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.
A few weeks ago, I found my old recipe binder from my single girl 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. Back then, most food blogs didn’t exist, and so I turned to food magazines and Food Network to find recipes to cook.
When I found a recipe that I wanted to try, first, I would print it out. Then I would make it several times. If the recipe was amazing, I would write it down and save it in this recipe binder. This was before Pinterest and I couldn’t just save a recipe to a board to make again, can you even imagine?
Quick Pumpkin Bread is deliciously easy
So I’m really enjoying going through and making all of the recipes, because they’re all truly 5-star recipes. Everything that was deemed worthy of making the binder had to be absolutely delicious and turn out perfectly multiple times. This recipe meets all of the criteria.
After making it multiple times, it turned out perfectly, each time.
Everything comes together in one bowl; it is so easy!
Plus, all of the ingredients are always in my pantry. Even in the middle of summer, you can find a can of pumpkin in the back of my pantry. And when my kids get tired of eggless banana bread or chocolate banana muffins, I make this for them instead.
Substitutions are easy--flax egg for real eggs, leftover steamed sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin, and partial whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. The recipe card had lots of stains on it, and many adjustments tested. The version that made the binder was vastly different than the original recipe that inspired it, but the final version below is absolutely perfect.
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.
Pumpkin Bread Recipe Easy ingredients
- Granulated sugar. Just 1 cup of the regular granulated white sugar.
- Light Brown Sugar. The molasses in brown sugar gives a caramel flavor to the bread--it's so delicious!
- All-Purpose Flour. The best way to measure flour is to fluff it, scoop it into the cup and then level the surface with a knife. However, you can substitute up to ¼ cup of whole wheat flour for extra nutrition in this recipe.
- Baking soda. Gives our bread fluff and lift in the oven.
- Pumpkin pie spice. This is a spice blend made up of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. I have a homemade recipe for pumpkin pie spice on my homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe, if you like.
- Canned Pumpkin Puree. Be sure to buy puree, not canned pumpkin pie filling.
- Eggs. Two large eggs keep our bread moist and help it rise
- Oil. Use any oil without flavor (canola oil, grapeseed oil, or vegetable oil).
- Water. A small amount of water brings the batter together and makes this pumpkin loaf so moist.
- Vanilla extract. Pumpkin and vanilla go so well together. It brings a subtle sweetness.
Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe variations
- Chocolate Chips - Add ¾ cup of chocolate chips to the batter and bake as directed.
- Cinnamon Sugar - Just before baking, combine 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon with 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Mix well, and sprinkle evenly over the surface of the batter. Bake as usual.
- Vegan - The only non-vegan ingredient in this easy pumpkin bread is eggs. Try using a ‘flax egg’ substitute. For each egg, combine 1 tablespoon of freshly ground flax meal with 3 tablespoons of warm water, stir and let sit. (For this recipe, you would double these amounts because it requires 2 eggs). After about 5 minutes, the mixture should be somewhat sticky. Use it in place of the eggs, and know that you might have to add an extra few minutes to the bake time to make up for the extra moisture.
How to make easy pumpkin bread:
First, whisk together your dry ingredients in a bowl: the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and the pumpkin pie spice. Mix very well to blend.
Next, add all of the wet ingredients on top: the pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and vanilla. Whisk this mixture very well, but be careful not to over-mix.
Finally, pour it into a loaf pan. This is the loaf pan I love and use in my kitchen. 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!
How long to bake Pumpkin Bread
If you’re using a 9-inch bread loaf pan, this recipe bakes up in about 60 minutes. Every oven and pan is different, so at the 60-minute mark, insert a toothpick or cake skewer into the center of the bread. It should come out mostly clean with only moist crumbs clinging to it. It should not have any wet batter. If it is still raw, add another 5 minutes to the bake time and test again.
How to serve Pumpkin Loaf Bread
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.
How to store Pumpkin Loaf Bread
To store this, let it cool completely and then slice it into thick slices. Place the slices flat in an air-tight bag. The slices will keep on the counter at room temperature for up to 2 days. Beyond that, store in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can freeze the slices for up to 3 months, and defrost in the microwave as needed to serve.
Tips for using leftover pumpkin
The recipe uses ¾ 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 also have an ebook with all of my pumpkin recipes in one place for you to download here.
If you don't finish the loaf in one day, leftovers keep in an air-tight container at room temperature on the counter. Try making french toast for two with it, or toasting leftover slices with extra butter on top!
I hope this easy pumpkin bread recipe makes its way into your permanent recipe files like it has mine. If you try this recipe, please come back to share using my 5 star rating system in the recipe card below. Not only do I appreciate it, but I know other readers do, too!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin puree*
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ½ cup flavorless oil
- ⅓ 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!
Pumpkin: Be sure to buy canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
Oil: Flavorless oils are: vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil or avocado oil. Anhything that won't impart flavor to the bread.
Storage: Let it cool completely and then slice it into thick slices. Place the slices flat in an air-tight bag. The slices will keep on the counter at room temperature for up to 2 days. Beyond that, store in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can freeze the slices for up to 3 months, and defrost in the microwave as needed to serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 303mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 1gSugar: 30gProtein: 4g