Best Pumpkin Spice Bread

26 Oct

If there is one baked good that is a regular hit in our household, it has to be pumpkin bread.  We love our pumpkin bread so much that it is absolutely not reserved only for the short months of fall.   Around here, you can smell the tempting aroma of freshly baked pumpkin bread any time of year, with the only exception being the very warmest summer days.

BEST Pumpkin Spice Bread

Throughout the years, I’ve used a number of various pumpkin bread recipes.  Most all of them have been at least in the “good” category.  My most recent undertaking of the ever popular pumpkin bread, though, was actually a stand out.  We noticed a difference.  In a yummy good way.

BEST Pumpkin Spice Bread

What makes this particular pumpkin bread a notch above the usual?  For one, the canned pumpkin puree is cooked down a bit to diminish the slight metallic flavor that canned pumpkin can sometimes impart.  Of course, using a fresh pumpkin would eliminate that as well.  But, we all know canned pumpkin is the way to go when there’s just no time for the cook-your-own-gourd route.

BEST Pumpkin Spice Bread

The other piece that makes this pumpkin bread a cut above?  It’s the simple, light topping that provides a wonderful exterior crispness, without weighing down the bread with a heavy streusel.  Not that there’s anything wrong with a good streusel 🙂  However, this quick topping just works.  Here is a light, crisp topping for the pumpkin bread that prevents any sog-factor the next day.  It’s super easy to assemble, adds texture, and maintains a nice crispness.

BEST Pumpkin Spice Bread

This sweet little bread delivers hugely on the moistness scale, with a soft tender crumb inside, thanks to the wonderful addition of cream cheese.  YUM.  Who doesn’t love a little cream cheese?  Lastly, we’re not shy with the amount of spice, giving it enough seasonal oomph to call it Pumpkin Spice Bread.

Breakfast, dessert, or snack?   Yes, yes, and yes.  The only problem is that we can’t keep it around long enough.



Note:  Bake time written is for two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaves.  You can use two 9×5 loaves, lessening the bake time to 35-40 min.  I like to do one full 9×5 loaf, increasing bake time to about 60 min., and use leftover batter for muffins.


2 cups (10 oz) all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 (15oz) can unsweetened pure pumpkin puree
1 tsp fine salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar}
1 cup packed (7 oz) light brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
4 oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces at room temp
4 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup buttermilk
Optional: 1 cup toasted, finely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup + 2 TB packed light brown sugar
2 TB flour
2 TB softened unsalted butter
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp fine salt


Make the topping by mixing all topping ingredients in a bowl with fingers, until well combined.  Will resemble wet sand.  Set aside.

Heat oven to 350F with rack on lower-middle position.  Grease loaf pans.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl.

Combine pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and vanilla in large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir constantly for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cream cheese 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.  Gently fold flour mixture into pumpkin mixture just to combine (small lumps of flour are okay.)  If desired, fold toasted walnuts in.  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 (see above note for bake times.)  Loaves are done when inserted toothpick comes out with just a few tender crumbs attached.

Let bread cool in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes.  Remove breads from pans to finish cooling to room temp.  Serve, and enjoy!

by Chewoutloud, inspired by Cooks Illustrated

7 Responses to “Best Pumpkin Spice Bread”

  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes October 27, 2012 at 5:27 am #

    The pumpkin bread looks very moist and scrumptious!

  2. Sillo October 28, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    Looks amazing!

  3. jeannietay October 28, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    I love pumpkin in bakes, this loaf looks delicious!

  4. gottagetbaked October 30, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    I’m constantly looking for the next pumpkin bread recipe that’s better than the last. I definitely need to give this one a try!

  5. pattyabr November 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    what a hearty bread and you use a whole can of pumpkin puree. most recipes I see only use one cup or less. tis the season for pumpkin recipes. thanks for sharing yours.

  6. themondaybox December 12, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    My family loves the pmpkin muffies (muffin tops) at Panera and I am searching for a recipe that we can enjoy at least as much. I just spoon the pumpkin bread batter into muffie baking tins. Our complaint has been, “not enough spice”. This recipe may be the end of the search 🙂 Looks delicious.

  7. Heide M. January 31, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    I’ll have to try this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: