This pumpkin bread is super moist and delicious and requires no mixer at all! Passed down to my Mom from my now almost 98-year-old Granny, this easy pumpkin bread recipe is still one of my family’s all-time favorite fall and Thanksgiving pumpkin desserts to make. Not a fan of pumpkin seeds? Just leave them out for the ultimate classic pumpkin
Make This Pumpkin Bread With Or Without Pumpkin Seeds
Whether you choose to add toasted pumpkin seeds for extra crunch or leave them out, this is a really good pumpkin bread recipe!
This pumpkin bread recipe has been in our family for few generations. My sister Lori used it to make Granny’s Pecan Roll (still one of the best fall desserts ever), but it’s also great for making delicious pumpkin muffins. This is a tried and true tested recipe that’s been a staple in our family for as long as I can remember.
The best part — you can make this pumpkin bread recipe with canned pumpkin OR make it a fresh pumpkin bread recipe using my 20-minute homemade pumpkin purée! No matter which type of pumpkin you decide to use, it’s guaranteed to be the best pumpkin bread recipe you’ll ever make!
Pumpkin Bread Spices
Typical spices found in pumpkin bread range from cinnamon to nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice.
My Grandmother’s original pumpkin bread recipe calls for cinnamon plus a little pre-ground nutmeg but I’ve opted for freshly grated nutmeg which has way better flavor (think fresh donuts!). But on occasion, I substitute pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon and nutmeg which makes a delicious pumpkin spiced pumpkin bread!
Why You’ll Love This Ultimate Pumpkin Bread:
- It’s a no-mixer pumpkin bread recipe
- A super moist and perfectly sweet pumpkin bread
- Just about 15 minutes of actual hands-on time
- Makes the best pumpkin muffins
- It also makes the best 1-loaf pumpkin bread recipe
- Uses canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin purée
- Easy pumpkin bread recipe for kids
- It’s a one bowl pumpkin bread
- Tastest even better the next day
- It’s flecked with toasted pumpkin seeds, but you leave them out
- This is a tested pumpkin bread recipe that our family has made for generations
Why is My Pumpkin Bread Dry or Dense?
Maybe you’ve made a pumpkin bread recipe before and it was dry or too dense. You can avoid this by following the tips and techniques below.
Here are a couple of ways to ensure homemade pumpkin bread is always moist.
- Always thoroughly whisk the dry ingredients together before adding any liquid (i.e. flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg). This helps ensure the leavening agent (baking soda in this case) is evenly distributed and therefore enables the pumpkin bread to properly (and evenly) rise which gives you a moist (not dense) loaf.
- Do not over-mix the pumpkin bread batter. When adding the wet ingredients (i.e. eggs, oil, vanilla, and water) to the dry ingredients don’t over-mix. If you mix too vigorously, or for too long, you’ll further activate the gluten in the flour and end up with dense pumpkin bread instead of a light, moist pumpkin bread (similar to cake).
Overview: Pumpkin Bread Ingredients
It takes just a handful of ingredients to make this 2 loaf pumpkin bread recipe. Shave off even more time by substituting homemade pumpkin purée with Libby’s canned pumpkin (or your favorite brand). Fnd the full list of ingredient (including gram measurements) in the recipe card.
Easy Pumpkin Bread Ingredients
- homemade pumpkin purée or favorite canned pumpkin
- all-purpose flour (or 00 flour)
- baking soda
- cinnamon (sub pumpkin pie spice)
- vegetable oil
- vanilla extract
- water (sub orange juice)
- pumpkin seeds (optional)
Overview: How to Make Pumpkin Bread in 4 Easy Steps
If you’ve got a bowl and a whisk, you can make this super easy pumpkin bread recipe! And with just about 15 minutes of actual hands-on time, you’ll want to make this year-round like we do!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C and prep the baking pans.
- Measure the dry ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients.
- Bake the pumpkin bread.
How to Make Easy Pumpkin Bread step-by-step recipe photos
Click over here to see how easy it is to make homemade pumpkin purée (from scratch) in just 20 minutes OR sub canned pumpkin.
1 Loaf Pumpkin Bread Recipe
If you’re looking for single loaf pumpkin bread recipe, I’ve got you covered! Whether you’re looking for recipes to use up leftover canned pumpkin, or you just don’t feel like making two pumpkin bread loaves you can find the ingredient measurements for making one single pumpkin bread loaf in the recipe card notes below.
Looking For More Pumpkin Recipes?
If you’re looking for more pumpkin bread recipes (or ways to use up that leftover canned pumpkin), here are a few of our family’s favorite pumpkin recipes to make right now!
- Homemade Pumpkin Purée (100% from Scratch in just 20 minutes)
- Fluffy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes for Two (or a Crowd)
- How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice (McCormick’s Copycat)
- Best Ever Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes with Wild Berries and Pecans
- Pumpkin Focaccia Bread (Focaccia alla Zucca)
- Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread w/Toasted Pumpkin Seed Crunch
- Pumpkin Cheesecake w/Chestnut Graham Cracker Layer
- Mascarpone Pumpkin Pie Tart w/Pecan Crunch (no canned pumpkin)
Best Pumpkin Bread Tips & FAQs
Can I Use Baking Powder Instead of Baking Soda in Pumpkin Bread?
Yes, you can use baking powder instead of baking soda in this pumpkin bread recipe. The rule of thumb for substituting baking powder with baking soda is to use 1 teaspoon of baking powder for every cup of flour called for in the recipe. I haven’t tried it in this pumpkin bread, but if you we’d love to know how it worked out for you in the comments!
Why Did My Pumpkin Bread Collapse, Fall, or Sink in the Middle?
Here’s why your pumpkin bread may have collapsed and tips for how to avoid it in the future:
Underbaking pumpkin bread can cause it to be too moist on the inside and not fully ‘set up’ in the middle. As it cools, the “too-wet” middle will sink. Always make sure a toothpick or cake tester poked into the middle of the pumpkin bread comes out clean before removing it from the oven.
Adding too much baking soda and/or baking powder causes too many (and too large) air bubbles to form (from the carbon dioxide that’s produced when the leavening agent and liquid are combined). The bubbles grow too large and then deflate onto and into themselves causing cakes and quick-breads to collapse in the center.
Adding too much pumpkin purée or liquid to the batter can also make your pumpkin bread sink in the middle. If the batter has too much moisture, the air bubbles created by the leavening agent (baking soda in this case) will never be enough to help create and set the air pockets that give it the desired crumb (texture).
How to Tell When Pumpkin Bread is Done (Fully Baked)
The best way to tell when pumpkin bread is done is to insert a cake tester or bamboo skewer into the center and if it comes out clean, it’s done. Another tell-tale sign pumpkin bread is fully cooked (or almost fully cooked) is when it gets that nice long crack running down the center of it.
Pumpkin Bread Storage
The best way to store pumpkin bread is wrapped and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or up to 1 week in the refrigerator. You may also freeze homemade pumpkin bread (see below for details).
Can I Freeze Homemade Pumpkin Bread?
Yes, pumpkin bread freezes really well. Always allow any baked good to completely cool to room temperature before wrapping it with parchment and then sustainable cling film. Place the wrapped loaves into an airtight freezer bag or container and freeze.
How to Defrost Frozen Pumpkin Bread?
Defrost frozen pumpkin bread in the refrigerator overnight, or on the countertop for a couple of hours. You can also portion, and freeze individual slices which make great mid-week breakfasts or afternoon snacks for the kids.
How to Make Pumpkin Bread Moist
Using oil in homemade pumpkin bread helps create a very moist pumpkin bread. But more than that, you’ll also want to be sure to not over-mix the ingredients when combining the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. See the tips above to for how to make pumpkin bread moist every single time.
What’s Downeast Pumpkin Bread?
I had never heard of ‘Downeast pumpkin bread’ before writing this post. It’s essentially the All Recipes pumpkin bread recipe. This pumpkin bread recipe (my Granny’s recipe) is exactly the same as the Down East recipe except we don’t add ginger or cloves. Feel free to add whatever warm spices you want! No matter what, this recipe beats Starbucks pumpkin bread recipe any day of the week!
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This post is dedicated to my Granny L. who raised 8 kids (who all turned out to be excellent bakers and cooks) and somehow still managed to make countless meals from her garden, deep freezer, and pantry like a total pro — 365 days a year! Thank you for the endless Sunday lunches and all of your delicious food and recipes that I’m still making today. I Love you♡