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 a delicious Pumpkin Bread made with no changes to the recipe/instructions!! I have made this many times and my family loves it! I also gift loaves to family and friends.

    • — Amber on March 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • I absolutely LOVED this bread. Definitely on the sweeter side, but it was just the treat I was looking for.

    I used Bob’s Redmill GF measure for measure flour and it turned out wonderful. I also made a cream cheese icing drizzle for the top.

    When I make it again, I’ll probably reduce the sugar in the bread to allow for the cream cheese icing drizzle.

    • — Lizzie on March 13, 2022
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  • Love it! I halve the sugar and add 1/2 tsp of ground ginger to make it a little extra spicy. So moist and delicious

    • — Tiffany on March 12, 2022
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  • I absolutely love love love your recipe!!! It’s delicious, moist, and mouthwatering. My family always looks forward to it whenever I bake it. If I bake it 2 days ahead of an event how should I store it? Refrigerator or freezer or do I cover it and just leave it out?

    • — Gabriella on February 22, 2022
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    • Glad you like it, Gabriella! I would just cover it and leave it out at room temp.

      • — Jenn on February 22, 2022
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      • Thank you!!

        • — Gabriella on February 22, 2022
        • Reply
      • My go-to Pumpkin loaf recipe. Always get lots of “yummy” comments when I make this.
        I was wondering about trying to sub the butter for canola oil to test the texture. Do you recommend this and how will this alter the recipe/flavors????

        Thank you!

        • — Joelle on September 20, 2022
        • Reply
        • So glad you like this, Joelle! Unfortunately, canola oil won’t work here as you need something solid to combine with the sugar. If you’d like to use oil, you could try (solidified) coconut oil. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it turns out. 🙂

          • — Jenn on September 20, 2022
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  • I followed the recipe exactly, but I used unsweetened applesauce instead of butter. I made one large loaf, and next time I make it I’ll cook it at 350 on convection instead of 325. It’s an outstanding recipe, the whole family loved it.

    • — Rob on February 20, 2022
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  • We love this recipe and my daughter wants to share this with a friend that is vegan. Any suggestions for egg substitutes? Thanks!

    • — Kelly on February 16, 2022
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    • Glad you like it! 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 many recipes would also work with some kind of store-bought egg substitute. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 16, 2022
      • Reply
      • I have had great success replacing 1 egg with 1 Tbs water, 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp baking powder, mixed together in a separate bowl and then add to recipe when called for. I’ve used in recipes that call for no more than two eggs. Double above for recipes with two eggs.

        • — Melissa on September 1, 2022
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        • Good to know — I’m sure others will appreciate having another alternative!

          • — Jenn on September 2, 2022
          • Reply
    • Can I use 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 pans to make this recipe???

      • — Nicole on February 24, 2022
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      • Yes that’s fine; the loaves will just be a little flatter.

        • — Jenn on February 24, 2022
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    • Kelly did you have success making eggless? Hoping to make it this weekend and have a friend who’s baby has an egg allergy.

      • — Chelle on February 25, 2022
      • Reply
  • Mine didn’t rise quite as much as the picture, not sure if it was my purée as I made it from scratch? But honestly the best pumpkin loaf I have ever tasted. Thank you.

    • — Elle on February 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Elle, These don’t rise a ton (they’re more like a cake than a bread) so I don’t think it had anything to do with the fresh pumpkin you used. Glad you enjoyed it though!

      • — Jenn on February 14, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thanks for this answer. Now I know why mine didn’t raise much but it is delicious. Thanks for the recipe

        • — Bellina on February 25, 2022
        • Reply
  • I love this loaf and am now doubling the recipe as it goes fast. I substituted dark brown sugar 1:1 and prefer the taste.

    • — Geneva Burnap on February 13, 2022
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  • Excellent recipe, very moist, I give it 5 stars‼️

    I used 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice instead of individual spices. Best pumpkin bread I ever made.

