The most perfectly spiced, moist, flavorful recipe has taken 3 years to create. That’s ridiculous, but at least now this will be better than your neighbor’s pumpkin bread.
Haha, just kidding, you don’t really have a competition going, do you? If so, let’s hear it, I want all the drama.
No really, I only say that because I grew up with a woman who had the best recipes but would never share a single one. I now feel like that was probably a fear or insecurity. Don’t you think? When you’re afraid giving something away will mean you have less or that others will get the attention for it instead of you.
Anyway, this pumpkin bread is one you can be proud of and know it’s not only the best, but it’s so good you can’t wait to share the recipe.
Pumpkin Bread Testing
I never knew it would be so hard to create a really good pumpkin bread, but much like banana bread it took some time.
You see, pumpkin bread needs to have all of the moist goodness of a perfect quick bread, but it also has to have gobs of spice and flavor.
Start testing recipes and you’ll see what I mean.
Pumpkin bread is good, but sometimes it’s only just good enough. That’s not right! You need it to taste like fall, like the holidays.
It should taste like coming home from school and the leaves are crunching under your feet as you shuffle along, backpack stuffed with papers and feeling tired and maybe even a little lonely from the school day.
And then it happens, you open the front door and you’re there-you’re back home.
The place where you’re safe and you can do and be anything.
Oh and the house, something is baking and your mom walks around the corner with a smile to ask the age old question, how was school?
Christmas at Grandma’s
Or maybe it’s popping over to Grandma’s house, Christmas is just two days away.
You’re hauling your stuff to the little bedroom at the end of the hall, carefully taking the creepy doll off of the bed and stuffing it in a closet so it doesn’t watch you sleep, haha.
The smells are filling the house, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and even a little ginger.
As soon as you walk into the kitchen there’s Grandma, slicing a thick piece of pumpkin bread.
You can’t help but think, how could there ever been a world without Christmas, and somehow everything just feels good and right.
How to Make Pumpkin Bread
Ok, enough of the nostalgia, though if you’re patient with me, I think it’s actually really important to remember and slow down. But let’s talk about how to make pumpkin bread.
Combine the Dry Ingredients
- In a bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and use a whisk to stir them together. This fully incorporates everything together and ensures that the bread rises and is flavored in every square bit.
Combine the Wet Ingredients
- In another bowl, stir together the wet ingredients starting with a few including the sugar to make it well combined and then add the rest. Doing it this way helps the sugars begin to melt into the batter and will keep you from over mixing the batter all together.
Combine and Bake
- Switch to a wooden spoon or spatula and fold the ingredients together gently, be sure to not over-mix or it will deflate the bread.
- Bake in a 9×5″ pan and no bigger or it will be a flat loaf.
All of these instructions can be found in full detail in the recipe card at the end of the post.
The Most Important Tip
There’s actually two tips you need.
- Do not substitute the oil. Pumpkin bread needs oil as the fat as any other fat evaporates too much water and makes for a more dry bread. The oil stays, kind of like it probably does in our arteries but shhhhhh let’s not think of that. Anyway, it stays and keeps the bread moist.
- Cinnamon AND pumpkin pie spice. BOTH. This is important. Pumpkin pie spice is fantastic, but you need the cinnamon to carry through in order to really hit home the flavor. But straight cinnamon doesn’t offer the depth of flavor pumpkin pie spice so please add both.
How Do You Know When Pumpkin Bread Is Done?
After 50 minutes the bread should be done but using a toothpick is the best way to tell.
Another good tip is to tap the very top of the pumpkin bread and it should spring back. If your finger sinks in and the indentation stays then it’s still uncooked batter.
How Long Will Pumpkin Bread Keep?
Pumpkin bread will keep for 1 week as long as you keep it covered. It keeps even better in the fridge.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Bread?
Pumpkin bread freezes exceptionally well.
Place the bread in a sealed container, freezer bag or wrap well in plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 1 month.
Can You Rebake Undercooked Pumpkin Bread?
It’s not as easy as they make it sound to salvage undercooked pumpkin bread, but if you’re lucky this handy trick will work.
Heat the oven to 350 F, return the bread to the oven, and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes. This should cook the inside and will work even if the loaf has cooled a little.
Why Does Pumpkin Bread Sink In The Middle?
Pumpkin bread will sink in the middle once you remove it from the oven if it was under-baked.
You can also break the rise if you pull it out of the oven and plop it on the counter. This will break the structure of the bread and it will fall. Be gentle as you remove it.
Could You Use Winter Squash Instead Of Pumpkin?
You can use butternut squash puree instead of pumpkin puree or sweet potato puree. The flavors will be different so you may need to play around with spices.
I love thought of creating memories for my children that are centered around the kitchen and our favorite recipes. My kids are coming home from school to the smell of the this pumpkin bread baking. Then when they come home from college and home with their own families and smell this baking, they will feel home!
More Pumpkin Recipes You Have to Make this Fall:
- Marshmallow No Bake Pumpkin Pie
- Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Bread
- Gingersnap Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Pumpkin Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Crumb Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Crunch Twists
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake
- Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Bars
- Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/2 Cup Canola Oil
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Flour
- 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, pumpkin and vanilla. Stir and then add the sugars.
- Spray a 9x5" bread pan with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside.
- Dump the dry ingredients on the wet ingredients and switching to a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold the ingredients together just until a few streaks of flour remain.
- Pour into a bread pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- At this point, slide a knife around the inside of the pan and carefully turn the bread out into your other hand or onto the cooling rack directly if you are gentle.
- Place it right side up and allow to cool or be like us and dig in because warm bread is the best!
Delicious! Moist and flavorful. Spread with butter once, then cream cheese. Might add walnuts next time or too with pepitas
Yum! That sounds delicious! Adding walnuts and pepitas would be super yummy and add some great texture!
This loaf was delicious. So moist and flavourful! I wouldn’t change a thing.
Thank you so much Rita!
Is there a sub for canola oil do you think?
Vegetable oil would work fine too.
Can you add chocolate chips to this pumpkin bread?
Yes absolutely! We have a pumpkin chocolate chip bread recipe too: https://ohsweetbasil.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-bread-recipe/
It’s in the oven now and I’m sure it’ll be great! How can I do this though: “ Dump the dry ingredients and pumpkin on the wet ingredients.”? In step 2 you had me mix the pumpkin with the sugars, eggs, etc, so shouldn’t it just be “Fold your dry ingredients into the wet ingredients?” Pumpkin is not alone anymore.
Hi Danielle! Sorry for the confusion! You are totally correct. It has been updated. Thank you for bringing that to my attention!
Hello! I have been making pumpkin bread for many years, using the same recipe, but this recipe appealed to me when it posted on your blog, both because of the ingredients as well as the simplicity of the recipe. Time is always crucial for me around the holidays, so I pinned it, and tried it for the first time last night. It is absolutely DELICIOUS, and just became my new go to pumpkin bread recipe for sure. The texture is light, and the spice perfection. Quick and easy. I have been baking a ton of cinnamon sugar bread lately, so I added a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top before baking which gave it a bit of a crackly finish. Thank you for this post, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Hurray!! Thank you so much Joanne! You have totally made my day! We can’t get enough of this bread this time of year! I love the addition of the cinnamon sugar too!
Me and my daughter just baked this today. I was able to let it cool for a while, and then I just had to have a piece! It was wonderful. The amount of spice was just perfect. It was easy to make and delicious and we will be making it again. I wish I had doubled the recipe and just went ahead and made two! Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you so much Angie! We can’t stop making and eating this in our house! Thank you for taking time to leave a comment!