Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread tastes so typical of autumn, with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and molasses. Plus an optional orange glaze! Use canned or homemade pumpkin puree.

Ah, pumpkin time! There’s a chill in the air, kids and adults alike planning their Halloween costumes, and pumpkins flock to the local markets. Now is the time for pumpkin bread, don’t you think?


pumpkin bread

The best pumpkin for pumpkin bread

Most people use canned pumpkin puree in baking recipes like this because of the consistent results. However, if you prefer, you can easily roast a sugar squash, butternut squash, or kabocha squash for its puree. This way you get more toasted and caramelized flavor. Steaming or boiling also works, but you’ll miss the extra flavor of frying.

Can I cook with a Halloween pumpkin?

When it comes to cooking, not all pumpkins are the same! Those big carved pumpkins? Probably best left to carve and maybe save the seeds for roasting.

Jack-o-lantern pumpkins are grown more for their durability than their flavor.

Want to make your own pumpkin puree? It’s easy! All you have to do is cut a small sugar squash (or kabocha or butternut squash) in half horizontally and scrape out the seeds and fibrous interior. Place the squash halves, cut-side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F until tender, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Once the squash has cooled, scoop out the pulp and use in any recipe that calls for mashed pumpkin. Freeze whatever is left for future use.

If you’re working with squash pieces instead of a whole squash, roast or boil them until tender, then remove the skin and discard.

Ways to customize this pumpkin bread recipe

This pumpkin bread recipe is very adaptable to different types of pumpkin puree and spice blends. We took an old Fannie Farmer recipe as a base and made a few tweaks to it over the years.

We also made a lovely optional icing for the pumpkin bread – with orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, and powdered sugar.

Here are some ways you can adapt this recipe:

  • Mix ins: The recipe calls for optional pecans or walnuts. You can also add 1/2 cup chocolate chips or dried sweetened cranberries. Add a tablespoon of grated fresh ginger if you want more gingerbread flavor.
  • Sweeteners: We use white sugar with added molasses. You can substitute these with 1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar or substitute dark honey for the molasses.
  • Butter or Oil: Fanny Farmer’s original recipe used 1/2 cup oil. We love the flavor that melted butter adds to this bread, but you can use olive oil or a combination of both. You can also use melted coconut oil.
  • Flax Eggs: Looking for an alternative to eggs? You can use flax eggs instead – flax seeds whisked in water. (Here’s how.)

Make Ahead and Freeze

Live most bread cakes, this one freezes quite well unglazed. Wrap it first in plastic wrap, then in foil. Freeze for up to three months.

More great pumpkin recipes:

  • Pumpkin bread with chocolate chips
  • pumpkin pie
  • pumpkin waffles
  • Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Pumpkin biscotti

pumpkin bread

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
45 minutes

total time
60 minutes

up to 10 servings

1 bread

You can easily double this recipe. If using the frosting, the frosting is enough for two pumpkin loaves.

Don’t have molasses? You can substitute 1 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons molasses with 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar packed.


For the pumpkin bread:

  • 1 1/2 cups (200G) all purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinammon

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon pimento

  • 1 Cup (240ml) pumpkin pureestore bought or homemade

  • 1 cup (200G) sugar

  • 1/2 cup (112G) unsalted buttermelted

  • 2 big eggsbeaten

  • 1/4 Cup water

  • 2 teaspoon molasses

  • 1 teaspoon Orange peel, Optional

  • 1/2 cup (65G) hacked pecans or walnuts, optional

For the orange glaze (optional):

  • 1 Cup powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoon orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon Orange peel


  1. Make the Homemade Pumpkin Puree (optional):

    To make your own pumpkin puree, cut a small sugar squash in half horizontally. Use a large metal spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy stuff.

    Place the squash halves, cut-side down, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 350°F until tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool, scoop out the flesh. Measure out 1 cup of puree for this recipe and freeze whatever you don’t use for future use. Or if you’re working with squash pieces, roast, boil, or steam them until tender, then remove the skin and discard.

  2. Preheat the oven and prepare the loaf tin:

    Preheat your oven to 180°C. Place on the middle shelf of the oven. Butter the insides of a 4×8-inch loaf pan.

  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients:

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

  4. Combine the wet ingredients:

    In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin puree, sugar, melted butter, beaten eggs, 1/4 cup water, molasses, and orange zest (if using).

  5. Make the dough:

    Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined and there is no dry flour left in the batter.

    Don’t overmix! If you add chopped pecans or walnuts, stir them in.

  6. Bake:

    Pour the batter into the loaf pan and flatten the top. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 45 to 60 minutes (depending on your oven and the color of your loaf pan – dark pans will cook contents faster than light pans) or until a tester jabs the center of the pan and the bread comes out clean.

  7. Remove from pan and cool completely:

    Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

    Then, run a dull dinner knife around the edges of the pumpkin bread to gently pry it out of the pan. Turn over to release from the pan and transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool completely.

  8. Glaze:

    If using the glaze, in a medium bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, orange juice, zest, and vanilla until smooth. If too thick, add a little more juice. If too runny, add a little more powdered sugar.

    Wait for the pumpkin bread to cool completely before frosting or slicing. Tip: Use a serrated knife to cut. So less crumbs!

nutritional information (per serving)
259 calories
10g Fat
39g carbohydrates
4g protein
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