    • — A. Irwin on February 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • I can’t get enough of this bread. I’ve made it twice in the last month and given a loaf to my neighbor and son. Super easy, moist, perfect pumpkin bread. I added walnuts. Definitely a favorite

    • — Marsha Porter on February 5, 2022
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  • Didn’t rise, photo isn’t accurate. Way to much spice.

    • — Sam on February 3, 2022
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  • I’m bummed I didn’t read the other reviews first before making this because I ended up disappointed in the texture. While the flavor is great, the loaves barely rose at all. They just kind of fell flat; one of my loaves rose just enough to drip over the side of the pan and make a mess in the oven, but not enough to make that big (or any size) dome over the top of the rim like one associates with quick breads. I followed the recipe, and I agree with one comment that this was more of a pumpkin cake than a bread. Again, the flavor is great – spiced and sweet – but I would either follow another recipe next time or listen to others who made adjustments in baking powder amount and mixing method (hand vs mixer) so they aren’t so flat and sad.

    • — A on February 3, 2022
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  • My comment is more of a question as I am interested in making this bread. Can I substitute canned pumpkin for fresh, pureed pumpkin?

    • — Abiola Rocke on February 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Abiola, You can definitely use fresh pumpkin. Just squeeze out any excess liquid so the bread isn’t too moist. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • So I checked. The pumpkin cake recipe on this site is very much like this “bread” recipe, except it has 1/2 cup LESS sugar and two more eggs. So yes, this is simply a moist and tasty cake in loaf form. And I will probably make it again, but as a dessert, not as quick breakfast bread, and with less sugar.

    • — Nan on January 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is a tasty, sweet cake baked in a loaf pan. That doesn’t make it bread. I decreased the sugar by 1/3 cup and will try 2/3 next time. It is not firm enough to spread with butter, let alone cream cheese. BUT it has great flavor and is moist. No issues with baking—in fact, mine was done in less than 60 minutes.

    • — Nan on January 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • If you make one recipe from this web site, make this pumpkin bread. I have made it probably 20 times. I liked it so much I made small loafs out of it and gave it out as Christmas gifts one year.
    The first cookbook has a pumpkin cake based on this bread and that is equally fantastic.

    • — Cheri T on January 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is the best pumpkin bread! My family and friends loved it! I will be making more!

    • — MJ on January 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wonderful. I used cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice and skipped the other spices. I also substituted some of the flour with quick oats. Batter is thick but bakes up very well!

    • — Sara on January 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Simply Fabulous! A family favorite! My family and I have made this recipe many times. We have made it both vegan and non-vegan. We have also used canned pumpkin as well as fresh pumpkin. It’s delicious every time.

    • — Michelle on January 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Last year I moved from Maryland to Western North Carolina. I had no idea I was considered ‘high altitude’’, and I learned the hard way. At 3750’, my baking does need adjustments, especially with yeast breads. This recipe is delicious! The only adjustment I made was slight, to the oven temp -cooked at 330 for 55 minutes. Moist and yummy.

    • — Mary Gray on January 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Question: I would like to ship what’s best way to keep it fresh?

    • — Caren on January 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Caren, I’d wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. You could also put layer of foil over that for extra protection.

      • — Jenn on January 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • Made this with 1/2 the sugar and double the baking powder. Used one glass loaf pan 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 (as mentioned in another comment here). It is delicious! Moist, flavorful, not too sweet – love it!!!!!

    • — Steph B on January 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! Made several over the holidays and gave out to friends and family. They also requested the recipe.

    • — Leigh on January 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this twice. Both times it turned out delicious, but the first time, it was slightly too dense and fell apart easily. I live at high altitude, so this time, I doubled the baking powder and lessened the sugar by ½ cup because I’m a little sensitive to sweet. It’s definitely lighter and fluffier this time, but it’s still very fragile and falls apart (I can’t even get a whole slice on a plate without it coming apart). I love the flavor, but how do I get it to hold together better? A 3rd egg?

