Pumpkin Bread

DessertFavorite FallBakingQuick Bread

Pumpkin season calls for Pumpkin Bread! This is the BEST pumpkin bread recipe spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and molasses. You're going to love this deliciously moist pumpkin bread!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Pumpkins and Pumpkin Bread

Oh pumpkin season! There’s a chill in the air, kids and adults alike are planning their Halloween costumes, and carving pumpkins are pouring out of the local market. Now’s the time for pumpkin bread, don’t you think?

Can I Cook with a Halloween Pumpkin?

Not all pumpkins are equal when it comes to cooking. Those large carving pumpkins? Probably best left to carving, and maybe salvaging the seeds to roastJack-o-lantern pumpkins are raised more for their durability than for their taste.

Pumpkin Bread

Most people use canned puréed pumpkin for baking recipes like this because of the consistent results. If you want though, you can easily roast up a sugar pumpkin, butternut squash, or kabocha pumpkin for its purée. You’ll get more roasted and caramelized flavor that way. Steaming also works, though you’ll miss the extra flavor from the roasting.

How to Make Pumpkin Bread

This pumpkin bread recipe is quite adaptable to different types of pumpkin purée and spice mixes. We took an old recipe from Fannie Farmer as a base and have made several changes to it over the years.

These days we use melted butter instead of vegetable oil (though you can easily use oil if you want), and we’ve added some ground ginger, grated orange zest, and molasses, which we think results in the best pumpkin bread. We have also made a lovely optional glaze —with orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, and powdered sugar. We hope you enjoy this delicious pumpkin bread!

Recipe updated, first posted 2006. If you are missing the original version of pumpkin bread we had posted, just swap out olive oil for the melted butter, and omit the ground ginger, molasses, and orange zest.

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Makes one loaf

You can easily double this recipe. If using the glaze, there is enough glaze for two pumpkin bread loafs.

We're using melted butter in this updated version of the recipe. You could easily use light olive oil instead, same proportions. In our opinion, butter tastes better.

Don't have molasses? You can sub the 1 cup of sugar and 2 tsp of molasses with 1 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar, packed.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin purée*
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 4 ounces (1 stick, 112 g) butter, melted (can sub 1/2 cup light olive oil)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Optional Orange Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

* To make pumpkin purée, cut a small sugar pumpkin in half horizontally. Use a large metal spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy stuff. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a foil or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 minutes to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use. Or, if you are working with pumpkin pieces, roast or boil them until tender, then remove and discard the skin.

Method

1 Preheat oven and prepare loaf pan: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Put in the middle rack of the oven. Butter the insides of an 8 x 4 x 3 -inch loaf pan.

2 Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in a large bowl.

3 Mix together the pumpkin purée, sugar, the melted butter, beaten eggs, 1/4 cup of water, molasses, and orange zest (if using) in a separate bowl.

4 Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined and there is no more dry flour in the batter.

Do not over-mix! If adding chopped pecans or walnuts, stir them in.

5 Bake: Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 45 to 60 minutes (depending on your oven and the color of your loaf pan—dark pans cook the contents more quickly than light pans), or until a tester poked in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

6 Remove from pan and cool completely: Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Then run a blunt dinner knife around the edges of the pumpkin bread to gently separate it from the pan.

Invert it to loosen it from the pan and put the loaf on a rack to cool completely.

7 Glaze: If using the glaze, whisk together in a medium bowl the powdered sugar, orange juice, zest, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. If too thick add  a little more juice. If too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.

Wait until the pumpkin bread has cooled completely before drizzling with glaze or slicing. Tip: use a serrated knife to slice. Less crumbs that way!

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Pumpkin Bread on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

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Pumpkin Bread loaf on wood cutting board

 

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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128 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Reir

    This is going to be my go-to pumpkin bread recipe now, it was FANTASTIC! I forgot to add the 1/4c of water and still came out nice and fluffy. I love the hint of orange in it. Thanks, once again, for another wonderful recipe Elise.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Paddy Bateman

    Wow! My husband can not stop eating this! The flavour is delicious, moist and definitely will put this next to my banana Bread loaf. Easy to prepare and will make this for our next aquafit coffe hour! Son took some to work, and I have had two pieces. Very very good!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Emily

    I have made this recipe for years and everyone loves it! I love how spicy and moist it is. Thank you! I like to use coconut oil and coconut sugar too!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Marnie Andrews

    So great. I get pumpkins from my CSA delivery, so have been roasting pumpkins and trying different breads. This is terrific. Saved your pumpkin pie recipe too.

  • Dinah Stephens

    I made this today. I cut the sugar down by a third, and as I had no orange I used orange juice instead of water. It was lovely and moist and quite delicious.

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