So simple to make, you don’t even need a mixer for this perfectly moist pumpkin bread recipe made from scratch.
Simple to Make Moist Pumpkin Bread
Every time I make a quick bread (hello lovely banana bread), I wonder why I don’t make them more often. They’re so quick and easy to make. But the thing with quick breads is they tend to land on one side of the texture wheel or the other: crumby and dry, or cloying, dense, and oily. That’s why I made and re-made this pumpkin bread over and over again, in my mission to pin down the formula for the perfect pumpkin bread.
I wasn’t asking for much, just a pumpkin bread with the perfect crumb that has a bit of bounce, tastes moist, but isn’t heavy. A bread with loft and rise but won’t leave you parched. A slice that isn’t either too sweet nor not enough, with just the perfect balance of cinnamon/nutmeg/clove spice.
I also want a pumpkin bread that makes just one loaf, doesn’t require an electric mixer to make, and can be boosted with nuts, chocolate chips, or left all on it’s glorious own to shine.
That’s not too much to ask for, is it? I didn’t think so either. And that’s why my testing totally paid off, making this the BEST pumpkin bread recipe I’ve ever made. Here’s how you will too.
What’s In This Pumpkin Bread Recipe
This recipe started with my grandma Mary Jane’s recipe card for pumpkin bread, where it is noted in her slightly backward tilting cursive writing as coming from her friend Bonnie Harpin. That’s the best thing about family recipes, their classic taste and memories live on forever.
Grandma’s recipe was good, with the ingredients all spot on, but it was the amounts that needed tweaking to get exactly what I was looking for. Another egg plus less sugar and leavening to give it more loft; less water so it wasn’t too dense; and baking it at a higher temp than she had noted for those lightly crisped edges to give it just the right bit of crunch.
Here’s what you’ll need for this fast and easy bread recipe:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Ground cloves
- Granulated sugar
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Canned pumpkin (make sure it’s 100% pure pumpkin)
How to Make Pumpkin Bread from Scratch
This pumpkin bread recipe comes together quick and easy to make one decadent loaf. If you’d like two, go ahead and double the recipe.
Skip the electric mixer and use a sturdy whisk. Why break out the KitchenAid stand mixer when your own muscles will do? Because we’re using canola oil (or vegetable oil) in this pumpkin bread recipe, the batter is thin enough to combine with a regular whisk.
For more loft, whisk in the eggs one at a time. To add volume to the batter, whisk the eggs one at a time into the sugar mixture. This offsets the heft and moisture the oil adds to the bread.
Don’t over mix the batter—30 whisks is all you need. After adding the dry ingredients to the wet, mix the batter just until the flour is incorporated. Over mixing makes the bread tough, so about 28-30 rotations round the bowl should do the trick.
Prepare Your Loaf Pan
Prepare one 9″ X 5″ X 3″ loaf pan. This recipe makes enough to fill one 9 X 5 X 3-inch bread or loaf pan. Spray with cooking spray, then dust with flour. Or, use a no-stick cooking spray with flour already in it like Baker’s Joy. The flour separates the cooking spray from the batter so it releases easier and doesn’t stick to the pan.
What Makes This Pumpkin Bread Moist
Oil, eggs, and water make this pumpkin bread moist. Many quick breads call for neutral flavored oil like canola or vegetable oil to make the bread moist To keep my recipe from becoming too heavy, part of the oil is replaced with good old water plus three eggs to add moisture to this batter.
Baking Time for This Quick Bread
Bake this bread at 350°F for 50-65 minutes. You’ll know this pumpkin bread is done baking when the top begins to crack and the sides pull away from the pan. Or, use a cake tester or a long skewer to test and be sure the bread is cooked all the way through.
How to Store Pumpkin Bread
Just like so many of us, this pumpkin bread gets even better with time. To keep it fresh and from becoming soggy as the loaf emits moisture, store the bread on a paper towel in a sealed container. If you’re not worried about maintaining a lightly crisped crust, wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Always store the bread after it’s completely cooled.
How to Freeze
Quick breads are fantastic for making ahead. To store, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or beeswax then in aluminum foil. Then, double up and pop the loaf in a gallon zippered freezer bag. The pumpkin bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. And don’t forget to use a Sharpie to mark the date and what’s in the freezer bag! When ready to eat, thaw at room temperature.
What to Add to Pumpkin Bread
Customize this recipe with any of these extra ingredients, or a combination!
- Chocolate chips
- Nuts like pecans, walnuts or pepitas
- Sweetened coconut flakes
- Raisins or dried apricots
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
The BEST Pumpkin Bread (Moist and No Mixer!)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9" X 5" X 3" loaf pan with baking spray with flour, or spray with cooking spray and lightly flour the pan, tapping out the excess.
- In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and oil together. Whisk the eggs, one at a time, into the sugar mixture until light and creamy. Add the pumpkin, water, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the bowl. Whisk the flour into the batter about 28-30 times around the bowl or just until incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean and the edges of the bread pulls away from the pan. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan then turn the bread out and cool on a cooking rack.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container lined with a paper towel to absorb the moisture, or wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap. The bread will last for 3 days or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
More Pumpkin Recipe Ideas
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- My Favorite Pumpkin Roll Recipe
- Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream Sauce
- Pumpkin Tiramisu
- Mascarpone Pumpkin Mousse Cups
More Quick Bread Recipes
- How to Make Classic Banana Bread
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Blueberry Oatmeal Quick Bread
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Cherry and Almond Quick Bread
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