Pumpkin Bread

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

Slices of Pumpkin Bread on a plate.

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.

Picture of a pumpkin bread recipe.

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

Bread ingredients including baking soda, eggs, and butter.

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.

Dry ingredients in a glass bowl.

Whisk well and set aside.

Whisk in a bowl of dry ingredients.

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

Butter and sugar in a bowl.

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

Bowl of beaten butter and sugar.

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

Egg added to a butter and sugar mixture.

Continue beating for a few minutes until light and fluffy.

Beaten egg, sugar, and butter in a bowl.

Add the pumpkin.

Pumpkin in a bowl with a butter mixture.

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

Electric mixer with a light orange-colored mixture.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture.

Dry ingredients in a bowl with an orange-colored mixture.

And beat on low speed until just combined.

Bowl of pumpkin bread dough.

Transfer the batter to loaf pans.

Two bread pans of pumpkin bread dough.

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

Two loaves of pumpkin bread in pan.s

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

Two loaves of pumpkin bread on a wire rack.

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!

Slices of Pumpkin Bread on a plate.

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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

  • What a delicious recipe!
    We don’t get canned pumpkin in NZ so used roast pumpkin instead.
    I used freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon, ground clove and ground cardamom…so good.
    I also added a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help with the rise.
    It certainly doesn’t last long at our place.
    Thank you

    • — Becky on April 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • DELICIOUS!!!!
    YUMMY!

    • — Nancy on April 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • Just made it this afternoon, let it cool for about 30 minutes and couldn’t wait to taste it…very moist and the flavor is terrific! I only added one cup of sugar instead of two and turned all the batter into a 10 inch bundt pan, baked for 65 minutes at 325 degrees and it is perfect! Thank you for this recipe!

    • — CW on April 15, 2023
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  • I love this!!! I’ve made it several times! I sometimes add chocolate chips!

    • — Nancy on April 1, 2023
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  • Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I am always looking for oil-free quick breads. I just made it again with banana (took out the spices and added vanilla) – it’s in the oven now!

    • — Christin on March 21, 2023
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  • Thank you for this recipe, the bread turned out wonderful. I did tweak it some because I love cinnamon I used 2 teaspoons instead of 1, I also added a teaspoon of ginger. The bread is so flavorful and moist. This is now my go to recipe for Pumpkin Bread.

    • — Carleen Naito on March 21, 2023
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    • This is by far my favorite recipe I judt add a bit more of the nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and it is perfect.
      I can have this bread out for a week and it stays moist no matter what.

      • — Shirley Richardson on June 13, 2023
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  • Looks great, but I would replace the ‘arm and hammer’ baking soda which is made from a chemical process with some that is mined. Much better for you and does what its supposed to do. Thanks for the recipe.

    • — Tim White on March 16, 2023
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    • Update. I made it this Sunday as a treat. I don’t usually follow recipes but did with this and it is very nice. I did replace the baking soda with some good stuff, only using half a tsp and one tsp of baking powder. Only changes I made though. I thought everyone would complain about the cloves but it works really well.

      • — Tim White on March 19, 2023
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  • I cut the sugar down to 1.5 cups and the butter down to 1/2 cup and made as indicated in recipe otherwise. Really really like it because it is not too sweet or heavy and you can taste the pumpkin and spices more.

    • — dlavasse on March 14, 2023
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  • Modified ingredients:
    Used (1) large egg
    1/4 cup of oat milk (in place of egg)
    1 tsp. Vanilla bean paste
    1 c. Brown sugar
    1 c. Golden sugar
    Sprinkled on top chopped figs, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, chopped apricots, and sunflower seeds

    • — Jennifer on March 13, 2023
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  • A pumpkin I harvested in October has been staring at me from my kitchen table. Here I am 6 months later with a few quarts of pureed pumpkin looking for pumpkin recipes. This one is a keeper. Make sure you really prepare your pans — I think I needed to leave mine in the pan longer than indicated before I took it out, the second one that I waited longer to remove came out cleaner. Delicious, and not under spiced like so many loaves.

    • — Victoria on March 11, 2023
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    • Really good pumpkin bread. I was looking for a good recipe, found this and tried it. Great pumpkin taste and very moist. My family loves it too. I added raisins . Definitely a keeper recipe .

