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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


  • 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)


  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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  • Best pumpkin bread recipe, hands down, we’ve ever tried! I use Einkorn flour in place of regular (same amount), and it works beautifully. Have also made variations with chocolate chips and pecans. Jenn, this is a winner!

    • — Mari on November 27, 2023
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  • The flavor and texture of this bread is great. My husband and I both enjoyed it. It was too sweet for me, so I’ll try cutting the sugar down next time. There will be a next time!

    • — Wendy on November 26, 2023
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  • I brought this to thanksgiving and it was a hit!

    • — Mikaela del Fierro on November 26, 2023
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  • Picked this recipe because of all the positive reviews! Definitely a winner from a taste perspective, however, I found it a bit too sweet (for me) so I will cut back 1/2 cup of the sugar next time I make it. Perhaps add a streusel topping as some have suggested. That being said, my issue was that the loaves did not properly rise. Toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean so they were definitely done and I bake on a regular/weekly basis so I know my ingredients were fresh/wholesome. I even used my own homemade pumpkin puree (roasted, drained overnight and processed in my food processor until smooth). I think the oven temp of 325F might have been the issue because I normally bake other breads (such as banana bread) @ 375F. Does it sound like the lower temperature could have caused the rise issue? Any insight would be appreciated.

    • — Vesi Leal on November 24, 2023
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  • This was the most amazing pumpkin bread I have ever made. Everyone loves it and has requested more.

    • — Tami on November 24, 2023
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  • I have been making this for YEARS and it’s always a hit during the holidays. I’m too scared to try any other recipe! Some adjustments I make are cutting down the sugar amount a tiny bit and I just use pumpkin pie spice (about 2 teaspoons) – LOVE!

    • — Mabel on November 22, 2023
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  • Every fall season I use this recipe. People are amazed by this bread and cannot stop eating it! I add a vanilla glaze on top and some walnuts and it is perfect. I’ve used this recipe about 3 times this fall!

    • — Kylie on November 22, 2023
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  • Another recipe without the recipe, I hate blogs, what happened to online recipes.

    • — Bib on November 22, 2023
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    • It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions above. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2023
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  • So I used this recipe but…replaced 1c of the sugar with brown sugar, added 1/2tsp each of allspice, ginger, cardamom, black pepper (sifted to get only fine stuff), and vanilla, used 2c of cheese pumpkin that I steamed instead of canned, coated the pan in cinnamon sugar instead of flour, and sprinkled some on top, and it was a huge hit!! It was a tad clove heavy for me, but multiple other people said they liked the amount of clove, and everyone who tried it said it was a great balance of spiced and sweet. I think I might play around with the leavening agents since it wasn’t quite as fluffy as I was hoping, but the density (not to say it was too dense—it definitely wasn’t!) might be contributing to the appeal so I certainly can’t judge it on that!! It also cooked in only an hour, but my oven is troublesome so that might be why. I used this as a baseline instead of my family’s recipe since that always comes out too dense for me, so this was an improvement there for sure. I know it seems like I made a lot of changes but this recipe was for sure a GREAT start point and it was all easy changes! I might try a gluten free version with oat flour soon since mine is usually too dense as well!

    • — Lisl W on November 22, 2023
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  • I followed the directions. Both breads are small, maybe 1 1/2 inches high. I wondered about it after I put the dough in the loaf pans. I found other recipes that call for 1 1/2 cups of flour for one loaf, after I made this one. Even my husband said something about them being small. They were made to take to a work pot luck tomorrow. I was only going to bring one, and give the other to a friend. I guess I’ll bring both to work.

    • — Jan on November 21, 2023
    • Reply
    • I had the same issue so I’m wondering if the oven temp was too low. Mine is pretty accurate, however, I also bake other breads at a higher temperature (375F), so next time I’ll go with a higher temp and see if the loaves rise like they are supposed to.

