While studies show that sensory memories last only a short time, I’m guessing they’ve never studied pumpkin bread and its effects on a person’s brain. The taste of pumpkin bread immediately transports me back to a fall day in Westfield, Indiana, sitting on a bale of hay at an autumn festival, devouring a slice of perfectly moist pumpkin bread. I can feel the cool breeze on my face and see the brightly colored leaves, and there’s nothing quite like it. The beauty of making a loaf yourself is that you don’t have to wait for pumpkin spice season to roll around—go wild and make it in the middle of the summer if you want!–Courtney Cowan

A loaf of pumpkin bread in a metal loaf pan.

A woman eating a slice of pumpkin bread with a dog at her feet.

Pumpkin Bread

5 from 1 vote
This pumpkin bread, made with pumpkin purée and a warming blend of spices, tastes every bit as amazing as its inviting aroma would suggest.
David Leite
Servings12 servings
Calories339 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 55 minutes
Total Time2 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • One (15-ounce) can 100-percent pure pumpkin puree


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
  • Generously butter a loaf pan (either 8 1/2-by 4 1/2-inches | 22-by 11-cm or 9-by 5-inches | 23-by 13-cm) and dust it with flour. Tap out any excess flour. Alternatively, cut parchment paper to line the pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk until combined.
  • In a large bowl with a wooden spoon or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until the mixture is very light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin. Your batter might look grainy and lumpy or it may seem separated. Don’t worry!
  • With the mixer on medium-low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.
  • Scrape enough batter into the prepared pan only until the pan is 2/3 full. You may not use all the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 75 to 85 minutes.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: If you have extra batter, pour it into muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22 minutes.

  • Let the pumpkin bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, run a knife around the edges, and then turn it onto a wire rack to cool completely, 30 to 40 minutes. If using parchment paper, lift it out and place it on the cooling rack.
  • Slice the pumpkin bread or store at room temperature for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month. After the first day, slice and toast it for that fresh-baked goodness.


Make Two Smaller Loaves

If you’d prefer two small loaves instead of one large one, divide the batter between two smaller loaf pans and reduce the baking time to 55 to 65 minutes.

Adapted From

Milk Jar Cookies Bakebook

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Serving: 1 sliceCalories: 339 kcalCarbohydrates: 54 gProtein: 4 gFat: 13 gSaturated Fat: 8 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 0.5 gCholesterol: 65 mgSodium: 211 mgPotassium: 157 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 36 gVitamin A: 5919 IUVitamin C: 2 mgCalcium: 47 mgIron: 2 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2020 Courtney Cowan. Photo © 2020 Ashley Maxwell. Photo © 2020 Istetiana. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This recipe is a bit different than other pumpkin breads I have made. It has a good texture but isn’t overly dense. The top was crunchy in a good way (think muffin tops) while the rest of the loaf was a normal texture.

The spice mix was also different. I was sort of worried about the whole teaspoon of clove but it worked really well. To be honest, I don’t care for clove on its own, so I was concerned when I caught a whiff of the dry ingredients that it would be too strong, but it actually made the loaf a lot more interesting than a normal pumpkin bread. It has an almost gingerbread-like flavor.

Regardless, it was great and I would definitely make it again. Plus, it made my house smell amazing.

I beat the mixture for about 5 minutes after adding the eggs and this batter was nice because after adding the eggs I didn’t have to scrape the bowl at all. Everything was just a cohesive batter.

My batter didn’t look grainy or lumpy. The pumpkin definitely didn’t 100% combine but the texture wasn’t weird.

I buttered the pan instead of using parchment paper and the loaf popped right out of the pan after 10 minutes of cooling. It cooled pretty quickly (maybe 20 to 30 minutes), but of course we didn’t wait to sample it!

The best pumpkin bread I’ve ever tasted. Incredibly moist and delicious. Super easy to put together. Why settle for pre-made, pre-packaged substitutes when you can have the real thing in little time with minimal effort and the added bonus of your house smelling like pumpkin heaven? I had a slice warm out of the oven with my favorite coffee. Ahhhh…lovely.

I used parchment paper.

This pumpkin bread is autumn in a slice! It comes out moist and dense with a tender crumb, not crumbly, and tastes like the wonderful combination of a pumpkin pie and gingerbread. The house smelled so good while it was baking.

We had our first slice after dinner, and again for breakfast the next day, toasted. Both ways were excellent! My husband now wants whipped cream with his dessert slice tonight. I guess I’ll be heading out today for whipping cream because it’s definitely being enjoyed as dessert!

