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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


  • 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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  • so delicious and moist! incredibly easy and mostly staple ingredients you already have!! immediately added to my favorite recipes

    • — rie on November 8, 2023
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  • This is the best pumpkin bread, I’ve made it more times than I can count. I always cut the sugar, cloves and nutmeg down to around half of what it calls for since I saw a lot of complaints about those. Even my picky kids love it, so delicious!

    • — Mary on November 8, 2023
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  • Am i able to not add in the cloves?? Will it turn out the same?

    • — Alyssa on November 8, 2023
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    • Sure – I’d just replace the cloves with more cinnamon or nutmeg.

      • — Jenn on November 9, 2023
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  • AMAZING!!!!! Thank you!!!

    • — Autumn on November 8, 2023
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  • so easy to make and it was a huge hit with my family. definitely will make it again and again.

    • — Leslie on November 8, 2023
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    • It was AWESOME!! I’m planning to make more to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.

      Question: can I add some chocolate chips? How much would you recommend? Thanks!

      • — Lynne on November 12, 2023
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      • So glad you liked it! It’s fine to add chocolate chips — I’d recommend ½ to 1 cup.

        • — Jenn on November 13, 2023
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  • Delicious recipe. I use oat flour and I use 3/4 butter, 1/4 lard. And I use brown sugar and add in a cup or so of chocolate chips.

    • — Adrienne H. on November 7, 2023
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  • Followed recipe and it came out great. Set my timer for 60 minutes checked at 45 minutes and tooth pick came out clean.

    • — Laura on November 7, 2023
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  • Pumpkin bread is great. I serve mine with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Amazing combination.

    • — CJ on November 6, 2023
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  • My oven is giving me problems keeping the temperature at 350 degrees. Once it reaches that temperature, it stays there for about 10 minutes then it keeps going up. I have to have some baked goodies for a meeting Thursday night and thought that if I found something at 325, maybe it would bake. I found your Pumpkin Bread recipe, and tried it. The bread turned out beautifully. I took it out a bit before the end of the bake time, just as the temp was starting to rise above 325. An electrician came in yesterday and told me the repairs would cost more than half of a new stove (this one bought a year ago), so I will be doing that but not before Thursday.
    My thanks to you for your great recipe. M. Elliott

    • — Marjorie Elliott on November 6, 2023
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  • I’ve been making this recipe for years. Its the best! My family and friends look forward to receiving this every Thanksgiving.

    • — Theresa Warner on November 6, 2023
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  • I really, really like this recipe. It has the perfect hint of sweetness and spice. I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin flavored things in general but this will be a go-to recipe for the fall season from now on!

    • — Jan on November 6, 2023
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  • Almost every one of your recipes is a home run; unfortunately, I’m not a fan of this one. The clove flavor overpowered everything else.

    • — Christie on November 5, 2023
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    • Try it again without the clove….I only used cinnamon as that was the only spice I had on hand and it was so delicious!!

      • — Tanya on November 8, 2023
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    • Definitely cut down the cloves

      • — Mary on November 8, 2023
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  • Absolutely delicious and second year making them . My go to Pumpkin bread aside from simplicity and awesome taste it makes 2 perfect loaves. only additions I added toasted chopped walnuts snd made a simple streusel for the top. Another hit Jenn thank you

    • — Chefielady on November 5, 2023
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    • Why mine didn’t rise?

      • — Maria on November 8, 2023
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      • Hi Maria, his is more like a cake than a bread and doesn’t rise very much. That said, did you use 8 x 4-inch loaf pans?

        • — Jenn on November 8, 2023
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  • Love to make this one every year! It’s easy and delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    • — Kenja on November 5, 2023
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    • — Carole Bruno on November 5, 2023
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  • This is good, but so crumbly everytime I make it.

    • — Lauren on November 5, 2023
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    • Hi Lauren, I’m sorry to hear your bread comes out crumbly! Do you slice it when it’s still warm? What kind of knife do you use to slice it?

      • — Jenn on November 6, 2023
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  • It was amazing! I added chopped walnuts on top and it was perfect. My favorite pumpkin recipe!

    • — Lilly on November 4, 2023
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    • Three years ago, I lost all my recipe books, and all the recipes I collected and “tweaked” for over 40 years in a fire.

      I don’t know how I came across your site, but I’m very glad I did!

