This quick, easy, savory and spicy pumpkin bread is the perfect bake if you want a taste of Fall.
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Spicy and Sweet Pumpkin Bread
Autumn is a great time to go to the pumpkin patch and take family pictures with the changing colors. One of my favorite things about fall is pumpkin spice flavored everything! Whether it’s the Starbucks latte, seasonal candle, or ice cream, pumpkin and spice is a classic combination and a personal favorite. My spicy and sweet pumpkin bread is the perfect blend of ingredients to satisfy your craving for fall flavor.
Many people don’t know that pumpkins were one of early America’s most popular crops. They grow well and store well which is probably one of the reasons pumpkin recipes are so popular in North America. Let’s make an American classic bread with this American classic crop.
How to Make Pumpkin Bread
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- Butter – You’re going to need the fat from butter to make this bread rich and create a satisfying texture. I always recommend using unsalted butter since butter companies add different amounts of salt to their butter so start with no salt in your butter and we will add it to the mix.
- Light Brown Sugar – Light brown sugar has less molasses than dark brown sugar (about half the amount). I use light brown sugar here so that the pumpkin pie spice can be the main flavoring but if you want more of a molasses taste you can use dark brown sugar.
- Granulated Sugar – We will be using some granulated sugar to get that straight sweetness without the molasses taste we would get if we used only brown sugar. Granulated sugar will bring sweetness but let the spices shine.
- Vanilla extract – I recommend you always use real vanilla extract when baking (not imitation vanilla extract) since the vanilla bean flavor will be stronger and more natural tasting. Vanilla is a major flavor in this pumpkin bread and the quality of your vanilla extract will affect the taste.
- Buttermilk – Buttermilk has a tangy and sour taste and is slightly thicker than regular milk. It will help keep our bread light and cause a better chemical reaction with the leveners (baking powder and soda) making a better texture in the pumpkin bread. If all you have is whole milk you can add a splash of white vinegar (½ tsp) to the milk and about 10 minutes later it will be a suitable buttermilk substitute.
- Pumpkin puree – You can use store bought pumpkin puree for this recipe or fresh pumpkin puree. The taste of fresh pumpkin puree is slightly different from what you get in the can. For more info on fresh or canned see the FAQs below. Either way the consistency will be thick and it will add both a flavor and color to this pumpkin bread.
- Eggs – Eggs are going to add a richness to the bread since they are high in fat. I recommend using fresh high quality eggs whenever you can. You can tell how rich an egg is by the color of the yoke. The darker yellow the yolk the better flavor it has and will lend to the pumpkin bread.
- All-purpose flour – I use all purpose flour here since it has a more medium gluten content so will give the pumpkin bread good structure and will help it hold its shape during and after baking.
- Salt – Salt is going to draw the flavor of all the other ingredients out. I like to use fine grain sea salt when baking. If you use a coarse ground salt it won’t distribute evenly throughout the batter which can cause an inconsistent taste. We want every slice to taste equally delicious.
- Pumpkin pie seasoning – Pumpkin pie seasoning is basically a combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. If you don’t have pumpkin pie seasoning you can sub with a mixture of those spices just use more cinnamon and ginger than the other ingredients.
- Baking powder – This is one of two “leaveners” I use in this bread. Baking powder causes a chemical reaction that makes the texture light by creating air holes throughout the pumpkin bread.
- Baking soda – Baking soda is the second leavener I use to keep things light. Be careful not to add more baking powder or soda than in the recipe. If you add too much the bread will taste bitter (like leavener). I use baking powder and soda for texture, not taste.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:
- Mix – In a large bowl use an electric mixer to combine the “wet ingredients.” Make sure to mix them thoroughly to avoid any lumps in your bread. Mix all the “dry ingredients” in a separate bowl until they are combined. Make sure you measure everything out well. If the ratio of dry to wet ingredients is off the pumpkin bread will not turn out well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. I find it’s best to add only ? of the dry ingredients at a time and mix in between. You want to be careful not to overmix since that will make the bread more tough but if you under mix you will not have a smooth batter. I prefer using a glass bowl so I can see if there are pockets of flour. Pour the mix into a loaf pan that has been lined with parchment paper. If you have trouble lining it try spraying the inside of the loaf pan with nonstick spray so the parchment paper has something to stick to.
- Bake – Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Test for doneness with a toothpick in the center of the pumpkin bread.
- Cool & Enjoy! – Let it cool completely then enjoy!
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Pumpkin Bread:
This recipe is pretty quick and easy but here are some tips that can help make it even easier and improve your baking skills.
Temperature Matters. If you don’t have time to soften your butter ahead of time, try popping it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and let it cool a bit. It’s important that everything be as close to room temperature as possible when combining wet ingredients. That means leave the eggs, milk, and butter out for about an hour before baking whenever possible so everything can be around the same temperature. If you completely melt the butter and add it hot to the mix followed by cold milk the butter will curdle into a bunch of tiny dippin-dots like balls.
Let it cool completely. As with anything baked make sure you let the pumpkin bread cool completely before cutting into it. If you cut into it right away you will release a lot of steam inside the loaf which will leave the rest of the bread less moist when it does finish cooling. Patience is best.
Yes, and it will keep for about 3-4 months in the freezer. I frequently bake a bunch of loaves at once and will freeze some for gifts around Thanksgiving.
Whether you use fresh or canned pumpkin puree is your preference. 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.
Leave leftovers in a plastic bag with a paper towel in it to absorb extra moisture and store in a cool, dry place for up to four days.
What to Serve With Pumpkin Bread
If you like this recipe try our Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cheesecake Fruit Dip, 2 Ingredient Easy Mulling Spiced Donuts, or some delicious and warm Cinnamon Bread.
We love eating pumpkin bread while sipping Mulled Citrus Cider, Hot Buttered Rum Cider, and Homemade Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate – or with one of our delicious coffee recipes below:
Pumpkin Bread Recipe
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Easy Pumpkin Bread
Easy to mix delicious sweet and spicy pumpkin bread that is moist, tender, and totally delicious!
- ½ cup salted butter, softened
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie seasoning
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Oven Temp: 350°F
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- With an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, buttermilk, pumpkin and eggs.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, pumpkin pie seasoning, baking powder and baking soda.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into the loaf pan.
- Bake on the center rack of the oven for 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
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Cook with Color Mixing Bowls - 4 Piece Nesting Plastic Mixing Bowl Set with Pour Spouts and Handles (Ombre Pink)
KitchenAid KHM512IC 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer, Ice Blue
Reynolds Kitchens Cookie Baking Sheets, Pre-Cut Parchment Paper, 25 Sheets (Pack of 4), 100 Total Sheets
Non-stick Loaf Pan Rectangle Toast Bread Mold Cake Bakeware Steel Baking Carbon Baking Supplies C3X0
KitchenAid KSM150PSPT Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield - Pistachio
Serving Size1 slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 348Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 78mgSodium 540mgCarbohydrates 52gFiber 2gSugar 26gProtein 6g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.
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