      • — Susan Dangelo on March 18, 2023
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  • The Best Pumpkin Bread!! Love that it calls for butter, instead of oil!!

    • — Mimi on March 8, 2023
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  • Literally the best, end of story. Oh except it’s hard to cook it all the way through. I use a shallower dish, like a 9×13

    • — Sophie on March 8, 2023
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  • Wow! This is the best recipe I’ve ever used with phenomenal results. I used puréed spaghetti squash as I mistakenly took it from my freezer instead of my pumpkin. It turned out so well I’ve made more loaves two days in a row so I’ll have some to pull from the freezer. The perfect blend of spices. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • — Christine S on March 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this bread tonight and OH MY WORD! This in fact the best pumpkin bread I have ever had. I put brown sugar and pecans on top of one of the loafs. So good! I will definitely be making this again.

    • — Shawn on March 5, 2023
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  • I made this today and added about 1/4 cup sour cream. Holy moly this might be the best thing I’ve ever baked. Great recipe!

    • — Raina on March 5, 2023
    • Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have made this delicious and easy to make pumpkin bread recipe about 3 times now. The two loaves turn out perfectly every time. This tea bread is so tender when sliced and spiced perfectly to go with a cup of tea. It is my husband’s favorite tea bread recipe. I make the recipe exactly as written but add about 3/4 cup of soaked raisins to the batter and top the loaves prior to baking with a couple of tbsp of raw pumpkin seeds that crunch up while the two loaves are baking. The pumpkin seeds add a nice visual touch to the top of the loaves when serving.

    • — missy b on March 4, 2023
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  • Amazing recipe!! Friends and family love it, and perfect for any occasion!

    • — Kara on March 1, 2023
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  • I made this recipe using a spare can of pumpkin I had from last fall before it expires. It turned out DELICIUOS! The only modification I made was to reduce the sugar to 1 cup as other baker suggested. Thanks Jen for another great recipe!

    • — Ana Kitty on February 28, 2023
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  • Made this recipe this morning and it was a big hit. Very moist and the perfect amount of spice. My whole house smelled like Fall. I will definitely be making it again.

    • — Kevin Kane on February 26, 2023
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  • I made this recipe for church and they liked it! It’s also good if you substitute anise seed for nutmeg.

    • — Gastritis Girl on February 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe, the right amount if everything!! I used fresh pumpkin I had frozen so think I will be making this delicious bread more often, thanks.

    • — Cindy Thomas on February 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is awesome! I did use wheat flour and added a tsp of pumpkin pie spice to it.

    • — Diana on February 23, 2023
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  • My kids enjoy pumpkin bread all year round. I normally buy the Trader Joes pumpkin break mix and make the bread. However, I did’nt have any more mix as its a seasonal item. So I turned to your website.. I’ve been cooking with your recipes for over 5 years and the whole family (5 kids and 1 appreciative husband who grew up eating frozen TV dinners:))

    I often add quick oats to my recipes and did for your pumpkin bread recipe. It was delicious and made the bread a wee bit healthier.

    Thanks for taking the time to help out food enjoying aspiring chefs.

    • — Sherylann on February 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • Outstanding!
    I bought the same loaf pans that you recommended in your kitchen list and made the recipe exactly as written. So good! So satisfying! The baked loaves looked just like the pictures. Thank you Jenn!

    • — Cathy on February 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • I just made this today (despite the fact that it is not fall time), and it is delicious! I like mine with a tad more spice so I added about another 1/4 tea of pumpkin spice and extra cinnamon. Oh yeah I had to use pumpkin spice ( 1 tablespoon) as I did not have all the individual spices. I also thought my loaf pans were 8×4 but they were 9×5 so my loaves came out half the height 🙁 . But the flavor is there and so moist. I will make this again…soon. Thank you for this recipe!

    Linda loves to bake

    • — Linda C on February 17, 2023
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    • How long did it take for yours to cook?

      • — Kenzie on April 30, 2023
      • Reply
      • My 2 loaves only took 50 minutes at 325.

