Best Pumpkin Bread
Say hello to the Best Pumpkin Bread! If you’re craving fall flavors, look no further because I’m sharing my absolute favorite quick bread recipe. It bakes up tender, moist and fluffy with just the right amount of pumpkin and warm cinnamon taste. The crunchy sugar coating takes this loaf from seriously delicious to insanely addicting!
This pumpkin bread was amazing! My extremely picky eater (like so picky he eats 5 things) loved this bread. Thank you for sharing it!— Jane
Of all the fall flavors, I have to say that pumpkin flavor is probably my favorite. Totally cliché, I know. But the sweet aroma of pumpkin mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves… it gets me every time. So naturally, I’m currently trying to eat just about anything and everything I can put pumpkin puree into. And one of my favorite, go-to recipes when I need a fix is this sweet, moist, and oh-so-delicious pumpkin bread!
I know everyone and their mother seems to have “the perfect pumpkin bread recipe”, but I can assure you that this one really does stand out in the crowd. The whole loaf was devoured by my family in less than twelve hours. I think that’s a new record!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Moist and delicious. You will love how moist and satisfying this loaf tastes. I promise you can’t stop with just one slice!
- Easy to make. Like other quick breads, this one is super easy to make once you get all your ingredients together. No mixer required!
- Versatile. Perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast, a satisfying snack with a cup of coffee or tea, or an incredible dessert with a scoop of ice cream or dollop of whipped cream.
Honestly, this could be one of my favorite pumpkin recipes of all time (besides my grandma’s pumpkin pie squares). It’s moist, tender, perfectly sweet, packed with cozy spices and so scrumptious that it’s bound to become a forever family favorite. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Flour. Use regular all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour for best results.
- Baking powder and baking soda. Help the bread rise!
- Fall spices. The perfect blend of spices to give this loaf that warm, cozy, fall flavor. We’re using a mix of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and cloves. Feel free to add a pinch of ginger, if you’d like.
- Pumpkin puree. Use 100% pure canned pumpkin here. Be sure to get a can of pumpkin and don’t grab pumpkin pie filling by mistake, which has added spices and sugar.
- Oil. This will add incredible moisture and lightens up the crumb more so than butter. I used vegetable oil, but feel free to sub with melted coconut oil, canola oil or even a light olive oil.
- Sugar. A combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar are used for amazing flavor and texture.
- Salt. A must in baked goods to balance out the sweetness!
- Eggs. Three large eggs not only add fluffiness, but protein and healthy fats too! If you’re looking for a vegan option, you can try using 3 flax eggs instead.
- Turbinado sugar and pepitas. Totally optional, but highly recommended for a sweet crunchy topping.
How to make this recipe
Making this pumpkin bread recipe is super easy! It’s a simple mix of wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another, combine the two and pour into a loaf pan. You’re all set! Here’s the simple method:
Find the full, printable recipe in the recipe card below.
- Prep. First things first, preheat your oven to 325ºF. Then, prepare a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, or line it with parchment paper and set aside.
- Dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves).
- Wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix wet ingredients (pumpkin, oil, sugar and salt). Add the eggs and stir until well combined.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and gently mix together. There will be a few lumps. Do not over mix.
- Topping. Pour batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with half the sugar topping, then the optional pepitas, and then the rest of the sugar topping.
- Bake. Place in the oven and bake for 60 to 70 minutes and until a cake tester comes out clean from the center. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Then, invert the bread onto the rack, turn right side up, and let it cool completely. Enjoy!
Tips for recipe success
This recipe is pretty basic and straightforward, but here are a few tips to make the best pumpkin bread.
- Follow the recipe. For best results, I highly recommend following the recipe instructions and using the exact ingredients I’ve listed.
- Pumpkin pie spice. Feel free to use 1 tbsp pumpkin spice instead of the individual spices.
- Separate bowls. Be sure to mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. It will make for the best texture, so don’t skip this step by mixing everything together in one bowl.
- Don’t over mix ingredients. It’s very important to avoid over-mixing the batter, which makes any quick bread gummy and dense. Read more about over-mixing and how to avoid it.
- Bake time. Be sure not to under bake the bread. Every oven can vary in temperature, so test the center of the loaf with a toothpick. If it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs, then it’s ready, if not place it back in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Loaf pan. If you are using a smaller 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, your loaf will turn out thicker, and therefore the bread needs to cook a bit longer (probably 5-10 minutes more).
I LOVE this recipe as-is, but if you’d like to change it up or add a bit of extra pizzaz, here are several suggestions.
- Glaze. Add a glaze for real decadence! Make a glaze by mixing 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1 to 2 teaspoons milk. Mix until smooth and drizzle over the cooled bread. Alternatively, you could add cream cheese frosting over the top.
- Nuts. If you love nuts, add about 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter.
- Fruit. Stir about 1/2 cup dried cranberries, dried tart cherries, raisins, or chopped dates into the batter.
- Pumpkin muffins. Follow the recipe, adding instead to a muffin tin and cooking for 18-25 minutes.
- Chocolate. If you’re craving chocolate, fold 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips into the batter, and sprinkle more over the top, too.
- Dessert. Make this into more of a dessert by serving it alongside vanilla bean ice cream.
Frequently asked questions
With recipes like banana bread and pumpkin bread, the goal is to incorporate as much fruit purée as the batter can handle. Too much will throw off the ratio of wet to dry ingredients. This means you may not have enough flour to absorb that moisture, leading to a gummy bottom on your quick breads. Trust me, this recipe is perfect!
If your bread didn’t rise, it may be for one of the following reasons: expired baking soda or baking powder, too much batter in the pan (batter should fill the pan no more than 3/4 full), and waiting too long to bake it after mixing the batter.
If you have a cup of pumpkin puree leftover, consider stirring a tablespoon or two into a bowl of warm oatmeal, make pumpkin waffles, or pancake batter. Transfer the leftover pumpkin puree into an airtight container and keep it refrigerated for up to one week.
- Storing leftovers: Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and store on the counter for 3-4 days or in the fridge for about 1 week. Any longer than that and you can freeze it by following the instructions below.
- To freeze: Let the bread cool completely. There are two ways to freeze the bread. Bread will keep well in the freezer for up to three months.
- You can slice the loaf and then wrap individual slices tightly in plastic wrap. Place the individually wrapped slices into a large freezer-safe ziplock bag, remove any air, and store in the freezer.
- Or you can wrap the bread tightly with aluminum foil. Then, place in a freezer-safe ziplock bag and store it in the freezer.
If you try this best pumpkin bread recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Best Pumpkin Bread
- 1 2/3 cups (205g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup (260g) canned pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup (168g) vegetable oil , (extra-virgin olive oil, melted coconut oil or canola oil will work)
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (65g) dark brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar for topping, optional
- 2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds), optional
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together until combined.
- In a medium bowl, stir the pumpkin puree, oil, sugar, and salt together until combined. Add the eggs and mix well. Pour these wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together. There will be a few lumps. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with half the sugar topping, then the optional pepitas, and then the rest of the sugar topping. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes and until a tester comes out mostly clean from the center.
- Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Then, invert the bread onto the rack, turn right side up, and let cool completely. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to about 1 week.
- Storing leftovers: Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and store on the counter for 3-4 days. Any longer than that, store it wrapped tightly in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezing: To freeze, let the bread cool completely. Slice the loaf and then wrap individual slices tightly in plastic wrap. Place the individually wrapped slices into a large freezer-safe ziplock bag, remove any air, and store in the freezer. Or wrap the whole loaf in aluminum foil and then place in a freezer-safe bag. Bread will keep well in the freezer for up to three months.