Moist Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Want a quick and easy, spiced pumpkin bread? Try my Aunt Lynne’s famous ultra moist pumpkin bread recipe. Richly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, mace and cloves, this classic fall quick bread is the best! Use canned pumpkin purée and pantry ingredients for this simple recipe that makes 3 loaves of the most sought-after seasonal fall treat. Great for gift giving, this classic recipe also happens to be a dairy free pumpkin bread.

Mixing wet ingredients in a mixing bowl.

My Aunt Lynne has been making this tender, redolently spiced and super moist pumpkin bread recipe since I was a kid and it’s always been a favorite in our family.

Her recipe (which she shared with me many moons ago) started my holiday baking tradition. At the holidays, I’d make multiple batches of these spiced pumpkin loaves to gift to friends, co-workers and neighbors, making me a very popular person.

If you relish accolades, make a batch of this easy, homemade spiced pumpkin bread and prepare for an onslaught of “oohs, aahs and pleading requests of ‘can I have the recipe?’

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Ingredients for ultra-moist pumpkin bread recipe

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Eggs
  • Pumpkin Purée you can use canned or learn to how to make pumpkin purée.
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice
  • Mace
  • Water

You’re probably familiar with all of the standard ingredients in this spiced pumpkin bread recipe, with one notable exception. Mace.

What is mace?

Mace is the lacy outer sheath of whole nutmeg. It’s considered to be a softer, more floral and delicate flavor than nutmeg itself and can be used instead of or in addition to nutmeg. As with most spices, grinding it yourself will produce the best, most aromatic and flavorful results, but you can get it already ground. If you purchase the pre ground variety, I’d advise buying the smallest container and store it for up to a year before replacing it with a new one.

If you don’t have mace, you can skip it THIS TIME. But you’ll want to have some on hand for your next batch of this lovely moist spiced pumpkin bread (which will probably happen a few days after your first batch).

pumpkin puree being added to eggs, sugar and oil.

As with most spiced quick breads, this recipe is really simple to make with just a few pantry ingredients. You’ll love this one because it makes a large quantity of batter, which you can use for large or small loaves or even muffins. I recommend using a stand mixer to blend the ingredients, because this spiced pumpkin bread recipe makes quite a lot of batter.

If you’re working with a hand mixer, just be sure to use a very large mixing bowl (about 5 quarts) and rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and blend the sweet spiced pumpkin batter.

Adding flour and spice mix to the moist pumpkin bread batter.

How to make Aunt Lynne’s moist spiced pumpkin bread

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and mace and whisk to combine.
  2. In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, blend the granulated sugar, oil and eggs until very well blended and pale yellow.
  3. Add the pumpkin purée and mix to combine.
  4. Add the flour mixture a little at a time and mix just to combine.
  5. While the mixer is running, slowly add the water in a steady stream until the liquid is blended with the batter.
spooning pumpkin spice batter into loaf pans.

This pumpkin bread recipe is so moist, you’ll want to give yourself a little insurance to make sure the loaves pop out of the pan easily. Here’s what I recommend:

Prepping the loaf pans

  1. Cut pieces of parchment paper to fit the bottom of three 4 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ loaf pans.
  2. Spray the pans liberally with nonstick spray and press the parchment into the bottom of each pan. Lightly spray the parchment.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between each loaf pan.
  4. Use a knife to make a long “slash” through the middle of the batter. This is known as scoring and it’s used frequently with yeast doughs as an artistic flourish. I’ve noticed that it works to create a rubbly, rustic finish in this spiced pumpkin bread and also can give you a visual sense of how moist the pumpkin bread is after its baked.
3 loaves of baked pumpkin bread in their tins.

I usually use an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan to make these breads and I get 3 loaves from that recipe. But you can use larger or smaller pans, depending on what you want, but the baking times will vary. Here’s a guide for different pan sizes.

Baking times for different pan sizes

  • 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pans – makes 3 loaves. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
  • 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan – makes 2 loaves, usually bakes for 50 to 60 minutes.
  • 3 1/2″ x 5″ mini loaf pan – usually bakes in 25-35 minutes
  • Standard muffin pans – usually bakes within 20-25 minutes
  • Mini muffin pans – usually bakes within 15-18 minutes.

Note: When filling the loaf pans or muffin tins, fill to about 2/3 full. This will allow the spiced pumpkin bread to rise as it bakes without overflowing the baking tin.

How to know when it’s done

I always use visual cues first to check for doneness of cakes, breads and muffins.

  • About 5 minutes before the pumpkin bread is supposed to be done, wiggle the pan. If the center of the loaf jiggles like jell-o, it’s likely going to need at least 10 more minutes of baking.
  • If you press your finger, lightly into the center and it doesn’t spring back, it’s definitely going to need more time.
  • The most reliable way to tell is to use a cake tester or wooden skewer plunged into the center of the loaf to test for doneness. If the cake tester comes out clean, with just a few crumbs attached, it’s finished baking, but if there’s wet batter clinging to it, it’s going to need some more time. Give the spiced pumpkin breads about 8-10 more minutes, then check them again.
Slicing a loaf of bread.

Spiced pumpkin bread FAQ’s

How long will the pumpkin bread last?

Each loaf can be kept for up to 4-5 days, wrapped or covered.

Does pumpkin bread need to be refrigerated?

No. It can stay out at room temperature, but if you want to keep it longer, you can refrigerate it. Though, it’s best enjoyed at room temperature.

Can you freeze the bread?

Yes. This bread freezes well for up to 2 months.

How can it be dairy free pumpkin bread if it has eggs?

