Deliciously moist and rich, this pumpkin bread is a scrumptiously fragrant treat to prepare during pumpkin season. My recipe features a crisp and crunchy pecan-studded streusel crumble with a creamy pumpkin spice glaze drizzled over top as a sweet finishing touch!
Pumpkin Bread, Filled with Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
Immersing myself fully into pumpkin season can be a bit tough living here in Southern California.
My natural impulse, influenced by my Michigan roots, tells me to begin decorating the house with little gourds, fall leaves, spiced candles, and of course big, beautiful pumpkins as soon as September rolls around.
But I often find that we get through the better part of October without any festive decorations or pumpkins!
The reason for this is that the weather here often turns quite warm during this month, with little fits and bursts of fall-like coolness combating high pressure and warm winds, so I hesitate to purchase pumpkins because they'll begin to get a little “soft” before it's even Halloween—what a bummer!
The silver-lining, however, is that long before the decorative pumpkins begin to make their appearance in our home as festive fall fixtures, I begin stocking my baking pantry with cans of pure pumpkin to have on hand to use in my pumpkin pancakes, or pumpkin muffins, or this scrumptious pumpkin bread.
(At least there's pumpkin in some form in the house long before October, haha!)
I had a recipe for homemade pumpkin bread from quite a few years back, and thought I'd tinker with it a bit to make it even more moist, tender, fragrant and spice-filled. I'm happy to report that the results of my tinkering turned out quite delicious, indeed.
This wonderfully dense-yet-tender loaf is filled with pure pumpkin, brown sugar, a heaping amount of pumpkin pie spice plus a sprinkle of cinnamon and allspice, with a crisp, crunchy and nutty little topper of pecan streusel.
It even has the sweet additional of a delicious creamy pumpkin spice glaze!
If you're anything like me and love all things pumpkin this time of year, as well as all things sugar and spice, then this moist pumpkin bread is a must try for you this season.
A thick slice makes for a terrific breakfast or afternoon treat, and a loaf of this pumpkin bread makes for an irresistibly sweet gift to share with your neighbors and friends during pumpkin season!
How to Make Pumpkin Bread That's Super Moist
While classic pumpkin bread typically calls for either all oil or all butter, I've discovered a little secret while testing my recipe that makes it irresistibly moist, tender and rich, with a crumb that is a cross between a cake and a loaf bread: I use a combination of both.
Using half butter allows for some rich, buttery flavor to bake into the pumpkin bread, which a nice spice-filled bread like this really benefits from—the aroma is amazing!
And, using half oil creates a slightly tighter yet tender crumb, providing some of the loaf-like structure and classic texture one expects from a sweet bread or loaf.
Next up is the type of sweeteners I use, and in my classic, homemade pumpkin bread recipe, I opt to use a greater amount of brown sugar with only a small amount of granulated sugar; I also use a little spoonful of molasses for that deep, dark and rich flavor.
For a bit of extra tenderness, I add a hint of buttermilk into my batter, which in combination with the pure canned pumpkin, adds a lots of delicious moisture.
And while a pumpkin bread that is “au natural” and without a topping is tasty enough, I love the flavor and texture of a pecan-studded streusel topping because it adds a little nutty flavor and crispness to this moist bread, with the finishing pumpkin spice glaze adding a sweetly decorative touch.
So here's a glance at my pumpkin bread recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To begin, prepare my streusel topping in a small bowl, then set it in the fridge to chill while I prep my pumpkin bread.
- For the bread, I whisk up all of my dry ingredients in a bowl, and set aside.
- Next, I whisk up all of my wet ingredients, then add the dry into the wet and mix together until just combined.
- I pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan, then sprinkle over the streusel topping and pecans, and bake the pumpkin bread for a little over an hour, or until a wooden skewer (or toothpick) comes out clean when I test the loaf.
- The pumpkin bread cools slightly in the pan before I lift it out (I use overhanging parchment paper to help with this). Once cool, I glaze with the pumpkin spice glaze, allow for that to set, and serve!
Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Streusel
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 9
Nutrition Info: 446 calories (per approx. 1” slice)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Pumpkin Bread Ingredients:
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 cup pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup neutral oil (I used safflower)
- ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup roughly chopped, raw pecans
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°, and line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper with some over-hang (this helps with removal of the loaf after baking); spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Prepare your streusel topping: add the brown sugar and the melted butter to a bowl, and using a fork, mix to blend; add in the flour, and gently toss/fluff the mixture with the fork until the flour is incorporated, and the mixture looks like a bit like “wet sand” crumbles; set the streusel into the fridge to chill, and set the pecans aside for a moment.
- To prepare the pumpkin bread: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt, cinnamon and allspice, and set these dry ingredients aside for a moment.
- Into a large bowl, add the brown and granulated sugars, the molasses, the pure pumpkin, the eggs, and the vanilla, and whisk well to blend; add in the melted butter and the oil, as well as the buttermilk, and whisk those in to completely incorporate.
- Add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients, and gently whisk together just until well blended and smooth, taking care not to over-mix; pour the batter into your prepared loaf tin.
- Crumble over about half of the chilled streusel topping, then half of the pecans, then the rest of the streusel, then the rest of the pecans, and place the loaf into the oven to bake for 1 hour 5 minutes, turning the loaf half-way through the baking time, or until a testing skewer comes out clean.
- While the pumpkin bread bakes, prepare the glaze: whisk together the powdered sugar, the buttermilk, the pumpkin pie spice and the vanilla extract in a bowl, and set aside.
- Once the pumpkin bread is baked, allow it to cool in the loaf pan for 20 minutes; then, using the overhanging parchment paper, carefully lift the bread out of the pan and allow it to cool on a wire rack for an hour or hour and a half (to room temp) before drizzling the glaze over top.
- Once completely cooled and the glaze is set, slice and enjoy!
Tips & Tidbits for my Pumpkin Bread Recipe:
- Pure pumpkin: When choosing pumpkin for this recipe, make sure to choose pure pumpkin, and not pumpkin pie filling. The filling is already sweetened, and has other additives.
- Substitution for the buttermilk: If you don't have any buttermilk on hand and would like a quick substitution in a pinch, sour cream will work just fine here.
- A hint of molasses for darker flavor: I really like to incorporate molasses into my spiced type of breads, cakes or cookies. If you do not have molasses, you can leave it out and use an extra tablespoon of brown sugar, which has molasses already in it.
- Make your streusel ahead and keep it cold: If I know that I want to bake something using streusel ahead of time, I'll typically prepare it a day or two ahead of time and keep it in either in a bowl or a ziplock bag in the fridge to keep it nice and cold. Then, I simply break it up into crumbles and sprinkle over top before baking.
- Getting nutty with your pumpkin bread: Raw pecans lend a really nice warm, nutty flavor to this bread. I sprinkle about half of them on under the streusel, then the other half over top of the streusel. Another tasty option is raw, chopped walnuts.
- How to store your pumpkin bread or even freeze it: After the pumpkin bread has completely cooled, it can placed onto a plate or platter and covered/wrapped in plastic wrap to keep it moist and fresh for a few days. You can also bake a couple of loaves off and allow them to cool, then wrap each tightly in plastic wrap, place into large ziplock bags (1 gallon size is perfect), and freeze for future enjoyment. When ready, just thaw at room temp for a day or so, then slice and serve!