Why Should You Make This Recipe?
After a few times of testing and tweaking, today I come to you with what I’d like to call the best pumpkin bread recipe from scratch. Here are a few reasons why you will love this recipe too:
- Made with every day ingredients: If you are someone who enjoys baking often you probably already have all the ingredients on hand. If not, a quick trip to your local grocery store should be sufficient.
- All you need is two bowls and a whisk: No special equipment or prior baking knowdledge is needed. If you can read, you can make this easy pumpkin bread.
- Packed heartwarming fall spices: Sweetened with coconut sugar and made with canned pumpkin puree (though you can easily swap it with fresh pumpkin puree), it is packed with a ton of pumpkin flavor along with delicious fall spices like pumpkin pie spice and ground cinnamon.
Intrigued? Let’s break it all down and answer all your questions on making the most delicious easy homemade pumpkin bread recipe.
As in most quick bread recipes, this pumpkin loaf recipe has 2 sets of ingredients: Dry and Wet.
- Flour: I used a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat pastry flour. I love the addition of earthy flavors coming from the whole wheat pastry flour.
If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour, you can replace the ⅔ cup whole wheat pastry flour used in this recipe with ⅓ cup all-purpose flour and ⅓ cup whole wheat flour.
- Baking Powder: To make it lighter.
- Baking Soda: To make it rise.
- Kosher Salt: To enhance and bring out the sweet flavors.
- Spices: I opted for ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice for ease and convenience. However, you can also make your own pumpkin spice mix by mixing together ¼ teaspoon of (each) ground ginger, clove, nutmeg, and allspice.
- Nuts: I added a cup of walnuts and roasted pepitas (on top) at the very end, but any nuts (pecans, pumpkin seeds, etc.) would work here.
- Eggs: I used two eggs to make the batter nice and fluffy
- Coconut Sugar: I used coconut sugar not only because it is a healthier choice (because it causes a slightly lower rise in blood sugar than granulated white sugar – more on this later!), but also because it provides a delicious brown-sugar like flavor in the overall recipe. If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can substitute it with the exact amount of light brown sugar.
- Pumpkin Puree: I used a cup of canned pumpkin puree as I always keep a few cans in my pantry, but if you have homemade fresh pumpkin puree on hand feel free to use it.
If you are in need of a good homemade pumpkin bread recipe, check out my friend, Traci’s Homemade Pumpkin Puree.
- Vermont Creamery’s Unsalted Butter: While you can use any oil you like (i.e. coconut oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil, etc.), I opted for unsalted melted and cooled butter. I am a big fan of the luxurious creamy flavors of Vermont Creamery’s cultured butter. After trying this exact recipe with several types of oils, I decided that the version with butter was simply the best.
- Almond Milk: I used ¼ cup almond milk to thin the bread batter. However, any type of milk, coconut, oat, and even regular milk would all work here.
- Vanilla Extract: I used pure vanilla extract to enhance all the flavors within the batter.
How to make this recipe from scratch
The process of making this healthy pumpkin bread recipe has 4 folds.
First, mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
Second, whisk together the eggs with coconut sugar in a large bowl. Add in the pumpkin puree, melted and cooled butter, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Give it a good whisk until fully incorporated.
Third, fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ones. I usually start with a whisk and continue with a spatula to avoid over mixing the batter.
Finally, stir in the walnuts and transfer the batter into a loaf pan. If preferred, sprinkle it with a handful of pepitas and walnuts as a garnish.
I used a full-size loaf pan (9X5), but this recipe also bakes beautifully in a smaller 8.5X4.5 loaf pan as well.
How to make pumpkin bread with fresh pureed pumpkin
As I mentioned earlier, you can use the exact amount (1 cup) of fresh pumpkin puree (which you can make by roasting and pureeing a whole pumpkin) instead of canned pumpkin puree in this recipe. The rest of the ingredients and the process would be the same.
In my testings, I was not able to recognize a big difference in taste between the version of pumpkin bread made with fresh pumpkin puree versus the one made with canned pumpkin.
Want to know more about fresh versus canned? This article, Fresh vs Canned Pumpkin, written by Handle the Heat, is a really interesting and helpful article on the subject.
How long to cook/bake?
This pumpkin quick bread recipe bakes in a 350-degree oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
How to make it moist?
The thing about this simple pumpkin loaf cake is that it is deliciously moist making you want a little more after each bite.
