Here's How To Stop Your Pumpkin Bread From Sinking

People who love pumpkin really love pumpkin. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, even pumpkin macaroni and cheese — if there's a food or dish that exists, chances are they can (and will) make it pumpkin-flavored. One of the most delicious treats is arguably pumpkin bread. A little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and a whole lot moist and fluffy, it's the kind of melt-in-your-mouth baked goodness that has you reaching for slice after slice (after slice).

Fans of the orange gourd — and more specifically, the bread that comes from it — know that it's meant to be enjoyed year-round. That's why Starbucks offers its own pumpkin loaf during every season, not just fall. You can also bake it yourself at home with just a few ingredients. However, if you've ever tried making homemade pumpkin bread, you may have encountered a frequent problem: the bread sinks while it's in the oven. Here's why that happens and how to avoid it.

You're putting too much batter in the pan

The natural response to seeing a sunken-in loaf come out of the oven is to assume you didn't fill the pan enough. But actually, the opposite is true: You probably filled it too much. According to Fine Cooking, this is the most common reason why quick breads (like pumpkin bread) collapse while baking. When the batter reaches the top of the pan and has nowhere else to rise, it sinks into itself in the center. Cook'n adds that this is because the batter needs structure from the pan edges to cling to and support it as it rises.

So how much should you be filling your pan when baking pumpkin bread? Simply Recipes recommends filling a loaf pan no more than 2/3 full. This is the absolute maximum. The culinary site adds that if you have leftover batter, rather than overfilling the loaf pan, save it and bake it separately in a smaller pan or in a muffin tin.