I know there are a lot of Pumpkin Bread recipe out there but my Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread is the BEST! It is so moist and soft with big pumpkin flavor and it is not too sweet. There is a thick cinnamon swirl right through the loaf and an irresistible buttery brown sugar crumb topping with whole toasted pecans. I'm telling you - this is the ULTIMATE pumpkin bread recipe! It's inspired by my delicious fluffy Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Muffins except taken up a notch with a bold cinnamon swirl. It will also make your home smell amazing!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE:
- Ultra moist pumpkin bread - this pumpkin bread is SO moist! It's not gummy or pasty - it's just perfectly soft and moist.
- Soft and fluffy texture - my pumpkin bread bakes up with a perfect even crumb texture and it's so fluffy and light yet moist and substantial.
- Pumpkin spice loaf - what's pumpkin bread without pumpkin spice? The fragrant spices are so cozy and warming, and they pair with pumpkin so well. You can use your favorite pumpkin spice blend, your make your own with a combination of cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg and allspice.
- Easy to make - all you need is a whisk, a bowl and a spatula to make this recipe. It is super simple. It's a one bowl recipe!
- Pecan crumb topping - a buttery brown sugar crumb topping with toasted pecan poking through takes this loaf to the next level and adds such a rich flavor.
- Cinnamon swirl bread - there are 2 thick flavorful swirls of cinnamon through the bread and this is my favorite part!
- Unsalted butter - melted butter adds richness and tenderness and it carries the spice flavors well. For this recipe you can use unsalted or salted butter. If you use salted butter, then reduce the added salt by half.
- Brown sugar - brown sugar adds caramel-like flavor due to the molasses content and it really complements the pumpkin and the spices.
- Granulated sugar - simple white sugar will add the right amount of sweetness and also keep this loaf moist.
- Canned pumpkin - canned pumpkin is easily accessible and inexpensive. You can also make it yourself, but it is important to reduce it down so it is very thick otherwise the moisture balance will be off in the recipe. Make sure you use pure pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling which has sugar and spices already added.
- Eggs - Two large eggs will add nice structure and help with the moist spongy texture.
- Pure vanilla extract - vanilla will add rich undertones. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
- Milk - I recommend using whole milk or 2% milk for this recipe and it helps if it is at room temperature.
- All purpose flour - regular unbleached all-purpose flour works great for loaf recipes.
- Pumpkin pie spice - use your favorite brand, or make your own from a blend of 1 part nutmeg, clove and allspice with 2 parts cinnamon and ginger.
- Cinnamon swirl - you just need sugar, cinnamon and bit of flour to make the swirl mixture. The flour is the secret because it helps the swirl set into a distinct line instead of just baking right into the batter.
- Pecans - mixing a few pecans with the crumb topping adds great texture and taste. The whole pecans will toast as the loaf is baking and they will add such a wonderful nuttiness!
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Make the crumb topping. Combine flour, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and blend well. Add the butter in pieces and rub it in well with your fingertips until it is evenly incorporated and the mixture forms clumps and crumbles. Set aside.
- STEP 2). Combine wet ingredients. Add pumpkin puree, sugars, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla to a large bowl and whisk until evenly combined.
- STEP 3). Combine dry ingredients. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spice and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- STEP 4). Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Sprinkle flour mixture over the pumpkin mixture and start to fold it in gently. Before it is all combined, add the milk and fold it in until the batter is smooth, but do not over-mix.
- STEP 5). Make the swirls. Spoon about one-third of the batter into your prepared loaf pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar on top. Spread half of the remaining batter over the cinnamon sugar layer and spread it out evenly. Spread the last of the batter over top.
- STEP 6). Add the crumb topping. Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter alternating with pecans.
- STEP 7). Bake. Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown and the loaf feels firm in the middle. A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. After 45 minutes, you can tent the top with foil to prevent it from getting too dark.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS FOR CINNAMON SWIRL PUMPKIN BREAD
- Melted butter brings the flavor. I like to use melted butter when making recipes that call for a lot of spice since it adds rich undertones that carry the spice well so it is more rounded rather than sharp and astringent.