There are no milk products in this recipe, which is why it’s technically dairy free. (I think people get confused because of those old “food pyramids” where eggs were always included under “dairy”.)

Makes the whole house smell amazing

My cousin, Katrina, LOVES this fragrant, spiced pumpkin bread so much, she makes this recipe at least 5 or 6 times a year — and not just in the fall. Moist “autumn” pumpkin bread in July is a “thing” with her! As it bakes, the entire house is filled with amazing holiday aromas and in her opinion, there’s no point in waiting for a “certain time of year” to enjoy her favorite treat. I concur.

two slices of pumpkin bread on a white plate.

More pumpkin recipes you might like:

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Two slices of pumpkin bread stacked on a white plate.
Print Pin
4.31 from 13 votes

Aunt Lynne’s Famous Pumpkin Bread

This is what Thanksgiving tradition is all about.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword christmas, pumpkin, sweet bread, thanksgiving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 24


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
  • cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon mace
  • cup water


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare 3 medium loaf pans by spraying with vegetable spray and lining the bottom each pan with a piece of parchment paper. Spray parchment with vegetable spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, oil and beaten eggs. Mix to blend, then add the pumpkin and mix well.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add water a little at a time and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into the loaf pans and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool to room temperature, then remove from pans.


YouTube video


You can freeze the loaves for up to a month in plastic wrap and freezer paper!


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 46mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

Pin Aunt Lynne’s Famous Pumpkin Bread for later!”

a pin for saving on Pinterest.

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  1. Do you recommend baking each loaf separately or all together in the same oven?

    1. I always bake the loaves together in the same oven. If your oven has hot spots, you may want to rotate the loaves 180° about halfway through cooking to avoid darker or overdone areas.

  2. 5 stars
    My younger (10) son loves Starbucks pumpkin bread, but we are limiting his gluten intake. He asked for pumpkin bread instead of pumpkin pie this year so I made your recipe (the story sold it). My older son (12) loves pumpkin bread now because of your recipe and both of them announced they want a birthday cake made out of this come April! LOL! SO moist and flavorful! Will experiment with the flour a bit to reduce the Gs. And mace is my new favorite spice! Thank you, Lisa, for sharing the love!!! We will be sure to give your Aunt Lynne full credit.

    1. Desiree, thank you for sharing this story — and I’m so glad that both your sons enjoyed the pumpkin bread. I have a loaf on my counter as we speak — and we’ll be dipping in with a cup of coffee this morning! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. 5 stars
    I made your pumpkin bread and I lOVE IT
    It turned out great I will make this ever thanksgiving and Christmas

    1. I’m so glad you love it, Peggy! We make it every Thanksgiving and Christmas too! I have family members who would revolt if I didn’t!

  4. 5 stars
    If I am using fresh pumpkin purée which tends to be more runny than canned do I still use the water?

    1. I’ve never made it with fresh puree before, but this is what I would do: Put your puree in a fine mesh sieve, set over a bowl… Let it drain for about an hour, it should lose the excess liquid — then follow the recipe as written — with the water.

  5. Are you using 8×5 pans?

    1. Yes. Actually, it measures 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ x 2″

  6. 4 stars
    Made this tonight. I liked that it makes 3 loaves. texture is nice, not dry but not super moist. I followed recipe exactly.
    I would like to add some nuts, or a streusel topping next time. The spices are nice, but I feel it overpowers the pumpkin – cant hardly tell it’s pumpkin. Still it is a tasty product.

    1. I think it would be great with nuts or streusel. This is a basic pumpkin bread, so dress it up how you like it!

  7. Thank you for sharing your family recipe. Can you please advice if I can use fresh pumpkin puree. Canned ones are hard to go find in Australia.

    1. Absolutely, Esh! Fresh pumpkin puree would be ideal for this! Please let me know how you like it!

  8. carineclaudepierre says:

    I don’t eat sugar so maybe I can try this recipe using a mix of stevia and coconut sugar! Looks very yummy anyway I want to make pumpkin bread one day 🙂

    1. I’ve never tried those substitutions. If you do, please let me know how it comes out for you!

  9. Allison (@CelebrateSweets) says:

    I love family recipes. I can see why this one is so popular, it looks absolutely delicious! And so moist!

  10. I loved your story about your Aunt and how you loved this recipe since you were a child. So touching.
    When you mentioned it was pumpkin pie in bread form I thought there’d be a ton of sugar, and although there is 3 cups it’s split across 3 different loaves — not so bad for pumpkin pie in bread form! Sounds delicious and I’ve already pinned it to make.

    1. Thank you Alyssa! – I am making another batch today!!! Let me know how you like it!

  11. Veena Azmanov says:

    I love the color!! Been a long while since I ate pumpkin bread. This looks so inviting. <3

    1. It has been exactly one year since we’ve had it. I always make it the weekend before Thanksgiving.

  12. The Purple Ladle says:

    This looks wonderful, love that you have used fresh pumpkin puree and those spices sound so good

  13. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine says:

    The holidays are a great time to break out family recipes. I love making my grandma’s recipes this time of year– she’s still around, but no longer has her own kitchen 🙂

    1. I completely agree! It’s those long-held recipes that we all come to expect at the holidays — with a few new ones thrown in for good measure.

  14. Renee Nicole's Kitchen says:

    This looks like it would smell amazing!!

  15. This looks so amazing! Homemade baked goods are the best. My husband always loves pumpkin bread, I’ll have to make this for him!

    1. This pumpkin bread recipe is really wonderful.

    1. You’re welcome, Tina! It’s a favorite in our family.

  16. 5 stars
    This is hands down the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever had! 🙂