The ultimate soft Pumpkin Bread recipe with warm fall spices, guaranteed to stay moist for days. Read on to unlock the secrets!
The Ultimate Pumpkin Quick Bread
Fall is in the air, and nothing screams “cozy” more than the smell of freshly baked pumpkin bread filling your home.
And this, my friends, is the pumpkin bread recipe you’ve been looking for! It’s got a soft, beautiful texture that stays tender and magically only seems to get better over time.
This recipe is super simple, using the easy muffin method of mixing the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, and gently combining the two
Gather What You Need
Pumpkin Bread Ingredients
- All-purpose flour: The foundation of our bread.
- Granulated sugar: Adds sweetness and moisture.
- Baking soda & baking powder: Our leavening agents, helping the bread to rise and become fluffy.
- Kosher salt: Enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness.
- Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves: The spice trio that gives our pumpkin bread its characteristic warm, fall flavors. You can swap in a pumpkin spice blend if you like!
- Canned pumpkin puree: The star of the show, providing moistness and rich pumpkin flavor.
- Brown sugar: Adds a depth of flavor and extra moisture.
- Buttermilk or plain yogurt: Adds tang and ensures a tender crumb.
- Vegetable oil: Provides moisture and guarantees the bread’s texture. Butter firms up upon cooling, which is why oil makes a more tender bread.
- Egg: Binds the ingredients together and adds moisture.
Variations and Substitutions
- Gluten-free: Substitute all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free flour blend.
- Vegan: Use a flax egg and dairy-free yogurt to make this recipe vegan-friendly.
- Spice it up: Feel free to add extras like nutmeg or allspice for even more autumnal flavor, or swap in pumpkin pie spice.
- Nuts or chocolate: Consider adding a handful of chopped nuts or chocolate chips for added texture and flavor. Raisins, pecans, walnuts are all great. A fresh cranberry version would also be delicious.
- Make Pumpkin Muffins: I like to bake this recipe up as pumpkin muffins, too. Bake at 375ºF in a muffin tin for about 20 minutes.
How to Make the Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe: Easy Step-by-Step Directions
Here’s what to do:
- Preheat oven and prep pan: Always start by preheating your oven and preparing your loaf pan.
- Combine dry ingredients: Whisk together all dry ingredients to ensure an even distribution of flavors.
- Combine wet ingredients: Separately, whisk all your wet ingredients together.
- Merge the two: Gently fold the wet mixture into the dry, stirring until just combined.
- Pour and bake: Transfer the batter into your loaf pan and bake until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Make Ahead and Storage
Wondering about making this bread in advance or storing it? Here are some tips:
- Freeze: This bread freezes exceptionally well. Slice it up, wrap it tightly, pop it in the freezer and enjoy individual slices whenever the craving strikes.
- Room temperature: Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Reheat: A quick stint in the microwave can bring back that fresh-from-the-oven feel.
Notes, Pro Tips and Science-Based Secrets
There are 2 keys to maximizing the softness in the final pumpkin bread: Here’s how to make your pumpkin bread even more amazing:
- Don’t overmix: Overmixing leads to a dense loaf. To avoid overmixing, use your largest bowl for the dry ingredients, and grab your largest rubber spatula. (I use a massive mixing bowl and a professional-sized spatula) so you can do larger strokes once you’ve added the liquids. Fewer strokes means less toughening gluten is formed. Stir until just combined for a light, fluffy texture. Definitely don’t use a stand mixer for this recipe.
- Use a thermometer: For the most accurate results, test the internal temperature of your loaf before taking it out of the oven (it is one of the key secrets to my Ultimate Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cake Recipe). Grab a cheap instant read thermometer and when the pumpkin bread hits 190ºF in the middle, take it out of the oven. Be sure to check in a few different spots in the loaf. A toothpick cake tester just isn’t as accurate.
- Spice freshness: Make sure your spices are fresh for the most vibrant flavor profile.
How to Serve This Pumpkin Bread
Serve this delectable pumpkin bread warm, perhaps with a smear of cream cheese or a dollop of whipped cream. It’s perfect for breakfast, as a snack, or even for dessert. Trust us, it’s so good, you’ll be reaching for a second slice in no time.
- Can I use homemade pumpkin puree? Absolutely, just ensure it is well-drained.
- What if I don’t have buttermilk? You can use a buttermilk substitute like milk mixed with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar.
- Can I make muffins with this recipe? Yes, just adjust the baking time accordingly.
There you have it—the ultimate guide to making the perfect pumpkin bread. Happy baking!
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour (7.9 oz/224 g)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 1 14- oz can 1 3/4 cups pure pumpkin puree
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare an 9×5-inch metal loaf pan by greasing it or lining it with parchment paper (allowing an overhang on sides).
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, buttermilk, oil and egg.
- Using your largest rubber spatula, scrape the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and gently fold it in until just combined. A few floury streaks are fine – do not overmix.
- Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top. Bake in centre of oven for 55-65 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 190ºF when tested in several spots in the loaf (or top springs back when gently pressed in the middle/tester comes out clean – but a thermometer is most reliable).
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Last Updated on September 23, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD