This pumpkin walnut bread is a deliciously moist and aromatic dessert that's perfect for fall! The fragrant spices of cinnamon and nutmeg meld with the delicate taste of pumpkin and the nutty aroma of walnuts. This pumpkin bread recipe is a must for all your autumn and holiday baking. It will quickly become a favorite for your family!
I've always been a fan of quick bread recipes (hello, delicious Irish soda bread) because they come together so... well, quickly! I don't have to find my electric hand mixer or haul my stand mixer over to the counter. Instead, all it takes is some light hand mixing, and voila! I've made this recipe countless times, mainly because it is so easy. I've made it as a holiday gift, a dessert for friends and family, and numerous times just for myself!
Why you'll love this recipe
A quick bread that's ready for the oven in 10 minutes: You only need two bowls for this super fast and easy recipe. It's the perfect recipe for when you're short on time! I also love that this recipe makes not one, but TWO loaves!
The perfect dessert for fall. The fragrant spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice blend together to give this dessert a very autumnal feel.
A dessert that's delicious alone or with ice cream! I consider this bread to be a dessert just by itself. However, you can also serve it slightly warmed with a scoop of ice cream on top and drizzled with caramel.
Key ingredients and why we use them
I won't waste your time talking about every ingredient we're going to use in the recipe. Instead, I've highlighted the key ingredients below and talk about why they are important!
Walnuts: You can toast your walnuts in the oven before using them in this recipe for an added boost of flavor. You can also substitute pecans or leave the nuts out altogether. You can't go wrong either way!
Canola Oil: You can use any neutral-flavored oil in this recipe. I've used canola oil, vegetable oil, and corn oil interchangeably. You should not use more potent oils such as olive oil or sesame oil in this recipe.
Pumpkin Puree: Make sure you don't use pumpkin pie filling in this recipe. Pumpkin puree is just pumpkin that's been cooked, pureed, and canned. Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar and spices.
Cinnamon + Nutmeg + Cloves + Ginger + Allspice: This blend of spices is also known as pumpkin pie spice. I love how amazing my house smells when I'm baking this bread. It's all thanks to these aromatic autumnal spices!
This recipe makes approximately 16 cups of batter. I recommend using two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans, which typically have a capacity of 8 cups each. I also like to use my Nordic Ware harvest bounty loaf pan for this recipe. This loaf pan has a six-cup capacity and is fun to use when you're baking this recipe in the fall. This is totally optional, and not necessary!
Frequently asked questions
No, they are not the same! Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar and spices. Pumpkin puree is simply pumpkin that's been cooked, pureed, and canned. Do not substitute pumpkin pie filling in this recipe.
The likely culprit is overmixing your batter. You only want to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated when mixing a quick bread. Any more than that, and you will overdevelop the gluten in your bread. It's okay to have lumps in the batter as these will bake out in the oven.
You can always use a toothpick inserted into the center of your loaf to test for doneness. However, I like to use an instant-read thermometer for testing my quickbread. When your loaf is baked through, an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of your bread should read between 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can print this entire recipe below and save it for later. But, before you get there, I'll share my most helpful hint and walk through everything step-by-step for you.
HEATHER'S HELPFUL HINT
It's easy to avoid rims around the edges of your pumpkin bread loaves. Simply, grease the baking pans on the bottom and only ½ inch up the sides. Also, make sure you are using a non-stick pan.
1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
3. Whisk the wet ingredients together until well combined.
4. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Gently fold in the walnuts. Do not overmix batter at this point.
5. Pour batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for about 60-70 minutes in the preheated oven.
6. Let cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to fully cool.
Make ahead and storage tips
Storage Instructions: You can store this bread at room temperature for up to 4 days. To maintain freshness, keep the bread in an airtight container. If you don't devour this bread within four days, you will want to freeze the loaves.
Freezing Instructions: To freeze the bread, tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Then, place in a freezer bag and store for up to three months. To serve, place bread to defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
- Feel free to substitute other add-ins for the walnuts in this recipe. Options include chocoalte chips, dried cranberries, and raisins.
- If you want a more mildly spiced pumpkin loaf, you can reduce all the spices in the recipe by half.
- If you're looking for a healthier version of pumpkin bread, check out this vegan chocoalte chip pumpkin bread.
Try these other pumpkin recipes
Did you make this recipe? First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try! Please leave us a rating and leave any feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went OK — and what didn't — with a recipe! Also, be sure to check out some of our other recipes linked below!
Pumpkin Walnut Bread
- 2 loaf pans with 6-8 cup capacity (9 x 5-inch pans work well)
- 3⅓ cups all-purpose flour 420 grams
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 4 eggs large
- 1 cup canola oil
- ⅔ cup water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
- Place a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 20 minutes before baking your bread. Spray two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with baking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Gently fold in the walnuts. Do not overmix batter at this point.
- Pour batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for about 60-70 minutes in the preheated oven. Baking times vary, so check on your loaves at 60 minutes and in 5-minute increments after that.
- Let cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to fully cool.
Notes and Tips
- Pumpkin Puree: Make sure you don't use pumpkin pie filling in this recipe. Pumpkin puree is just pumpkin that's been cooked, pureed, and canned. Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar and spices.
- Spice Substitutions: You can substitute 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice if you don't have all the individual spices available.
- Oil: You can use any neutral-flavored oil in this recipe. I've experimented with canola oil, vegetable oil, and corn oil—all of which work well in this recipe.
- Working with Batter: After mixing, get your batter into the oven as quickly as you can. If you wait too long, you risk the loaves not rising properly.
- Testing for Doneness: You can always use a toothpick inserted into the center of your loaf to test for doneness. However, I like to use an instant-read thermometer for testing my quickbread. When your loaf is baked through, an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of your bread should read between 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prevent Over-Browning: If the tops look like they are browning a bit too much, cover the loaves loosely with tented aluminum foil during the last half of baking.
I originally posted this recipe in October 2016. I updated it in October 2021 with new pictures and a few updates to the recipe. As a result of these changes, I have updated the title and changed the URL of the original post.