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Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe

This is by far the Best Pumpkin Bread you’ll ever taste! Moist and tender due to a secret ingredient and bursting with extra flavor from a crumble topping, this is a spiced pumpkin treat that’s a major tool in our arsenal of fall recipes.

Best Pumpkin Bread Sliced.
A few secret tips and ingredients along with a cinnamon-brown sugar crumble make this the best pumpkin bread you’ll ever taste.

Video: Watch Us Make This

Why This Recipe Stands Out

Although pumpkin bread is clearly a fall treat, we’re unashamed to say we enjoy it all year round. It simply makes for the perfect easy breakfast, dessert, or satisfying snack recipe that the whole family loves. Here’s what you’ll love:

  • Texture: It uses an unexpected secret ingredient to make the most tender, moist pumpkin bread we’ve ever tried.
  • Aroma: It’ll instantly make your whole house smell like pumpkin and autumn spices.
  • Double quantity: This recipe makes 2 loaves of pumpkin bread. So, you can enjoy one now, and save one for later or give it as a gift.
  • Freeze: It freezes super well, making it a great option for a sweet and comforting make-ahead breakfast.
  • Simplicity: It’s simple to make which is why we find ourselves baking this all the time.

Key Ingredients

zucchini bread dry ingredients with whisk in bowl
  • Pure Pumpkin Puree – We cook the pure unsweetened pumpkin puree on the stovetop to eliminate any metallic taste from the can and to help bring out the sweet pumpkin flavors.
  • Fall Spices – We couldn’t have pumpkin bread without the classic combo of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg to bring that warm, spiced goodness to the recipe.
  • Olive Oil – Olive oil is added to the pumpkin bread to help create the right texture and keep it moist.
  • Cream Cheese – Here’s our secret ingredient! Room temperature cream cheese is added to make this bread tender and moist.
  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk’s acidity balances all of the sweet ingredients in this bread perfectly. It also helps activate the baking soda and powder making our bread rise.
  • Topping – A mixture of brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, and salt is crumbled on top of the bread making a perfectly light, buttery topping that’s similar-to but not-quite streusel.

Substitutions And Variations

We love this pumpkin bread just how it is, but it can also be easily tweaked to match your preferences. Take a look at these easy substitution and variation ideas:

  • Add ins: If you’re someone who can’t get enough chocolate, try mixing white, milk, or dark chocolate chips into pumpkin bread batter. Chopped pecans or walnuts work well, too,
  • Flours: If you want to make the Best Pumpkin Bread a bit healthier, swap the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour. (Just note that this will slightly alter the texture.) Otherwise, try our Healthy Pumpkin Bread Recipe.
  • Topping: If you can’t get enough cream cheese frosting, replace the crumble with your favorite cream cheese frosting. Check out this Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting for a simple recipe. Just make sure to let the bread cool completely before topping.
  • Muffins: Make this amazingly moist pumpkin bread into pumpkin muffins. Simply cook at 350F until muffins are golden and a toothpick comes out mostly clean.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients for the cinnamon-brown sugar topping with your fingers until they resemble wet sand.
  2. Combine pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir for 5 minutes. Then remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese until combined. Then add sugar, brown sugar, and oil and whisk until smooth.
  1. Whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Then add to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine.
  2. Add whisked flour, baking powder, and baking soda to the pumpkin mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently fold together. Don’t over-mix. Clumps are totally fine.
  1. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pans and sprinkle with crumble. Bake at 350F until toothpick comes out mostly clean, about 45 minutes.
  2. Let bread cool completely before slicing.

For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.

How To Prep Ahead

This pumpkin bread is already pretty simple to throw together. However, there are a few ways to make baking this delicious fall treat even easier.

  • Topping: Mix the topping ingredients ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready-to-use.
  • Dry Ingredients: Combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda ahead of time and store in an airtight container.
  • Freeze: Freeze pumpkin bread to enjoy later. Simply slice the completely cooled loaf and wrap in plastic wrap before placing in an airtight bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Loaf of the Best Pumpkin Bread.
This moist, tender pumpkin bread makes for the perfect autumn breakfast, dessert, or snack.

Commonly Asked Questions

What’s the difference between canned pumpkin and pumpkin puree?

These two phrases are often used interchangeably in recipes, and refer to the same thing. Both are solid-pack, pure pumpkin.

What if my pumpkin bread doesn’t rise correctly?

Be sure your dry ingredients are super fresh, especially baking powder and baking soda. Also, make sure not to overfill the pans. We want enough room on top for the bread to rise.

Does this pumpkin bread freeze well?

Yes! This pumpkin bread freezes just beautifully. Let the finished bread fully cool to room temperature. Then wrap it airtight and freeze up to several weeks.

Can you taste the olive oil in this pumpkin bread? Can I use another type of oil?

You cannot taste any olive oil in this moist pumpkin bread at all! But yes, you can absolutely use another type of oil, such as canola oil, vegetable oil, or coconut oil.