      I followed this recipe to the tee, and after tasting it, I knew I would NEVER “tweak it”! This bread is moist, tasty and very easy to make! My 82 year old mother couldn’t say enough about this bread, and the best thing is, it tastes just like the bread both she and I would make each fall!

      Thank you!

      • — Donna on November 5, 2023
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    • Would you recommend adding the pecan topping from your muffins to this bread?

      • — Laura on November 5, 2023
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      • Yep! But reduce the sugar in the bread by 1/4 cup.

        • — Jenn on November 5, 2023
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  • I followed this recipe to a “T” and it came out very very dry and crumbly and lacking any flavor at all. It literally tastes like flour and sugar and has no pumpkin flavor at all. There is a tiny “hint” of cinnamon but not nearly enough for my family’s preference. I’m really disappointed with this recipe. Tried something new and it didn’t work. I’ll stick with America’s Test Kitchen and the science behind perfection.

    • — Mamaw on November 4, 2023
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  • This is the best pumpkin bread recipe I have tried. Everyone loves it! Thank you.

    • — Susan Heist on November 4, 2023
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  • Thank you for putting this up. I saw your pumpkin bread recipe while making your chicken marsala (omg, seriously delicious, husband and I just finished our 3rd meal of it, will be a staple meal for us now!)
    I changed the sugar to just less than 1 c. granulated + 1/4 c. brown.
    And I added 1 c. chopped cranberries and 1 c. chopped walnuts.
    I only have mini loaf pans… so filled 4 mini pans and baked them 55 min. to perfection!
    I took a photo, but don’t see where to upload it.

    • — Millie Sweesy on November 3, 2023
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    • Hi Millie. I want to make these in mini loaf pans so that I can gift them to others. I hope it works out based on the details in your comments!

      • — Serenity on November 12, 2023
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  • Hi! How would I convert this to fit a 9×5 loaf pan, instead of 2 8×4 loaf pans?

    • — Becca on November 3, 2023
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    • Hi Becca, 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 November 3, 2023
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    • Haha, I wish I’d paid attention to the pan size. Mine are 9×5 and the two loaves came out pretty flat and a tad overbaked even at 65 minutes. I just assumed all loaf pans were the same size! I’ll try increasing the recipe to 1.5 as the author mentioned in her comment here.

      • — Jane David on December 10, 2023
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  • I made your pumpkin bread and everyday cornbread for a Halloween night chili party. WOW!!! Rave reviews from everyone! I doubled the cornbread amount but other than that I didn’t change or add a thing…..why mess with perfection. Both the cornbread and the pumpkin bread were very easy to make, moist, tender, with the perfect crumb and a great flavor.

    • — Marcie McGuire on November 2, 2023
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  • Awesome recipe! Super moist even the next day! Delicous!! It was a hit at my cocktail halloween party!

    • — Samantha on November 1, 2023
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  • I made this for a bake sale and let me tell you EVERYONE asked for the recipe

    • — kiera on November 1, 2023
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  • I really like this recipe! It makes a really good, moist pumpkin bread. I do cut the sugar to 1.25 ~ 1.5 cups, but that’s just personal preference. Also good with some chocolate chips added in!

    • — Hannah on November 1, 2023
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  • Jenn, I made your recipe for pumpkin bread. It is yummmmmy. Perfect! Better than Starbuck’s. Easy recipe to follow. Didn’t use a mixer. Love the taste and texture.

    Thank you so much for posting this. Hope you and yours are well.

    Blessings and thanks, Teresa

    • — Teresa Proano on October 29, 2023
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  • Delicious! I added nuts but didn’t change anything else. Very moist and tasty!

    • — Ellen on October 29, 2023
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  • Wish you would have added that this recipe is dense and more cake like. I found it Too dense, Too greasy and way Too sweet (and I decreased the sugar to 1 1/2C). Wont make it again…..

    • — ellen on October 29, 2023
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  • The cloves need to be cut way down.

    • — Elizabeth Adamson on October 29, 2023
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  • so good!! been making it since last fall so so yummy. but for some reason it always ends up making only 1 loaf for me? i really have no idea why lol but so good anyway

    • — di on October 29, 2023
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  • Wow, this is most moist pumpkin bread and most flavorful banana bread I’ve ever had! We could not stop eating it. No need to add butter on this bread! I will be making this often! I don’t understand that comments that say “too much (sugar, cloves, etc).” It is the perfectly cakey, fall dessert bread!

