If you love a dense, moist Pumpkin Bread and are a fan of the Starbuck’s version, this best pumpkin bread recipe is for you!! It’s easy and irresistibly good. Topped with a cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans. It doesn’t get any better than this!
Quick breads (think banana bread) are a favorite recipe when you want an easy sweet bread with moist texture. This favorite fall recipe serves up warm spices and the best pumpkin flavor. It’s an easy pumpkin bread recipe perfect for pumpkin spice season!
The moist crumbs and fresh pumpkin flavor truly makes it a favorite of the fall season. It makes a great gift too any time of the year.
Why is the best?
- Moist crumb
- Dense satisfying texture
- Sweet without being overly sweet
- Pure pumpkin flavor with warm spices
- Melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting
- Toasted pecans on top that put it over the top
Recipe Ingredients Notes
All purpose flour. Regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour can be used. For gluten-free baking we use and recommend Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour.
Baking flour and baking soda. This combo gives perfect rising power for this homemade pumpkin bread.
Pumpkin pie spice. This homey blend of warm spice in fall flavors that just tastes like pumpkin season. If you can’t find it or want to make your own: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + ½ teaspoon nutmeg + ½ teaspoon ginger.
Unsalted butter. Start with room temperature butter for best results. It will be used both for the moist pumpkin bread recipe and the frosting.
Eggs. Three eggs, room temperature before starting.
Pumpkin puree. Use 100% pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling. You can use canned or homemade pumpkin puree. Canned puree is generally slightly denser both in thickness and flavor.
Cream cheese. For the frosting you’ll need 4 ounces of cream cheese softened before starting the recipe.
Pecans. These will be toasted before adding to the top of the frosting. Instructions included!
How to make this favorite Pumpkin Bread
Printable recipe card at the end of this post.
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray (photo 1).
STEP 2. Make batter
In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice (photo 2). Set aside.
Combine the wet ingredients: in a large bowl (separate bowl), using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the granulated white sugar and brown sugar; mix until combined (photo 3).
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition (photo 4). Add the flour mixture, pumpkin, and vanilla; mix until combined (photo 5).
STEP 3. Bake
Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading to the edges (photo 6). Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
STEP 4. Cool
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the pan to release the loaf and place onto a wire rack to finish cooling (photo 7). Cool completely before frosting.
STEP 5. Toast the pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spread the pecans on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes. They are done when the pecans begin to smell fragrant.
Remove from oven to allow them to cool while making the frosting.
STEP 6. Cream Cheese Frosting
In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy . Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons milk; mix until well combined (photos 8-9).
If the frosting is a little thick, mix in the last tablespoon of milk.
Frost the pumpkin bread (photos 10-11) and add the toasted pecans (photo 12).
Don’t over mix the batter. Overmixing causes quick breads and cakes to become tough. Mix just until all the ingredients are combined.
Don’t rush the cooling. Allow the bread to cool a full 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. This will ensure it doesn’t break apart and will come out of the pan easily. If it’s sticking run a dull knife around the outside of the bread (between the bread and pan).
How to store
Store covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Slice into 10 thick slices for serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! The best way is to freeze the bread before it’s frosted. Allow the bread to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then place it a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator. Once thawed you can proceed with frosting. You can also freeze individual slices.
You can use either. Canned puree will save time however if you want to make homemade pumpkin puree choose sugar pumpkins which are small and perfect (sweet with loads of pumpkin flavor). Use our pumpkin puree recipe for great results.
Yes! This happens when the top of loaf has set before the bread has finished rising. It doesn’t affect the moistness or flavor. You won’t see it after adding the frosting too!
More recipes you’ll love!
Best Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese frosting
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice see notes for DIY version
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- 3 eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup 100% pumpkin puree (do not use pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- ¼ cup toasted chopped pecans (toasting instructions included below)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter until smooth and creamy.
- Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar; mix until combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mixing between each addition.
- Add the flour mixture, pumpkin, and vanilla; mix until combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan, spreading to the edges. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the pan to release the loaf and place it onto a wire cooling rack to finish cooling. Cool completely before frosting.
Toasting the pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pecans on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes. They are done when the pecans begin to smell fragrant.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.
- Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk; mix until well combined. If the frosting is a little thick, mix in the last tablespoon of milk. Frost the pumpkin bread and add the toasted pecans.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + ½ teaspoon nutmeg + ½ teaspoon ginger How to store Store covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Slice into 10 thick slices for serving. How to freeze Freeze the pumpkin bread before frosting. Allow bread to fully cool. Wrap snugly in saran wrap and place into a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator. Procced with frosting and serve.