bread – like so many of our breads – is the result of Lionel’s work with our baking team. … We share ideas regularly and develop them as a team on a regular basis, each contributing to new products in various ways.”

The bread is so popular that it is now sold from September to December. Until it is back on the shelves at their Cary bakery and cafe, their stand at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh or the bread truck parked in downtown Cary, you will have to make it at home. The Vatinets graciously shared the recipe.

Specialty of the House gets recipes for local restaurant dishes. Send requests, including your city, to Specialty of the House, The N&O, P.O. Box 191, Raleigh, N.C. 27602; or email

The restaurant

La Farm Bakery, 4248 NW Cary Parkway, Cary. 919-657-0657.

La Farm’s bread truck is parked at 220 W. Chatham St. in downtown Cary, the site of its future production bakery, cafe and retail bakery, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. The bakery also sells daily at a booth at State Farmers Market, 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh.

La Farm Pumpkin Loaf

From Lionel Vatinet, baker and owner of Cary’s La Farm Bakery.

1 3/4 cups pastry flour

1/2 rounded teaspoon baking soda

1/2 level teaspoon sea salt

1/4 rounded teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 rounded teaspoon ground allspice

1 rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/8 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1/4 cup water

1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree

1 1/4 cups white granulated sugar

1 tablespoon raw, whole pumpkin seeds

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine pastry flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir together until well mixed and then sift into a mixing bowl.

Combine canola oil, eggs, water and pumpkin puree in a separate bowl and mix thoroughly. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix at low speed for 3 minutes stopping occasionally to scrap bottom and sides of bowl. Add sugar and mix until well blended on low speed.

Pour batter into a lightly greased or oil-sprayed 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on the top.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester inserted in loaf comes clean. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan. Cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap for room temperature or refrigerated storage or add a layer of foil for freezing.

Yield: 8-10 servings