Pumpkin Bread

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This is the best-ever, tested-to-perfection, made-from-scratch Pumpkin Bread. Plus: directions for adding chocolate or nuts to the pumpkin bread AND instructions for converting this bread into miniature or full-sized loaves. 

Once you’ve become obsessed with this recipe, be sure to try out my famous zucchini bread or raved-about banana bread

 

Image of a slice of pumpkin bread cut out from the main loaf

Perfecting Pumpkin Bread

This pumpkin bread recipe has been a long time coming and I’m so excited to share it with you. It took the push of hosting (and therefore catering) my sister’s bridal shower to finally finish perfecting and sharing it! My sister is not into very traditional desserts (doesn’t like brownies, cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, etc.), but one of her favorite desserts is pumpkin bread. So, with a fall-themed shower, Pumpkin Bread is a must-have.

Pumpkin Bread is always on my list to work on every fall, and this recipe has gotten closer and closer each year to being ready to share. And finally, over this last week, I made several batches of it, slowly tweaking the base recipe I’ve been working with every year.

And here it is: moist, delicious, from-scratch Pumpkin Bread. The secret to this pumpkin bread? Good quality pumpkin, the perfect amount of spice, and a crunchy brown-sugar topping. Just adding 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the top of this bread before baking makes for the most insanely tasty “crust”!

Process shots-- images of the wet and dry ingredients being made and combined and poured into a prepared pan

Not only is this bread amazing, but it’s also super simple to make. 

How to make Pumpkin Bread

  • Toss together dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix to combine
  • Add all the wet ingredients to another bowl. Stir until smooth. Make sure the melted butter is not hot, but has cooled back to room temperature. Hot butter will melt the dark brown sugar resulting in a greasier bread.
  • Mix wet and dry ingredients until JUST combined. Over mixing results in a dense bread.
  • Add the batter to a greased and floured bread pan and bake!

QUICK TIP

Canned, solid-pack pumpkin puree is what we use in this recipe. It contains cooked pumpkin and nothing else. Pumpkin pie filling, however, contains spices, water, sweetener and other ingredients so that it’s ready to be made into a pie. Also note that unlike other recipes that can for 1 full can, this recipe is only calling for 1 cup of pumpkin.

How to convert this recipe to mini loaves

This recipe makes a batter that will fill one full-sized loaf pan or three miniature loaf pans.

  • The miniature loaf pans tested in this recipe are 5.75-inches by 3.25-inches by 2.25-inches. I love Chicago Metallic’s loaf mini loaf pans best! In the miniature pans, the batter bakes for 35-50 minutes.
  • The full-size loaf pan I use and tested this recipe in is 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches. This recipe has also been tested in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan (I recommend/prefer the 9 x 5-inch pan). In the full-sized loaf pan, this pumpkin bread batter bakes for 45-60 minutes.
  • Baking time will vary, based on the exact pan you use, the humidity, and your oven. Check on the loaf (or loaves) occasionally (look through the glass in the oven; avoid opening the oven as that lets out a lot of heat) and then test the bread by inserting a toothpick into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean or with moist crumbs, it’s done; if not, give it some more time. (Or more scientifically, you can use a food thermometer and bake until the temperature reaches approximately 190 degrees F.

Pumpkin Bread FAQs

Can this batter be made into muffins?

This batter will work for muffins, but I recommend this other recipe for pumpkin muffins (they’ve got a really nice height and dome to them). To make regular-sized muffins, grease and flour the muffin tin (this dough tends to stick to liners) and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

Can you make Pumpkin Bread healthier?

You can make this pumpkin bread however you’d like, but if you are looking for some healthier swaps, I would recommend using this healthy pumpkin bread recipe. It’s crazy popular and simple to make! 

Can you add chocolate chips or nuts?

Absolutely. If you want to add chocolate chips or nuts, add up to 1 cup total to the dry ingredients (1 cup chocolate, 1 cup nuts, or a combo of 1/2 cup chocolate and 1/2 cup nuts). You don’t want the nuts to be too large as that affects the texture of this bread (makes it crumbly). Toss the nuts and/or chocolate in the dry ingredients to coat in flour so they don’t all sink to the bottom of your bread.

What spices are in Pumpkin Bread?

Typically, you’ll find cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and/or allspice in Pumpkin Bread. To simplify things a bit, this recipe only requires ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Pumpkin pie spice can be bought readily at grocery stores in the baking aisle, or you can make your own pumpkin pie spice here.

Overhead image of three slices of pumpkin bread fresh out of the oven

Pumpkin Bread Storage

Room temperature storage

This pumpkin bread is good for 2-3 days at room temperature (wrapped tightly/stored in an airtight container). After 3-4 days, this bread is more prone to molding because of the ingredients used and overall moistness of the bread.

Refrigerating the bread

After 1-2 days of the pumpkin bread being at room temperature, I recommend refrigerating it and warming individual slices in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. While not necessary to refrigerate the bread, it will keep it fresher for longer.