Why does this pumpkin bread recipe require cooking the pumpkin mixture?

Cooking the pumpkin mixture removes any “canned” pumpkin taste from the puree. It also allows for easy melting of cream cheese into the batter.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Best Pumpkin Bread Sliced.

Best Pumpkin Bread

4.91 from 121 ratings
This is by far the Best Pumpkin Bread you'll ever taste! Moist and tender due to a secret ingredient and topped with a crumble that sets it apart, this is a spiced pumpkin treat that's a major tool in our arsenal of fall recipes.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 24
Author: Amy Dong


Pumpkin Bread



  • Make the topping by mixing all topping ingredients in a bowl with fingers, until well combined. It will resemble wet sand.  Set aside.
  • Heat oven to 350F with rack on lower-middle position.  Grease two 8.5 x 4.5 nonstick loaf pans*
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Combine pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and vanilla in large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir constantly for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat immediately. 
  • Add cream cheese to pumpkin mixture and mix until smooth and combined.  Stir in sugar, brown sugar, oil, and let stand 5 minutes.  Whisk until mixture is smooth, without lumps.
  • In a bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk.  Slowly add egg mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Use rubber spatula to gently fold flour mixture into pumpkin mixture just to combine (small lumps of flour are okay; do not over-mix.)  Scrape batter into prepared pans.
  • Sprinkle topping evenly over top of each loaf.  Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean, about 45 minutes (actual bake time depends on loaf pans used and individual ovens).  Loaves are done when inserted toothpick comes out with just a few tender crumbs attached – don't wait until toothpicks emerge completely dry/clean, as bread may be over-baked by then.
  • Let bread cool in pans at room temp for at least 20 minutes.  Use sharp thin knife to carefully loosen edges. Remove breads from pans to finish cooling. Once bread is completely cool, slice and enjoy!


  • If you only have a 9×5″ loaf pan, you can opt to make 1 larger loaf and use excess batter for muffins. If you use two 9×5″ loaf pans, decrease the baking time.
  • Be sure to keep checking various center spots with toothpick to ensure the breads are taken out as soon as toothpick comes out with just a few tender crumbs attached.
  • For a healthy spin on this classic fall treat, check out this Healthy Pumpkin Bread or this Super Tender Vegan Pumpkin Bread.
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating. We ❤️ hearing from you!

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 2900IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: Bake, Mixing, Whisk

More To Bake And Eat

  • Super Tender Vegan Pumpkin Bread – This recipe uses an unexpected secret ingredient to make the most moist vegan pumpkin bread you’ll ever taste. It’s sweet, comforting, and only takes one bowl!
  • Healthy Pumpkin Bread – Here we take your classic loaf of pumpkin bread and simply make it healthier. With ingredients like pure honey, whole wheat flour, and (of course) all natural pumpkin puree you’ll have a fall dessert you can feel good about.
  • Autumn Pumpkin Cornbread – Cornbread is the perfect side to a comforting family dinner, and we just made it better! This moist autumn pumpkin cornbread is sure to be a new fall favorite that the whole family will love.
  • One-Bowl Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies – Old fashioned rolled oats, pure pumpkin puree, and cinnamon chips come together to make the most chewy autumn cookies that we can’t stop eating. It’s another one of our favorite one-bowl recipes.
  • Pumpkin Pasties (Hand Pies) – These sweet, flakey, and buttery hand pies are filled with a delicious pumpkin center and drizzled with a spiced glaze. They’re a fun fall treat that adults and kids alike will devour.
4.91 from 121 votes (87 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


    • Phyllis Noelle Vitucci
    • 5 stars

    I’ve been wanting to try this recipe but haven’t had the time until after the Christmas.
    You must be a sensational Baker, because baking is a science and how you put all these ingredients together is amazing, but I found for me the step preparation was almost as labor-intensive as my mother’s recipe for Italian grain pie, which is absolutely sensational. The pumpkin bread texture was very moist and delicious. If I make this pumpkin bread again, I will definitely cut them back on the sugar. Also I too, was concerned about the olive oil, but I used it and did not taste it at all. Anyway, olive oil is the only oil I use in cooking and salad, etc. Much thanks and wishing you a very happy healthy new year.

    • Emma

    Hi there! I’m going to be baking this soon, but I was curious… why does the photo show the pans having parchment paper but you don’t mention using it?

      • Amy Dong

      Hi, Emma, just switched out the image – we make various loaves. The recipe card is correct. Hope you love it!

    • Lisa

    Hello, I made this twice. Flavor is beyond delish, but it appears uncooked inside. I’m thinking something could be wrong with my oven! I do bake all the time and I am told him a great baker, so I don’t think it’s me. It’s bothering me because it’s so delicious but I feel like there’s something off. Thoughts?

    • Carma

    Question. I am confused. Is it 2 c plus 10 oz flour, 1 c plus 7 oz brown sugar, 1 c plus 7 oz granulated sugar?vc

      • Amy Dong

      Carma, check the recipe card; it should read clearly now.

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