    • — Emily Pecoraro on October 28, 2023
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  • Hi I made this recipe exactly as written and it was fantastic! I made one 9 x 5 loaf and one mini 3 x 6 loaf as I don’t have 8 x 4 pans. I wanted to ask can this recipe be doubled successfully? I thought I could probably make 3 9 x 5 if it was doubled…sometimes I know sometimes recipes can’t be doubled so want to ask before attempting. Only thing I did the second time I made it was cut the cloves to 3/4 tsp., although I love cloves, my family didn’t want quite as much, it was perfect…Thank you!

    • — Sharon C. on October 28, 2023
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    • Hi Sharon, Glad you liked it! Yes, it would be fine to double the recipe.

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2023
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  • this came out amazing!! so moist , would go great with some vanilla ice cream !
    thank you for sharing

    • — G on October 27, 2023
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  • Love this ! I have been making a couple of years now… I modify using 11/2 cups of natural sugar, add extra on spices … including ginger… i love spices and i add fresh cranberries … gives a great bite…

    • — Regina on October 26, 2023
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    • Regina have you ever added pumpkin spice to. I made it and it’s delicious. I just would like to taste more pumpkin. I love the cloves and all but it seems like it’s lacking pumpkin flavor. Still really good

      • — Kim on November 9, 2023
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      • Maybe add more pumpkin? Or how’s the pumpkin purée u r using? I have notided a difference if the purée wasn’t as strong or good?

        • — Regina on November 10, 2023
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  • I would skip the cloves next time. Too clovey for my taste but other than that it was good. Will try again.

    • — tginaz on October 26, 2023
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  • Hi Jenn, This recipe has been a family favorite for several years. I wanted to do something different and grabbed your first cookbook…decided to try the glazed pumpkin pound cake. It is wonderful!!! and a BIG cake! With the bread I always froze one. Do you think this will freeze well too?
    Thank you 🙂

    • — Sharon T on October 26, 2023
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    • So glad you like this and also enjoyed the pumpkin cake! Yes, the cake can be frozen; just wait until you thaw it to add the glaze.

      • — Jenn on October 27, 2023
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      • Thank you!

        • — Sharon T on October 27, 2023
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      • I’ve made this twice this past weekend- everyone loves it. No tweeks. My son, who isn’t big on compliments , said Mom, that’s really good” slam dunk in my opinion!!

        • — Thea on November 26, 2023
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  • I browned my butter first and put it back in the fridge to get solid again, and used a 11/2 cup sugar instead 1 cup white 1/2 brown. It tastes so delicious. Use brown butter whenever you bake it adds so much more flavor to your dish!

    • — Kimiinaz on October 25, 2023
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  • Didn’t like this at all. It never raised and the spices were overwhelming. Did not cook thourghly either

    • — Alan on October 25, 2023
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  • Hey dear! I love the recipe, just wondering how can I use fresh pumpkin instead of canned? To boil it? To bake maybe?

    • — Lela on October 25, 2023
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    • Hi Lela, I’d bake it then puree it. After pureeing it, make sure to squeeze out any excess liquid before incorporating into the recipe.

      • — Jenn on October 25, 2023
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  • Cut back on the sugar!
    Top was almost burnt and inside was moist and almost too moist… I followed the instructions/recipe to a tea. Still good but verrrrry sweet!

    • — Natalie on October 24, 2023
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    • Way too sweet. Sugar could be cut in half. Also didn’t really rise for me and is very dense. Not horrible, but not what I was hoping for.

      • — Naomi on November 1, 2023
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      • Hey Naomi! I had similar problems my first time making this recipe, and I realised I was opening the oven way too much, and wasn’t baking long enough. Also, I whip the eggs, sugar, and butter combination until no more air can possibly be encorporated.

        • — Sarah on November 23, 2023
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  • Taste is great but mine didn’t rise at all, any idea why? I made sure to add the correct amounts of baking soda and baking powder but the bottom didn’t rise at all. I even cooked it an extra 10 mins. Any thoughts?

    • — Dana on October 24, 2023
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    • Hi Dana, this is more like a cake than a bread and doesn’t rise very much. You mentioned it didn’t rise at all though – was your baking powder or baking soda very old or expired?