- Do not over-mix the batter. Once the flour is mostly combined (with a few light streaks), then the batter is ready for baking. Since loaf and brad batter is more lean with less sugar than cake batter, it is more likely to develop gluten and result in a tougher texture. Having said that, this recipe is almost fool proof! Even if you did over-mix it will likely turn out fine, but it may develop a dense gummy layer near the bottom.
- Make sure you use all of the cinnamon sugar mixture. This is key to getting those nice defined swirls and that little bit of flour will hold it in place.
- Top generously with crumbs. As the loaf rises and puffs up during baking, the topping will spread out so it may look like a lot at the beginning, but it will be just right when it is baked.
- Cover the top of the loaf with foil if it browns too quickly. I usually place a sheet of foil loosely over the loaf (like a tent) after the first 30 minutes of baking if it is getting too dark on top.
Yes, you can use oil to make this recipe and it still works well, however I find melted butter carries the spice flavors much nicer.
Pumpkin pie spice is easy to make at home! Just blend equal portions of ground ginger, nutmeg, allspice and clove with 3 times as much cinnamon. So, you can combine ½ teaspoon each of ginger, nutmeg, allspice and clove with 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon. This will give you 3 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
I use canned pumpkin puree for baking for two main reasons: 1). Consistency - if I buy the same brand all the time then I am guaranteed to have the same results. Homemade pumpkin puree will vary in moisture content depending on how long you cook it; and 2). Ease! - it's so much easier to use canned pumpkin and the quality is just as good.
Since you don't need a whole can of pumpkin puree for this recipe, I always freeze the rest and use it for another recipe later on - it works so great! You can freeze it in an ice cube tray or just spoon portions of it into a ziptop bag and freeze. You can also stir it into soup, which is so delicious!
If you love baking with pumpkin and making quick breads, check out these recipes!PECAN PUMPKIN STREUSEL MUFFINSTHE BEST CHEWY PUMPKIN COOKIESCHEWY PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIESPUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BARS WITH PECAN PRALINEPUMPKIN CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTINGCHOCOLATE MARBLE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE SQUARESDOUBLE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREADCLASSIC BANANA BREAD RECIPEMAPLE PECAN BANANA BREAD WITH DARK CHOCOLATEDOUBLE CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD
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Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread
- ⅓ cup 48g all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup 55g packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoon 42g cold unsalted butter
- ½ cup 65g pecan halves
- ¼ cup 50g granulated sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon 9g flour
- 1 ¼ cup 300ml pure pumpkin puree
- ½ cup 110g packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup 100g granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ⅓ cup 75g unsalted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon 5ml pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups 250g all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ⅔ cup 160ml whole milk
- Make the streusel topping. Combine all ingredients and blend together well with your fingertips until evenly combined and it looks like damp crumbs. Set aside.
- Make the cinnamon swirl. Combine all ingredients until evenly blended.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Make the pumpkin batter. Combine pumpkin puree, melted butter, oil, both sugars, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl and whisk to blend well.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice and salt and whisk to blend evenly. Add it to the wet mixture and fold it in gently. Before all of the flour is incorporated, add the milk and continue to fold gently until evenly combined.
- Scrape one-third of the batter into prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture (about 2 ½ tbsp) evenly over the surface. Spoon half of the remaining batter (another third of the batter) over the cinnamon sugar and gently spread it out applying a bit of pressure to help it stick to the sugar instead of lifting it up. Spoon the rest of the batter over the cinnamon sugar and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle half of the crumble over the surface then scatter the pecans over top. Finally, sprinkle on the rest of the crumble.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until it feels firm in the middle and skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool for 20 minutes in the pan and then use the over-hanging parchment paper to lift it out onto a wire rack and let it finish cooling.