It’s almost officially fall, and I’m counting the days! The season for sweaters and boots, cool crisp air, cozy evenings spent cuddled under soft blankets, crunching around in the leaves with my boys, baking with all my favorite spices, pumpkin patches and pie making and honking geese and apples and hot soup. All those things in one day would pretty much be the best fall day ever. And, of course, fall is just the beginning of the holiday season, which is my favorite time of year. And I can’t think of a better way to start off the season than with a high altitude recipe for freshly baked pumpkin bread. You’ll love this moist and easy pumpkin bread recipe, with a perfect balance of spices and lots of buttery crumble topping!
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All the Pumpkin Things in Fall
One of the early recipes on my blog was for high altitude pumpkin bread. Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve continued blogging for as long as I have. And while my style and photography has changed, one thing has remained the same – to create the best, most dependable high-altitude recipes there are, and of course, the most delicious, too. With that in mind, I’ve updated my high altitude pumpkin bread recipe a bit. I’ve adjusted a few ingredients to perfect the rise, and added heaps of crumble topping.
I love spicy, pumpkin baked goods, and pumpkin bread is usually the first pumpkiny thing I crave when the weather turns cooler. Then, definitely a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, some muffins, and then a pie for Thanksgiving. Not forgetting pumpkin cake, too, which I’ll probably make for Halloween next month. Oh, how to decide what to bake next!
Obviously, pumpkin bread starts with canned pumpkin. And while you can roast and puree your own sugar pumpkin to bake with, canned pumpkin is undeniably convenient. I always stock up on extra pumpkin so I can bake something delicious whenever the mood strikes. It’s a little annoying when a recipe only uses a partial can of pumpkin, so I adjusted my recipe to use one whole can for this 2-loaf recipe.
The other liquid ingredients are granulated sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil (it makes the bread soooo moist), eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
For the dry ingredients, I always sift them together to lighten the flour and make sure there are no lumps. The dry ingredients include all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt, and plenty of warm fall spices. I don’t keep pumpkin pie spice on hand, but I love adding cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves to pretty much all of my baked goods in the fall and winter. Cardamom or allspice would be great, too.
Pumpkin Bread Two Ways
Since my recipe makes two loaves, I decided to bake each loaf differently, to showcase how delicious and pretty the bread can be with or without the crumb topping. I baked half the batter in a standard loaf pan with crumb topping. And the other half in my Nordic Ware Classic Fluted Cast Loaf Pan. I think both loaves of bread are just so beautiful. The crumb topping spilling over moist slices of bread is simply irresistible. But how stunning is the shape of that fluted pan? I’m so in love with it.
Many people put chocolate chips in pumpkin bread, too, but I decided to leave them out this time to highlight the beautiful color and texture of the bread. It’s so moist, so perfectly spiced, and such a nice balance of sweetness and pumpkin flavor. One of my favorite things this time of year.
Spiced Streusel Pecan Topping
Streusel topping makes everything better. This topping is buttery, sweet and salty, full of crunchy pecans, and with a bit more spice for more flavor. It’s the best. The pecans are optional, and the streusel is great with or without them.
When you make the streusel , you might think it’s too much for two loaves of bread, but trust, me, it’s not. The crumble topping adds such a nice buttery, crunchy and slightly salty note to the sweet, spiced bread, and I could eat it by the spoonful.
Be sure to read all of my BAKING FAQs where I discuss ingredients, substitutions and common baking questions, so that you can be successful in your own baking!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does this recipe make one or two loaves?
This recipe makes 2 loaves of pumpkin bread.
Where can I find the fancy loaf pan you used?
This is the Nordic Ware Fluted Loaf Pan that I used.
Can I freeze pumpkin bread?
Yes, after baking and cooling the loaves, wrap them in several layers of plastic wrap. You can freeze them for 3-6 months, and they will stay moist and fresh tasting.
How long does the bread stay moist?
Stored in an airtight container, it will stay moist for 3-5 days. If it lasts that long!
Can I add chocolate chips or nuts?
Absolutely! This recipe is delicious with either, especially with chocolate chips.
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Pumpkin Streusel Bread
All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 cup vegetable oil (you can also use 1/2 cup vegetable oil + 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter)
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
- ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup pecans, very finely chopped (optional)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line two standard-sized loaf pans with a sheet of parchment paper to easily remove the bread after it bakes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugars, oil, eggs, milk and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk just to combine until mostly free of lumps; batter will be thick. Divide the batter between the pans.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, salt, sugar, and pecans (if using). Drizzle with the melted butter, and toss with a fork until very moist and crumbly. If the streusel is too wet, add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the batter, and lightly press into the batter.
- Bake for about 55-65 minutes, until a cake tester comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then lift the bread out by the paper, set on a wire rack, and cool completely before cutting.