How to Make Pumpkin Bread for an Autumn Treat Any Time of Year

Nothing says fall like classic pumpkin bread. We're sharing our best pumpkin bread recipe including step-by-step instructions and kitchen-tested tips.

Celebrating fall's arrival is best when paired with a slice of homemade pumpkin bread. Even if the leaves aren't changing colors, pumpkin bread is one of my favorite breads to bake when I want to treat myself. If you've never taken the time to make pumpkin bread from scratch, you can learn how to easily accomplish this baking task here. Whether it's a cool day or your favorite bakery doesn't keep the warm-spiced bread stocked year-round, keep a few extra cans of pumpkin on hand for when cravings strike. We'll also share some of our favorite pumpkin bread recipes as well as ways to use leftover pumpkin bread (if it's even possible to have leftovers).

slices of pumpkin bread
Blaine Moats

How to Make Pumpkin Bread

Fall flavors such as cinnamon and nutmeg fill our Better Homes & Gardens pumpkin bread. That's the recipe we'll use for our step-by-step guide, but the tips can be applied to your favorite pumpkin bread recipe.

Step 1: Prepare Baking Pan and Preheat Oven

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9x5-inch loaf pans or three 8x4-inch loaf pans ($11, Walmart); set aside. We recommend using a pastry brush for maximum coating.

Step 2: Prepare Wet and Dry Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and oil with a mixer ($20, Walmart) on medium speed until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. In a separate large mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients.

Step 3: Combine Pumpkin Bread Mixture

Add dry mixture and water alternately to the sugar mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Spoon batter into greased pans.

Step 4: Bake Pumpkin Bread

Bake in a 350°F oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks ($16, Target) for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cooling completely on wire racks.

Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread
Andy Lyons

How to Store Pumpkin Bread

Unlike some breads that are best served warm from the oven, pumpkin bread (and other quick breads) actually improve with age. Wrap your quick bread in plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature overnight. The pumpkin bread's texture will be more evenly moist and crumbly. Plus, they'll get easier to slice.

Now that you've mastered the classic recipe, try our best pumpkin bread recipes featuring more wonderful flavors. Add richness to your pumpkin bread with dark chocolate, a cream cheese swirl, or perhaps a cocoa-spice frosting. On the rare occasion you have leftover pumpkin bread on your hands, put it to good use with our delicious ideas for pumpkin bread truffles or pumpkin bread pudding. For a simpler use of leftover pumpkin bread, turn it into mouthwatering French toast!

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