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An easy pumpkin bread recipe made with warm spices is perfect quick bread for Fall. And this pumpkin bread is easily made without a mixer too!
When it comes to pumpkin season, you could indulge in some pumpkin cupcakes, or make yourself a pumpkin latte to celebrate orrrrrrrrrr…can I suggest this pumpkin bread instead?
After updating photos for this Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Bread I realized this blog doesn’t have a good old classic no fuss no frills pumpkin bread recipe. How could that be?!
Every Thanksgiving, our table is chock full of delicious foods, lots of pies, dinner rolls, and always a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread. My grandmother always bring a loaf, wrapped carefully in tin-foil. It’s always moist, wonderfully spiced, and eaten by all.
Now I don’t know if this pumpkin bread is as good as my grandmother’s, but let’s just say it was definitely devoured. So yes, I’m going to declare this the best pumpkin bread recipe there is out there. Big bold claim I know, but I think after you make it you will agree.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Ready To Be Baked In Minutes – I love quick breads because they take minutes to whip up and throw in the oven.
- Gets Better The Next Day – I prefer to wrap up my pumpkin bread and let it sit overnight to let the bread soften and get even more moist! So it makes a great make ahead bread.
- No mixer needed – The best part about making homemade pumpkin bread is that all you need is a mixer and a spatula.
- No Dairy – Yup no butter or milk, or any dairy whatsoever. So this is also a dairy free pumpkin bread if that’s your thing.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Pumpkin pie spice – Or a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves
- Oil – You want to use a neutral tasting cooking oil, like canola or vegetable.
- Vanilla – Pure vanilla is always best for flavor (I love Heilala vanilla and Nielsen-Massey), but imitation will also work.
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar – Light or dark brown sugar will work.
- Water – Yup, just good old plain water. This helps make the pumpkin bread really moist!
- Pumpkin Puree – Make sure you are using 100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix which has added ingredients in it that will affect the outcome of the bread. I have used Libby’s pumpkin puree many times and Farmer’s Market pumpkin puree as well with great results.
How To Make This Easy Pumpkin Bread
1. Combine Your Dry Ingredients
You want to start by whisking together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice (or use 2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon cloves and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg.)
Heather’s Baking Tip
It’s important that you measure your flour correctly. Over-measuring flour is one of the biggest mistakes bakers make. I always recommend using a digital scale and weighing your ingredients. It’s faster, and much more accurate! But if you do measure using measuring cups (aka by volume) then be sure to do it correctly. Spoon the flour into your cup and then level off. Do not pack it down in the cup. You can read How To Measure Flour.
2. Combine The Wet Ingredients
In a second mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, and water. Just simply whisk it together.
3. Combine The Wet And Dry Ingredients
Next you want to combine the wet and dry ingredients. I like to create a well first by pushing the dry ingredients aside and then pouring the wet ingredients into the hole. And then just stir together using a spatula.
If you wanted to add anything else to your batter, now is the time! Toasted pecans, chocolate chips, or dried cranberries would all be a delicious addition!
Heather’s Baking Tip
Be careful to NOT overmix. Overmixing will create a tough bread. Stop mixing once the last of the flour has been incorporated.
4. Scoop The Batter
Go ahead and spoon the batter into your prepared 9×5″ loaf pan. Bake the bread for 60-65 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean
More Baking Tips
- Prepare your pan first. You want to make sure to get your loaf pan ready before you start measuring. I like to use grease with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper, and then give it one more spray. I love using Baker’s Joy, a cooking spray with flour.
- Do not overmix. Once you add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, you want to make sure to mix just until the flour is mixed in. If you keep mixing, then you activate the gluten protein in the flour which can make your banana bread tough and chewy.
- Test for doneness. It can be tough to tell if your pumpkin bread is done. I like to use a toothpick inserted into the middle of the tin and look for moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick. If you see batter still then pop them into the oven for a few minutes.
- Whole Wheat: Replace half of the flour with whole wheat flour. I love white whole wheat flour for it’s softer texture.
- Vegan: Replace the eggs with your favorite vegan egg replacer.
- Gluten Free: Replace the flour with a gluten free flour. You could also try using a naturally gluten free ancient grain flour, such as millet or buckwheat (but this will change the texture significantly.)
- Chocolate Chips: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread <– Stir in some chocolate chips and make this version with this pumpkin bread recipe.
- Nuts: Stir in 1 cup toasted pecans, or walnuts for more flavor and crunch!
- Nutella: Swirl in some Nutella and make my Nutella Pumpkin Bread version!
- Cream Cheese: Swirl in a layer of cream cheese cheesecake filling and make my Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Bread!
Add In Ideas
Mix and match up to 1 cup of any of the following:
- Chocolate Chips
- Shredded coconut
- Dried cranberries (or raisins)
- Cinnamon sugar: Top the bread with a little sprinkle before it bakes!
- Pepitas (pumpkin seeds): Top the bread with a few seeds before it bakes!
I find it’s great wrapped up for a week at room temperature as long as it’s well covered.
Yes! Allow the bread to cool completely and place them in a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, I just let mine thaw at room temperature and enjoy.
This probably means you did not bake it long enough. Make sure to test with a toothpick, and touch the top. It should spring back when touched. The toothpick should come out with moist crumbs, but no raw batter. I prefer using a cake tester, because it’s longer and can get deeper into the bread, perfect for testing loaf pans. Also, different ovens can run at different temperatures. So it’s best to use an oven thermometer!
More Recipes To Try
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- 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour *spooned and leveled
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see note for individual spices)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil
- 2/3 cups (134 g) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cups (142 g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (227 g) pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
- Prep pan and oven. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×5" inch loaf pan. I like to line mine with parchment paper as well and grease lightly again.
- Combine Dry Ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Combine wet ingredients. In a second mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, and water.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour in the liquid ingredients. With a spatula, stir to combine until the last of the flour has been mixed in. Stop mixing at this point to avoid overmixing.
- Bake the bread. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the bread for 60-65 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean; and that same tester inserted about 1/2" into the top of the loaf doesn't encounter any totally unbaked batter. You should see moist crumbs, not raw batter. Mine was perfect at 60 minutes, so begin checking your bread at 60 minutes, but every oven is different so you may need additional time.
- Cool the bread. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and continue to cool. When it's completely cool, wrap it well in plastic wrap, and store it overnight before serving for best texture.
- Storage: You can keep this bread, wrapped, and stored at room temperature for up to one week.
- Freezing: Let the bread thaw completely then I wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap, and then either a final layer of tin-foil or place in a sealable plastic bag. Freeze for 3 months. When ready to enjoy, I unwrap the bread and let it thaw at room temperature before slicing and serving.
- Pumpkin Puree – Make sure you are using 100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix. That has added ingredients that will affect how the bread turns out.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can substitute with 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon cloves.
- Mix-ins. You can stir in chocolate chips, raisins, currants, or dried cranberries to the batter if you want. Add up to 1 cup of your choice mix-ins.
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