      • — Jenn on October 25, 2023
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      • Mine also didn’t rise at all. I had new baking soda and the baking powder was less than 6 months old. What did I do wrong 😑

        • — Tahnee Sanders on November 1, 2023
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        • Hi Tahnee, How much height does it have? (Keep in mind that it doesn’t rise a lot.) Also, did you use 8 x 4-inch loaf pans?

          • — Jenn on November 2, 2023
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          • Can I bake in only one 9×5 loaf pan?

            • — María on November 8, 2023
          • I don’t recommend it as it will turn out very dense. If you want to use 9 x 5-inch pans, I’d make 1.5 times the recipe.

            • — Jenn on November 8, 2023
        • Mine didn’t rise munch either. I’m wondering it baking in a Bundt pan would work. Or a9x5 loaf. I wanted a nice big slice!

          • — Kathy on November 19, 2023
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  • I’ve already made this recipe three times this month! SO good! I even added some semi sweet chocolate chips to one loaf and homemade vanilla cream cheese frosting to another. My only adjustment is cooking them for 60 min so get them denser/more moist. All in all though DELISH!!!

    • — Kelly Moran on October 24, 2023
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  • Wow! Perfect, so yummy…. we loved it!!!

    • — Christine on October 23, 2023
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  • The pumpkin bread was delicious. My neighbors really enjoyed it. For me I might cut back a little on the sugar. I will be making this again. Thank you!

    • — Nora C. on October 22, 2023
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  • We made the recipe as written. Bread turned out very well, but was a bit crumbly. Maybe a little dry on the outside of the loaf. I baked it for 60 min in a 325 convection oven. Do you think I over cooked it? WHat should I change to make it more moist throughout the loaf. Taste was incredible! Used fresh roasted pureed pie pumpkins.

    • — Jeffrey C Masters on October 22, 2023
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    • Hi Jeffrey, I think the problem was that you use the convection setting and it was overbaked. If you make this again, I’d either use the standard setting on your oven or reduce the oven temperature by 25°. Glad you enjoyed the taste though!

      • — Jenn on October 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • I have cooked this two fall seasons in a row. Like one other person said on here, the cloves should be halved, which I did this time and worked great. This bread is absolutely delicious, but I agree with the person who says it’s so fluffy that it becomes crumbly on the plate and not loaf-like. Any experienced baker on here know a way to make it a tad denser, so it keeps the consistency of bread when cut?

    • — BakerGirl on October 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • This is a bit more like a cake than a bread so you won’t really find that there’s a way to make it dense. If you’re looking for one that’s a bit more dense, I’d poke around for a different recipe. Glad you like the taste of it, though! 😊

      • — Jenn on October 25, 2023
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  • Can this be used for muffins? I only have one loaf pan and was thinking of using the rest of the batter for muffins

    • — A on October 21, 2023
    • Reply
    • If you want to make muffins, I’d recommend this recipe (and you can omit the topping if you’d like). Or, if you’d prefer to have a loaf and some muffins, that would be fine too. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • Omg, this turned out so so good. I’ve been on a baking high lately and it sounded fantastic. I made this yesterday since I really needed to use some leftover pumpkin puree from my pumpkin muffins.

    • — Marissa on October 21, 2023
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  • Way to sugary cut down on sugar

    • — Joanne on October 19, 2023
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  • This recipe was absolutely amazing. The two loafs were eaten in less than 24 hours by 4 people 😂 easy instructions as well. I’m wondering— I have two pumpkin silicone cake round cake molds. Can I put them in there? Will it affect the bake?

    • — Sam on October 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it — sounds like they disappeared quickly! What size are the round cake pans you have?

      • — Jenn on October 19, 2023
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      • Baked as is and loved the moist result. (Except I top with salted pepitas and sesame seeds cuz looks and tastes good). This will be my go-to pumpkin bread recipe! Not too sweet IMO.
        For those who said that they got a dry crumbly result, maybe flour was packed too densely or scooped flour instead of fluffing and spooning when measuring?? I find recipes that also are in weights to be more helpful for the above reason. More foolproof. That would be my only suggestion.

        • — Tanya on October 28, 2023
        • Reply
        • Hi Tanya, So glad you liked it! And I just wanted to let you know that the great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you.

          • — Jenn on October 30, 2023
          • Reply

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