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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

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

  • Amazing. I did one half normal flour, a fourth buckwheat, a fourth oat. Double the salt. A tbsp or 2 of collagen powder. 60% coconut sugar and the rest granulated but only did about 80% the amount of sugar overall. Added a cream cheese frosting. It was surprisingly extremely good.

    • — Sydni on February 29, 2024
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  • This pumpkin bread was phenomenal!!! A friend gave me a pumpkin so I baked it then scooped out the pulp and used fresh pumpkin instead of canned. I also accidentally put in salted butter but that didn’t seem to hurt anything. I think the cloves really added a lot of flavor. My family ate one loaf and it was great having another loaf to share with friends.

    • — horsing around on February 24, 2024
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  • This was my first time making any specialty type bread. The recipe was very simple to follow. The only thing that I had to change was the cooking time based off my oven cooks a little hotter than normal. So 50 minutes was just enough but came out excellent and will be using this for the foreseeable future. Wish I could show pictures to show the finished product. Thank you for a great recipe

    • — Russell Burton on February 8, 2024
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  • Have made this recipe so many times and it’s the best pumpkin bread ever! I use mini bread loaf pans and often give them as gifts and everyone loves them!!!

    • — Catherine Buckland on February 5, 2024
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  • Made this so many times I can’t count and so remiss I’m not taking a moment to tell you (a Siegel Also spelled different!) so. It’s outstanding! And most of your recipes I have tried, all are. No ingredients that are nuts, no lofty instructions, just food that is beautifully crafted and delicious with very little fuss!

    • — Mindi former Siegel on February 2, 2024
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  • I LOVE this bread so much!!

    • — EmaLee on January 29, 2024
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  • I actually used 3/4 cups melted coconut oil instead of butter 😋

    • — J on January 28, 2024
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  • Recipe was amazing. Really taste like the starbucks gingerbread loaf

    • — J on January 28, 2024
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  • Just made this this morning. It’s good but not great. As instructed I used two 8×4 loaf pans. Baked as instructed for 70 min. The loaves were cooked through, no problem there.

    This was not as moist as I would like, and I’m not a fan of the crunchy top. Agree with other reviewer, it’s too sweet. Less sugar & more pumpkin might help.

    Suggestion: Many of us have 9×5 loaf pans, please provide recipe amounts for these pans. I had to buy aluminum 8×4 pans that will end up in recycling.

    • — Lynn S on January 26, 2024
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  • Everybody went crazy. I got going so fast I got to hurry up and do some more.

    • — Yaya on January 21, 2024
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  • This is the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever had!

    • — mindy einhorn on January 19, 2024
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  • Fabulous my grands loved it!! We have been buying pumpkin breads in the local bakery. The kids rated. It as good as the store—very high compliment— don’t be offended.

    • — Barbara Belanus on January 19, 2024
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  • Made it this morning and it is wonderful. I’ve always had trouble with my quick bread recipes not being cooked in the centre. Learned a new trick this week that worked for this recipe and a banana bread. Use cake strips. I DIY’d them from moistened paper towels and aluminium foil, then secured with a paper clip. Bit of a fiddle to do, but I haven’t had undercooked centres for the last few loaves.

    • — Faye on January 18, 2024
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  • Hi!
    About to make this reciepe….. 2 questions:
    1) would 3 teaspoons of a “pumpkin spice” store spice mix work?
    2) I wanted to add toasted pecans or choc. chips, how much would you recommend? half a cup?
    Thank you!!!

    • — sara on January 16, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Sara, Yes, you can use 3 teaspoons (which is 1 tablespoon) of pumpkin pie spice and it’s fine to add nuts or chocolate chips. I’d suggest 1/2 – 1 cup. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 16, 2024
      • Reply
  • it was so damn good pretty much like kneaders 10/10 thanks maam

    • — kevin on January 15, 2024
    • Reply
  • This recipe is so easy to make and tastes so good! I added a handful of choc chips and yummy!
    Will definitely be making this again and again and again!

    • — Teresa on January 15, 2024
    • Reply
  • Made this for the first time today. The flavor is very good but it’s very sweet. It could do with at least half a cup less sugar. The loaves did turn out very squat even though the bread itself was tender, so I don’t think I had a rising problem. It could be a one loaf recipe or you should use a smaller pan. I will stick with my usual recipe (when I find it…)

    • — Lisa E on January 14, 2024
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  • Just made this wonderful Pumpkin Bread this morning and it was the best I’ve ever tasted. I used gluten free all-purpose flour, vegan butter, only 1 cup of light brown sugar (2 cups of sugar would have been too sweet for us), almost a full cup of walnuts, too. I did use 2 eggs, though and I’m glad I did.

