Pumpkin Quick Bread

Posted on Posted in Comfort Food, Holiday Recipes, Recipes

October Blessings! We are well into fall now! I’m so happy to see the change in the light, feel cooler nights and mornings, and know that we are really into the dark half of the year. I know that may sound strange, but as a Washingtonian at heart, living in Hawaii can be a real challenge. I know some of you understand. ♥

Today I have the perfect fall recipe for you. Pumpkin quick bread. This sweet treat is dairy free, soy free, nut free, and can easily be made gluten free if you sub in your favorite GF flour blend. And personally, I like mine with nuts, but those are totally optional and can be swapped out for something else like chocolate chips, dried cranberries, or even diced apple. 

I will tell you up front, this is a very straight-forward recipe. I see pumpkin bread recipes all the time that have streusel, cream cheese filling, cherries, chocolate swirl, etc and while I’m sure some of those are good, sometimes we all just need a plain, delicious, comforting slice of regular ole’ pumpkin bread. So that’s what I’m bringing you today.

Don’t let the descriptor “plain” fool you, this bread is moist, delicious, and hits the spot. In fact, this is a recipe that I shared with several wonderful ladies from Instagram last year. I wanted to send something special and heartfelt in their thank you cards so I bought some pretty recipe cards on Etsy and shared this recipe. I hope they and you enjoy it as much as my family does.

Ingredients                                                                                                                         Yield: 1 8×8″ square dish

  • 1 – 15oz can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour *organic if possible
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 – 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts, if desired *see additional notes


  • Preheat oven to 325°F
  • Grease 1 – 8×8″ square baking dish or 2 8×4″ rectangular dishes (*I used 2 7×4″ pans as that’s what I had on hand and you can see from the pictures that it just *barely* fit. I highly recommend using the 8×4″ pans, make muffins, or go for the 8×8″.)
  • In large bowl, mix all wet ingredients, pumpkin through eggs.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients except nuts (or other add-ins).
  • Stir dry ingredients into wet, mixing until well incorporated.
  • Fold in add-ins, if using.
  • Pour into prepared dish(es) and bake at 325°F for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes for large 8×8. Start checking at 45 minutes for smaller pans.
  • Bake until a toothpick or other tester comes out clean when inserted into the largest part of the bread.
  • Let cool on wire rack at least 1 hour before serving.

Additional Notes

  • The reason for the large variance in add-in measurement is because my daughter really dislikes nuts in her breads while I love them. I can get away with 1/2 cup without her complaining too much, but ideally the recipe would be best with closer to 1 cup. I suggest pecans, if using nuts.
  • Other add-ins that would be great in this bread:
    • dried cranberries
    • orange flavored dried cranberries
    • semi-sweet baking chips
    • crystallized ginger pieces (diced small) – 1/2 to 3/4 cup would be good
    • diced apple – no more than 3/4 cup & you’ll need to adjust bake time for additional moisture in your bread
    • walnuts – use sparingly as their high oil content can change the consistency of your bread
  • If you find your bread getting too brown on top before the center is fully baked, tent with aluminum foil. I will say though, this has never happened to me with this particular recipe. Banana bread, definitely, but not this one. 🙂
  • Also makes about 21 muffins, bake 20-25 minutes at 325°.
  • You can swap out the light brown sugar for maple syrup, if desired, but reduce to 1 cup.
  • Beautiful as gifts! Tie with festive ribbon or twine as a thank you gift for teachers or hostesses.

That’s it for today! I’d love to hear how this recipe turned out for you. Leave a comment below or come say hi on Instagram. ♥

adapted from the 2007 Betty Crocker Fall baking booklet.

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