Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Bread

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If you love Starbucks signature sweet and spicy pumpkin bread check out this simple delicious copycat recipe, only your wallet will be able to tell the difference. 

pumpkin bread with pumpkin seeds baked onto the top sliced on a table
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pumpkin bread with pumpkin seeds baked onto the top sliced on a table

Easy Pumpkin Loaf Bread

I am a sucker for a slice of pumpkin bread and have always been partial to Starbucks pumpkin bread with its strong spices and pumpkin seeds on the top, yum! After years of making pumpkin bread I have finally figured out how they make their signature fall treat. 

For years I was trying to just use pumpkin spice but have found that using pumpkin pie spice mix that has been elevated with extra spices gives you that strong pumpkin and spice dynamic that makes this fall bread a classic. 

pumpkin bread with pumpkin seeds baked onto the top sliced on a table

How to Make Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Bread

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • White sugar – I use white sugar to sweeten the pumpkin bread since it gives the bread a pure sweetness without any added flavors. 
  • Light brown sugar – light brown sugar gives the bread a slight molasses flavor that blends perfectly with the spices in this pumpkin bread. 
  • Vegetable oil – you can use any oil for this recipe to add fat that will help the bread come together. Avoid any type of oil that has a distinct flavor of its own such as olive oil since you want the pumpkin bread to taste like the pumpkin and spices. 
  • Eggs – eggs will give the pumpkin bread richness and structure because of their high protein content. I always use farm fresh eggs since they have a darker, richer yoke. 
  • Pureed pumpkin – pumpkin puree adds an earthy, nutty, sweet flavor and moisture to the pumpkin bread. I use canned pumpkin puree for this recipe but you can use fresh, see tip #1 below for more info. 
  • Water – I use water to thin the pumpkin puree so the end result is a light rich pumpkin bread. 
  • Flour – use all purpose flour in this pumpkin bread to bring the dough together and give it a good structure. If you use bread flour, the end result will be chewier and more like a conventional yeasted sandwich bread. 
  • Baking soda – baking soda will give the bread a good rise since it doesn’t have yeast. You want to make sure you don’t add too much baking soda or your pumpkin bread will have a bitter taste. 
  • Salt – I use fine grain sea salt in my pumpkin bread. It distributes evenly throughout the bread and draws out the flavor of the ingredients, especially the pumpkin puree. 
  • Cloves – cloves are the flower buds from a tree found in the forests in Indonesia. It has a very strong woody fruity flavor so use sparingly. 
  • Pumpkin pie spice – similar to the English Commonwealth mixed spice, pumpkin pie spice is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. If you don’t have any pumpkin pie spice on hand, see tip #2 below to make your own. 
  • Cinnamon – cinnamon is the bark of the Cinnamomum tree commonly found in tropical regions of the world and is one of the oldest known spices dating back to the Chinese in 3000 BC. It has a sweet, warm, earthy flavor that pairs well with pumpkin. I use extra cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to enhance the pumpkin pie spice mixture. 
  • Nutmeg – nutmeg is the kernel of the seed from Nutmeg trees found in the tropical islands of the East Indies. It has a warm, sweet, very strong flavor. 
  • Pepitas – pepitas are roasted pumpkin seeds without the shells. These will be available at most supermarkets in the baking department but the other nuts. 

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:

  • Mix – In a large bowl mix the sugars, eggs, oil and pureed pumpkin. Once it has come together add the water and whisk until homogeneous. In another smaller bowl, sift together all the remaining dry ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until combined, don’t overmix since that will make the pumpkin bread tough. 
  • Add to pans and top – Separate the mix into 2 greased loaf pans and sprinkle with the chopped pepitas. 
  • Bake- Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Let it cool to retain moisture. 
  • Serve – Slice and enjoy!
pumpkin bread with pumpkin seeds baked onto the top sliced on a table

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Bread:

You will love these tips and tricks for your copycat Starbucks pumpkin bread.

Fresh vs. Canned Pumpkin: Fresh pumpkin has a different flavor (more like butternut squash) than canned pumpkin. If you want to use fresh puree you can cut a pumpkin in half, clean out the seeds, then place it on a roasting pan with the flesh down and bake it at 375 degrees until a knife inserted into the outer skin inserts easily (about an hour). Then scoop out the inside and mash it to make a puree. 

Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice: To make your own pumpkin pie spice, mix 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cloves, 2 tsp ground ginger, and ½ tsp ground nutmeg in a glass jar and shake to combine. It will keep for up to 4 years at room temperature. 

