This no-fail pumpkin walnut pumpkin bread recipe is based on my now 97-year-old Granny’s recipe which is super moist and delicious. You don’t need a mixer to make this pumpkin spiced bread — just a bowl and a fork. This bakery-style vintage pumpkin bread is perfect for fall baking including Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas because everyone loves it including kiddos. Watch the How to Make Pumpkin Walnut Bread Video below to see how easy it is to make!
My Granny’s original recipe calls for cinnamon, a little pre-ground nutmeg, Libby’s canned pumpkin, and pecans from her tree. I’ve updated her recipe just a bit to include a quick 20-minute homemade pumpkin purée, freshly ground nutmeg, homemade pumpkin pie spice, homemade vanilla extract, and walnuts (pecans are still my favorite though). If you use Libby’s, Whole Foods 365, or Trader Joe’s pumpkin purée this quick bread will still be extra delicious and moist, but using homemade purée puts it over the top.
Why You’ll Love This Vintage Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Bread Recipe:
- No mixer required
- It’s always super moist
- It’s super quick to make
- It has loads of fresh pumpkin flavor
- Easy to make (especially for kiddos)
- It’s perfectly pumpkin-spiced
- It’s flecked with toasted walnuts
- It’s even better on day 2
- Use this recipe to make pumpkin spice muffins
Why is My Pumpkin Bread Dry or Dense?
Avoid dry or dense pumpkin bread by following the tips and techniques below. It all comes down to a few simple but important rules of thumb when you’re making this quick bread (or any quick bread for that matter). Below are a couple of common mistakes people make and how you can avoid them.
Here are a couple of ways you can ensure your 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).
Bakery-Style Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Bread Ingredients
You just need a handful of ingredients to make pumpkin bread that’s just as good as (or better than) your local bakery. Substitute homemade pumpkin purée for Libby’s, Whole Foods 365, or Trader Joe’s pumpkin purée which will speed up the recipe and still taste great. Use homemade or store-bought vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice.
Easy Pumpkin Bread Ingredients
- pumpkin purée
- all-purpose flour (or 00 flour)
- baking soda
- pumpkin pie spice
- freshly ground nutmeg
- vegetable oil
- vanilla extract
- toasted walnuts
How to Make the Very Best Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Bread (from Scratch)
This bakery-style pumpkin bread is not only super easy to make, but everyone (including kids and adults) loves it. Use my 1-Loaf recipe found in the recipe notes if you want to make only one pumpkin bread loaf, or make the full recipe and freeze it to get a headstart on your holiday baking, or give it as a gift.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C + Prep the baking pans. Turn on the oven and generously butter or oil two 9×9-inch loaf pans (or spray with non-stick cooking spray). Add about 1/2 cup of flour to one pan and turn the pan while tapping it to ensure the flour coats every surface well. Tap out the excess flour into the second loaf pan and repeat. Tap both pans well to remove excess flour; set aside.
- Measure + combine the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and salt until well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the oil, eggs, water, vanilla, and pumpkin purée and mix just until smooth. Add the toasted walnuts (or pecans) and stir them into the batter just until combined. *Do not overmix.
- Bake the pumpkin bread. Divide the batter evenly between two loaf pans and bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Enjoy!
How to Make Walnut Pumpkin Bread step-by-step recipe photos
For the homemade pumpkin purée (from scratch)
For the homemade pumpkin walnut bread (sub canned pumpkin purée for this recipe)
Pumpkin Walnut Bread Tips & Tricks & FAQ’s
Can I Freeze Homemade Walnut Pumpkin Bread?
Yes, pumpkin walnut 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 another container and freeze. Defrost it 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.
Can I Use Baking Powder Instead of Baking Soda in Pumpkin Walnut Bread?
Yes, you can use baking powder instead of baking soda in this walnut 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, but if you do let us know in the comments how it worked out for you.
Why Did My Pumpkin Walnut Bread Collapse, Fall, or Sink in the Middle?
Typically the collapse of quick breads and cakes happens for a number of reasons:
- Underbaking pumpkin bread of any kind can cause it to be too moist on the inside and not adequately set up. As it cools, the “wet” middle will sink. Always make sure a toothpick or cake tester poked into the middle of walnut 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 or liquid to the batter can also make walnut 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).
Need a Few More Easy Quick Bread Recipes?
You may want to try out one of our delicious banana bread recipes (photographed above).
- Best Ever Strawberry Banana Bread Bread Cake
- Best Ever Classic Banana Bread Bread Cake
- Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cake
- Easy and Moist Pistachio-Pecan Banana Nut Bread
Looking For More Pumpkin Recipes?
If you’re looking for easy pumpkin recipes, here are a few more of our favorites you might also enjoy.
- Granny’s Perfect Pumpkin Bread w/Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (a Vintage Recipe)
- No-yeast Easy Skillet Pumpkin Flatbread (recipe coming this week)
- Easy Pumpkin Focaccia Bread (Focaccia alla Zucca)
- Super Moist Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread w/Toasted Pumpkin Seed Crunch
- Pumpkin Cheesecake w/Chestnut Graham Cracker Layer
- All-Natural Kabocha Pumpkin Pie Tart w/Pecan Crunch (no canned pumpkin)
Let’s get started! evPrint