Old Fashioned Pumpkin Bread – Grandma’s vintage pumpkin bread recipe is incredibly moist, delicious and loaded with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and fresh orange zest. Makes three loaves of pumpkin bread!Jump to Recipe
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Bread Recipe
I was gifted a small collection of recipes from my maternal Grandma and Great Grandma and the pumpkin bread was my first must make recipe. I was absolutely delighted with how perfect the pumpkin bread baked up and I’m so excited to share. This is the best pumpkin bread recipe and in my opinion, the ingredient that really sets it apart is the fresh orange zest. It pairs perfectly with the warm spices and adds a freshness to the pumpkin bread that really sets it apart. I included a picture of the original recipe below which has optional nuts and raisins. Instead of raisins, I included an option for chocolate chips. This recipe also makes 3 medium sized loaves for eating, gifting, or freezing. In the pictures, I made one regular, one with pecans, and one with mini chocolate chips, and they all turned out amazing. This recipe is perfect for holiday baking and gifting.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Bread
- Eggs – large eggs at room temperature
- Pumpkin – 100% pure canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix which already has added sugar and spices
- Vegetable Oil – Vegetable oil is important to ensure moist pumpkin bread with the best texture. Use a fresh bottle of vegetable oil to ensure the best flavor.
- Sugar – white granulated sugar
- Flour – all-purpose flour that has been spooned and leveled when measuring.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda – use fresh for best results
- Salt – use table salt
- Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. You can also substitute 2 teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Orange Zest – use a microplane to zest an orange. Don’t skip this step! It adds unbelievable freshness and flavor!
- Chocolate Chips (optional) – I like to use the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and add them to the batter and the top before baking.
- Pecans (optional) – chopped pecans or walnuts
Supplies for Baking Pumpkin Bread
In addition to the ingredients listed above and standard kitchen equipment, you will need the following:
- Large Mixing Bowls
- Microplane – for zesting, if you don’t have a microplane you can use the small holes on a box grater, but take care not to include the white pith when grating. The pith will make the zest bitter. You can also use the microplane to grate fresh nutmeg.
- Loaf Pans – I have been using these 8 x 3.75 Aluminum Loaf Pans . They come with lids and are perfect for gift giving and freezing. Different size loaf pans may need to have cooking time adjusted. I recommend using light colored loaf pans to avoid over browning.
How to Make Old Fashioned Pumpkin Bread
- Start by preheating oven to 350º.
- Use two large mixing bowls, whisk together wet ingredients and sugar in one bowl. Combine dry ingredients and orange zest in second bowl.
- Pour pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
- This recipe makes 3 loaves, and I like to make one loaf plain, one with chocolate chips, and one with pecans.
- To add chocolate chips: Stir in 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips per loaf and top loaf with another 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips. If making all chocolate chip pumpkin bread you will stir in 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips into entire batter and divide 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips onto each loaf.
- To add nuts: Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts per loaf. Do not add nuts to the top of loaf as they will get overly toasted.
- Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in middle of loaf comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
- Let cool in pans on wire rack.
Can I use butter instead of vegetable oil?
Vegetable oil allows this pumpkin bread to stay super moist and gives it a nice spongy texture. Using melted butter instead will change the moisture level and texture of this recipe.
How to Store Pumpkin Bread
Store pumpkin bread at room temperature covered or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to three days. Refrigerated pumpkin bread will last longer but will dry out and turn stale.
How to Freeze Pumpkin Bread
This pumpkin bread recipe is ideal for freezing because it is so moist! If you use the disposable pans that come with a lid listed above, simply place in the freezer with lid for up to three months. When thawing, let thaw at room temperature with lid on to retain moisture. If you are not using a disposable pan, wrap loaf first in parchment, waxed or freezer paper. Then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. This will keep the loaf from sticking to the plastic wrap.
More Favorite Pumpkin Recipes
- Brown Butter Maple Pumpkin Muffins
- Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes
- Crispy Pumpkin Waffles
- Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- 2 cups 100% pure pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
- 4 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- orange zest
Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray loaf pans with non stick cooking spray and set on baking sheets.
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil, water, and sugar. In a separate large bowl, combine dry ingredients and orange zest. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not over mix. Optional: : Add mini chocolate chips or pecans to batter.
Divide pumpkin bread batter evenly between loaf pans and bake for about one hour. Let cool and slice.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! The collection also includes a banana bread recipe and a zucchini bread recipe which I will be sharing soon!
5 Easy Dinner Ideas for Busy Weeknights
My five FAVORITE recipes for busy families!
- Quick to make
- Light on your budget
- Easy to clean-up
- and...most important...absolutely DELICIOUS