This tender and delicious one-bowl pumpkin bread is made with canned pumpkin, warm fall spices and is covered in a cream cheese frosting sweetened with maple syrup.
The pumpkin spice bread is so easy to make and the sweetness is perfectly balanced, making this loaf perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. The pumpkin keeps this cake ultra-moist so you can enjoy it for the entire week!
Pumpkin bread is a classic recipe to satisfy those pumpkin spice fall cravings! For more pumpkin-related recipes, try Pumpkin Sour Cream Muffins, pumpkin coffee cake, Pumpkin Chai Tiramisu, Pumpkin Spice Soft Pretzels, and Pumpkin Pie Crumble Bars.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Fall flavors - pumpkin plus cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice are a match made in heaven. There's a reason why pumpkin spice is so popular during autumn, as it brings so much coziness and joy!
Texture - this pumpkin spice loaf has a tight, tender crumb that completely melts in your mouth! The edges and top get slightly caramelized, and the cream cheese frosting adds a silky addition to every bite.
Customizable - the pumpkin bread can take on all sorts of add-ins. From dried fruit and nuts to chocolate chips or extra spices, you can make this loaf just how you like it!
- Pumpkin puree. A whole can of pure pumpkin is used in this recipe. Do not get pumpkin pie filling, as that already has spices and sugars incorporated. I suggest using Libby's brand.
- Sour cream. Full-fat, room-temperature cream cheese should be used.
- Milk. Room temperature whole milk is recommended.
- Neutral oil. Canola oil, vegetable oil, or sunflower oil are great options to help keep this cake moist.
- Spices. Both cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice are used to flavor the pumpkin cake.
- Sugars. Brown sugar and granulated sugar are used in the bread and powdered sugar in the frosting.
- Cream cheese. Full-fat, room-temperature cream cheese is used in the cake frosting.
- Maple syrup. This adds a bit a liquid and earthy sweetness to the cream cheese icing.
See recipe card for full ingredients list and quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
- Unsweetened greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream.
- Add up to ¾ cup of chocolate chips of your choice (and add some to the top!).
- Add up to ¾ cup chopped toasted (and cooled) nuts to the batter, or just to the top.
- Do not use canned pumpkin pie filling (this already contains sugar and spices).
How to Make This Recipe
One: Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
Two: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugars, oil, and eggs until smooth.
Three: Add half of the dry ingredients and fold it together with a rubber spatula.
Four: Add the sour cream and milk and mix to combine.
Five: Fold in the remaining dry ingredients, then spread evenly into a prepared 9x5" loaf pan. Bake until done.
Six: Once the pumpkin loaf is completely cool, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth, then spread on top of the loaf.
- Bake this cake in a metal loaf pan for even baking and the best results.
- Add a parchment sling hanging over the long sides of the pan for easy removal after baking.
- Use room temperature dairy and eggs for best results.
- Don't over mix the flour into batter, as this can lead to a extra dense cake.
- Tent the loaf lightly with foil during baking time if it is becoming too brown on top.
- Wait until the loaf is completely cool before adding the frosting so it doesn't melt off.
Yes. This cake can be baked in a 9-inch, greased springform pan for closer to 45 minutes. Check for doneness using a cake tester or toothpick. When the tester comes out clean from the center with no wet batter (moist crumbs are ok), the cake is done.
This is likely because too much flour was added and/or the batter was over-mixed. Measure carefully (a digital scale is best) and only mix until just incorporated.
This is likely because the loaf was underbaked, or the temperature went from the oven to too cold of an area to begin cooling.
Store the pumpkin bread covered in the fridge for up to one week. Try not to allow any air to get to it. If you don't add the cream cheese frosting, the bread can remain at room temperature (covered) for 3-4 days.
To freeze, wrap the unfrosted cake in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and freeze in a zip-top bag for up to 3 months. Unwrap completely and thaw at room temperature, then add the cream cheese frosting.
Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 9x5" loaf pan use a metal pan for best results
- Mixing bowls
- Rubber spatula
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 15 oz pumpkin puree 1 regular can
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup full-fat sour cream room temperature
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 6 oz full-fat cream cheese room temperature
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ and line a 9x5inch (1.5qt) baking pan (metal will produce the best results) with a parchment paper sling with overhang on the longest sides of the pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla until very smooth.¾ cup light brown sugar, ¾ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, 15 oz pumpkin puree, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add half of the flour and fold it into the batter using a rubber spatula.
- Add the sour cream and milk and fold to combine, then add the remaining flour and finish folding until no dry streaks remain in the batter (be sure to scrape to the very bottom).½ cup full-fat sour cream, ¼ cup whole milk
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly.
- Bake in the center rack of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes - 1 hour and 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs but no wet batter. Continue adding 5 minutes to the bake time until you reach this point. It will look very puffy and likely cracked. Tent the loaf lightly with foil if it is getting too brown.
- Move the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then use the parchment paper overhangs to remove the loaf from the pan and add it to the wire rack to finish cooling.
- Once the loaf is completely cool, make the cream cheese frosting.
- Add the cream cheese, maple syrup, powdered sugar, and vanilla to a bowl and mix it together with a rubber spatula until smooth.6 oz full-fat cream cheese, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, ¼ cup powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Spread the frosting on top of the cooled loaf, and top with cinnamon or toasted pecans.