The mixture did look a bit grainy after the pumpkin puree was added, but that was just the specks of pumpkin solids. The mixture was not at all lumpy.

This autumn spice pumpkin bread or snack cake is a keeper around here, and I’m thinking it would also make great holiday mini loaves for gifting!

This pumpkin bread is delicious and easy to throw together. It has a delicious pumpkin and seasonal spice taste and is moist and yummy! It would be great to throw in some dried cranberries as well!

It’s very tender and, when cut, it crumbles easily. I recommended you put it in the fridge after its completely cooled.

This recipe for pumpkin bread is everything you want in a classic pumpkin bread. It’s quick and simple to pull together and results in a beautifully moist loaf.

I do have to say that I was incredibly anxious when the recipe called for an entire teaspoon of ground nutmeg, given how easy it is to overdo nutmeg, but the end product was perfectly spiced. I recommend trying the option to split it into two smaller loaves so you can keep one and give one away.

Around this time of year, we make a lot of pumpkin things—muffins, pies, and bread. So I knew I had to try this one. The flavor was brilliant. The bread was really tender and moist (almost too tender). The flavors were popular with the family. The recipe was actually easy to make.

I would humbly suggest that if you want to make this bread, you could substitute 3 tsp of pumpkin pie space. This would make it even faster since you won’t have to pull out 3 spice jars. You can also adjust the seasoning towards what you like, too.

This recipe was simple and easy to prepare. The end product was a good serviceable pumpkin bread. The flavor was nice, but I like a bit of a pop in my pumpkin bread. I would probably add ginger, allspice, or cardamon if making again.

It was a little tricky to extract the loaf from the pan. I would recommend using parchment in order to allow the loaf to be lifted from the pan. I used a 9-by-5-by-2 3/4 loaf pan. A slightly deeper pan might be better or diving the loaf between 2 pans as suggested in the recipe. The loaf really puffed up over the edges. This recipe would be an easy holiday project for the novice baker or kids just learning their way around the kitchen.

Fall perfection. Lovely autumn spices make for a wonderful slice. The batter mixes up quickly, is nice and thick, and turns out a dense and moist bread. Perfect for afternoon tea or breakfast. I made this in one large loaf and 3 additional mini loaves.

The flavor and spice blend are wonderful and this recipe bakes a substantial loaf. We loved this recipe and will be making again, perfect for this time of year.

The frst batch was 70 minutes at 325°F. I did the toothpick test and thought it was done. Once the loaf was cooled and sliced, I found the center was still uncooked 🙁 but the cooked portion, the ends, were delicious. So the second attempt I decided to split the batter into two smaller pans and cooked the loaves for 60 minutes at 325°F.  Or splitting the batter into smaller loaves works well.

The flavor of this loaf is amazing and it didn’t last long. I separated the batter between 2 loaf pans and baked them for 75 minutes and it was perfect.

Our family pumpkin bread uses chocolate chips and I was not sure what the kids would think about trying a new recipe. They loved this one and didn’t comment once that they missed the chocolate. The combination of spices is perfect (I also left out the vanilla and didn’t miss it). My daughter wanted to add a glaze so that this pumpkin bread would take exactly like a pumpkin spice munchkin, but she would like to put a drizzle of sugar on most things.

I recently read a chocolate chip cookie recipe that left out the vanilla; the rationale being that vanilla is so expensive, if it is not the primary flavor, it often does not need to be added. I left it out of this recipe, figuring it would be eclipsed by all of those wonderful spices. We didn’t miss it.

I baked the bread in 2 loaf pans for the full 65 minutes. I used butter on the pans and both loaves stuck. Next time I’ll either try parchment paper or butter and flour the pans. I froze the second loaf; once thawed, it tasted just as good as the first one.

It made 16 slices but most everyone in my family probably ate 2 to 3 servings at a time because it was so good. I did bake it in smaller pans. They needed the full 65 minutes.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Beautiful, simple, morning-coffee perfect. An excellent way to use up my extra roasted, pureed pumpkin from Thanksgiving’s maple pumpkin pie prep. I added one cup of chopped toasted walnuts for a protein-y touch. And, prepared a half-batch since it’s just the two of us. Could not be simpler; and cannot wait for tomorrow morning.

    1. We’re so glad to hear this, Judith. I hope it’s every bit as good today. Can’t wait to hear what you make next.