    • — Mscottgreene on January 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi, glad you like this but sorry to hear it’s crumbly for you. Are you letting it cool completely before you slice it?

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2022
      • Reply
      • The batch I made last night I cut into after it had cooled a bit, but it was still warm. The first batch was crumbly every time I cut into it, even after being in the refrigerator.

        • — Mscottgreene on January 11, 2022
        • Reply
        • If you let one of them cool completely and still had a problem, I suspect it’s the changes you made to the recipe. If you try this again, try slicing it using a serrated knife.

          • — Jenn on January 14, 2022
          • Reply
    • FYI, at high altitude (I am a mile high) you very slightly decrease baking powder, not increase. Also, reduce sugar (as you did) and slightly increase liquid. Also increase baking temperature- though I rarely increase the temperature the entire 25 degrees as recommended for my altitude. You might also add a pinch more flour. Precise instructions can be found on various websites. Best of luck!

      • — Melanie on May 3, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is a good recipe, but when you add the flour mixture, mix it by hand, until just combined. If you use the mixer at low speed, it will not rise. Using the mixer ruins it.

    • — Walter Kiernan on January 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Thanks for the tip

      • — Linda on March 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • So tender and moist! I read the pan size, rising and sweetness comments. Used only one 9×5 loaf and cooked for 75min. Doubled the baking powder, decreased the white sugar to 1 cup and added 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar. Love spice, so used 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg plus added 1/2tsp ground ginger. This will be my go to pumpkin bread. Thank you!

    • — Katrina on January 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • It was flavorful but fell apart. I have never had issues like this.

    • — Bobbie on January 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Bobbie, I’m sorry this fell apart for you! Did you let it cool completely before slicing it?

      • — Jenn on January 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • It could have been a little more moist, but it turned out good very tasty. 🙂

    • — Daniel Cordosi on January 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this tonight – who says pumpkin is only for fall?! Quick
    easy, and delicious with just that perfect bit of spice.

    • — Gabbi Lamb on January 5, 2022
    • Reply
    • We love this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing.

      • — Nelly on January 20, 2022
      • Reply
  • I have made this a ridiculous amount of times now! I love that it makes 2 loaves— one just wouldn’t be enough! It’s so moist and flavourful. I doubled the baking powder – I was having trouble with it rising enough. That solved it.

    • — Krys on January 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Thx for the suggestion on the baking powder! I just made this & it barely raised up. I love the flavor, so I’ll try it again with added powder.

      • — Kat D on January 5, 2022
      • Reply
  • Way too sweet. If I make this recipe again I will halve the sugar.

    • — Janet on January 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve been looking for a pumpkin bread recipe for years that was like I what I remembered from Bob Evans restaurant from our brief time living in Michigan — a pumpkin bread that was essentially creamy pumpkin pie in bread form. This is it!!! This is the perfect pumpkin bread recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • — Melinda from WA on January 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • I dont want to make 2 breads,just one…can I halve the ingredients to get that result? Or please send recipe for one..thank you

    • — Fran on December 31, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Fran, Yes, it’s fine to halve the recipe. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 31, 2021
      • Reply
    • Can you use 9×5 pans instead of 8×4 pans?

      • — Caren on January 15, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi Caren, If you only have 9 x 5-inch loaf pans, I’d increase the batter by 1.5 and bake in two 9 x 5’s. Bake time may be a touch longer but keep a close eye on them. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on January 16, 2022
        • Reply
  • I made this with the leftover pumpkin after Thanksgiving. It was such a huge hit I’ve made it again 3 times! And shared the recipe many times.
    I add walnuts, and some cream cheese frosting. My friend adds dates too.
    It’s deliciousness! Thanks!

    • — Paula on December 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • Jenn
      I love this bread and people always rave about it. Wondering if I can follow the same recipe but make muffins instead. Have you done this?