        • — Susan on September 17, 2023
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  • I’ve made your version a number of times now with fresh purée I make with pumpkins leftover from Fall. It’s my go to recipe now. Everyone loves it!

    • — Liz on February 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • Looks really good

    • — Luci on February 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • I doubled the spices and substituted one cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of maple syrup. I love it spicy!

    • — Leah Howell on February 5, 2023
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    • Oh .pues tuvimos una visita q trajo este famoso cake…. quedamos impactados x su aroma….y amablemente nos dió tu receta…. fantástico….es inevitable en cualquier ocasión prepararla…adoramos esta receta

      • — Rosa Muñoz on February 6, 2023
      • Reply
  • Would I need to adjust anything to make this as muffins instead of a loaf?

    • — Elise on January 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Elsie, I have a recipe for pumpkin muffins that I’d recommend if you’d like muffins. (You can omit the topping from them if you’d like). Hope you enjoy if you make them!

      • — Jenn on January 19, 2023
      • Reply
  • This is THE BEST pumpkin bread the I have ever made! I’ve been baking for over 45 years and loved my pumpkin bread recipe . It is being replaced by this recipe.
    I didn’t think I’d like this much Clove and Nutmeg but this recipe is a perfect blend of spices! I grate my nutmeg fresh too!
    This is a 5 star recipe!

    • — Karen on January 17, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi everyone!
    This is the BEST pumpkin bread EVER… no exaggeration. I gave a loaf to our Pastor and his wife a few years back and she raved over it. I asked her if she would like the recipe and she looked shocked, as though it was a secret family recipe. I told her I would give it to her at the next service. As I entered the sanctuary that following Wednesday night she saw me and came running to me, arms wide open and asked, “Do you have it?” She told me she had thrown her old pumpkin bread recipe in the trash. I also gave her the web-site. And just so you know… She is known for her wonderful cooking and baking by family and friends.
    Thank you Jenn!

    • — Sue Ann Day on January 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • This has been my go to recipe. It’s moist and very tasty. I do have to say it’s too sweet for me. (Sugar same amount as flour?) I’ve modified by reducing sugar to 3/4 cup and added chocolate chips. I double the baking powder. My kids love it!

    • — Kate on January 14, 2023
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  • Annoys me to no end to have to scroll and scroll and scroll for the recipe

    • — B on January 14, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi B, 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 January 14, 2023
      • Reply
  • I will say this bread is amazing as is! BUT I sliced a loaf a little bit after it came out of the oven put it on a wire rack and left out over night to dry out. For breakfast the next morning we made pumpkin spice French toast with it and they were AMAZING!!

    • — Kevin on January 8, 2023
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    • THAT is the best idea Ive ever heard! Now Im making this today, slicing 1 loaf and making that for breakfast after church tomorrow!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

      • — Nicole on January 28, 2023
      • Reply
  • this has become my Go To recipe as of late

    I use fresh butternut squash puree (they don’t sell canned pumpkin in my country haha), some more spices, a bit less sugar, and replace part of the flour with whole wheat. Things I do with most recipes honestly.

    A lovely recipe that I’ve linked to many of my friends! It’s wonderfully fluffy for a butter based cake.

    • — Sparrow on January 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe is my family’s absolute favorite. I have made it as is, added chocolate chips (my kids favorite), as muffins (using bake temp and time as Jenn’s pumpkin muffin recipe), as mini muffins for soccer game snacks and as mini loafs as gifts. Every time the recipe gets high praise. The only problem with the recipe is that it’s so delicious, it’s almost always eaten in a day or less!

    • — Connie M on January 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made this yesterday- totally a keeper. It was so flavorful !
    Will be sharing this recipe with my family as pumpkin bread is a favorite of all.
    I have tried several other recipes but this one without a doubt is the best.
    Try it – you will not be disappointed.

    • — Audrey M Yannitty on December 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • Recipe of 1 loaf instead of 2

    • — Clay on December 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Clay, I’d just cut all the ingredients in half — enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 27, 2022
      • Reply
      • I switched the amounts of baking soda and baking powder as suggested by one comment and the result was much fluffier and not as dense, perfect!

        • — ovsilenceandblack on January 1, 2023
        • Reply
  • Loved this recipe! Turned out with the perfect texture, a great thin crispy crust with a soft center, saving this recipe for sure!

