This Pumpkin Bread reicpe makes simple treat, totally from scratch, that will make you feel like Pioneer Woman herself 😉 Don’t skip this classic fall quick bread this year – for Halloween, Thanksgiving or just because! Makes two loaves, so you’ll have one as a cozy homemade gift idea.
A Note from Nora
I have a thing for pumpkin goodies for cozy autumn weekend brunches. And I know you do, too. Because the pumpkin waffles here in the Savory Nothings archives? They make the site explode each fall.
For us, the cozy weekend mornings are our little fall “tradition” and I’m sure this golden-orange bread (click here for the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, if that’s more your style!) will be the star of your autumn mornings, too.
How to Make Pumpkin Bread
Read on for the detailed step-by-step ingredients and instructions, or scroll down for tips and the printable recipe card.
Streusel Pumpkin Bread Video Tutorial:
Ingredients for this Pumpkin Bread recipe:
The ingredients for pumpkin bread are very simple, and if you don’t have all of them on hand anyways, you’ll find them in any supermarket.
For the streusel
For the streusel, you need:
- brown sugar
- chopped walnuts OR pecans
- and cold butter.
If you don’t have brown sugar, you can easily swap it for white sugar.
Do make sure your butter is cold, and don’t use any substitutes (no buttery spread, no margarine) – real butter is where it’s at for the streusel here.
If you MUST mess with the streusel, chilled coconut oil works OK.
For the pumpkin bread
The pumpkin bread batter consists of a dry mix and a wet mix.
The dry mix needs:
- all-purpose flour (though you can use whole wheat, just cut back to 2 cups and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for a fluffier bread)
- pumpkin pie spice (click here for my homemade pumpkin spice mix)
- baking powder
- and salt.
The wet mix needs
- white sugar
- one full 15- oz. can pumpkin (that’s right, no leftovers here!)
- melted butter (you can use oil here in place of the butter)
I honestly don’t know why sugar counts as a wet ingredients, though I assume it gets mixed with the wet to start dissolving it right away.
Either way, yes, it is correct that the sugar is on the list for wet ingredients.
If you don’t have the ingredients for pumpkin spice you can also just use cinnamon, but it won’t taste quite the same. If you have ground ginger, nutmeg or cloves at home, you should add some of these, too.
The Key Steps to the Best Pumpkin Bread:
1 Make the streusel first:
Make the streusel before you make the bread batter, then chill it in the fridge until you’re ready. It will have a far nicer crunch and hold its shape better that way. I promise it’s worth following a few recipe rules.
Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans in a medium bowl. Then cut in the butter until crumbs form.
Don’t use melted butter, use butter cold from the fridge. Don’t use margarine or buttery spread or anything but stick butter (the texture will change with other spreads).
You can cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or a fork, but I usually just use clean hands and crumble the butter into the dry ingredients until I have a bowl full of streusel.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I have to say this every time I share a recipe that involves a streusel topping in any way: Chill. Your. Streusel. Chilled streusel stays nice and crumbly.
2 Don’t forget to preheat the oven and line your pan:
Quick breads need heat from the minute they start baking, so make sure you preheat the oven before you make the batter.
Also, I prefer lining my pans for quick breads, so I can easily lift them out of the pan soon after cooking. This helps to keep them from getting soggy on the bottom – just make sure to peel off the baking parchment to cool the bread.
And don’t forget: This recipe makes two loaves, so prep two 8×4 or 9×5 inch baking pans!
8×4 will give you a taller bread that probably needs an extra 5-10 minutes to bake through, 9×5 makes a slightly flatter bread (I used 8×4).
3 Mix wet and dry ingredients separately:
Just like with pancakes and muffins, pumpkin bread batter CANNOT be overmixed. You will have a dense bread that doesn’t rise if you overmix this batter.
So to start, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, and whisk the wet ingredients in a separate bowl – though I always use a measuring jug for super easy pouring!
4 Do not overmix the batter:
This is no cake where the ingredients need to be creamed together to be smooth. And in baked goods with lots of heavy moisture (aka pumpkin puree, mashed banana, applesauce and the like) it’s even more important to pay attention to this warning, because the bread will otherwise turn out heavy and almost gummy.
So only fold until there is no more visible flour (make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well!), but it shouldn’t be a smooth batter.
Use a spatula (NOT a whisk, a whisk will overmix the batter!) to fold the wet and dry ingredients together into a lumpy batter.
This pumpkin bread batter really is thick and lumpy, which is totally fine.
5 Bake the bread – but don’t overbake it
Evenly divide the batter between your prepared pans. Top the bread with the chilled streusel and lightly press it into the top of the batter (just gently, so it doesn’t fall right off after baking).
Over baking this bread will make it dry, so bake it right until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
You can also use a kitchen thermometer with a thin probe to test the internal temperature – the bread will be baked once the middle registers about 210F.
P.S: Different pans bake at different speeds. My two near-identical loaf pans always have a 5 minute difference!
How to store pumpkin bread:
On the counter:
Store pumpkin bread on the counter wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 2 days.
In the fridge:
In an airtight container in the fridge, this streusel pumpkin bread last for about 4-5 days.
Can you freeze pumpkin bread?
Yes, you can freeze this quick bread for up to 3 months.
I prefer to freeze it in individual slices because they defrost much faster and I can take out only as much as we need. But you can also freeze entire loaves!
Place the cooled bread in a freezer-friendly bag or container and label with the name and use-by date (freeze for up to 3 months).
To defrost, place the bread or individual slices unwrapped on a rack on the counter (this is important, or your bread will get soggy) and let come to room temperature for a few hours.
What to serve with Pumpkin Bread:
Pumpkin bread is tasty by itself or with a pat of butter, but why not make it extra-special for a holiday brunch?
Serve with a mug of hot apple cider and a topping of whipped cream for a wonderful treat.
Print the pumpkin bread recipe here:
Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Pumpkin Bread
For the streusel
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/4 cup cold butter
For the pumpkin bread
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 15- oz. can pumpkin
- 1/2 cup melted butter
Make the streusel:
- Stir together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts in a medium bowl. Add the butter and crumble it into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until there are no more flecks of dry flour and small crumbs form. Cover and refrigerate.
Make the pumpkin bread:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and line two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
- Stir together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Whisk eggs, sugar, pumpkin and melted butter together in a measuring jug. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and fold in just until combined, do not overmix!
- Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf tins and evenly sprinkle with the chilled streusel. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing the breads onto a wire rack to cool completely.