The Best Pumpkin Bread…Ever

There is pumpkin bread, and then there is pumpkin bread. Pumpkin bread might look nice on the outside but sorely disappoints with dryness and squashy flavor on the inside. Pumpkin bread warms your soul…it hugs you with sweet pumpkin followed by kisses of cinnamon and nutmeg. This is my all-time favorite pumpkin recipe, and I make it straight through the holidays since the addition of spices makes it so festive. It mixes up in one bowl (less dishes…score!) and makes your house smell divine. I don’t corrupt mine with raisins or nuts, but you sure can if it suits your fancy. This bread freezes beautifully and can be transformed into muffins, mini-bundts or wherever else your imagination leads.

When I serve this at our holiday party, I always include the simplest honey-cream cheese spread. It takes 30 seconds to whip up, but makes the bread extra-special.

The BEST Pumpkin Bread...Ever

The BEST Pumpkin Bread...Ever


Pumpkin Spice Bread with Honeyed Cream Cheese

Yield: Makes 2 loaves

Adapted from MyRecipes

1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin

1 cup canola oil

3 cups sugar

3 large eggs

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

For Honeyed Cream Cheese:

8-ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar


Beat pumpkin bread ingredients (pumpkin through cloves) at low speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until blended. Pour batter into 2 (9- x 5-inch) dark, nonstick loafpans coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaves in pans on wire racks 15 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely.

Note: For light, shiny loafpans, bake 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Combine softened cream cheese and honey (you can use a spoon, or get a fancy "whipped" texture with a mixer). Place in small serving bowl and drizzle with honey right before serving.

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  1. I made this recipe and it is amazing, so moist and the flavoring is perfect. Everyone that tasted it loved it!!! Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Have you ever frozen this bread? I am due in January and getting my freezer meal list together – I would love to have a slice of this after a midnight feeding but know I would never be able to make this once the baby arrives (this one will make 3 under 3!)

  3. This is a wonderful recipe! I am so glad you understand the whole “I’m going to look delicious but be a lie” pumpkin bread. Thanks for fighting the good fight with and for your fellow pumpkin bred lovers I made these into bars at and they are divine as well. Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. I don’t have any canola oil on hand, but I have olive oil and vegetable oil. Would it be ok to substitute one of those? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this!

  5. When making muffins, what temperature and how long should I bake these?
    Thank you!

  6. I made this last night and everyone is raving about it. I used 2 cups of white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar and swirled cream cheese and some chocolate chips! Thanks for this – I tried another recipe two days ago and it was a total fail!

  7. I have 2 loaves in the oven now! One for me and one for a potluck. Can’t wait. To try this:)

  8. I made one for my family and one for my parents for Thanksgiving…sooooo delicious! Even my 6 year old son, the World’s Pickiest Eater, loved it! I am making him some more right now as he has requested it for breakfast Great recipe! tomorrow!

  9. Michelle Ficklin says:

    Accidentally got out of your freezer meal for new mom’s site and I can’t find it again!
    Can you please give me the link?
    Thank you!!!

  10. Christina says:

    I only have glass loaf pans. Is that okay? would anything change?

    • Sugar Mama says:

      Not significantly — sometimes glass bakes a little slower than a dark metal. Just make sure it’s done by jiggling the pan. The center should be set, not jiggly. Happy baking!

  11. Lindsay, wonderful recipe. Thank you! The bread is very moist with the perfect density, crust, and just the right amount of sweetness. I made it into one large loaf and two minis. The minis will go back with my daughter when she goes back to her dorm tonight. Nice to send a little something with her. This is a keeper.

  12. This looks amazing! Is it possible to make and turn out okay without using an electric mixer?

    • Sugar Mama says:

      Hmmmmm…I’ve never tried it, but if you’ve got a good strong arm, I’ll bet you’d be fine. Happy baking!

  13. Christina says:

    I made these and they all came out flat. The loaves looked great and then after they started cooking the centers fell in terribly. What could have caused this? I’m sure it’s something in the ingredients I used. Bad baking powder or something? I’m not a huge baker, so I don’t know what would cause that. The other out of ordinary thing that happened was I mixed the wet ingredients and then had to leave the house. So I stuck the bowl in the fridge and came back to it later. Would the cold ingredients have messed it up?

    • Sugar Mama says:

      Oh Christina, I’m so sorry! I hate when that happens. I don’t think it was your ingredients, I think you needed to bake it a little longer. Usually when baked goods fall in the center, it’s because they’re not done. With this bread, I always do the “jiggle” test before I take it out of the oven. If you give the pan a shake and the center jiggles at all, it’s not done. This bread is deceiving because it’s already dark in color, so it’s easy to think it’s done before it really is. Leave it in a little longer next time and let me know — I promise this stuff is worth it!

  14. Karen Chapple says:

    I’ve made the Pumpkin Spice Bread many, many times and my family and co-workers love it. They prefer it without the the cream cheese glaze. The bread is outstanding.


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