Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

7 months ago 487

When fall is in the air, can’t you just smell a delicious loaf of freshly baked pumpkin bread? Or is that just those of us who dream about pumpkin bread all day? No matter.

Either way, moist and flavorful pumpkin bread is the perfect way to use up the cans of pumpkin puree you stocked up on at the first sign of autumn. And what better recipe to use than this Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread? It’s so beloved by members of the Allrecipes community, they have rated it 5 stars over 8,000 times.

How to Make Pumpkin Bread

The great news is that pumpkin bread is actually incredibly easy to make — you don’t even need an electric mixer (though, of course it helps). Simply combine your wet ingredients, then combine your dry ingredients, then combine them all together. Pour into two loaf pans.

The best part about this recipe is that it makes two loaves, so you can have one for now and one for later — or one for gifting!

Should You Use Canned or Fresh Pumpkin for Pumpkin Bread?

This recipe calls for canned pumpkin puree (make sure it’s plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling), which is quicker and easier than using fresh pumpkin. But, if you are feeling ambitious and want to use fresh pumpkin, follow this recipe to make pumpkin puree from scratch. A 1 ½-pound sugar pumpkin will make about 2 cups of mashed pumpkin, which is the same as a 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree.

How to Know When Pumpkin Bread Is Done

Pumpkin bread is pretty dense, so it might be hard to know when it’s cooked all the way through (and the last thing you want is to serve up a bread that’s raw in the middle).

So, to know when pumpkin bread is done, look for the crack on the top of the bread, which is a tell-tale sign it’s either done or close to being done. Then stick a skewer or toothpick into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean, it’s ready to come out of the oven. If not, leave it to bake for a few more minutes, then check again with a clean toothpick.

How to Remove Pumpkin Bread From the Loaf Pan

Sometimes removing quick breads from their loaf pan is a tricky task. So, before you add the batter, make sure you thoroughly grease the pan.

Then, after you’ve let the bread cool for about 10 minutes (or until you can handle the pan), run a knife along the edges of the bread. Gently shake the pan until the bread comes loose and you can turn it out onto a wire rack or plate. Then, let the bread continue to cool.

You may be tempted to cut right into the bread, but you should let it cool completely before slicing into it.

Pumpkin Bread Mistakes

Pumpkin bread may be an easy quick bread to make, but sometimes recipes don’t always turn out as planned. If you’re having one of these common mistakes, here’s how to fix it:

Tough Bread

If you have a tough bread instead of a soft, cake-like texture, you’re probably overmixing your batter. When making quick breads, you don’t want to mix too much or else the gluten development will cause your bread to change in texture. Mix your ingredients until they are just combined — you should still have some lumps in the batter.

Dry Bread

Dry pumpkin bread is such a disappointment. To avoid dry, crumbly bread, try to keep your batter moist. Either do this by using less flour or adding more liquid — but don’t add more oil. Instead, try adding orange juice or even bourbon to get some liquid into the batter.

How to Store Pumpkin Bread

Wait until the bread is completely cool, then wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store it in a cool, dry place for up to four days, or in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

“Awesome recipe!! Very easy to make. Just put in a bowl and use your hand or stand mixer. That simple. I just made it this morning and I tried it four hours later. Wonderful!!! Can’t wait till tomorrow, I don’t know how it can taste any better” says KIMMIE5474.

“I can’t even begin to describe this wonderful, cozy, comforting bread! There are no words! I made it exactly as stated and it was perfect!! End of story, no substitutions needed. It’s like pumpkin pie for breakfast,” raves Pamela Frechette.

“Our go-to recipe for pumpkin bread. Our family loves it — such a great, rich flavor and a good use for fresh pureed pumpkin,” according to NCDaisy.

Editorial contributions by Bailey Fink


  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  •  cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

    Overhead of a flour, baking soda, and cinnamon mixture in a bowl.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended.

  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.

    Overhead of a bowl with a flour mixture and a whisk in it and a bowl with a pumpkin mixture in it.

    Overhead of a pumpkin batter resting in a bowl.

  5. Pour into the prepared pans.

    Overhead of a pumpkin batter being poured into three bread pans.

  6. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

    Overhead of two baked pumpkin breads cooling on a wire rack.

  7. Enjoy!

    an overhead view of partially sliced pumpkin bread sitting on a wooden cutting board with a single slice buttered.