    The loaves did not rise as much as yours in the photo but nevertheless, so good…amazing. Cooked them exactly 1 hour, 5 minutes at 325 degrees and the knife was clean in the middle so they were perfectly done. Why do you think the loaves did not rise as much as yours?

    • — Deborah Underwood on January 13, 2024
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    • Hi Deborah, Glad you liked them! These don’t rise very much — they’re more like a cake than a bread — mine usually are about 3 inches tall. How tall would you say yours are?

      • — Jenn on January 15, 2024
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      • Mine were maybe 1″ high.

        • — Deborah Underwood on January 17, 2024
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        • They should definitely be taller. My guess is cutting the sugar back to one cup would’ve had some impact. And were your loaf pans definitely 8 x 4 inches?

          • — Jenn on January 18, 2024
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          • Good question. I just checked…they are 9 x 5 inches…so maybe that’s one of the reasons! Also, I will continue to use only 1 cup of sugar…the sweetness is perfect with that amount.

            • — Deborah Underwood on January 19, 2024
          • The 9 x 5-inch loaf pans would definitely explain the lack of height — glad you enjoyed it nonetheless!

            • — Jenn on January 19, 2024
    • I’m glad to hear half the sugar worked as we find these a bit sweet as well. I’ll cut way back next time! Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • — Ruth on January 17, 2024
      • Reply
  • I made this and used a cinnamon and sugar dusting in the pans and then sprinkled a little on top before putting into the oven, yum! I am making again this time I found a box of Pumpkin Spice pudding, I added a few Tbsp to the mix. We’ll see!! This recipe is a keeper!!! TY

    • — Allison Thompson on January 13, 2024
    • Reply
  • Great flavor and texture. I am wondering if I did something wrong because it did not rise..
    It was maybe one inch in height. I added 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Any ideas of where I may have went wrong?

    • — SeeWee on January 11, 2024
    • Reply
    • These don’t rise a lot, but they should have been about 3 inches high. Did you use 8 x 4-inch loaf pans? If so, is either your baking soda or baking powder old or expired?

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2024
      • Reply
      • Good catch. I picked up the old box of baking soda instead of the one recently purchased. The old arm and hammer will take care of the drain. Thank you for getting back to me.

        • — SeeWee on January 12, 2024
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      • There’s a hole in the middle. I have no idea why.

        • — Shelly on February 11, 2024
        • Reply
        • Hi Shelly, if it sunk in the middle it’s likely that it was underbaked. If you make this again, I’d leave it in the oven a little longer (and don’t remove it from the oven until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

          • — Jenn on February 12, 2024
          • Reply
        • Wow. Amazing. I candy my pecans on the stovetop before adding them to the mix and I use pure clove oil instead of clove seasoning. I think the clove oil helps with keeping my bread moist as well as giving that extra clove flavor. I love this recipe and so does everyone I know! Thank you!

          • — Effie H. on February 22, 2024
          • Reply
  • Made this yesterday for a family dinner dessert. I used 1 cup of light brown sugar and 1/2 cup of sugar. I love that this pumpkin bread uses the whole can of pumpkin, and that it makes two 8″ loaves. I also added 1/2 tsp of coarse ground black pepper and about 1 cup of chocolate chips. Baked 1 hour in my electric oven. Everyone at dinner wanted seconds!

    • — Lynn B. on January 8, 2024
    • Reply
  • This is absolutely the best pumpkin bread recipe I have ever found. I make it in a Bundt pan so it comes out incredible the texture is perfect. My adult children have voted that this is the new Thanksgiving dessert that we must have every year. We also have celiac, so I just substituted cup for cup gluten free flour and then the recipe didn’t need any other alterations. It comes out just as good. I’ve made both kinds now. Thank you so much.

    • — Leona on January 7, 2024
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  • This is absolutely the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever had! It DOES make two loaves. I haven’t had a bad loaf yet. I add about two tablespoons of vanilla to it just to give it more taste and make it moister. I’ve made some for my coworkers and they’ve all loved it and are always wanting more! I also put some cream cheese and/or maple glaze on top and oh my goodness it is heavenly! This is always my go-to recipe for pumpkin bread. Thank you so much for sharing! 👨‍🍳

    • — Cody on January 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • Absolutely DELICIOUS pumpkin bread, the best!! Thanks Jenn, & your beef stew is THE BEST!!

