Lightly scented with warming pumpkin spice and moist throughout, this old-fashioned pumpkin bread comes together in minutes with just a handful of ingredients. Bonus: the recipe makes enough for two loaves, so you can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and a snack. (If you have self-control around baked goods, I’m in desperate need of a tutorial.)
How To Make Tender Pumpkin Bread
For a crumb that’s as tender as a love song, don’t overmix. Mixing develops gluten, the protein strands that help give your bread structure. The more you mix, the more gluten you develop, and the tougher your bread becomes.
How you combine your ingredients is also important. Mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls, and then add the dry on top of the wet. Finally, fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until a batter forms. Don’t worry about lumps. Just don’t overmix.
What Else Can I Add?
This recipe is jam-packed with flavor, but it is bare bones. Add deeper flavors by substituting the water in the recipe for orange juice or apple juice. If you want to add a little texture, try mixing in a 1/2 cup of the following:
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Chopped dehydrated apples
- Chocolate chips (dark, milk, or white)
- Chopped walnuts or pecans
- Orange Zest (not a third cup, just two tablespoons)
How Can I Tell When My Pumpkin Bread Is Done?
Making a quick bread with a dense batter can be a little nerve-wracking. It can rise beautifully and look like it’s ready to serve. Then as soon as you slice into it, you find it’s underbaked. To prevent that kind of crippling letdown (I take pumpkin bread very seriously, ok?), follow these tips:
- Place a rack in the center of your oven, so air can circulate around your pan, and bake your loaf evenly.
- Use an oven thermometer to ensure you’re baking at the required 350°.
- Don’t open your oven door during the bake. Opening it for even twenty seconds can cause temperatures to drop by up to 50 degrees.
To test if your loaf is done, remove it quickly from the oven and place it lightly on a heat-proof surface. Touch the top of the loaf. If the surface has a springiness to it, insert a butter knife through one of the cracks in the crust. When the knife hits the bottom of the pan, remove it and look at the blade. Is there wet batter stuck to it? Put your bread back in the oven. If it comes out clean with just a whisper of moisture, it’s ready to go.
What If I Don’t Have A Loaf Pan?
No worries! Use what you have, but be mindful that the type of pan you use will affect the baking time. You’ll need to rely on visual cues and the trusty butter knife trick. Whichever pan you use, make sure you don’t overfill it. Your bread needs room to rise. ( I feel like there’s a life lesson in there somewhere.)
How To Store Pumpkin Bread
If you have leftovers, wrap them tightly in foil, plastic, or beeswax and store them in an air-tight container at room temperature. They’ll keep up to 2 days. To store your pumpkin bread for up to 2 weeks, freeze it. First, let it cool completely, wrap it in plastic, then in foil, and place it inside an air-tight freezer-safe container.
What To Serve With Pumpkin Bread
- Autumn Kale And Sweet Potato Salad
- Skillet Chicken With Orzo And Olives
- Skillet Meatballs And Marinara
- 15 oz pumpkin puree ($1.99)
- 2 cups sugar* ($0.78)
- 2/3 cup oil ($0.53)
- 4 eggs ($1.10)
- 1 tsp vanilla ($0.72)
- 2/3 cup water ($0.00)
- 4 cups sifted flour ($0.49)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder ($0.08)
- 1 tsp baking soda ($0.02)
- 2 tsp salt ($0.08)
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice ($0.10)
- 1 tsp butter, for greasing ($0.05)
- Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter. In a medium bowl, mix the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice.
- In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and water.
- Add the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients.
- Mix the dry ingredients lightly into the wet, just until a batter forms. Small lumps are ok.
- Split the batter between the two greased loaf pans and smooth the top.
- Bake for about an hour, or until a knife inserted into the crack in the loaf's top crust hits the bottom of the pan and comes out clean.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make PumPkin Bread – Step by Step Photos
In a large bowl, mix the 15 oz pumpkin puree, 2 cups sugar, 2/3 cup oil, 4 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, and 2/3 cup water.
Add the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients.
Mix the dry ingredients lightly into the wet, just until a batter forms.
Split the batter between the two greased loaf pans and smooth the top.
Bake for about an hour, or until a knife inserted into the crack in the loaf’s top crust hits the bottom of the pan and comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool before taking it out of the loaf pan. Slice it up and enjoy!