Though to get a better understanding of how to ensure that my pumpkin quick bread turns out moist every time, I asked the question to Jenifer. Being the amazing pastry chef that she is she provided me with the following explanation:
The pumpkin bread stays moist with the right balance of liquid to dry ingredients, fat, and leavening. Too much liquid to dry, the pumpkin bread will be soggy. Too much fat or leavening will cause the pumpkin bread to be coarse and crumbly.
How to store & freeze
- Storage: You can keep this pumpkin spice bread at room temperature for up to two days. To do so, remove the pumpkin bread from the loaf pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Then, wrap it in a stretch film and place it in an airtight container (or in a plastic Ziploc bag) and seal closed.
Alternatively, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just be sure to wrap it well and place it in an airtight container.
- To Freeze: You can certainly freeze this pumpkin walnut bread. It will retain its freshness for up to three months in the freezer. To do so, wrap it tightly with stretch film, place it in a plastic freezer bag, and seal tightly. I personally like to slice it before freezing. That way I can enjoy a few slices here and there without having to thaw the whole loaf.
I usually use this recipe as a base and change it up with different ingredients. Below are a few of my favorite variations:
- Pumpkin Raisin Bread: Fold in ½ cup raisins in the batter right at the same time you add in the walnuts.
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread: Fold in ½ cup of your favorite chocolate chips (I like mine bittersweet) at the last minute.
- Dairy-Free Pumpkin Bread: While I prefer my pumpkin bread recipe with butter, you can use the same amount of coconut (melted and cooled) or vegetable oil for a dairy-free pumpkin loaf.
- Pumpkin Bread Recipe without Spices: While I love my pumpkin spice, I understand that some people are not a big fan. If that is you, feel free to omit using any of the spices in the recipe below.
- Pumpkin Bread without Eggs: If you’re looking for a vegan pumpkin loaf, replace the two eggs with two flax eggs to bind the batter.
Don’t know how to make a flax egg? Simply combine 1 Tablespoon Ground Flaxseed with 3 Tablespoons warm water and allow to sit for 5 minutes until congealed.
While I am a true believer that every baked good that contains sugar should be consumed in moderation, I think my version of the easy and moist pumpkin recipe that I am sharing here is healthier than most other recipes because we are using coconut sugar.
The beauty of coconut sugar is the lower impact it has on your blood sugar. Unlike refined white sugar, coconut sugar has all of its nutrients intact, like fiber, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, and is packed with a number of antioxidants. This alone makes it all the more good for us – it’s light, sweet, fruity flavor is just the bonus!
My favorite way to enjoy this easy moist pumpkin bread is with a cup of latte. However, if I am having it for breakfast, I spread it with some Vermont Creamery’s butter with my morning coffee.
Alternatively, you can also treat yourself with a dollop of maple whipped cream, maple syrup cream cheese frosting, or a healthier alternative, homemade unsweetened applesauce.
Yes – but a few adjustments are necessary. To make this pumpkin loaf recipe into 12 muffins, increase the oven temperature to 375 and decrease the cooking time to 15-20 minutes. But again, use the toothpick test and keep an eye on the muffins. Once they start to look golden brown on top, you know they are just about ready!
And if you are after another good pumpkin muffin recipe, may I suggest my Maple-Sweetened Pumpkin Oat Muffins? It is one of the most popular fall recipes on the blog that has gotten raving reviews from several of my readers.
If you can’t get enough of these types of quick breads, be sure to try this delicious Banana Bread as well.
Other pumpkin bread baked goods you might like
Thinking about what else you can make with canned pumpkin? Here are some recipes you might also like:
- Maple Pumpkin Bread Pudding
- High Protein Quick Bread with Pumpkin
- Pumpkin Almond Flour Muffins
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread – by Bojon Gourmet
- Chocolate Marble Pumpkin Bread – by Kitchen Confidante
Other pumpkin recipes you might like
Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup whole wheat pastry flour*
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup coconut sugar*
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup Vermont Creamery unsalted butter melted and cooled
- ¼ cup milk almond, coconut, oat, and regular milk would all work
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnuts/pumpkin seeds a few tablespoons more for garnishing
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees. Lightly butter a 9X5 loaf pan and set aside.
- Mix together the dry ingredients; all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt, ground cinnamon, and pumpkin spice, in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the coconut sugar. Add in pumpkin puree, melted (and cooled) butter, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Do not overmix.
- Fold in the walnuts.
- Transfer to the prepared loaf pan. If preferred, garnish with more nuts on top.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- When cool enough to handle, gently remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before slicing.