Easy pumpkin bread is perfectly soft and tender, just like every quick bread recipe should. The top puffs up and cracks into a beautiful loaf worthy of gift-giving and a permanent place in your recipe files.
Easy pumpkin bread
A few weeks ago, I found my old recipe binder from my single days. In my mind, the recipe binder isn’t that old, but when I started looking through it, I realized it’s 10 years old.
I created the binder when I was a single graduate student living in a shotgun style house with a basement that flooded every winter in Davis, California.
I went to UC Davis, and this is where I should probably say ‘go team!’, but can I confess that I don’t even know the mascot? I purposefully chose a college not focused on athletics for my graduate work; I grew up in Texas, afterall, and if I have to hear about high school football one more time, well, I’ll cry.
Back to the story…so, ten years ago, most food blogs didn’t exist, and so I turned to food magazines and Food Network to find recipes to cook.
First, I would make the recipes that I printed out multiple times. If the recipe was good, I would write it down and save it in my files. Yes, this was before Pinterest and I couldn’t just save a recipe to a board to make again, can you even imagine?
So I’m really enjoying going through and making all of the recipes, because they’re truly 5-star recipes. Everything that was deemed worthy of making the binder pages had to be absolutely delicious and turn out perfectly multiple times. When I came across this recipe for pumpkin bread, I stopped in my tracks.
The one bowl pumpkin bread recipe had lots of stains on it, and many adjustments. The version that made the binder was vastly different than the original recipe that inspired it, but the final version in the binder is absolutely perfect.
Using leftover pumpkin:
The recipe uses 3/4 cup of canned pumpkin, and if you need recipes to use up the rest of the can, I have you covered here: pumpkin recipes to use up leftover pumpkin.
I personally make my own pumpkin spice mix, because I include a special ingredient that makes it extra spicy. However, this easy pumpkin bread recipe is just fine with store-bought pumpkin pie spice, really!
The reason this recipe made my special recipe files is because of the flavor, and the fact that it bakes up into a perfectly soft and tender, just like every quick bread recipe should. The top puffs up and cracks into a beautiful loaf, and I will admit that sometimes, I sprinkle extra sugar mixed with pumpkin pie spice on top before baking for a crackled top. Without the crackled lid top, the bread is your quintessential pumpkin loaf: spiced, soft, wonderfully fragrant and beautiful.
One strange thing about this recipe is that sugar is included in the dry ingredients. Sometimes sugar is whisked with flour instead of with the fat in muffin recipes, and it creates a soft crumb. A quick bread should have a soft crumb structure too, so we’re using that method. Just follow the recipe instructions, and you’ll have a great loaf of easy pumpkin bread.
This is the loaf pan I love and use in my kitchen.
I hope this easy pumpkin bread recipe makes its way into your permanent recipe files like it has mine!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree*
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup flavorless oil
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350, and spray a 9x5" bread loaf pan with cooking spray. Ensure a rack is in the center position of the oven.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Make a hole in the center of the mixture, and add all remaining ingredients: pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and vanilla.
- Stir everything together very well, but try not to over-mix.
- Scrape the batter into the pan, and place in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes, and then test the center of the bread for wetness with a long toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done. If not, add another 5 minutes of baking time and test again. Ensure the bread is fully done before you remove it from the oven or it will sink as it cools!
*Be sure to buy canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
Also, flavorless oil can be: vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil. Anything that won't impart flavor to the bread.