    • — Skye Wilcox on December 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Great recipe – the bread came out delicious! Only critique is it’s a bit heavy on cloves and sugar for my taste. I reduced total sugar by about 1/4 cup and subbed 1/2 cup with brown sugar. Next time, I’ll reduce cloves to 1/2 tsp as they are a bit overpowering. Otherwise, great recipe, easy to make and it produced the fluffiest batter I’ve ever seen. Thank you!

    • — Jessica on December 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this yesterday and it was fantastic. Moist and super flavourful, really lovely!

    • — AMANDA FORD on December 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Amazing!

    • — Dena on December 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe 5-8 times this Fall 2022. Me, my fiance, and friends loved it.

    • — Jade on December 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Just made this and turned out absolutely great! So moist and perfect. This is a keeper

      Thanks for sharing

      • — Mirza on January 18, 2023
      • Reply
  • If I use salted butter and leave out the added salt, will that be enough or too much for the
    recipe ?

    • — Beverly A Rubaloff on December 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure – while it varies by brand, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can use the salted butter and reduce the salt in the recipe as needed. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • I have made this recipe many many times, it turns out wonderful every time!
    I do have one question if I lighten the batter by adding whipped egg whites could I this as a yule log base?

    • — Jenny on December 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jenny, I wish I could help, but I really don’t know — I’m sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 16, 2022
      • Reply
    • Just wanted to give a little update. Unfortunately even with the whipped egg whites to lighten it the cake was still too wet and once it was rolled it kind of collapsed in on itself.

      It’s still by far the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever had and I 100% recommend everyone to try it, just not as a Yule log…apparently.😂

      • — Jenny on December 18, 2022
      • Reply
      • Awww…that’s a bummer! I’m glad that you gave it a try at least – thanks for reporting back! 🙂

        • — Jenn on December 19, 2022
        • Reply
  • This bread was fabulous. Moist, tasty very easy to make. I have already made it several times and would recommend it to others.

    • — Sandra on December 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • I don’t even know where to start. How is something this light and fluffy yet moist at the same time? The flavors are so rich and deep yet not one thing is overpowering. And all so simple to make?!? This is my favorite thing in the world now. I want to have a constant supply on hand and at the ready. Thank you for this.

    • — Sara on December 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • Outstanding recipe!

    • — Annette Holloway on December 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent! To all those that say the recipe doesn’t come out right….it is YOU…NOT the recipe!!!! If you see/read all the 4 and 5 star reviews, it is OBVIOUS that YOU are doing something not quite right!! Here’s a little tip….WEIGH your dry ingredients instead of measuring them. You would be suprised what a difference this makes!! But even with ‘measured’ dry ingredients, this bread is the bomb….IF you measure your ingredients PROPERLY!! There is really NO reason for ANYONE to make this bread unsuccessfully….UNLESS YOU are doing something wrong! Don’t blame the recipe!!!!

    • — Lauralee Nash on December 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • Also….ALWAYS bring your eggs to ROOM TEMPERATURE before using them in ANY baked goods! They blend better with the batter and help the breads/cakes to rise better. Using cold eggs straight from the fridge makes for lumpy dough, and, ultimately, will require more cooking time!!

      • — Lauralee Nash on December 13, 2022
      • Reply
    • I AGREE 10000000% !!!
      I get sooo many compliments when i make this bread. Thank you Jen

      • — Franh on December 15, 2022
      • Reply
    • Clove taste way too strong, maybe 1/2 or 1/4 would be enough. The bread taste overwhelmingly of cloves. Could be enjoyable otherwise.

      • — Kevin on April 22, 2023
      • Reply
  • Happy Holidays Jenn,

    I make this bread and love it during the holidays. I have a loaf pan that is double the size that your recipe requires. Do you think I’ll have any trouble doubling recipe and using just the one pan? It usually works for other recipes but does require some additional cooking time.

    • — Jacquie Miller on December 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jacquie, You can use that pan but I don’t think you need to double the recipe; you can just put all the batter in the pan. The bake time will be different but I’m not sure by how much, so you’ll need to keep an eye on it. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 14, 2022
      • Reply

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