Richly-spiced and aromatic, this moist Pumpkin Bread recipe features caramel notes from brown butter, warm spices, and nutty walnuts for crunch.
If you’re looking for inspiration for an easy fall baking project, look no further.
I have a festive quick bread that’s not too over-the-top festive. It's basically the perfect treat to whip up all fall and winter. And it serves double (or triple) duty; it's great as breakfast, dessert, or a snack!
This pumpkin bread recipe is moist and rich, and so aromatic. In this recipe I used a complex blend of chai spices (including cardamom and black pepper!).
These spices balance out the rich, caramel flavor notes from the browned butter. All in all, it’s a winning combination.
And it gets even tastier the day after it’s been baked once the flavors have had the chance to marry.
Pair this pumpkin bread recipe with coffee or tea for the perfect start to a festive day, or as an afternoon treat. And it would be amazing made into French toast for a weekend or holiday brunch!
The Best Homemade Pumpkin Bread Recipe
Here's what you're going to love about this homemade quick bread:
- Brown butter. It adds great depth, and nutty, caramel flavor notes.
- Chai spices. The spice blend I came up with here is unique, and really makes this bread something special. Don't be tempted to skip the black pepper! It blends perfectly.
- Perfect pumpkin. This pumpkin bread recipe has just the right amount of pumpkin flavor without it being overwhelming. And canned pumpkin puree works perfectly!
Ingredients in Pumpkin Bread
- Unsalted butter
- Avocado oil
- Granulated sugar
- Blackstrap molasses
- Pumpkin puree
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Black pepper
- Walnuts or pecans
How to Brown Butter
- Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat.
- It will look foamy when it first melts, but the foam will go away as it cooks.
- Once melted, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue cooking.
- Keep cooking until the butter is slightly browned and smells nutty, about 3 to 5 minutes. When it looks like this, it's ready. Don't forget to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan!
How to Sift Dry Ingredients for Baked Goods
When you're making quick breads and other baked goods, it's a good idea to sift together the dry ingredients. This helps combine the dry ingredients evenly and make sure there are no lumps.
- Position a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Add all dry ingredients to the sieve.
- Stir together the dry ingredients, gently pressing them down through the sieve.
How to Make Pumpkin Bread
- While it’s still hot, add the browned butter to a large bowl. Don't be tempted to let the brown butter cool, we need it hot.
- Add the avocado oil and sugar, and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs, and then the molasses, vanilla, and pumpkin.
- Sift in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, cardamom, and black pepper.
- Stir by hand or use a handheld electric mixer just to combine, being careful not to over-mix.
- Fold in the walnuts or pecans (if using).
- Pour the batter into a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan that is lined with 2 pieces of parchment paper and sprayed with coconut oil spray.
- Spread the top of the batter out evenly.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 65 to 80 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.
How to Store Homemade Pumpkin Bread
Store homemade pumpkin bread wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days. To keep it as fresh as possible, I like to wrap it in plastic wrap and then put it in a gallon-sized zip-top plastic bag.
Pumpkin Bread FAQs
Is Canned Pumpkin the Same as Pumpkin Puree?
Yes! Canned pumpkin is pureed pumpkin that is canned. You can usually find it in the baking aisle of the grocery store.
What Can I Use Instead of Vegetable Oil in Pumpkin Bread?
This recipe calls for ½ cup of avocado oil. You can use any neutral-flavored oil you like, such as canola oil, safflower oil, corn oil, or light olive oil.
Or to lower the calories a bit, you can use unsweetened applesauce instead.
How Do You Make Quick Break Moist?
I have a few tips/tricks for making a delicious moist quick bread, such as banana bread or pumpkin bread:
- Oil. Using oil (or in the case, a combination of butter and oil) helps yield a moist quick bread.
- Don't skimp on the sugar. I'm usually tempted to reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe like this. However, the sugar in this recipe isn't just for sweetness, it also helps keep the bread moist and tasting fresh for longer.
- Pumpkin puree. It adds moisture to this quick bread, the same way that zucchini does for zucchini bread and mashed banana does for banana bread.
- Make sure not to over-mix the batter. Once you add the dry ingredients to the wet, it's important not to over-mix.
- If all else fails. Make a simple sugar sugar syrup (add 1 part water + 1 part sugar to a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat; remove from the heat; cool), and pour the cooled syrup onto the hot-out-of-the-oven bread. I would use ½ cup water + ½ cup sugar for a 9-inch loaf of quick bread like this. And note that in addition to adding moisture, this will add a bit more sweetness too.
More Quick Bread Recipes to Make
- Rosemary Onion Quick Bread
- Easy Low Carb Zucchini Bread
- Cranberry Orange Bread with Walnuts
- Best Banana Bread
Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe with Brown Butter and Chai Spices
- Coconut oil spray
- ½ cup unsalted butter browned
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F; line a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper so it hangs over all 4 sides. Lightly spray the inside (especially the corners) with coconut oil spray.
- While it’s still hot, carefully beat together the browned butter with the avocado oil and sugar until well combined. Beat in the eggs, and then the molasses, vanilla, and pumpkin.
- Sift in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, cardamom, and black pepper, and stir just to combine, being careful not to over-mix. Fold in the walnuts or pecans (if using).
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 65 to 80 minutes.
- Cool completely before slicing.
- Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe makes 1 (9 by 5-inch) loaf or 18 servings. Each serving is 1 slice, about ½-inch thick.
- Storage: Store homemade pumpkin bread wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days. To keep it as fresh as possible, I like to wrap it in plastic wrap and then put it in a gallon-sized zip-top plastic bag.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on November 20, 2017. I updated it with more information on November 21, 2021.