Since spotting the pumpkin bread recipe in a 1973 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine, many loaves have been baked, eaten, and gifted by family and friends, and the recipe has been shared countless times because pumpkin bread is perfectly sweet and spiced with tastes of fall and winter holiday seasons and does not require special baking skills or technique (just a strong stirring arm).  It freezes well, too.  That means you can start baking now, and fill your kitchen with the aroma of delicious holiday happiness.  Here’s an updated version of our long time favorite pumpkin bread recipe.

♥ Please share the joy.

Pumpkin bread is a fall classic and always a favorite





1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp   Light Olive Oil (or ¾ cup margarine)*
2½ cups   Sugar
4   Eggs
16 oz   Puréed Pumpkin (canned or homemade from scratch)
2/3 cup   Water
3½ cups   Unbleached Flour
2 tsp   Baking Soda
1½ tsp   Salt
1½ tsp   Baking Powder
1 tsp   Cinnamon
1 tsp   Ground Cloves
2/3 cup   Chopped Walnuts or Pecans (optional)
1/2 cup   Dried Fruit (optional)  e.g. cranberries, cherries, golden raisins

*The original recipe called for margarine, but that was more than 40 years ago.  Substituting olive oil is a contempo tweak.


2 mixing bowls (1 large & 1 medium or small size)
1 or 2 spoons for mixing, wood or metal
1 whisk or a fork
2 loaf pans (approx. 8.5″x4.25″x2.75″) Only have one? Bake one at a time.
Measuring cups and spoons
Cake tester or skewer (wood or metal)
Cooling rack
Plastic wrap for keeping & freezer paper/plastic bags for storing in freezer


• Preheat oven at 350°F/177°C, and prepare (grease & flour or spray with non-stick cooking spray) 2 loaf pans.  You can use loaf pans made of any material (e.g, metal, glass, silicone), but using different types and sizes requires an adjustment of the baking time which you may have to do anyway as timing often varies with different ovens.  Best advice to avoid a disaster, frequently check your pumpkin bread while baking, and don’t take out of the oven too soon or too late.

• In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then add the olive oil, water, pumpkin purée and sugar. Combine thoroughly.  [If you are using margarine, first cream softened margarine & sugar in large bowl, add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly, then mix in pumpkin purée and water.]

• In a separate, smaller sized bowl, combine the flour with all the other dry ingredients and spices.

• Stir the dry ingredients into the large mixing bowl of wet, pumpkin mixture, just a little at a time, and keep stirring until batter is thoroughly blended.

• If you’d like to add nuts and/or dried fruit, stir into the batter after it’s thoroughly blended.

• Pour batter into the prepared loaf pans.

• Bake for 1 hour+10 min @ 350°F.  Check the pumpkin bread by inserting a cake tester stick or skewer in the center of each.  Adjust time, if necessary.  It’s ready to come out of the oven when the tester comes out clean.

• Cool on rack for 10-15 minutes before removing bread from loaf pan.  Let loaves cool completely before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap.  Pumpkin bread should keep a week in the refrigerator.  If freezing, add another layer of wrapping (freezer paper or clear plastic freezer bags).


Everybody loved the German Chocolate Cupcakes made with traditional coconut-pecan frosting.Another family favorite → German Chocolate Cupcakes





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Feature photo of baking table courtesy of Andy Chilton/StockSnap CC0
Pumpkin bread photo by Flickr user, Rebecca Siegel CC BY 2.0

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Posted by Zola Zeester

Zola is a vagabond playmaker, the On2In2™ recreation guru and primary source of inspiration for this article. Currently resides at Zeester Media HQ.


  1. After following the original recipe for over 40 years, I tried it with the light olive oil. It’s just as good as the margarine version. Could not tell any difference at all. Still super yummy and perfect for the Fall.

  2. A thick slice, warmed slightly in toaster, with spread of cream cheese—Delicious!

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