pumpkin molasses bread

$4.22 recipe / $0.35 serving

You need to make this for dessert on Thanksgiving this year. Trust me.

This bread is really easy to whip up (who needs something complicated on Thanksgiving? NO ONE), is super delicious, and totally tastes like Autumn. It’s a dessert bread, so make no mistake, it has a lot of sugar and oil… but compared to other pumpkin bread recipes that I saw that used three cups of sugar and at least one cup of oil for just one single loaf, I don’t think I did so bad here.

The bread is nicely crisp on top, super moist inside, and has a rich, spicy flavor. I can totally see eating a slice of this along side a nice hot cup of coffee, chai, or tea. Super cozy.

You can also bake these as muffins. Actually, in hinds sight, that probably would have been a much better idea than a loaf. It would bake faster (more surface area to heat ratio), cool faster, and there would be no messing with trying to slice it. But the loaf does make a pretty presentation, so there is that. You decide. Either way, you’re gonna LOVE it.

Pumpkin Molasses Bread

Pumpkin Molasses Bread

4.5 from 4 reviews
pumpkin molasses bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $4.22
Cost Per Serving: $0.35
Serves: 12
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree $0.97
  • 3 large eggs $0.75
  • ½ cup vegetable oil $0.32
  • ½ cup milk $0.12
  • ½ cup molasses $1.10
  • 1½ cups sugar $0.24
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice $0.15
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour $0.44
  • 2 tsp baking powder $0.06
  • 1½ tsp salt $0.07
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, milk, molasses, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until very smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir very well. Pour the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir just until evenly combined (try not to over stir or the end product will be gummy).
  3. Pour the batter into a loaf pan coated with non-stick spray and bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Pumpkin Molasses Bread

Step By Step Photos

wet ingredientsFirst, combine all of the “wet” ingredients in a large bowl. Thats the pumpkin, eggs, milk, oil, molasses, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. If you measure the oil before the molasses, it will leave a nice thin layer in the measuring cup that helps the molasses slide right out.

whiskWhisk these ingredients together until they’re nice and smooth.

dry ingredientsIn a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir these together really, really well because you want to do as little stirring after combining with the wet ingredients as possible.

combineNow pour those dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir it all (with a spoon, not a whisk) until evenly combined and no more.

bread panPour the batter into a bread pan that is coated with non-stick spray. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for one hour or until you can stick a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean (that means no raw batter stuck to it, moist crumbs are okay and considered a “clean toothpick”).

baked breadTa-da! I can’t even tell you how yummy it smells. Can you imagine how pretty this would be as muffins? I’m not sure how long muffins would need to bake, but it would surely be less than a large loaf.

Pumpkin Molasses BreadIt’s super good with a slather of butter.

Pumpkin Molasses BreadAnd then I ate it.


  1. Sara says:

    Made regular sized muffins and mine were done around 25mins. Mini muffins around 15mins. I also subbed coconut oil for the canola oil. Came out great!

  2. Jeri Ann says:

    Baked this for the first time this year to bring to a pumpkin tea. My friends loved it. The molasses is the most expensive ingredient, but the jar is enough for 3 loaves a season. Two more loaves to come…woohoo! Beth’s tip to cover with foil works like a charm for the overdone top. I cover mine at 45 minutes and my total bake time is 80 minutes. My loaves look just like Beth’s photo. This is an awesome autumn recipe!

  3. macfadden says:

    This recipe endured several mishaps and produced a tasty loaf, so I think it must be pretty good. I used half white whole wheat flour, and accidentally cooked it in a yeast bread pan (8.5 x 4.5) instead of a quick bread pan (9 x 5); this resulted in about two tablespoons of batter oozing over the edge of the pan onto the cookie sheet I had put on the rack below to catch such oozings. The other consequence of this was that my loaf’s dome was not as photogenic as it might have been. It took an hour and ten minutes to bake, and my foil tent was blown off, so the top was rather brown before the insides were done. All was not lost, though; while homely, the loaf was decidedly delicious. I will make it again in a 9 x 5 pan, no doubt the size it was intended to be baked in.