      • — Vesi on November 24, 2023
      • Reply
    • The dough should have been more than 1.5 inches in the pan before it was even cooked! I have a feeling either your baking soda or baking powder (or both) were old and should be thrown out and replaced. I’m only guessing because I had similar happen to me before and someone suggested I replace my baking soda and powder with new andVoila! it solved my problem. I think we tend to forget how long we’ve had those things sitting around!

      • — Tracey on November 24, 2023
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  • I’ve been making pumpkin bread for years, but I wasn’t happy with my recipe that called for unhealthy vegetable oil. Found this one last year and I’ve used it 3-4 times so far and every loaf turns out perfect and cooked all the way through without being overdone on the outside. Easy, peasy and perfectly delicious!

    • — JMad on November 21, 2023
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    • Yes! Same. I love my recipe but it calls for vegetable oil. Looking forward to trying this one.

      • — Gloria on November 26, 2023
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  • This is an easy and delicious bread.

    I love that it uses a whole can of pumpkin and other conventional measurements.

    I add a cup of raisins and a cup of chopped walnuts.

    • — Maggie on November 20, 2023
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  • Fantastic recipe! It was absolutely delicious.
    I omitted the Cloves as I prefer that flavor.
    I used a bread loaf and made a few cupcakes with this recipe.
    The texture, density and taste was perfect.
    I Highly recommend this recipe.

    • — Carol on November 20, 2023
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  • I found this to be way too sweet. Also, mine cookef in 45 minutes. That said, I liked the crumb. Wonder how much sugar could be left out?

    • — Diana Ikerd on November 19, 2023
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    • Hi Diana, you can get away with reducing the sugar by 1/2 cup.

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2023
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  • I have used this recipe in my family for years and HANDS DOWN!! it’s my family’s favorite. There is nothing like making this bread on the 1st day of Fall and throughout the season. The house smells so wonderful and the kids love the aroma after walking through the front doors after school! Yumm-o!!

    • — Masha on November 19, 2023
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  • Excellent recipe – as usual. Very moist, and spicey. I added about 3/4 cup of chocolate chips. Turned out perfect.

    • — MAR on November 19, 2023
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  • I found this recipe and it looks wonderful. Before I try it, however, I live at 6000 ft in elevation. Are there any modifications I should make to the recipe to accommodate high altitude baking? Thank you. Looking forward to trying this.

    • — deborah on November 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Deborah, I don’t have experience baking at high altitudes so, unfortunately, I don’t have any wisdom to share – I’m sorry! You may find these tips helpful though.

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2023
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  • I added streusel topping and it was fantastic. My teenage son’s girlfriend said it is “one of the best things she’s ever eaten.” So delicious!

    • — Marisa Biehl on November 19, 2023
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  • This bread is amazing! I took it to work and everyone loved it! I added walnuts and chocolate chips, but it would be great without anything added. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It will be a holiday staple at our house!

    • — Pam O'DONOVAN on November 18, 2023
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  • Can a mild vegetable oil be substituted for the butter and if so, how much for 3/4 c butter?

    • — Roberta on November 18, 2023
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    • Hi Roberta, unfortunately, vegetable oil won’t work here as you need something solid to cream with the butter. If you’d like to use oil, you could use (solidified) coconut oil. It would be the same amount, so 3/4 cup. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2023
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    • I used 3/4 cup vegetable oil and it turned out great

      • — Skyler on November 21, 2023
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  • I make this every Fall and Winter and it’s the highlight of everyone’s year! The recipe is absolutely perfect – don’t change a thing. Thank you so much!!

    • — Kirsten on November 18, 2023
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  • Do you think this would work with 1 to 1 gluten free flour?

    • — Melissa West on November 15, 2023
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    • Hi Melissa, a number of readers have commented that they’ve made this with 1 to 1 gluten-freee flour and have been happy with the results. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2023
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  • Turned out great! I added raisins and chopped walnuts to one of the loaves (for my mom and me).

    • — Steve on November 15, 2023
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  • Could you turn this recipe into muffins?

    • — Nick on November 15, 2023
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    • If you want to make muffins, I’d use this recipe (and you can omit the topping if you’d like).

