Looking for a pumpkin bread like grandma used to make? Look no further. This tried and true recipe is over 50 years old and has stood the test of time. Before the internet, you collected cookbooks, magazine clippings and recipes from friends, co-workers and family members. I have my collection with many clippings in binders along with some treasured church paperback cookbooks from Goodwill and vintage finds. That’s where you find the recipes that remind you of grandma’s cooking! With very little effort and mostly pantry items, you can enjoy a great pumpkin loaf in a little over an hour. Like many quick breads, it’s better the next day! This recipes yields two loaves, baked in a 9X5X3 loaf pan.
Before you start, gather all your ingredients and butter and flour your tins – you can also use a baking spray like Pam or Baker’s Joy. I prefer butter and flour since those products contain other ingredients. Preheat the oven to 325°F and position the rack in the middle position.
Combine all dry ingredients (flour, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt) in a mixing bowl, whisk together and set aside.
Note: This recipe doesn’t require sifting, but I do shake the flour container to loosen it up. Then I spoon the flour in the measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife.
In a stand alone mixer, beat the butter on low speed so it’s smooth. Add the sugar and cream for about 3 minutes until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and scrape down the sides after each egg. Add the pumpkin and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides with a spatula.
With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour and mix to combine. Use the spatula and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl – you want to ensure the flour has mixed well throughout and not any loose flour at the very bottom of the bowl. Nuts are optional, but I love nuts in my quick breads. If adding, add the nuts (walnuts or pecans) at the end and fold them in so you don’t over-mix the batter.
Divide the batter between the two prepared tins. Tap each tin on the counter or table to release any trapped air bubbles. Bake at 325°F in the middle rack for 65-75 minutes or until a knife or wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. If it’s a crumbly wet, check ever 5 minutes so you don’t over bake the loaves.
Once removed from the oven, allow them to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Nothing beats the smell of fresh baked breads right out of the oven. This didn’t last beyond two days, but you can freeze these up to three months!
Freezing: After completely cool, wrap well in freezer wrap paper or in plastic wrap a few times then insert a freezer plastic bag or wrap in an extra layer of foil. Label and date it. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If you want that fresh baked warm bread, pop it in a preheated 325°F oven for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!
Classic Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Bread
Classic, simple and delicious pumpkin bread like grandma used to make because this recipe is over 50 years old! Perfect any time snack. Freezes well and it makes a great fall gift.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt prefer Diamond brand
- 1 ½ sticks or ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature prefer Plugra
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 extra large eggs, room temperature
- 1 15-ounce can Libby's 100% pure pumpkin do not use pumpkin pie filling
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, plus a few extra for topping optional
Preheat your oven to 325°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Butter and flour two 9X5X3 bread loaf tins and tap the excess flour off. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt. Whisk together to distribute and set aside.
Note: Before measuring the flour, I always shake my flour container to loosen it. Then I spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level off any excess with the back of a knife.
In a stand alone electric mixer, add the butter and beat for a few seconds. Add the granulated sugar and cream together for about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat to combine, scraping down the sides after each addition.
Add the pumpkin and vanilla extract and mix well. The mixture might look grainy and not smooth, but it's okay, it will come together in the end.
With the electric mixer speed on low, gradually add the flour mixture until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and the bottom and fold any remaining flour.
Nuts are optional. If adding, fold them in at the end so you don't over mix the batter.
Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared baking tins. Tap on the counter or table to remove any air bubbles and garnish with extra chopped nuts.
Bake at 325°F for 65-75 minutes or until a knife or wooden skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Allow the loaves to cool in the baking tins for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
This bread can be frozen up to three months. Tightly wrap in either freezer wrap paper or a few layers of plastic wrap and insert in a freezer bag/wrap in foil. Label and date the wrapping so you remember when you froze the bread. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight . To warm up the loaf, place in a 325°F oven for about 15 minutes.