This is my dream pumpkin bread recipe–soft, moist and perfectly spiced with a decadent crumbly streusel on top for contrast! It’s easy to make, no mixer needed!
This post is sponsored by Imperial Sugar! I’ve used Imperial Sugar for years and I am thrilled to be partnering with them. Thank you for supporting the partners that keep the bake offs coming!
Ever since the pumpkin bread bake off in 2017, I’ve been loyal to my favorite recipe of the bunch. Tartine’s pumpkin tea bread is so incredibly moist with a tight, cake-like crumb and a crunchy sugar top. Perfumed with cinnamon and lots of fresh nutmeg, it’s virtually perfect to me. I’ve happily made this recipe at least once a year for the last 5 years!
This year, I had an urge for a pumpkin bread with a streusel topping. With the added decadence on top, I wanted a slightly less rich base. I considered making one of my other bake off favorites (All Recipes or Epicurious), but realized I wanted a hybrid of my favorites:
- Plushness of Epicurious and All Recipes
- The robust volume of Smitten Kitchen’s towering loaf
- A more judicious use of oil than Tartine
- Spice flavor profile of Tartine
- A new streusel topping!
Here’s how I came up with my new favorite pumpkin bread recipe
Using the Tartine recipe as a base, I made the following adjustments:
- Increased flour to 2 cups: While I was hesitant to increase the flour to 2.25 cups a la Smitten Kitchen, I knew an additional 1/3 cup of flour would help absorb the extra pumpkin. It would also help provide more structure and volume for a higher rise. To compensate, I increased the baking soda to 3/4 tsp (same as Smitten Kitchen).
- Increased pumpkin to 1 15 oz can: I’d always rather use up an entire can of pumpkin than have a few tablespoons leftover. This adds a LOT more moisture, so I made a few more adjustments.
- Reduced vegetable oil: I wanted a plush crumb but not as rich as Tartine’s. All Recipes is an example of a recipe that remains quite plush with 1/2 cup oil per loaf. I found 3/4 cup gives a rich, plush crumb that’s not as greasy (especially with the added pumpkin).
- Reduced eggs: I always prefer baking with fewer eggs if possible ($$). With so much additional pumpkin, I reduced the eggs from 3 to 2. (I sanity checked this with Easy Gay Oven’s recipe, which is similar to Smitten Kitchen’s but uses 2 eggs. Butternut Bakery’s recipe uses a similar flour amount to Tartine, a whole can of pumpkin and also uses 2 eggs.)
- Updated the spice mix: I kept the 5 tsp of cinnamon, but reduced the fresh nutmeg to 1 tsp. I also added 1/4 tsp of ground ginger and reduced the cloves to a pinch. (This is a personal preference–you can definitely add more if you love ginger, nutmeg or cloves.)
- Added more brown sugar: I slightly increased the sugar to compensate for the additional pumpkin. For a more depth of flavor, I used 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar.
With all these updates, I hope you’ll agree this is a perfectly tender, moist and spiced pumpkin bread. The large volume of batter leads to an incredible rise out of a 9×5 loaf pan. Combined with the buttery streusel topping, it’s one of the most bakery-worthy things I’ve baked!
To summarize, here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this pumpkin bread:
- Pumpkin puree: Look for 100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Oil: You can use any neutral oil like vegetable, canola, grapeseed or avocado.
- Spices: In this recipe, I use powered cinnamon, ginger and cloves with freshly grated nutmeg. If you don’t have whole nutmeg, you can of course sub powdered nutmeg (I’d use a tiny bit less). But I urge you to try fresh grated nutmeg if you can find it! I didn’t like nutmeg before I tried grating it fresh.
- Kosher salt: I always use Diamond Crystal kosher salt. If using fine sea salt or table salt, you can use a little less than the specified amount. If using Morton salt, cut the amount in half.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar helps sweeten and soften the crumb. Imperial Sugar’s pure cane sugar is always my sugar of choice because of its consistency.
