A classic pumpkin bread recipe full of rich pumpkin flavor and warm spices. It's sweet, fresh, and will become your go-to Fall loaf.
I love this pumpkin bread so much I have to make every single fall. I get rave reviews from everyone who tries it so it was obvious that I should share the recipe with you.
The thing that makes my pumpkin loaf stand out is how incredibly moist it is. And each slice is loaded with sweet pumpkin flavor and hints of warm spices.
There is a small amount of oil and butter in this recipe. That along with pumpkin puree, buttermilk, and eggs yield a bread that is far from dry.
It's just as tasty as my best ever banana bread!
Why this recipe works
- Blotting the pumpkin will remove some of the excess moisture that can cause the bread to become gummy.
- Using a combination of butter and oil gives the bread a rich flavor while also keeping it from drying out.
- Buttermilk works with the baking soda to give the bread rise and it also adds to the tender crumb and moist texture.
The best pumpkin bread recipe
I find that the best pumpkin bread needs oil to maintain the perfect amount of tenderness. And butter is a necessary ingredient for rich flavor.
To complement the canned pumpkin, I added in ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. These spices give the bread a wonderful aroma. So fitting for fall.
This pumpkin bread is super simple and requires just two bowls, a whisk, and a spatula. You don't even need to use an electric mixer. It can easily be mixed by hand!
This recipe is a great base for all sorts of add-ins. Try adding in walnuts, chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, caramel, chopped candy bars…
The options are endless.
The ingredient list seems long but everything is pretty basic. Let's go over what you need.
- Pumpkin: Make sure to use pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
- Butter & oil: Unsalted butter is best so you can control the amount of salt in the recipe. And pick a flavorless oil like vegetable oil or canola oil.
- Sugar: A mix of white and brown sugar add depth to the flavor.
- Eggs: Bring the eggs to room temperature so they are easier to mix into the batter.
- Buttermilk: I prefer full-fat buttermilk for baking. If you don't have buttermilk, you can make a homemade substitute. Or use sour cream in its place.
- Flour: All-purpose flour works best with quick bread recipes.
- Spices: Baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are the spices I chose for this loaf and they work beautifully. The baking soda isn't a spice, it's used to leaven the bread.
To bake this bread you'll need:
- Loaf pan: A 9x5-inch loaf pan is best for baking my pumpkin bread. My new favorite is this OXO loaf pan. It's a tad bit smaller than 9x5 but it bakes perfectly!
- Mixing bowls: These bowls are the ones I always use.
- Whisk & Spatula: A large balloon whisk and silicone spatula are all you need for mixing the batter.
Can I use fresh pumpkin?
Certainly! Choose a sugar pumpkin, butternut squash, or kabocha. Roast it, purée it, and add it to the recipe.
Can I use all butter or all oil?
You sure can. I like both because you get buttery flavor and moisture but feel free to use either or.
Can I use pumpkin spice?
I don't see why not! Use whatever spices you prefer to create your own favorite bread.
How to make pumpkin bread
You'll be surprised how easy it is to whip up this bread. You just need a few tools and don't need to break out the electric mixer.
Step 1: Blot the pumpkin
Spread the pumpkin over several layers of paper towel lining a baking sheet. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to allow the paper towel to absorb some of the moisture.
Step 2: Mix the wet ingredients
Combine the oil, butter, both sugars, eggs, pumpkin, and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl.
To get the pumpkin off the paper towel, lift one of the shorter sides of the paper towel slightly and gently scrape the pumpkin puree loose. Lift a little higher and shake gently. The puree should begin to roll down the paper towel and form a log.
Drop the log of pumpkin straight into the mixing bowl and continue with the recipe.
Step 3: Mix the dry ingredients
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Use a whisk to stir everything together well.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and fold together with a silicone spatula. Be extra careful not to overmix. Only mix until you no longer see dry streaks of flour.
Step 4: Bake
Add the batter to a well-greased loaf pan and bake it for about 65 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with only a few dry crumbs attached.
Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Don't skip the step where you blot the pumpkin puree! The puree contains a lot of moisture that will make the bread gummy. The paper towel will absorb a lot of the excess moisture so the bread bakes properly.
- Bake the bread on the lower-third rack. This is the rack just below the center of the oven.
- Try adding chocolate chips, chopped pecans, or dried cranberries for added flavor. Just fold them in at the very end before transferring the batter to a loaf pan.
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