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2023
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      • I put the streusel topping on the pumpkin bread. Yum !! Would love to know what your favorite cinnamon is, Jenn. Thanks!

        • — Lizzie on November 15, 2023
        • Reply
        • Glad you liked it! I just use McCormick’s cinnamon. 🙂

          • — Jenn on November 16, 2023
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  • My daughter and I made this today together and found the recipe foolproof! The pumpkin bread was delicious! We forgot to check our pantry in advance and discovered we were out of ground cloves. We doubled the cinnamon as a substitute. We also added one cup semisweet chocolate chips.
    Thank you for another great recipe! Your recipes have made me look really accomplished in the kitchen … they are always a hit when served to family and friends.

    • — Megs on November 14, 2023
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    • This recipe is amazing, instant favorite! I would love to make these and give them as gifts for the Holidays… any recommendations on converting baking time for mini loaves? Thank you!

      • — Jennifer Franco on November 19, 2023
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      • Glad you like it! For mini loaves, I’d start checking for doneness at 35 minutes. Hope your recipients enjoy!

        • — Jenn on November 20, 2023
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  • Could this recipe be made into muffins?

    • — Rocco on November 14, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Rocco, if you’d like to make muffins, I’d suggest this recipe (and you can skip the topping if you’d prefer).

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2023
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  • I’ve been making this the past 4 years for my friends and family – they are all obsessed with this pumpkin bread! Best when not cooked too long so it’s nice an moist! I will continue to bake every year!

    • — Jillian Sacco on November 14, 2023
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  • Oh wow! Jenn, another great recipe. This pumpkin bread was amazing! Thanks for sharing.

    • — Tammy on November 13, 2023
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  • Can we add pecans and dried cranberries? Also, can they be baked in mini loaf pans? If so, how?

    • — Serenity on November 12, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yes and yes. 🙂
      You’ll likely get 3 to 4 mini loaves from the recipe. They won’t take as long to bake — I’d start checking them at 35 minutes. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2023
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  • Amazing! I’m not much of a baker but this turned out great. So easy to make and so moist! This will go into my favorite recipes book.

    • — Gloria on November 12, 2023
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  • This is the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever made, and I’ve tried dozens of recipes over the years. My family loves it and I make it at least once a week in either loaf or mini muffin form.
    The only thing I do differently is use allspice instead of cloves, simply because I don’t have them on hand, and I sub the unsalted butter for salted. I find the little extra salt really brings the flavors out even more and makes it so rich. This is a great recipe and I’m gonna try the muffin/streusel topping recipe next!

    • — Shelby on November 12, 2023
    • Reply
  • My pumpkin bread turned out great! The texture was like a yummy Bundt cake! Next time I might top it with pecans and a drizzle of white chocolate bc I always like to be extra with my sweets:)

    • — Caroline on November 12, 2023
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  • Made it last week and family loved it! So, making it AGAIN, but this time added walnuts to JUST ONE loaf (I’m adventurous, but not stupid)….

    • — Becky on November 11, 2023
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  • Tried this tonight and it was wonderful! Can this be made into mini loaves? If so, do you inow the bake time off hand? Thank you!

    • — Heather M. on November 10, 2023
    • Reply
    • So glad you liked it! Yes, they can be made into mini loaves; I’d guesstimate this will make 3 to 4 mini loaves, and I’d start checking for doneness around 35 min (they may take longer). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2023
      • Reply
  • So incredibly yummy! My family loves the spicyness. It really is super easy to make. The crispy outside and moist inside, it’s almost impossible to resist.

    • — Joy on November 10, 2023
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  • I thought this recipe was great. Very moist and loved the spices. I even tried another comment’s suggestion about 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Delicious. But it kinda seems to be lacking a little on the pumpkin flavor. Can you add pumpkin spice also. I love all the other spices. I definitely will make again.

    • — Kim on November 9, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, feel free to add up to a teaspoon of pumpkin spice as well.

      • — Jenn on November 10, 2023
      • Reply

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