  4. Molly says:

    I’ve made this pumpkin bread three times now, and make no mistake- it tastes AMAZING! The only problem I’ve consistently had is that every time I try to make it, the top and edges of the loaf get toasty and black by the end of the hour, and there’s still visible, jiggly wet batter in the crack. From the look of the comments, other users have had a similar problem.

    I’m not ready to give up on the loaf presentation, so I’m wondering- would turning the temperature down from 375 degrees to 350 (which seems standard for most quick bread recipes) help with the outer-burning-inner-rawness? It might take longer to cook totally, but as it is, I already need to keep it in for an extra half hour to cook that raw batter near the top of the loaf. I’d be willing to take more time if it would mean a more even cook. :)

    In any event- thanks for this recipe! In spite of my hinky baking times, it’s a perennial favorite. Of course, your whole blog is a favorite all-around- it’s rare for my husband and me to cook a meal from anywhere else lately! :D

    • Yes, you can definitely try lowering the temp to see if it helps. I have another idea that I think will work really well. Once the top of the bread is mostly set/no longer sticky, cover it with foil. That will keep it from browning as the rest bakes (you can do this with regular bread, too). I hope that works for you!

  5. Susan says:

    Made these as muffins. It made nearly 24 mini muffins and 15 regular size. The only change I made was to add a struesel-type topping. Love this! Perfect level of sweetness, spice level, pumpkiny-ness and texture for us. Thank you!

  6. Jennifer says:

    Could you substitute squash for the pumpkin? I have some frozen and I remember my Mom used to do that when I was little for pumpkin pie.

    • Absolutely! I almost mentioned that when writing up the post. You can sometimes find squash puree in the freezer section or just make your own with any winter type squash (butternut, acorn, etc.)

  7. Mines in the oven, can’t wait. I made sure I read everyone’s comments. Made the pumpkin pie spice, added applesauce instead of oil, used half whole wheat and half white flour, and added an extra 1/4 tsp of baking powder. Didn’t over stir, folded it all in. Crossing fingers.

  8. I made this and split it into 2 loaf pans. That might help anyone who is having baking issues. Although make sure you still bake for 45-55 min. Maybe even a few minutes extra. I wasn’t keeping a close time on mine and took them out too soon. I will definitely make again as this is some of the best pumpkin bread i have ever had. I added a cup of chopped pecans to one of my loaves and it was divine.

    • Nicole says:

      J. Young,
      Thanks for posting this fix. I just made this recipe tonight for a dinner party. I split mine into two loaf pans, lowered the temperature a smidge, and cooked it for 55-60 minutes and it came out perfectly.

      Thank you for posting this fabulous recipe. The bread was a big hit at my dinner party.

  9. Jessi says:

    Mine was a big fail too – I made this in a loaf pan. After an hour, the sides and top were almost black, but once cooled and cut into the middle was still batter. Literally oozing out.

    Had to cut two slices off each end and throw the rest away.

    Wish I had read the comments before trying this – would’ve made muffins instead. What a waste of ingredients and time.

  10. Oh no! I have to admit, I have no ideas what could have gone wrong either… was the oven fully preheated? Even that should have only added 15 min to the cooking time. If you do try again, I would suggest baking them as muffins or in an 8×8 baking dish because it will be shallower and cook much faster.

  11. Stephanie says:

    I have no idea what or where I went wrong! I have had mine in the oven for 1 hour and 30 min. and it is still gooey inside! I will keep it baking (unless it catches fire!) and then try again! Maybe I used the wrong kind of molasses? Wrong pan? Confused……

  12. Anonymous says:

    Made this last night. It didn’t turn out as I had hoped. Next time I may use a different kind of molasses, more sugar and more salt, longer cooking timer and/or larger loaf pan.

  13. Becky – It would throw the ratios off a bit, but I think it’s worth experimenting with! Maybe try nixing the milk too to cut down on the wetness. It’s a pretty wet batter as is, I might have even been able to leave the milk out too.

  14. Can I cut down the amount of sugar to maybe 1 cup? Would that throw off the ratio of dry to wet ingredient?

  15. I made this and it tasted amazing!

    I made it in a loaf pan like you did, but the center was raw even after the top was crispy :( The center had to be cut out and thrown away.

