This Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread Recipe will become one of your favorite pumpkin recipes this fall. With cozy spices, and a warm pumpkin flavor, this is a great old Maine recipe that brings the taste of New England to your own kitchen.
Picture this: you're nestled in a cozy cabin surrounded by the crisp, salty, breeze of the Maine coast, you see the vibrantly colored leaves, and the scent of freshly baked pumpkin bread fills the air. It's a scene that's as picturesque as it is comforting, and I'm lucky enough to call Maine my home. Today I'm sharing with you one of the best pumpkin bread recipes I have, so that you too can experience the magic of a Maine autumn from the comfort of your own kitchen.
This is a super simple and great recipe to make on a chilly weekend with the kids. No mixer is required, which means the kiddos can help stir up some sweet autumn memories in the kitchen alongside you. If you're looking for new recipes to try this fall, this recipe is a winner and I guarantee the whole family will love it!
Why you'll love this recipe
- This is the perfect pumpkin bread recipe. It tastes delicious, uses a whole can of pureed pumpkin, and only makes one loaf.
- It can be made completely by hand--no need to soften butter or even get out the mixer!
- This bread tastes even better the next day after you bake it.
How To Make Downeast Pumpkin Bread From Scratch
This is the perfect quick bread recipe for a chilly fall morning.
Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found on the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Ingredients You'll Need
- All purpose flour - Great for a tender, but strong structure.
- Baking Soda - To tenderize the bread and give it a lift.
- Kosher salt - I use coarse kosher salt to balance out the sweetness and bring out the flavors in the bread.
- Spices - Use a combination of 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, and ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves for the perfect fall spice. For best results, make sure the spices are fresh.
- Pumpkin puree - You can use canned or fresh pumpkin. Just make sure to use pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling
- Unsalted butter - The butter is melted in this recipe, so there's no need to soften butter at room temperature
- Vegetable oil - I like just a little bit of oil to lighten up the bread and add crispness to the exterior.
- White sugar - For sweetening the bread without competing with the flavors.
- Large eggs - Large eggs hold everything together.
- Vanilla extract - For additional flavor and warmth
Spray an 8" or 9" loaf pan with cooking spray and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in a small saucepan or the microwave. Once melted, remove from heat and let cool slightly while you prepare the other ingredients.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the sugars, melted butter, and vegetable oil together until combined. It'll start to separate immediately, but that's okay!
Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Continue beating until well incorporated.
Add the pumpkin puree to the egg mixture and whisk until all the wet ingredients are blended together.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and using a whisk or a wooden spoon, mix until the batter is just combined and no flour streaks remain. Do not overmix!
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake bread in a preheated oven at 350° degrees F for about 60-70 min. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.
You'll know the pumpkin bread is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Set on a wire rack until cool enough to handle.
Variations and Substitutions
- You can substitute ½ cup of the all purpose flour for whole wheat flour. The bread is still perfectly moist and delicious!
- You can omit the vegetable oil entirely, or use extra pumpkin, applesauce, or coconut oil in its place!
- Add chocolate chips or toasted nuts to the batter before baking.
- There is a lot of ground cinnamon in this recipe, so feel free to reduce the amount by 1 teaspoon.
- The spice mixture can be substituted with 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
- Do not overmix. Mix the batter until the ingredients are just combined. Overmixing can lead to tough and dry pumpkin bread.
- Use fresh spices. The bread will be more flavorful if the spices are fresher.
- Do not overbake. To prevent your bread from going dry, start testing the bread with a toothpick after 60 minutes. If the toothpick comes out clean, it's done.
- Adjust cooking times for your loaf pan. If using a 9" loaf pan, the baking time will be shorter than if you bake in an 8" pan.
You can store your bread on the counter at room temperature wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container.
The pumpkin bread will stay soft for 3-4 days.
If you live in a humid climate or want to prolong the freshness even more, store the bread in an airtight container in the fridge.
Yes! Just double wrap your loaf tightly in plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil. This will prevent freezer burn. Store the pumpkin bread in the freezer for up to a month.
When you're ready to eat, remove the loaf from the freezer and set it on the counter to thaw. Leave wrapped in plastic wrap as it's thawing. It'll be perfectly moist and delicious!
It does not need to be. But storing pumpkin bread in the fridge (especially in humid weather) will help keep it fresher longer.
Pumpkin has a lot of good vitamins in it, but I would not call pumpkin bread healthy since it usually has a lot of sugar in it.
More Pumpkin Recipes You Might Like
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¾ cup brown sugar (dark or light)
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 15 oz canned or fresh pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Spray an 8" or 9" loaf pan with cooking spray and preheat your oven to 350º
- Melt butter in a small saucepan or the microwave. Once melted, remove from heat and let cool slightly while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, spices and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Using a whisk, whisk the sugars, melted butter, and vegetable oil together until combined. It'll start to separate immediately, but that's ok!
- Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Continue beating until well incorporated.
- Add the pumpkin to the egg mixture and whisk until all the wet ingredients are blended together.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and using a whisk or a wooden spoon, mix until the batter is just combined and no flour streaks remain. Do not over mix!
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake bread at 350° for about 60-70 min. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.
- The bread is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 243Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 322mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g