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Start your Fall baking this year with this Classic Pumpkin Bread Recipe! Sweet, comforting and just the right amount of spice. After you make this recipe, be sure to check out my 15 *must try* Pumpkin Desserts for Fall. A little something for everyone!
Keeping Pumpkin Bread Soft and Sweet
I think the best part of homemade Pumpkin Bread is how soft, sweet and spicy it is every time! So delicious pulled out of the oven plain or with a slathering of honey butter. SO good! But not all pumpkin bread is created equal. Here is how to keep yours extra moist:
- Use Butter and Oil: I like the combination of both butter AND a light colored oil (like vegetable or canola) to not only give flavor, but to keep the entire pumpkin loaf moist.
- Adding Pumpkin: just like a banana bread is kept nice and moist because of the banana, this pumpkin bread stays moist because of the addition of pumpkin puree. (Libby’s is my favorite.)
- Use a Light Colored Loaf Pan: The darker the pan the crispier and the darker the edges get. I like using these Aluminized Steel Loaf Pans from USA pans. They are heavy duty, don’t warp and evenly bake your loaf without those super dark edges.
- Do Not Overbake: we have all eaten over-baked bread before and know it’s not good. To ensure we get perfectly cooked, moist pumpkin bread, start checking for doneness after 30 minutes with a toothpick. It’s better to start checking it too early than pull it out too late.
How to Make Pumpkin Bread
For full details on how to make pumpkin bread, see the printable recipe card down below 🙂
Make the Batter
In a large bowl, mix oil, butter, and sugars until well combined. Stir in eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin until smooth. Gently stir in dry ingredients until a uniform batter has formed. Scrape sides to ensure no lumps are present.
Pour prepared batter into a greased and parchment paper lined loaf pan. Spread it evenly across the top and sprinkle with pepitas, if desired.
Try Not to Overmix
For a basic white bread recipe or pizza dough, you want to knead the dough to build up gluten to create a chewy, yummy texture that we all know and love about bread. A cakey, sweet, non-yeasted bread like this pumpkin bread isn’t something we want to be chewy. We want it to be soft like cake which means we do not want to over mix the batter. Over mixing means continuing to stir the batter after the dry ingredients have been incorporated. This leads to gluten which leads to a chewy or gummy finished product which is what we don’t want! So, once the flour is incorporated, stop stirring. A few small lumps are ok!
Bake + Cool
Bake 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool 10 minutes before loosening edges and removing loaf from pan. Slice into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.
The pumpkin loaf will slice perfectly if it has cooled completely. It will be delicious warm, but the pieces won’t look as nice. Also, using a nice sharp serrated knife to get through those pepitas on top of the loaf is key.
Storing Pumpkin Bread
This pumpkin bread can be stored either at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. As long as it is an airtight container, it should stay fresh! Obviously the longer you wait to enjoy, the less ‘fresh’ it will taste. To breathe new life into your pumpkin bread, reheat a slice or two in a toaster oven or zap in the microwave 10 seconds or so. The entire intact loaf will stay moist much longer than slices of pumpkin bread (the less surface area that is exposed to air, the better.)
Can I Freeze Pumpkin Bread?
Yes, you can freeze pumpkin bread! Simply wrap it with plastic wrap a couple of times over and then put it into a plastic freezer bag. This will prevent it from getting freezer burn. Freeze for up to three months! To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a couple of hours unwrapped. Reheat, if desired.
Jazzing Up Your Pumpkin Bread
I realize that you may have only thought of pumpkin chocolate chip bread as the only way to customize this recipe…NOT SO! You can add in pepitas, nuts (pecans or walnuts), raisins, craisins or even some orange zest for a nice tasty kick. Have you ever tried Pumpkin Swirl Donut Bread? It’s based off of my viral Cinnamon Swirl Donut Bread but with a spicy, pumpkin kick! SO good!
More Pumpkin Bread Recipes to Try!
If you loved this recipe you’ll love my other Pumpkin Bread recipes I’ve developed throughout the years too:
- Mini Pumpkin Bread Loaves
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
- Pumpkin Swirl Donut Bread
- Pumpkin Monkey Bread
The printable recipe card is down below! Make this soon friends 🙂
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a light-colored loaf pan (8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 3/4” high) with parchment paper then grease with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix oil, butter, and sugars until well combined.
- Stir in eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin until smooth.
- Gently stir in dry ingredients until a uniform batter has formed. Scrape sides to ensure no lumps are present.
- Pour prepared batter into pan. Spread it evenly across the top. Sprinkle with pepitas, if desired.
- Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool 10 minutes before loosening edges and removing loaf from pan. Slice into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.