    Next time I’ll do muffins.

  16. Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it with my brother tonight for our Thanksgiving dessert, and even though we messed up at 2 points, these came out great as muffins!

  17. I made this last night and it made my entire place smell delicious and then had some for desert even though I made it for Thanksgiving. I don’t think it is sweet enough for my tastes as a desert but it is damn good. Making a batch of muffins now

  18. muffins are turning out great :] was afraid of the mix being black from my full-flavored molasses…but they are baking more brown so I’m relieved!

  19. Ahhh, you might want to make a note about not using blackstrap molasses… it was all I could find and I figured it out the hard way.

    • Nicole says:

      In the country I live in molasses is very hard to find. I searched all over and could only find blackstrap molasses at a specialty imports store. I found a suggestion online that said that if you have to substitute black-strap molasses for regular, you should use half corn syrup and half molasses. I was nervous about it so I used 3/4 corn-syrup and 1/4 black-strap molasses, and it came out great without the “tar” flavor you would expect from this kind of molasses. It is obviously not ideal, but if you only have blackstrap molasses, you can give it a try.

  20. Dixie G says:

    I just made a batch as muffins and they took 18 minutes to bake. I used half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose, adding an extra 1/4 tsp. of baking powder to keep them fluffy. I haven’t tried one yet since they’re still cooling, but they smell DELICIOUS! I got 2 dozen full-sized muffins out of this recipe, so I’ll have breakfasts for quite a while!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I made banana muffins yesterday that gave an option for making a loaf instead. The recipe instructed to bake the loaf at 375 for 55-60 minutes (a la this recipe) and muffins at the same temp for 15-20. Mine took about 18. I don’t know if that’s equivalent or not, but I thought I’d share my two cents.

  22. I always substitute all-natural sugar free applesauce instead of vegetable oil. It doesn’t add any overpowering apple flavor at all, and it is much better for you than vegetable oil.

    check out my blog! http://www.newadvegtures.blogspot.com

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Beth I have a banana bread recipe that calls for molasses. It actually replaces the sugar in the recipe but calls for a larger quanity of molasses which sort of takes over the whole loaf. It is delicious though. I will def be trying yours this weekend!

  25. Anonymous – You can use melted butter in place of the oil, although it will produce a different flavor and texture because butter contains only about 75% fat (the rest is milk solids and water), whereas oil is 100% fat.

  26. Anonymous says:

    how to swap out the oil for butter?

  27. Vicky – Yep, it will just be more like plain pumpkin bread, but still delicious. You can substitute the regular sugar for brown sugar to help a little. Brown sugar is just regular sugar with molasses mixed in, although there isn’t enough in there to give it the strong flavor like straight molasses.

  28. Shelby – Skim will be fine here… there is such a small amount of milk for the whole loaf that it shouldn’t matter :)

  29. I love a good molasses bread like this!

  30. Do you think I could get away with no molasses? I don’t have it on hand, but I have all the other ingredients ready to make these in muffin form.

  31. If you wrap this loaf in saran, within 24 hours, the top crust will be nice and moist as well and the loaf will slice easily.

  32. Hi Beth! Can’t wait to try this. Do you recommend a certain type of milk? We only drink skim, so I’ll need to grab another type at the store if you think it’d be better! Thanks :)

  33. I made the muffin version tonight. So good!

  34. What a beautiful loaf. I love fall season baking!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Beth! Looking forward to trying out this recipe :)

  36. Anonymous – Yep, there sure is :) If you click the link for pumpkin pie spice in the ingredients table (or here) you can go to my pumpkin pie spice recipe. It also has a basic ratio so that you can make it in any amount that you’d like. I hope that helps!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Are there spices I could use as substitute to the pumpkin spice? I know pumpkin spice usually includes ginger, cinnamon, etc., but I don’t know what a good amount of those spices would be in the loaf. Thank you!

  38. Now I know why breads always turn out gummy – so glad you explained WHY you only “stir until combined”. Can’t wait to try this! I love pumpkin and love molasses.

  39. This looks wonderful and a perfect make-ahead! I’m going to bookmark this!

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