Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 65 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 loaf

Pumpkin bread is one of the most delicious and easy ways there is to celebrate fall—and is truly one of the most perfect vehicles for baking with pumpkin, everyone's favorite autumnal ingredient. Not that there's anything wrong with pumpkin pie or pumpkin whoopie pies or even pumpkin cookies, but pumpkin bread (particularly if you add some chocolate chips) is so incredibly flavorful and sweet, but not overpoweringly so, and wonderfully easy-peasy to assemble (we're talking practically a "one-bowl" situation here) that it deserves all of the autumn baking love that it so frequently receives.

Here, the recipe is oil-based, as so many pumpkin bread recipes are to form a super moist bread that is even better the second day (oil-based baked goods age extremely well). It calls for only brown sugar, instead of a combination of brown and granulated, as the molasses notes of the brown go so well with pumpkin. To keep things simple, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are the only spices you need. The bread is generously sprinkled with turbinado sugar before baking making for the most sparkly and slightly crunchy of crowns. When served warm, each slice is capped with just enough sugar and studded with small pools of molten chocolate.


  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or a mild olive oil)
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 1/2 ounces pumpkin puree (half of a 15-ounce can)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Pumpkin Bread ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or softened butter. Line the bottom and two short sides with a long strip of parchment paper.

    greased bread pan with parchment paper

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium-sized bowl.

     flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk the oil, sugar, and vanilla.

    oil, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.

    add eggs to the sugar mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Whisk in the pumpkin.

    add pumpkin to the sugar mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Using a flexible spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet.

    pumpkin bread batter in a bowl, dry and wet ingredients mixed together

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Gently fold in the chocolate chips, if using, being careful not to overmix.

    add chocolate chips to the pumpkin bread batter

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or butter knife.

    pumpkin bread batter in a bread pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  10. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, rotating at the halfway point, until a cake tester comes out with a moist crumb or two.

    baked pumpkin bread in a bread pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  11. Let cool until easy to handle before inverting the cake onto a cooling rack and then flipping it right side up to cool to room temperature.

    Pumpkin Bread on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Christine Ma


  • Do not overmix the batter. It is okay to stop folding the dry into the wet when streaks of flour are still visible.
  • Do not overbake. Be sure to remove the bread from the oven when a cake tester comes out with a moist crumb or two.
  • The bread will keep on the counter tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 days and is best on the second day. If freezing the loaf, wrap in plastic wrap, then a sheet of tinfoil. The bread can be frozen for up to a month.

Recipe Variations

  • If you like a spice forward pumpkin-eating experience, add a little extra nutmeg or ginger, or even a smidge of allspice or cloves.
  • If you want a pure pumpkin bread eating experience, omit the chips. Or if you like chips, but not semisweet ones, you can substitute dark chocolate. You can also used chopped chocolate rather than chips, if that's your jam.
  • You may substitute an equal amount of melted butter, for the oil, but your bread will not be quite as moist, nor will it remain so for several days.
  • The recipe doubles easily (and if you do so you will not have a half a can of pumpkin puree to deal with). Eat one loaf right away and freeze or gift the other.

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