Quality Pumpkin Puree: Go for 100% pure pumpkin for the best flavor and moisture. Canned usually works great.

Spice Mix: If you can’t find pumpkin spice, make your own with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. The right blend is key for that signature fall flavor.

Moisture Matters: To avoid dry bread, use oil instead of butter and consider adding a bit of sour cream or yogurt.

Even Mixing: Don’t overmix your batter; mix just until the wet and dry ingredients are combined to keep the bread tender.

Taste Test: Adjust your spices and sugar according to your preference before pouring into the loaf pan.

Loaf Pan Prep: Use parchment paper or grease the pan well to ensure easy removal of the bread.

Temperature Check: Bake at 350°F (175°C) and check doneness with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, it’s done!

Cooling is Key: Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. This makes slicing easier.

Optional Glaze: For added sweetness, consider a simple sugar glaze or cream cheese frosting on top.

Make Ahead: The flavors actually intensify after a day, making it a great make-ahead option. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container.

Freezing: If you want to keep some for later, this bread freezes well. Wrap it in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before popping it in the freezer.


Whats the best way to keep leftovers?

If you have leftovers you can wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and leave them at room temperature for 3-4 days. 

Can I freeze this bread?

Yes! If you want to freeze it, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap after it has completely cooled and freeze for up to 4 months. I often will bake a bunch of loaves of pumpkin bread before Thanksgiving, freeze them, then wrap them in ribbon and give them out as gifts for Christmas. 

What should I bake this bread in?

I love these loaf pans because I can see how done my pumpkin bread is and they come with a lid for easy leftover storage!

What type of pumpkin should I use?

Stick to 100% pure canned pumpkin for best results. Fresh pumpkin can be used, but it may require additional steps like straining excess moisture.

Can I substitute pumpkin pie spice?

Absolutely! You can make your own blend with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.

How can I make vegan pumpkin bread?

Swap out the eggs for flax eggs and use plant-based milk and vegan cream cheese if you’re adding frosting.

Why is my pumpkin bread too crumbly?

Overmixing the batter can lead to a crumbly texture. Mix just until combined.

Why did my pumpkin bread sink a lot in the middle?

This could be due to expired baking powder or opening the oven door too frequently. Keep an eye out for those pitfalls.

Can I make pumpkin muffins instead?

Absolutely! Adjust the baking time to about 18-22 minutes for muffins.

Can I add nuts or chocolate chips?

Definitely! A handful of chopped pecans or semi-sweet chocolate chips can add a nice crunch.

Can I freeze pumpkin bread?

Yes, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. It’ll keep for up to 3 months.

How long does pumpkin loaf last?

Stored in an airtight container, it should last up to 5 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge.

How long does pumpkin loaf take to bake?

Around 60-65 minutes at 350°F (175°C) is a good starting point, but ovens may vary. A toothpick inserted should come out clean.

pumpkin bread with pumpkin seeds baked onto the top sliced on a table

What to Serve With Pumpkin Bread

If you enjoyed this delicious copycat starbucks pumpkin bread you will also love, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins loaded with creamy flavor, fun and delicious Pumpkin Magic Bars, try a similar Pumpkin Loaf Bread, a simple, budget-friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe our delicious, easy Pumpkin Hand Pies and our Pumpkin Pie Punch! Or our deliciously Easy Spider Decorated Cookies!

Try this bread with some of our other breakfast favorites:

pumpkin bread with pumpkin seeds baked onto the top sliced on a table

Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Bread Recipe

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picture of pumpkin bread with pumpkin seeds baked onto the top sliced on a table

Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Bread

Delicious moist and spicy pumpkin bread with crunchy pumpkin seeds baked to perfection just like the Starbucks pumpkin loaf!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword baking, bread, breakfast, pumkin bread, pumpkin, starbucks copycat
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 393kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 15 oz can pure pureed pumpkin
  • cup water
  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2-4 tablespoons Pepitas green pumpkin seeds, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 2 loaf pans or line with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together both sugars, eggs, oil, and pureed pumpkin. Add water and mix until well combined
  • In another bowl, sift or whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, pumpkin pie spice and ground nutmeg.
  • Pour flour mixture into the wet mixture and stir together. Stir just enough to mix everything together but don't over mix.
  • Immediately pour batter evenly into the 2 loaf pans and sprinkle with chopped pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) over the top. 
  • Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the pumpkin bread comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy! 


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 379mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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