Pumpkin Bread

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Kids love it, grown-ups love it…this pumpkin bread is hard to beat!

Pumpkin Bread

My grandmother clipped this pumpkin bread recipe from a magazine over 50 years ago, and it is my most-cherished family recipe. One of my clearest childhood memories is baking the loaves with my mom and carting them off to every neighborhood potluck and holiday party. Now I bake pumpkin bread with my own kids, and it’s just as wonderful today as it was back then. It’s easy to make — just a bit of mixing and stirring, pop it in the oven, and, in about an hour, you’ll have a house smelling of sweet autumn spices and two scrumptious, pumpkiny loaves.

pumpkin bread

This is the original recipe from my grandmother’s recipe box; as you can see, it has seen its share of spills! After a bit of research, I discovered that the original recipe was published in the McCalls Cook Book (Random House, 1963). It is a typical sweet quick bread, similar to banana bread or cranberry nut bread, in that it is leavened with baking powder and/or baking soda instead of yeast. Quick bread batter can usually be made into muffins; my pumpkin muffins are almost identical to this bread but with a crunchy pecan streusel topping.

What you’ll need to make pumpkin bread

How to make pumpkin bread

Begin by combining the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. I like to add everything in neat little piles in case I lose track of what I’ve added.

Whisk well and set aside.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Beat until just combined. It will look a little crumbly.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Continue beating for a few minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the pumpkin.

Beat until combined. It will look a little grainy — that’s okay.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture.

And beat on low speed until just combined.

Transfer the batter to loaf pans.

Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let the loaves cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

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Video Tutorial

Pumpkin Bread

Kids love it, grown-ups love it…this pumpkin bread is hard to beat!

Servings: Makes 2 loaves
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 65 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-oz can 100% pure pumpkin (I use Libby's)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with butter and dust with flour (alternatively, use a baking spray with flour in it, such as Pam with Flour or Baker's Joy).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the pumpkin. The mixture might look grainy and curdled at this point -- that's okay.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
  5. Turn the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly, and bake for 65 – 75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Fresh out of the oven,the loaves have a deliciously crisp crust. If they last beyond a day, you can toast individual slices to get the same fresh-baked effect.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it securely in aluminum foil, freezer wrap or place in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (24 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 166
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26 g
  • Sugar: 17 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 117 mg
  • Cholesterol: 31 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • This is now my go to recipe for pumpkin bread. My family loves it! I especially like the type and amount of spice used and that you don’t need oil. The texture is wonderful and it fills the kitchen with the best smell when baking. Thank you!

    • — Kara on September 22, 2022
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  • Thanks for another terrific recipe. Made with homemade pureed sugar pumpkin. Delicious.

    • — Helen Kelly on September 20, 2022
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  • So moist and delicious! Such a great and simple recipe.

    • — Christie on September 19, 2022
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  • Loved this! Added ginger and a little more cinnamon and about 1/2 the cloves and nutmeg but it’s all according to tastes, right. It was so good. Gave a loaf to a neighbor and the teenage boy made a special trip to say how good it was. Now, that’s a good recipe. Thanks, Jenn.

    • — Andrea Manthorne on September 19, 2022
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  • If you’re looking for a good pumpkin bread recipe, stop looking, you’ve found it!!

    I have made this recipe for years. Given as gifts, everyone loves it!!

    You can’t go wrong with this!

    • — Kim on September 18, 2022
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  • Had saved this for a while to make and finally did! It is amazing! Did not have clove so did not use that. I am excited to make again with pumpkin seeds on top and then will be just like or better than Starbucks!

    • — A Gor on September 18, 2022
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  • I just made this recipe for the first time today and it was so easy and tastes so good!! I did not use clove or nutmeg because my mother is allergic to those but with just the cinnamon it is so lovely. I also put a half cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in half the batter. We have people who love plain and some people who love chocolate with it. Both turned out so beautifully! I am so excited to be adding this recipe to our family cookbook. Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone!

    • — Elyse G. on September 14, 2022
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  • I love this recipe!! Question, could I make a cream cheese batter to go in the middle? All the cream cheese pumpkin bread recipes I’ve found have less sugar and use vegetable oil but I want to know if I could use this recipe and just add the cream cheese batter because this recipe is BOMB!!

    • — Katie S. on September 13, 2022
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    • Hi Katie, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure, but I think it would work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 14, 2022
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    • I’d be curious to hear how using a cream cheese swirl turned out for you and what you used.

      • — Amy on September 17, 2022
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    • I love this recipe! I’ve made several variations of cheesecake filling for it to mixed success, always tastes delicious but sometimes doesn’t want to quite set all the way, I think it’d be better as muffins! Or even mini loaves, as it’d set up a little easier.

      • — Heather on September 19, 2022
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  • Made it today, used real pumpkin, the house smells wonderful, I added dark chocolate morsels. It tastes delicious

    • — Marianne on September 12, 2022
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  • I love this recipe! But is it possible to make it vegan?

    • — Todd on September 12, 2022
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    • Hi Todd, Glad you like it! A few readers have commented that they’ve made this vegan and have been happy with the results. Please LMK how it comes out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on September 12, 2022
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      • Alright sounds great! So I would only have to substitute the eggs and butter?

        • — Todd on September 13, 2022
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        • Yes, you could use (solidified) coconut oil for the butter (or a non-dairy butter substitute) and for the eggs,two of the best substitutes I’ve heard about (I haven’t personally tried either of them) are a combination of water, oil, and baking powder, and carbonated water. Scroll down to the bottom of this article for more information about both. I would assume it would also work with some kind of store-bought egg substitute. Hope that helps!

          • — Jenn on September 14, 2022
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  • Awesome! I had no eggs, so used Mashed Banana. The only thing that I would add are Walnuts.

    • — Cooper on September 10, 2022
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  • I replace flour with gf flour ..

    • — Marion on September 10, 2022
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  • Perfect pumpkin loaf

    • — Hannah on September 8, 2022
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  • Hi Jenn. We LOVE your recipes in our house. I made this pumpkin bread for the first time today and it didn’t rise properly. My bread is very flat. I check my baking soda and baking powder and neither are old. I am a fairly experienced home cook but I don’t have any idea why this happened. Do you have any advice?

    • — Sharon G on September 5, 2022
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    • Hi Sharon, Thanks for your kind words — so glad you like the recipes! The pumpkin bread doesn’t rise a ton (they’re more like a cake than a bread) so assuming you used two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans, I don’t think anything went wrong.

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2022
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  • I just made this recipe into mini muffins and my husband said, “This is the best thing you’ve ever made and I’m including the kids!”

    • — Shanda on September 3, 2022
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    • Haha!

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2022
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    • I’m a home baker and really love simple delicious recipes. This was my first time making pumpkin loaf and it turned out absolutely fantastic!!! My second loaf is currently in the oven.

      • — Vicky on September 10, 2022
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      • Thanks for the recipe! My first pumpkin bake for the fall season. In case anyone is wondering if you have to put it in a loaf pan, I put it all in a 9×13 pan (lined with parchment) and baked at 350°. It came out great! I added walnuts because I love adding nuts to baked breads. Admittedly, it’s like a back cake. Thanks again for the recipe!

        • — Sayuri on September 18, 2022
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  • I made this recipe last night and it was so good. I’ve never made pumpkin bread and I was quite proud of myself, but the recipe got me there. Best pumpkin bread recipe ever. I followed all the recipe, I only removed half a cup of sugar, but it was still so good 😊

    • — Judy A on September 3, 2022
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    • Judy, I haven’t made this yet because of the amount of sugar and nobody has addressed it but you. I was going to cut it in half. What do you think?

      • — Sybil on September 22, 2022
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  • Came out very good Best Recipe I have found for making Pumpkin bread. I just don’t use the cloves when I make it.

    • — Ethan on September 2, 2022
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  • This bread is EXTREMELY clove-y. I would cut the amount of cloves in half, if not quarter. Otherwise very good.

    • — Jillian on August 31, 2022
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  • This is the recipe I usually go to for pumpkin bread. Always turns out great. I like to add frozen sour cherries to the finished batter to complement the sweetness of the recipe. Fresh cranberries work well, too,

    • — Marian G. on August 31, 2022
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  • This pumpkin bread was amazing! My extremely picky eater (like so picky he eats 5 things) loved this bread. Thank you for sharing it!

    • — April on August 31, 2022
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  • First time making and it’s delicious, it is an amazing recipe.
    I used fresh grated nutmeg, I think it’s a game changer.
    I also did 4 mini loaf pans, lowered the temp to 300° and baked for 75 minutes. Could have possibly gone 5 to 10 minutes more but my tester came out clean.
    I am strongly considering adding candy pecans to it next time and next time won’t be very far away.
    This will definitely be my go-to recipe.

    • — Linae on August 29, 2022
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  • Jen,
    Can you give be the bake time for one 9×5 loaf pan? Also what cream cheese frosting recipe do you suggest for this?

    • — Stephanie Oliver on August 28, 2022
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    • Hi Stephanie, I wouldn’t recommend making this in one 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. If you only have 9 x 5-inch pans, I’d increase the batter by 1.5 and bake in two of them. Bake time may be a touch longer. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on August 30, 2022
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  • No. It didn’t rise as much as the photo. Who cares? It is delicious and even the most finicky eater in my family LOVES it. It is so simple to make, and I have yet to have the loaves last more than a day or two.

    • — Al Smith on August 27, 2022
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  • Perfect! I make this year round!

    • — Emily on August 25, 2022
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  • If I could give this recipe more stars, I would. I have made this recipe numerous times and always get the best compliments for it. It’s my favorite recipe. My friends and family ask me to make this for them all the time. Thank you for such a wonderful and easy recipe!

