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Pumpkin Bread

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.

slices of pumpkin bread stacked six high

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. I do this for my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin cheesecake.
  • 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.
overhead of pumpkin bread with slices taken out

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.


Ingredients

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.

loaf of pumpkin bread with slice taken out so inside is visible

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.

pumpkin puree spread over paper towels on baking sheet

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.

batter for pumpkin bread in glass bowl next to blue-green napkin

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.

overhead of pumpkin bread in loaf pan on wire rack

Expert tips

  • 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.

If you like pumpkin, you’ll love these tasty pumpkin recipes:

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slices of pumpkin bread stacked six high

Pumpkin Bread

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Classic Pumpkin bread full of rich pumpkin flavor and warm spices. It’s sweet, fresh, and will be the best pumpkin bread you’ve ever had.

Ingredients

  • 15 ounce (425 g) canned pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup (54 g) vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) buttermilk
  • 2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Take 4 connected sheets of paper towels and fold it in half. Lay the folded paper towels across a baking sheet. Spread the pumpkin puree in an even layer over the paper towels and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and heat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, butter, and sugars. Stir with a whisk until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Lift one of the shorter sides of the paper towel slightly and gently scrape the pumpkin puree loose. Lift the edge of the paper towel a little higher and give it a gentle shake. The puree should begin to roll down the paper towel and form a log. Scrape loose as needed. 
  5. Transfer the puree to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Add the buttermilk and whisk to combine.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir with a whisk. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix just until the flour is incorporated, taking care not to overwork the batter.
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 65 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few dry crumbs.
  8. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove the bread and cool completely on a wire rack.

Notes

Loosely tent aluminum foil over the bread if the top begins to brown too much before the center is done. 

Make Pumpkin Muffins

  1. Line cup muffin pan with paper liners and fill each cup ⅔ full with batter. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes.

Make ahead tip

  1. Bread will keep for up to 3 days wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.
  2. Bread can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 342mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 5g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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pat mccaul

Monday 28th of September 2020

my husband is a diabetic so 2 cups of all-purpose flour is not a good thing. can I use an almond flour or any of the other flours? or do I need a ratio of different flours? thank you

Jen Sobjack

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

I don't recommend using almond flour for this recipe. I've also not tested it with anything other than all-purpose flour so I can't really advise on how to adapt it.

Anshirley

Monday 31st of August 2020

Hi, I was wondering if I could swap the granulated sugar for a natural sweetener? Thanks!

Elaine Katz

Tuesday 3rd of December 2019

I am so glad I came across your recipe for 'pumpkin bread', the recipes I have tried are a bit too moist or 'wet'. this is the 1st time I learned to reduce the moisture content w/paper towels...thank you! as soon as I buy buttermilk I am making this recipe. I luvluvluv anything pumpkin..well, almost everything. I really like using raisins, I think they go well w/the pumpkin. I will be making this tomorrow.

Marlene

Friday 29th of November 2019

What is the purpose of putting the pumpkin purée on paper towels?

Jen Sobjack

Monday 2nd of December 2019

Pumpkin puree contains a lot of moisture that will make the bread gummy. The paper towels will absorb a lot of that excess moisture.

Judy tirabassi

Sunday 10th of November 2019

Can you use 15 oz can of pure or solid pumpkin?

Jen Sobjack

Monday 11th of November 2019

It's the same thing as pumpkin puree so yes, you can use it.

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