The Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe You've Ever Made

There are not many smells or tastes that are as evocative of a season than pumpkin spice. The mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and earthy pumpkin is a classic combination when the days are a little shorter and the nights a little colder.

This pumpkin bread recipe from Sher Castellano will fill your home with that enticing aroma. It's perfect for anyone who craves a sweet and well-spiced bread in the morning (or at lunch, or midday, or at night). And If you enjoy the flavor of pumpkin pie or anything pumpkin spice, then this is for you.

While you might most closely associate pumpkin bread with the seasons of falling leaves and snow, this recipe can be made any time of the year as long as you can get your hands on a can of pumpkin purée.

Gather your ingredients for this pumpkin bread recipe

For this pumpkin bread recipe, you use a list of ingredients that many frequent bakers will already have on hand. You will need flour (or gluten-free flour), sugar, baking soda, baking powder, fine sea salt, vegetable oil, eggs, and then your baking spices: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Then, of course, there is the main event: pumpkin purée (fresh is fine for the ambitious chef if the season is right, but canned does great).

One thing to keep in mind when you are shopping for the ingredients is to buy pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling. The two look similar but are actually very different. Purée is a blend of squashes (often including, but not limited to, pumpkin), whereas pumpkin pie filling is puréed pumpkin with sugar and spices. You will be adding spice and sugar of your own for this recipe, and it tastes best when starting with the blank slate of pumpkin purée.

Consider some optional add-ins for this pumpkin bread recipe

Just below the necessary ingredients of this recipe you will find some optional extras that will give your pumpkin bread recipe an extra kick. Shredded coconut is one option that complements the flavors in the pumpkin bread, as are raisins for something a little fruitier. Chocolate chips are always a crowd pleaser in sweets, and this recipe is no exception. Chopped walnuts can be added for a nutty crunch. Finally, you can just double down on the flavors central to the recipe by adding lightly roasted pumpkin seeds or candied ginger.

"All of them work beautifully," Castellano says. "This is really a matter of preference." Her personal preference is chocolate, but feel free to use any or all that sound good to your palate (or, better yet, bake multiple pumpkin breads with various extras thrown in to compare and contrast). Just be sure that whichever extras you choose to include, you don't use more than a cup total.

Mix your wet pumpkin bread recipe ingredients and dry ingredients separately

Once you have gathered the core ingredients for your pumpkin bread recipe and chosen the extras you want to include, it's time to get to mixing. Staring at your ingredient lineup, you will notice they fall into two categories: dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger) and wet ingredients (pumpkin purée, vegetable oil, water, and the two large eggs). All of the extras fall into the dry ingredients category as well.

Before any mixing starts, set your oven to preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, whisk the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk the wet ingredients in a separate medium mixing bowl.

While mixing the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately uses up some extra dishes that you will have to clean after you are done with baking the pumpkin bread, it is a necessary and important step if you want a bread that tastes consistent at every bite.

Combine the wet and dry mixes for this pumpkin bread recipe

With the two pumpkin bread recipe mixes in separate bowls, it is time to pull out one last mixing bowl to combine everything together.

It is important to mix the dry and wet ingredients separately before this step "to ensure everything is properly mixed without overtaxing," Castellano says. Over-mixing leads to a tough bread.

Keeping them separate for the first mix also ensures that the dry ingredients are evenly mixed. Simply put, the flour and other ingredients should be evenly distributed in a cohesive mix, where any random spoonful has the same ratio of ingredients as any other random spoonful. The best way to ensure that is to combine them before any liquid starts to bind the ingredients. The idea is similar for the wet ingredients. Eggs and oil are much more consistently distributed with the purée when mixed alone than they would be if mixed with the dry ingredients from the start.

Stir the wet and dry mixes together well. It should be "pourable, like a cake batter," Castellano says.

Pour the batter and bake this pumpkin bread recipe

For the most evenly cooked pumpkin bread using a standard oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 65 to 75 minutes, you will want to use a 9x5 loaf pan. As every baker knows, you can't just start dumping the batter into the pan without a little something to keep the final bread from sticking. In this case, Castellano prefers lining the loaf pan with parchment paper.

Unlike greasing a pan with butter, oil, or cooking spray, parchment paper prevents sticking without adding any fat. It also makes clean-up a breeze, since instead of scrubbing and rinsing, all you have to do is pull the paper out and viola: You have a clean pan.

By this point, your oven should be preheated to 350. Pop the loaf pan with the batter in the oven. It should be ready in just over an hour. The easiest way to check is to put a toothpick into the middle. If it comes out clean, it's ready.

Finally, in what may be the hardest step when it comes avoiding temptation, let the bread cool in the pan for 25 minutes before taking it out.

Store properly to enjoy this pumpkin bread recipe later

As delicious as this pumpkin bread recipe is, there's still the chance that you will have some leftovers after the first time you enjoy it. The good news is that pumpkin bread is easy to store and stays just as tasty over time.

Approach your pumpkin bread leftovers like you would any other bread. The best way to keep bread fresh is to avoid slicing the part you plan on saving for later — whole bread keeps better than slices. You will also want to avoid the refrigerator because that will lead to a tougher inside and less-crisp crust.

"This can be frozen for up to six months," Castellano says. "And it can stay good in an airtight container on the counter for up to three days."

Freezing the bread keeps it pristine for longer, and when you are ready for more, you simply have to cut what you enjoy and reheat it in the oven for ten to 15 minutes.

The Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe You've Ever Made
4.9 from 47 ratings
This delicious pumpkin bread recipe can be made any time of the year as long as you can get your hands on a can of pumpkin purée.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
70
minutes
Servings
8
slices
pumpkin bread recipe served up
Total time: 85 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1-⅔ cups all-purpose flour (can be gluten-free)
  • 1-¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 large eggs
Optional Ingredients
  • Shredded coconut
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Candied ginger
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, and stir to combine well.
  5. Line a loaf pan (9x5 inches) with parchment paper and pour in the batter.
  6. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 25 minutes before removing.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 370
Total Fat 15.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 46.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 54.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Total Sugars 32.3 g
Sodium 304.1 mg
Protein 4.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe