Pumpkin Bread.

pumpkin bread

Every fall, I get a craving for pumpkin pancakes, and I get all excited and look at recipes and pick one to try and get a lot of dishes dirty…and every time, I’m disappointed.

This year I’ve finally come to the conclusion that while I love pumpkin-y things, and I love pancakes, I don’t love pumpkin pancakes. The pumpkin makes the pancakes too dense, or something, and they never have the intensity of flavor I’m longing for. It turns out that what actually satisfies that craving is this pumpkin bread…it has a light, cake-like texture, and it’s extra full of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. And it uses one bowl and a whole can of pumpkin – you’re welcome. Or is it just me getting unreasonably irritated at all these recipes that call for 1 cup of pumpkin, or worse, half a cup…what am I supposed to do with the rest of this can, besides feel guilty about it going to waste every time I open my fridge? Also – why isn’t someone selling pumpkin in 1-cup portions yet?

Anyway. Pumpkin bread. I’ve made this at least half a dozen times, and it’s not just a fall recipe in our house. It’s spicy and sweet and delicious, with a loaf to keep and one to give away (or freeze!). We delivered one to neighbors with, you guessed it, a new baby, and I cut the other one into thirds intending to freeze the chunks (for portion control, you know).

pumpkin bread packaged for a friend

…So far I still have the freezer bag sitting on the counter and after a perfectly satisfying lunch was slicing into it and swiping salted butter on it and devouring it. So yeah. It’s dangerously good!

pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread.

  • Author: Bet Denton
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 loaves


  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350, and grease 2 9x5x3 loaf pans (I use a little vegetable oil to do this, because I prefer it to cooking spray or the butter/flour method).
  2. Beat sugar and oil in a large bowl, then beat in eggs and pumpkin.
  3. Add half the flour, and all the spices and baking soda, powder, and salt. Stir gently to combine, then add the rest of the flour and stir gently.
  4. Divide the batter into the pans, and bake 50-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (mine took exactly one hour). Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.


This recipe is slightly adapted from Bon Appetit, and I found a copy on Epicurious…but it was originally given to me by my friend Leigh, who brought me a loaf when I had a new baby. :o)

I like the slightly tongue-numbing taste of cloves, but if you don’t want it to be a strong flavor I suggest cutting it to 1/2 teaspoon.

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  1. Mmmm, I already have a pumpkin bread recipe that I love, but the tongue-numbing-cloves has me intrigued. Taste Test!?!

    1. Taste test!! Why don’t we have the same recipe?? 🙂

  2. Bet –
    Do you think you could make this with honey instead of sugar? I make pumpkin muffins with honey from 100daysofrealfood.com (i have the book), using spelt flour and honey. We’re trying to stay away from processed sugar, but this looks super yum!


    1. Hmm. I haven’t tried it but I feel like it’s worth experimenting with! I found these guidelines for making the switch, so that might give you somewhere to start. This bread is pretty sweet, and some of the reviewers on Epicurious reduced the sugar even more than I did (to 2 cups or even less from the original 3 cups). So maybe go with 1-1/3 cups of honey?? I’m sure the texture would be a little different, maybe more moist and dense, but that doesn’t seem like a bad thing! 😉 Let me know if you try it! We like the whole wheat banana muffins (made with maple syrup) from 100daysofrealfood.com. Do you like the cookbook?

  3. Delicious! Having a warm piece right now. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yay, Linda! I’m kinda jealous, mine is all gone! 😉

  4. Bet – I’ll try it. Yes. I really like the cookbook. The first half is her story and why they make the choices they do and how to meal plan and budget and stuff. The rest is recipes. So far they’re yummy and I’ve been making a bunch. Lots of your recipes fit the bill, though, so I’ve been using yours too. 🙂

    1. I’m putting it on my Christmas list! You’ll have to let me know your favorites when I get it!

  5. dogs LOVE pumpkin. and it’s super good for them. I usually split the rest of a can between our pups’ dinners for a little treat 🙂

    1. Genius!! Lucy sends kisses of gratitude! 😉

  6. Bet, I like this recipe because of the spices used. I love spices especially the three “c’s” -curry, cumin and corriander. Although neither of these are used in this recipe, I want to try making a pumpkin bread for use with Spelt-my favorite flour. Quick Breads are my specialty and I use spices etc to make them taste awesome. In this recipe, I would use real pumpkin and not canned. How do I choose a really good pumpkin to buy and use? I look forward to your response.
    Viola Gary

    1. Hi Viola, your bread sounds very interesting! I bet it will be delicious beside a bowl of soup! :o) I’ve never used a fresh pumpkin myself, but I tend to trust The Kitchn for such things – hope this article is helpful! The Best Pumpkins for Baking and Cooking

  7. Love your recipe, made it twice in the past week. So moist and delicious! I used refined coconut oil (no coconut-y after taste with refined coconut oil) and egg whites to cut down on the fat a teensy bit. Love the spices and their quantities, I always heap when adding cinnamon (you can never use too much cinnamon 😉 )

    1. Melissa, this thrills my heart! So happy you’re enjoying the recipe and glad to know those subs work. Twice a week sounds like the perfect pumpkin bread schedule to me! ????

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