Pumpkin Molasses Bread

$2.92 recipe / $0.37 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.27 from 19 votes
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You need to make this Pumpkin Molasses Bread for dessert on Thanksgiving this year. Trust me. It’s really easy to whip up (who needs something complicated on Thanksgiving? NO ONE), it’s super delicious, and it totally tastes like Autumn. The deep flavor of molasses brings extra richness to the pumpkin spice flavor and keeps the loaf deliciously moist and tender. Plus this pumpkin spice bread will make your house smell better than any autumn flavored candle, hands down. ;) 

Originally posted 11/14/2012, updated 11/5/2021.

Sliced pumpkin bread on a cooling rack with pumpkins and molasses in the background

Recipe Updates

I made some significant changes to this recipe, since many readers had a difficult time getting their bread to cook all the way through. I reduced the ratio of molasses and other wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and reduced the cooking temperature slightly in order to help the bread bake more evenly. The result is a tender but moist crumb, without any pockets of unbaked batter in the center. 

What Kind of Loaf Pan to Use

I used a standard loaf pan, which is 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches. My loaf pan is made of metal, which heats quickly in the oven. You can use a ceramic or glass loaf pan, but you may find that you need to bake your bread slightly longer. 

How Do You Know When the Bread is Done?

Ovens can vary a little bit so it’s always best to test your bread to make sure it’s cooked through. There are a couple of different reliable methods. 

  • The Toothpick Method: insert a clean toothpick into the center of the bread. If the toothpick is coated with raw batter when you pull it out, the bread needs to bake longer. If it just has a few moist crumbs stuck to it, the bread is finished baking.
  • An Instant Read Thermometer: The same instant read thermometers used to check the doneness of meat can also be used to check the doneness of quick breads! For quick bread, like this Pumpkin Molasses Bread or Banana Bread, you want the internal temperature to be between 200-205ºF. This is the temperature at which the batter will be set into a nice crumb. 

What Kind of Molasses to Use

I used Grandma’s Original Molasses, which is the type you’re most likely to find in most U.S. grocery stores. You can usually find it in grocery stores either near the pancake syrup, jams and jellies, and peanut butter, or in baking aisle. It just depends on the store. I have not tested this recipe using black strap molasses, which has a thicker texture and more pronounced flavor (some would say it’s slightly bitter). 

How to Serve Pumpkin Molasses Bread

This rich and sweet bread is absolutely divine with some softened butter smeared over top. The creaminess of the butter perfectly compliments the warm spices and sweet molasses flavor. The flavors in this bread would also be absolutely perfect with a hot cup of coffee. :)

Front view of a sliced loaf of pumpkin bread

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Pumpkin Molasses Bread

4.27 from 19 votes
This sweet Pumpkin Molasses Bread is full of warm spices, deep molasses richness, and all the flavors and aromas of autumn.
Side view of a sliced loaf of pumpkin molasses bread
Servings 8 1-inch thick slices
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz. can pumpkin purée ($0.95)
  • 2 large eggs ($0.58)
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil ($0.21)
  • 1/4 cup molasses ($0.59)
  • 3/4 cup sugar ($0.12)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour ($0.14)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp butter ($0.03)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, eggs, oil, molasses, and sugar.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, and stir them together just until combined. It's okay if there are a few small lumps. Avoid over stirring.
  • Coat the inside of a loaf pan with butter. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread it out smooth.
  • Bake the pumpkin bread for about one hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 200ºF, or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay, just no raw batter stuck to the toothpick).
  • Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool, then slice and serve.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 342kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 5gFat: 12gSodium: 400mgFiber: 3g
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sliced loaf of pumpkin bread on a cooling rack with one slice smeared with butter

How to Make Pumpkin Molasses Bread – Step By Step Photos

wet ingredients in a bowl with a whisk

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together one 15oz. can pumpkin purée, 2 large eggs, ⅓ cup cooking oil, ¼ cup molasses, and ¾ cup sugar.

dry ingredients in a bowl

In a separate bowl, stir together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1.5 tsp baking powder. Make sure they’re very well combined.

combine wet and dry ingredients for pumpkin bread

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients.

Pumpkin molasses bread batter

Stir just until they are combined. Avoid over stirring. It’s okay if it’s slightly lumpy.

Pumpkin bread batter in the loaf pan

Use a teaspoon of butter to coat the inside of a loaf pan. transfer the batter to the loaf pan and spread it out smooth.

baked pumpkin molasses bread

Bake the pumpkin molasses bread in the preheated 350ºF oven for about one hour, or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 200ºF, or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay, just no raw batter stuck to the toothpick). 

front view of a sliced loaf of pumpkin molasses bread

Transfer the pumpkin bread to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, slice, serve, and enjoy!

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Comments

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  1. The bread has great flavor, but was too dense. Mine did not rise well in the oven, so maybe not enough baking powder?

