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This classic pumpkin bread is everything you want when the urge for fall baking strikes ~ it’s easy, one-bowl, moist, simple, and delicious. It’s got a cozy, comforting texture and that soft, golden pumpkin-y glow that I just love this time of year. The recipe can be easily doubled if you want an extra loaf to bring into work or pack into lunchboxes.

This pumpkin bread goes light on the spice…The original recipe used nutmeg as the only spice. I liked the idea because other spices like cinnamon and cloves can easily overpower, or you can end up with a very generic “pumpkin spice” sort of flavor. But, I couldn’t quite leave well enough alone, so I paired the nutmeg with a bit of ginger and a bit of cardamom. It’s a really nice, subtle blend that sets this loaf apart from the typical pumpkin bread.

  • Cuisine: AmericanPrep

  • Time: 15 minutes

  • Cook Time: 1 hour

  • Yield: 8 slices


  • 9x5 loaf pan


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin, about 1/2 can

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp ginger

  • 1/4 tsp cardamom


Preheat oven to 350F and butter a 9-inch loaf pan. Line the pan with parchment paper if you'd like for easier removal.

Whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla extract until smooth.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom to the same bowl and mix together until everything is evenly incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for about 60-70 minutes, until risen and there is no more wet batter in the middle.


This pumpkin bread freezes especially well. Let it cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. I like to wrap it again in foil or put it into a heavy-duty freezer bag, pushing out any excess air before I zip it up. It will keep well for up to 3 months.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Make this classic pumpkin bread your own ~The recipe makes a simple, golden pumpkin bread from ingredients you undoubtedly already have in your pantry (canned pumpkin is absolutely a pantry staple 📷;) Think of it as a blank canvas ready for your creativity!

Add your favorite chopped nuts. Pecans and walnuts are traditional, but why not try hazelnuts or pistachios?

Chocolate chips are no brainier. I’m partial to dark chocolate. Dried fruit works so well in quick breads…try cranberries or figs. Lay down a layer of green pepitas over the top of the batter before baking for a crunchy accent. Glaze the cooled bread with a simple confectioner’s sugar glaze. Create the glaze with milk or cream for a plain glaze. You can spice it with cinnamon or pumpkin spice if you like. You can also use maple syrup, orange juice, or any other liquid to create a flavored glaze. Drizzle the cooled cake with melted chocolate.

Buttermilk is a key ingredient in this recipe

It keeps this pumpkin loaf extra tender and soft. Buttermilk, like yogurt or sour cream, is acidic. The acid actually helps to tenderize the gluten in baked goods like this quick bread. The buttermilk also helps the baking soda in the recipe do its job and rise the bread to make it light and fluffy.

No buttermilk in the fridge? Make your own ~

Start with a cup of milk (or half and half, or even cream!)Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to the milk and stir. Let sit on the counter for 15 minutes and then use as directed in your recipe.

Enjoy your pumpkin bread grilled, New England style

If you’ve ever lived in New England you’ll know that they enjoy their muffins split, buttered, and grilled. You can give this pumpkin bread the same treatment and it’s amazing! Other ways to enjoy pumpkin breadTurn this simple breakfast loaf into an unexpected fall dessert, I think it would be fantastic grilled and served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Serve drizzled with Salted Maple Caramel Sauce.

Loaf pans can be surprisingly tricky to work with because they come in all kinds of sizes and most recipes aren’t specific about the dimensions. This is the classic 1 1/4 pound, 9×5 loaf pan that is your best bet for most recipes. Use a sturdy made here in the US.

I recommend having at least 2 loaf pans in your collection because some recipes are formulated for 2 loaves.

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