No, seriously! This easy, one-bowl pumpkin bread is incredibly moist, loaded with spices, chocolate chips, and pecans, and freezes beautifully. It is a perfect bread to put out for company, serve on Thanksgiving, or bake up in small loaf pans for holiday gifts. If you’ve been looking for the pumpkin bread to end all pumpkin breads, look no further, this is THE BEST.
A couple of years ago I asked readers to send me their favorite tried and true recipes, and I received a TON of pumpkin recipes. I made a few before Dominic was born (including this pumpkin yummy dessert that was a big hit), but I shelved the rest until fall rolled around again.
The next year, I pulled this recipe out of the archives and made what turned out to be the most fantastic pumpkin bread I’ve ever had. A great big thank you to Shirline for this wonderful recipe; when she emailed me the recipe, she said she begins making it in the fall and continues to churn out loaves all through Christmas. Her family refers to it as “Grama’s Pumpkin Bread”, and she makes loaves both for her family to enjoy and in smaller batches to give away as gifts. After making dozens of pumpkin breads myself, I have to agree with Shirline – this is the best of the best!
Why This Is the Very Best Pumpkin Bread
Substantial Loaves – You will be amazed at how much batter this recipe makes… you will want to use a large mixing bowl!
Super Easy Prep – Joseph helped to mix this together before he was 2 years old! Canned pumpkin and tons of spices gets mixed together first, then vegetable oil to keep the bread nice and moist, eggs, sugar, flour, and the all-important add-ins.
Chocolate Chips and Pecans – While you COULD make the bread without them, Shirline exclaims that it just isn’t pumpkin bread without the chocolate chips and pecans, and I agree 100%. They add a wonderful punch of sweetness and crunch to the super moist, spiced bread, and it’s great balance.
Tips for Pumpkin Bread Success
Be Sure to Cook All the Way Through
When I tell you that these loaves are substantial, I kid you not. They are HEAVY… but also supremely moist and dense in the most wonderful way. They remind me of the Russian pound cake that my mom, aunt, and grandma all used to make for the holidays. As such, be sure that the loaves are baked the whole way through so they do not sink in the middle when they cool. Depending on the size of your loaf pans, you may need to bake them closer to 1 hour 30 minutes; if the bread is browning too much, tent with foil.
Make Smaller Loaves for Gifting
If you want to bake smaller loaves of pumpkin bread to place out on cookie trays or to gift for the holidays and am wondering how long they’ll need to bake, a 3×5-inch loaf pan will take approximately 30 minutes to bake, for reference.
Substitute Your Favorite Ingredients
Feel free to mix and match add-ins to match your preferences:
Cinnamon chips, butterscotch chips, or white chocolate chips in place of some or all of the chocolate chips.
Raisins or dried cranberries in place of the chocolate chips.
Chopped walnuts or another nut of your choice in place of the pecans.
Eat Now or Freeze For Later
You can eat this warm or at room temperature, but like most pound cakes or quick bread, wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and letting it sit overnight makes it even better! As a result, this is perfect to keep around for a week or so and goes wonderfully with breakfast coffee or an afternoon cup of tea, or for dessert any time of day. It freezes really well (up to 3 months wrapped well in the freezer), so it would be great to bake up a few loaves (or even mini loaves) to keep in the freezer for last-minute guests or to get a head start on Thanksgiving baking or holiday gifts!
This has officially become my go-to pumpkin bread recipe – it’s easy, full of flavor, and super moist; you can’t ask for much more than that from a pumpkin bread!
Thank you so much for this recipe, Shirline! ♥
More Fall-Friendly Bread
If you pine for cooler weather and warmly spiced baked goods, you’ll love these breads, too:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9x5-inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Add the oil, eggs, and sugar and whisk until it is thoroughly combined and there are no streaks of egg or clumps of brown sugar. Add the flour, chocolate chips and pecans, and use a rubber spatula to gently fold and stir it together until completely combined.
Divide the batter between the loaf pans and bake until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center comes out with just moist crumbs attached, anywhere from 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Allow the loaves to cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely. The loaves can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 2 months (if you freeze them, add a layer of foil or place in a ziploc freezer bag).