    • — Michelle on August 25, 2022
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  • Excellent!!! I made it and it came out perfect.

    • — Anita on July 29, 2022
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    • I make this bread every fall. It’s always a hit with everyone. I personally only use about 3/4 of the sugar recommended and it tastes great. I put a vanilla glaze on top also.

      • — Jazzy Frank on September 7, 2022
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  • 5 stars!! I get rave reviews every time I make this recipe. It honestly beats Starbucks pumpkin bread hands down!
    Absolutely moist and delicious. I sprinkle pumpkin seeds on the top too for a little extra touch 🙂
    *****

    • — Julie on July 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious! Great pumpkin taste, spices just right and not overpowering. As noted, the crust was nice and crispy when first baked. Easy recipe, and I’ll make it again at the holidays. I made it now (in July), because it’s my daughter in law’s favorite……

    • — Ginny Kreindl on July 17, 2022
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  • This recipe is my favorite!! I add my two “secret ingredients” and everyone absolutely loves it!!!!

    • — Josie Jones on July 13, 2022
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  • I just made two loaves in an 8.5 × 4.5 size pans and they turned out beautifully. Once again Jenn your recipes shine through every time. Thanks again!

    • — Virginia Lehner on June 13, 2022
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  • The recipe was not sufficient to make 2 full sized loaves. I would recommend adding 50% more of the ingredients for 2 loaves, or making just 1 loaf using the existing recipe, subject to time & temperature adjustments.

    • — Darwin on June 10, 2022
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    • Same. I thought I was the only one. It was very good but far from enough to make two.

      • — Lynn on June 26, 2022
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  • Don’t even bother with any other pumpkin bread recipe. This is the one!

    • — Joanie LaRocco on May 30, 2022
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  • I made this wonderful pumpkin bread yesterday, as it was a cloudy day. It is so good, I don’t understand some of the reviews saying it was “cake like”. It was perfect, as all of Jenn’s recipes are, they never disappoint! Thank you so much for your blog. BTW, my sister and I have both of you fabulous cookbooks. We make a different recipe at least 2 times a week and love them all. I live on Cape Cod, MA and she lives in Little Rock, AR , but when one of us tries a recipe the other has to make it also because of the raves! Our, almost daily, phone calls always include you.

    • — Buffy Alten on May 28, 2022
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    • 💗

      • — Jenn on May 30, 2022
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      • I only have 24 pz of pumpkin. How many cups should I use of that to make it 15 oz?

        • — Kaitlynn on July 12, 2022
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        • Hi Kaitlynn, you’ll need about 1-3/4 cups of pumpkin puree. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on July 12, 2022
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  • I used half sugar and half splenda. It didn’t raise very good but tasted delicious. Don’t know if not using all sugar was the problem with raising, but it did taste good.

    • — Janice Speck on May 25, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Janice, This bread is more like a cake than a bread and doesn’t rise very much so I suspect that the Splenda didn’t have an impact. Glad you enjoyed it though!

      • — Jenn on May 25, 2022
      • Reply
  • Followed recipe as written but added 1/2 cup chopped dates and 1/2 cup raisins. Gave Mama-in-Law one loaf for Mother’s day… Kept one at home- Everyone loved it!

    • — Tina on May 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • I stirred in the flour mixture and baked two loaves plus one cupcake in an aluminum lined cupcake paper. Delish!

    • — Mary Kay on April 28, 2022
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  • What do you think about baking this as cup cakes in cupcake papers?

    • — Mary Kay on April 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary Kay, If you want to make cupcakes, I’d recommend using this recipe (you can omit the streusel and replace it with frosting). Hope you enjoy if you make them!

      • — Jenn on April 29, 2022
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  • I have made these three times since I found this recipe. It is so moist and flavorful! It makes 4 perfect mini loaves. I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful pumpkin bread!

    • — Debbie on April 28, 2022
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    • Hi. How long did you cook in the mini loaf pan?

      • — Sam on May 1, 2022
      • Reply
  • My family & I love this pumpkin bread recipe! I add chocolate chips to mine & the grandkids gobble it up. Thanks for sharing!

    • — Julie on April 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • As a lenten dish, this is super with half the sugar, no eggs and use coconut oil (solid type) instead of butter. I also add a halfcup of applesauce and 1/4 cup avocado oil. My family loves it. Keep the Fast!

    • — E. H. on April 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Very Good Texture. Step by step, easy to follow instructions. Family enjoyed.

    • — Laurie Bonner on March 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,
    what if i use a fresh pumpkin? Do i have to cook it first?
    Many thanks!

    • — Guoda on March 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yes it’s perfectly fine to use fresh pumpkin. You will need to cook it first. This piece provides some helpful guidance. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this many times. Everyone absolutely loves this recipe. I often add chocolate & or nuts.

    • — Ariel Flores on March 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • I really like this recipe. It’s on the sweeter side, so I reduce the sugar by 1/4c.

    • — Tracyv on March 19, 2022
    • Reply

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