Freezing

  • Freeze the freshest bread you have. If youโ€™ve just baked it, allow the bread to cool completely before freezing to avoid soggy bread or mold. Then cut into individual slices.
  • Wrap each individual slice of bread tightly in plastic wrap and then seal it completely in an airtight container or bag. Freeze the bag of sliced bread.
  • This bread freezes safely for 3 months.
  • Individual slices of this bread defrost in under an hour at room temperature and take slightly longer to defrost in the refrigerator.

More Amazing Pumpkin treats

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Pumpkin Bread

4.84 from 6 votes
This is the best-ever, tested-to-perfection, made-from-scratch Pumpkin Bread. Plus: directions for adding chocolate or nuts to the pumpkin bread AND instructions for converting this bread into miniature or full-sized loaves.ย 
Print Recipe

Pumpkin Bread

4.84 from 6 votes
This is the best-ever, tested-to-perfection, made-from-scratch Pumpkin Bread. Plus: directions for adding chocolate or nuts to the pumpkin bread AND instructions for converting this bread into miniature or full-sized loaves.ย 
Course Dessert, Snack, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword pumpkin bread
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 349kcal
Cost $3.74

Equipment

  • 9-inch bread pan

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (57g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose, white flour (spoon and level)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: baking powder, baking soda, fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup (51g) vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup (187g) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup (228g) canned pumpkin puree (the puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, loosely measured

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in the microwave and then set aside to cool to room temperature. (We do not want hot butter added to the batter) Generously grease a 9-inch bread (loaf) pan with cooking spray and generously coat with flour, tapping out the excess. Don't skip prepping the pan or this bread won't come out very well. Set pan aside.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: Add the melted (and cooled back to room temperature) butter to a large bowl along with the oil, dark brown sugar, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
  • COMBINE: Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Use a spatula to scrape all of the dough into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top. Gently sprinkle the 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar over top of the loaf. Don't press in the sugar.
  • BAKE: Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean or with a couple moist crumbs (not wet). My oven generally takes right about 55 minutes. Cool the bread, in the pan, for about 10 minutes. Working slowly and carefully, gently remove the bread by inverting onto a wire cooling rack. Allow bread to cool completely before cutting with a sharp serrated bread knife.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note: Nutritional information is calculated for one full-sized slice.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 12slices | Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 3245IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg

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This is the best-ever, tested-to-perfection, made-from-scratch, moist pumpkin bread. Directions for miniature or full sized loaves of bread. The miniature loaves are great for holiday gift-giving! | chelseasmessyapron.com | #pumpkin #bread #best #ever #mini #miniature #chocolatechips #fall #baking #thanksgiving #easy #quick #recipe #kidfriendly
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29 Comments

    1. That is based off of 3 miniature loaves cutting each loaf into 12 slices ๐Ÿ™‚ It will need to be adjusted for one 8 x 4-inch loaf.

  1. 5 stars
    Wonderful bread ! Thank you, once again your pumpkin chocolate bread recipe is a winner. Thanks for doing the research and testing. We love all your pumpkin chocolate recipes, healthy and not so much. One question, how do they do if frozen ?

  2. I haven’t made this yet because I’d like to know; what if you’d like both chocolate chips And nuts? Can this recipe hold them both?

    1. Yes!! If I make several loafs at one time i’ll freeze the extras and they are still delicious weeks later! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 5 stars
    I LOVE this pumpkin bread! I greased pan with Crisco (canned) and instead of flour, sprinkled cinnamon sugar on inside of pan (stuck nicely to Crisco). I also added walnuts to batter, poured it in pan and sprinkled raw sugar over the top. Yum, nice & crunchy top. Definitely recommend!

  4. My daughter loves everything pumpkin, so I’m excited about trying your recipe. I always only use fresh pumpkin for baking, will fresh work in this?

    1. I haven’t personally tried fresh pumpkin, but I think if you really squeeze out excess moisture it should work! Maybe even reduce the pumpkin in a saucepan to concentrate it more and get rid of extra liquid! Let me know how it turns out ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hope you loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚ There is a “print” button on the recipe card that will allow you to get the full recipe without ads! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Soooo…i tried to double this recipe for 2 big loaves and it totally overflowed about 15 minutes into baking (and burned onto the bottom of my stove..oops). Now I’m thinking i should have looked for a double batch recipe instead of just doubling everything..do you have any suggestions on what i should increase/decrease for 2 loaves?

    1. Oh darn!! Yes I’d recommend making 2 separate loaves next time instead of doubling the recipe. Sorry to hear about the mess ๐Ÿ™

  6. 4 stars
    The bread turned out wonderful. So moist. Flavor is spot on. The only reason for 4 stars is because it is so compact, is it normal for it not to be that tall well rounded loaf? Itโ€™s more flat, very compact. Itโ€™s just doesnโ€™t rise like banana bread. Is that normal?

    1. So happy to hear it! This bread doesn’t rise a ton, but I’m also wondering, were your baking agents super fresh? That could be part of it, but as a whole it won’t have a super rounded top.

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