Classic Pumpkin Bread

October 19, 2009 by Ali


Now that my pantry is happily restocked with pumpkin (after weeks of empty store shelves because of this year’s shortage), it was finally time to make my first batch of pumpkin bread for the season! Suffice it to say, I’m obsessed with the stuff. Love baking it. Love gifting it to friends. Love how perfect it is for breakfast, lunch, dinner…and everything in between. :) Pretty sure I even have an enormous pumpkin spice candle for the days when fresh bread is not gracing my oven!!!

But for some random reason, I became convinced last week that if I was going to post a pumpkin bread recipe on here, it needed to be super-healthy. And why couldn’t it be? There are lots of substitutions that can be made with these classic ingredients. So I searched around online, read through a few zillion recipes and reviews (although was surprised at how very few “healthy” recipes for this are out there!), and enthusiastically decided on one to try. It had no white flour (just wheat), no white sugar (just brown), no oil/butter (just applesauce+water), or no egg yolks. And surprise, surprise…it was no good. Argh. Not exactly sure why I thought it would be, and not sure why I didn’t go for a recipe that just used one or two substitutions. But unfortunately it was a 100% flop.

So to remedy the situation, I immediately returned to my favorite classic pumpkin bread recipe. And when I say classic, I mean classic. This recipe was the very first recipe I tried when I received my first cookbook — the classic BH&G with the checkered cover (yeah!). Loved it then, and have made it a zillion times since. It may not be the absolute healthiest, but it’s full of all of the great flavor and texture we love. And it makes a large batch, so bring out the big loaf pans or make a bunch of mini-loaves and share the goodness. :)

Cheers to the recipe that saved the day!!


Classic Pumpkin Bread
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves (optional)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Grease two 9x5x3 inch, or three 8x4x2 inch, or four 7.5×3.5×2 inch loaf pans; set aside.

In a very large mixing bowl beat sugar and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add eggs and beat well; set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Alternately add flour miture and water to sugar mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Spoon batter into prepared pans.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 55-65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of the loaves comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic or aluminum foil to keep fresh.


Ali’s Tip:

If you notice that the tops of your loaves are getting too browned while baking, just gently lay a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the loaves. Don’t tuck it in snug – just laying it there will prevent the browning but still allow the rest of the loaf to continue baking. :)

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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12 thoughts on “Classic Pumpkin Bread

  1. Oops. Made with only whole wheat flour. Turned out a bit dry and gravely. Next time, I’ll do half and half white flour and whole wheat. I wonder what whole food way there is to replace all that oil?

    - Jess

  2. Made this today…turned out amazing!

    - Nikki

  3. Great easy pumpkin bread recipe. Beautiful baked bread appetizing, and tasty looking. I am a new baker and want to learn everything that I can. Awesome site.!!!!!

    - Bread Fun Recipes

  4. Just made this, it’s delicious! And it rises perfectly!

    - Julia

  5. This is delicious – as is every other recipe I’ve tried from this site. LOVE!

    - Katie

  6. Making this tomorrow!! Mmm :) can’t wait

    - Frances

  7. Yum… Your pumpkin bread looks beautiful. That’s one of my favorites – I love the smell of pumpkin bread baking in the oven!

    - Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

  8. It’s not offically fall until there is pumpkin bread. I love baking it and opening the windows and the entire apartment smells so good.

    - Megan Jones

  9. well, first of all, that cookbook is indeed awesome. also awesome? fragrant candles and moist pumpkin bread (i like mine with apple butter). hooray for the classics! :)

    - grace