Easy-to-make Pumpkin Bread – it’s soft and moist with the perfect balance of fall spices.
This simple pumpkin bread recipe is one I turn to again and again. It’s so easy to make, turns out amazing every time, and is great for gifting.
It’s my favorite quick bread recipe to kick of the fall season and an old family favorite that your family will love, too.
My most favorite recipes are ones handed down from family and this easy pumpkin bread recipe is at the top of the list. Every fall, I pull out the stained recipe card written in my grandmother’s hand and make several batches through the season. It’s not my only pumpkin bread recipe, but it’s the one that tugs most at my heartstrings.
The recipe is from my Grandma and Grandpa Gillian and I grew up watching my mom make batches of it once we turned the calendar to October.
She’d make loaves for everyone and always made sure we had a few stashed away for us, too. One of my favorite memories is of us driving around to drop off loaves to people working during the holidays.
Now I make this bread with my kids and they say it’s a fall and winter must. They rank this recipe higher than the pumpkin bread at Great Harvest, so I would say it is a rave review.
I am totally biased, of course, but I don’t think you can get much better than this recipe. I look forward to the first slice every year.
- Like other recipes from my grandparent’s generation, it’s incredibly simple. No-fuss, no complexity but it makes the most wonderful pumpkin spice loaf.
- You don’t need a mixer – the batter can be easily mixed by hand.
- Because it’s simple, it’s easy to adapt with mix-ins. I often make it plain, but sometimes I mix in things like chocolate chips and nuts. More on that later in the post – I have several ideas to share.
- The batch makes three smaller loaves or two larger ones. They’re freezer-friendly or I keep one for us and pass the other to a neighbor, family, or a friend.
If you want a basic pumpkin bread recipe that works every time, this is post is for you.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
- Pumpkin puree
- Vegetable oil or canola oil
In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate large bowl, mix the eggs, water, pumpkin puree, sugar, and oil.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the batter comes together.
Divide the batter among the prepared loaf pans and bake the loaves for 45 minutes to one hour at 350°F.
The baking time will vary based on the size of your loaves, so check them early. Once a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean they’re done. Cool them on a wire rack.
Want to dress it up? For this recipe, you can add one cup of mix-ins. Here are some suggestions you might like to try.
- Chocolate chips – any that you like will work. Milk, dark, semisweet chocolate chips or try some white chocolate chips.
- Chopped nuts – walnuts, pecans, and almonds are wonderful in this bread. I recommend finely chopping them and, if you have time, toasting the nuts first. Save a few to sprinkle over the top, too.
- Dried fruit – I think dried cranberries or raisins would work well in this recipe.
- My mom always mixed in Grape Nuts cereal, something I don’t do now. It does add a nutty texture to the bread and is a creative add-in I don’t think I’ve ever seen before beyond my mom’s kitchen.
Tips for the Best Pumpkin Bread
Don’t overmix the batter. Mixing the flour mixture and pumpkin mixture separately makes it easy to thoroughly mix both before adding them together. Once you do add the dry to the wet ingredients, you will only need to stir until the flour is absorbed. Overmixing can make the bread chewy and dense, so use a light hand.
Cool the loaves to room temperature before wrapping and storing them.
If you want to store them at room temperature, wrap the cooled loaves with plastic wrap. They will keep for two to three days. I think this pumpkin bread tastes even better the day after it’s made, it allows time for all of the flavors to develop.
If you would like to freeze them, wrap them in plastic first and then with aluminum foil. Just to be safe, I place them in a freezer bag, too. They will keep in the freezer for up to two months or even longer as long as they are stored properly.
There’s no reason you can make muffins with this recipe. Just be aware that they will need less time to bake.
Of course, a simple slice of homemade pumpkin bread with a pat of butter is amazing, but there are a few other ways I serve it, too…
- Warm the bread or toast it and add a smear of butter along with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
- Toast it, sprinkle some cinnamon sugar over the top, and pop the slice under the broiler just long enough to caramelize the topping.
- It’s not just for breakfast – this makes a wonderful dessert when you serve warm slices topped with vanilla ice cream, a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, a few chopped nuts, and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
So, from my heart to yours – happy fall baking! Be sure to give this one a try – it’s just the best pumpkin bread recipe. Enjoy! XOXO San
More Easy Quick Bread Recipes
Favorite Kitchen Tools
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- BREAD LOAF PAN: I have a few of these on hand and use them for more than just baking.
- MIXING BOWLS: I love having a variety of sizes of mixing bowls. From small to large, I find that having at least 3 bowls of different sizes have been essential in my kitchen. I prefer Pyrex because of its durability.
- MEASURING CUPS: Nothing beats a good set of measuring cups that last a long time. I love metal measuring cups because of its durability.
- MEASURING SPOONS: I have to have a metal set of measuring spoons on hand. The plastic ones just don’t last long in our house thanks in large part to the garbage disposal.
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Simple Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup oil
- Optional: 1 cup grapenuts (my mom always added these, I don’t)
- Preheat oven to 350; grease 3 bread loaf pans or 2 larger loaf pans.
- Mix all dry ingredients together and set aside. Add remaining ingredients and mix together until well combined.
- Mix in the flour mixture. When well combined pour into 2- 3 bread pans and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Time may vary depending on oven; insert a toothpick to make sure bread is done.