      Carolyn

      • — Carolyn Hiatt on January 15, 2022
      • Reply
      • So glad you like it, Carolyn! If you want to make muffins, I’d suggest this recipe (and you can omit the topping if you’d like). Enjoy!

        • — Jenn on January 16, 2022
        • Reply
  • Made this for Christmas and followed directions exactly, turned out great!

    • — Kim N on December 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi! I made this pumpkin bread for Christmas. It was a huge hit. I’ve made many pumpkin breads in my 64 years, this is the best bread ever of any kind of sweet bread I’ve made. People who were not huge fans of pumpkin bread loved it! I did use good ingredients. King Arthur Flour, Kerry Gold butter, organic spices and good vanilla. I used Trader Joe pumpkin.
    But I did the quantities and ingredients you listed exactly! My bread was perfect!

    • — Barbara on December 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious! I made this with purée that I made from a pumpkin I bought for decor (pretty sure it was a rouge d’etampes) and topped it with a streusel. It was very, very good. I gave one loaf to my husbands grandma for her 91st birthday and she loved it too!

    • — Ariel on December 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Amazing! It blows everyone away everytime I make this bread. Thank you!

    • — Abby on December 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • This pumpkin is so delicious my family requests it for every holiday! Thank you!

    • — Dana Kellogg on December 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this for the first time and it’s absolutely delicious! Very moist, flavorful. Lots of compliments from guests.

    • — Angela on December 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious.

    • — Lenore Denny on December 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this many times and love it. I would like to make mini loafs
    for my neighbors for Christmas. How many mini loafs will this recipe make? And thank you for all your wonderful recipes. You are my go-to for any new recipes I want to make 🙂

    • — Kim GREVIOUS on December 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kim, I’m guessing 3 to 4 mini loaves, and I would start checking for doneness around 35 min (they may take longer). Hope that helps and glad you enjoy the recipes!

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2021
      • Reply
      • Are mini loafs at same temp?

        • — EricaK on December 30, 2021
        • Reply
        • Yep!

          • — Jenn on December 31, 2021
          • Reply
  • The best I’ve ever had. So moist and flavorful. Lots of compliments from guest. ❤

    • — Linda Cunningham on December 22, 2021
    • Reply
  • BEST pumpkin bread ever! I’ve made this several times both for myself and as gifts, and am preparing a couple loaves to give out over Christmas. It is so easy to make and makes so much bread! I have stocked up on cans of pumpkin so I can have this tasty treat year-round!

    • — Taylor on December 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • I tried several pumpkin bread recipes before finding this one. It is by far the best I’ve tried. So incredibly moist and delicious.

    I got ready to pour the batter in at the end when I just made it yesterday and then remembered that my loaf pans are bigger than 8 x 4 so did one big loaf. SOOO good. I’ve made it as muffins before, too.

    • — Tracy on December 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • can i substitute self rising flour for this recipe?

    • — kim on December 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend it here, Kim — sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2021
      • Reply
      • I substituted self-rising flour for all-purpose flour. Because of that, I omitted the baking powder, and decreased the salt to ¼ tsp. Turned out great!

        • — Dee on August 21, 2022
        • Reply
        • So glad to hear it — thanks for letting others know! 🙂

          • — Jenn on August 22, 2022
          • Reply
  • Cooking this recipe leaves a wonderful smell in the house! Tastes amazing! I love adding in dark chocolate chips!

    • — Kaylee on December 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi! Can you add the streusel from the pumpkin muffins on this bread?

    • — Lori A Garcia on December 17, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 19, 2021
      • Reply
  • This recipe was absolutely delicious! I’ve tried many recipes and this one is by far the best. Thank you for sharing

    • — Diane Riley on December 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • Love the recipe. Made it twice. This time I added a 1/8 cup of orange juice and 1 tablespoon of oil to make it a little more moist (cut the sugar to 1.75 cups ). Family loves it so much that two loaves might not be enough this holiday season.

    • — Jules97 on December 15, 2021
    • Reply

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