  2. Beth: I would love to make these into muffins. Could you offer some advice or suggestions? I appreciate your advice.

    1. I’d need to test it before offering any concrete advice, but to test it I would just pour the batter into a muffin tin instead of bread pan, bake at the same temperature, and just keep an eye on what the muffins look like. Once they’re domed and probably cracked on top I’d use a toothpick to see if they’re done in the center and go from there. :) If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

    2. I’ve always made this recipe as muffins. I change nothing, really… Just divide the batter between the cups and bake at 350 as specified. Usually takes somewhere around 20 min, but I usually check them with a toothpick for the first time at 16 min to keep from overdoing it. Since I’ve never made it as a loaf, I don’t know if my muffins work out PERFECTLY compared to the original, but they’re pretty darn tasty to me.

  3. Amazing, simple recipe! I made this without having to go grocery shopping. Love that it uses oil instead of butter… saves me from having to have it on hand AND softening it! Delicious. Will be making again. Mine took 10 extra mins in the oven (70 total). 

  4. This loaf tastes nice but it didn’t bake up well. I baked it at 350 for an hour and 8 minutes and I tented it with tin foil for the last 8 mins to avoid excessive browning. The bottom and sides are a big tough from baking and the top middle area is still gummy. The spice mixture is nice but I think ultimately this recipe has too much pumpkin in it, I’m Canadian so I googled the conversion and used 1 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree.

  5. I followed the recipe exactly for a quick Thanksgiving breakfast, and it came out perfect!! Not to sweet, and not really pumpkin pie flavored. It’s got a nice pumpkin flavor that went really well with the molasses. Super moist too, I will be making this again!

  6. I hate to give this a low score because it was quite yummy, but I just had to make too many tweaks (using advice from the comments) for this to be a successful recipe. It tastes nice, but I recommend finding a different recipe for pumpkin molasses bread.

  7. Pssst… this comes up as yeast bread. I think it just got sorted into the wrong category. (Looks fantastic, though!)

  8. I also had to use a small pan and a larger pan to bake all the batter, and thus had to play around with baking times (smaller took 55 minutes, the larger took about 75, checking every 5 minutes). But that said, they are scrumptious! This is exactly what I wanted out of a pumpkin bread – richly spiced flavor; moist, soft texture; and just the right amount of sweet-but-not-too-sweet. If you like molasses cookies, and you like pumpkin bread, this is an excellent hybrid of flavors.

  9. It’s actually a perfect recipie as is ! I only had two smaller loaf pans and it was perfect amount of sweet :)

  10. I made this last night and am really wishing I read the comments! I made a large and small loaf. The small one was perfect at about 45 minutes, while the large one took about 80 and my sides and top were a little burned.

    I brought my mini to work today and it was gone in about 5 minutes. haha. Also my mother tried slicing the big one before it was all the way cool and it fell apart a little bit. However I think making them in mini loaf pans is the way to go. The flavor tastes like pumpkin pie cake. Overall a total win (yet again) from budget bytes. Thanks!

  11. Make an adjustment by reading the comment. Lucky I didn’t burnt my toast. It turns out to be a little out of what I’m expecting. Probably will try to add in more pumpkin for taste.

  12. I know this recipe was posted a really long time ago, but I just made it today. I hate to say it, but it’s really bland. It definitely needs more sugar if you want this to be a dessert bread. When I took it out of the oven I was expecting that wonderful sweet and spicy and cake smell and I didn’t really get it. I even did half white sugar and half brown sugar for a little extra molasses flavor. I would also increase the pumpkin pie spice a bit, but that’s my personal preference. I’m going to make a glaze for it and see if that helps. If not, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my 2 loaves. Maybe I could cut them into cubes and make croutons for soup. Sorry!

  13. I recently tasted a slice of molasses loaf along with a pumpkin loaf in previous days. I’m certain, the combination should be nothing less than delicious. Nonetheless, I’m also certain that the cost of making this loaf is more than $4.22 cents. Let’s keep it real no one buys just 3 eggs, 1 and half teaspoon of salt nor 3 cups of flour the utensils alone cost more than the above estimated amount.
    I reside in America which is a country based upon capitalism alone on the backs of the disenfranchised.

    1. Wow. Maybe read up on how she calculates the cost of recipes before commenting? She didn’t use a dozen eggs here, so why would she calculate the cost of a dozen eggs in to this recipes? Some people’s kids…🙄😂

    2. And who buys a dozen eggs just to throw out the other nine? Salt and eggs are basic pantry staples. Measuring cups and spoons are basic supplies. You might as well factor in the cost of the oven. Total sticker price for one loaf of bread? $530

      Although I would maybe blame capitalism for the fact that convenience food has enabled entire generations to forget how to feed themselves. Getting the initial supplies together can be hard, but food pantries might help with dry goods and thrift stores or estate sales often have kitchen ware.

  14. Isis ad read the omments before I made this. I even baked it 15 mins longer but ended up with the middle still not baked and the top edges almost burnt. Will try the recipe another time using the suggestions from the others who tried this.