    • — Irene (me) on January 6, 2024
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  • Very flavorful, but kinda dry and barely rose, so dense and not fluffy. Was decent with some butter and a drink.

    • — Lily on December 27, 2023
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    • We put butter on ours, too…it was delicious!

      • — Deborah Underwood on January 13, 2024
      • Reply
  • This is by far my favorite pumpkin bread recipe! Thank you!

    • — Janine Cutnose on December 25, 2023
    • Reply
    • never in your entire life will you find a pumpkin bread recipe better than this.

      • — frankie on January 12, 2024
      • Reply
      • I agree!

        • — Deborah Underwood on January 13, 2024
        • Reply
  • This is a fantastic recipe, but it doesn’t make 2 loaves. I have enough batter for 1 loaf with quite a bit left over and no pan that’s the right size to bake it in. However, it’s delicious and it’s even better with some chocolate chips added—try it! 🙂

    • — Lala Looloo on December 24, 2023
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  • Great timeless recipe! Moist – I added dried cranberries & pecans!

    • — Cricket on December 24, 2023
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  • I just made this 30 min ago. This does make 2 loaves of 8×4 pan. It came up to the top of the pan rim when it was done, not mounding, just like in this recipe’s picture. I don’t like super sweet so I followed reviewers’ advice and cut the sugar by 1/2 cup. I also only used 1/4 tsp cloves, afraid it would be too strong from reviews. I took it out after 65 min, tester came out clean already. I could have left it 5 min longer for harder top. It was super moist, cooked through, perfect sweetness for us and everyone loves it. Thank you for a great recipe! Will make again.

    • — Regina on December 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • Run to your kitchen and make this immediately!! It’s one of the best baked goods I’ve ever made, and I’m an avid baker and cook. My family loves it and it’s devoured within 2 days. I always gift this to neighbors and friends, per their request! I have a big loaf pan, so I usually make one big loaf or 2 smaller good-sized ones. Timing varies depending on your pan size and oven temp, so make sure to insert your cake tester in the middle and for it to come out clean before removing the bread out of the oven, as stated in the instructions. You and your love ones are really going to enjoy this. I have 4 loaves baking right now to gift for my neighbors for Christmas, along with Jen’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Happy Holidays 🎄

    • — Naly R. on December 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • I tried this twice and both times it didn’t cook all the way through, even after checking it with toothpicks. Trying something else, very sad to see how much food I wasted….

    • — Danika I on December 21, 2023
    • Reply
    • I just tried this recipe for the first time as well. I am known for making a mean pumpkin bread, but I lost my old recipe so I decided to use this one. Real quick before my husband’s Christmas party which I’m trying to surprise him. But it won’t cook all the way thru! Now it’s 25 minutes past when I was supposed to leave and it’s still not cooking in the center. This is extremely upsetting and this is the longest I’ve ever cooked pumpkin bread for….. I won’t be trying this recipe again. Such a disappointment.

      • — Sarah perry on December 22, 2023
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      • Agree – just made this tonight. It’s cooked for 80min and still pudding in the center.

        • — Amanda on January 2, 2024
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      • It went long for me too. I ended up liking the final product but had to bake in the two loaf pans for 1 hour and 30 minutes. In addition to cooking longer I think next time I’ll reduce the sugar. Definitely like the finished product though!

        • — Cindy on January 4, 2024
        • Reply
  • This recipe makes ONE loaf for a standard loaf pan. The pans used in the pictures are TINY or the spatula she is used is freaking huge! Double this for an actual 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan.

    • — Moose D. on December 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • I have made this recipe several times and my family loves it!

    • — CC on December 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is going to be so good! Can’t wait for it to come out of the oven.

    • — Patti Wallace on December 17, 2023
    • Reply
  • The best pumpkin bread hands down!!! It’s so moist and yummy!

    • — Suzanne Michaels on December 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe twice and both times it turned out great and I even used fresh pumpkin. My friend became a convert of pumpkin bread. He tried it and loved it. When I talked about making it, he said he wouldn’t eat it but after trying it said it was delicious. I added some raisins because I can’t tolerate nuts. I’m thinking about putting chocolate chips in my next batch.

    • — Lauralee Wiltsie on December 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • Wow. I never leave reviews, but this is worth it. Recipe is perfect, love that it makes two!

    • — Andrea L Clifford on December 13, 2023
    • Reply

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