- Brown sugar: I’ve tried the loaf with both light and dark brown sugar. One baker noted that all dark brown sugar kind of overpowered the spices, so I recommend using light brown sugar if you have it! But in a pinch, either type will work. Again, I always stick to Imperial Sugar.
- Unsalted butter: This is only needed for the streusel. To keep the ingredients streamlined, you can make the streusel with 3 tablespoons of oil instead. But I think the flavor is much better with butter. If you only have salted butter, that will work too!
How to make a crumb-topped pumpkin bread
To start, we’ll follow Butternut Bakery’s tip to make the streusel first and refrigerate it while we make the bread. Chilling it helps the moist crumbs dry out a bit and remain in crumb form while the loaf bakes.
To make the pumpkin bread, simply whisk together the flour, leaveners, salt and spices. Five teaspoons of cinnamon is NOT a typo–it will lend your loaf a perfect spice balance! In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, oil, sugars and eggs.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet for a thick and vibrant batter–it’s okay if there are a few lumps!
The most important part of this recipe is to line your loaf pan with parchment. The parchment should be long enough that it reaches over the top of the long edges of the pan. This will allow you to pull the loaf out of the pan once it’s baked so you don’t have to invert it and risk ruining the crumb top!
Yes! I’ve had some readers use melted butter in place of the vegetable oil and this swap works well. I wouldn’t recommend using coconut oil unless you can find refined coconut oil, which won’t lend coconut flavor like unrefined coconut oil. (I have not tested this swap myself.)
Yes! One reader successfully baked them at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Depending on how full you fill the muffin tins, start checking for doneness at 15 minutes and adjust as needed.
Tips and Tricks
- Use a 9×5″ loaf pan: This recipe is designed for a generously domed loaf baked in a 9×5 pan (standard size). If you only have an 8×4″ loaf pan or smaller, the batter + streusel may overflow the pan. I recommend filling it 2/3 of the way with batter and using the remaining batter for muffins.
- Line the pan with parchment: I highly recommend lining the pan with a long sheet of parchment that provides extra lining on both sides. Having a sling will allow you to pull the loaf out of the pan while remaining upright. This will help the streusel stay put!
- Use a light-colored loaf pan: Lighter-colored loaf pans run a lower risk of overcooking the outside like a dark colored pan. I love my Williams Sonoma gold touch loaf pan!
How to store pumpkin bread
Because pumpkin bread is so moist, it will keep well at room temperature (covered tightly) for 1-2 days. If you’re storing it for more than 2 days, keep it in the fridge, wrapped well.
To freeze, let the pumpkin bread cool to room temperature. Wrap in foil and place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container for up to 1 month!
For more fall baking inspiration, try these
- Layered almond paste scones
- Gingerbread coffee cake
- Campfire crunch cookies
- Apple frangipane tart
- A birthday number cookie cake
If you try this recipe, I would be so appreciative if you could leave a star rating and review! Happy baking!
Easy Streusel Pumpkin Bread
For the streusel
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 65g
- 6 tbsp light or dark brown sugar 80g
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted 57g
For the pumpkin bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 260g
- 5 tsp cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- pinch ground cloves
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil 150g
- 1/2 cup Imperial Sugar granulated sugar 100g
- 1 cup Imperial Sugar light brown sugar 213g
- 2 large eggs 100g
For the streusel
- Whisk all the dry ingredients together. Pour in the melted butter and stir until just combined and crumbly. Set in the fridge to chill while you make the pumpkin bread.
For the pumpkin bread
- Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9×5 loaf pan, then line with a piece of parchment. It should be long enough that it sticks up along the long sides of the loaf pan so you can lift the pumpkin bread out later.Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves in a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, oil and sugars. Once combined, whisk in the eggs one at a time.
- Fold in the dry ingredients until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the streusel over the top. Place pan on a baking sheet in case of overflow and bake on the middle rack for 65-80 min or until an inserted tester comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay). If the top is browning too fast, cover loosely with foil.