Kick off all things fall with this moist and fragrant baked Pumpkin Loaf recipe!
This super-rich, dense quick bread is so easy to make and can be baked in a regular loaf pan or as mini loaves! Loaded with sweet and savory pumpkin puree, maybe with a dash of mini chocolate chips and some crunchy nuts, it tastes more like a luscious cake instead of a healthy breakfast bread! It’s the best way to start off a chilly morning or break up a busy day!
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Perfect Pumpkin Loaf
- Everyone loves the heavenly aroma of anything baked with pumpkin spice! Make a batch or two using this homemade pumpkin spice blend and add it to everything from pumpkin loaf to pumpkin pie and even these yummy Pumpkin Energy Balls!
- Save this moist and delicious Starbuck’s copycat recipe and make pumpkin loaf for everyone in the office! It’s a perfect start to the day with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa and the kids love it.
- Bake, slice, and freeze pumpkin loaf! Pop a piece in the toaster for a quick and energizing breakfast or take to school or work for a mid-morning pick-me-up! Don’t forget a smear of cream cheese or honey butter!
- Serve it toasted with that first cup o’ joe in the morning, or as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
- Fancy French toast? Yes, please! Use pumpkin loaf in this recipe and impress your guests!
What’s in a Pumpkin Loaf?
PUMPKIN BATTER Be sure to select pumpkin puree over pumpkin pie filling which is thinned down with water and is seasoned. For a gluten-free version, use a 1:1 ratio of almond flour. Extra-large eggs will make the loaf taste richer and fluffier.
SWEETENER I have made this with 1 cup sugar, and 1 1/3 cup sugar. The one with more sugar rose significantly more and had a nicer texture. For a lighter sugar recipe, decrease the white sugar to 1 cup. It will change the texture slightly, but is a good option for those looking to cut back on sugar intake.
ADD-INS This copycat recipe has mini chocolate chips and chopped pecans or walnuts. But add dried cranberries, raisins, currants, shredded coconut, or even toffee bits for a more festive loaf. No pecans? Use walnuts, or even pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
How to Make Pumpkin Loaf
- In one bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Cream the wet ingredients together in another bowl. Gently mix the dry into the wet without over stirring.
- Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. Bake until a wooden pick comes out clean. Let cool before slicing and serving.
- For mini-loaves, check doneness after 30 minutes and remove when a wooden pick comes out clean. Follow remaining directions.
Tips & Tricks
- For the fluffiest pumpkin loaf, avoid over mixing the batter, a few lumps are okay. If baking isn’t a regular activity, check the expiration dates on the baking soda and baking powder to see if they need to be replaced.
- For the richest, deepest, pumpkin flavor, cool the pumpkin loaf completely, wrap in plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature overnight.
- Toast nuts in a dry pan until they are just barely fragrant. Toasting nuts for any recipe intensifies their flavor and helps them stay extra crunchy!
- Keep leftovers tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days. Freeze slices between layers of parchment paper and pop one out at a time to reheat in the toaster! Pumpkin loaf lasts about 6 weeks in the freezer, but it will be used up long before then!
Other Quick Breads To Try!
- Pumpkin Cranberry Bread – another delicious pumpkin recipe!
- Fresh Pear Bread – perfect fall quick bread.
- Sourdough Banana Bread – only 10 minute prep time!
- Banana Walnut Bread Recipe – a classic recipe.
- Nut Free Banana Bread – moist and delicious.
- 1 ⅔ cups flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾-1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger, and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup pumpkin puree about ½ can
- 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup oil
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional, reserve a few for sprinkling on top
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips optional, reserve about ⅛ cup for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 ½ x 4 ½ or 9 x 5 loaf pan. Line with a strip of parchment and grease. (Can use pan release.)
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and baking powder.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar, oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until just combined, but mixed through. Some small lumps may remain.
- Fold in nuts and chocolate chips, if using.
- Add the batter to loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with nuts and chocolate chips if desired.
- Bake for 60 to 80 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven. After cooling for about 15 minutes, remove from the loaf pan and cool on a rack. When completely cool, wrap well in plastic wrap, and store overnight before serving for best flavor.
- Nutrition calculated with walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Avoid overmixing the batter - some lumps are ok!
- Toast nuts to bring out their best flavor.
- For the best pumpkin flavor, cool loaf completely, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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