Moist Pumpkin Bread (One Bowl)

This Pumpkin Bread Recipe is extra tender, thanks to a secret ingredient nobody will guess. It’s the best pumpkin bread you’d ever want. Bonus: you only need to dirty one bowl.

The Best Pumpkin Bread

Every fall, we inhale approximately a dozen loaves of pumpkin bread. And then I bake roughly a dozen more to give away. Pumpkin bread is a fall treat that even those who haven’t jumped on Team Pumpkin won’t refuse. 

Our velvety rich Best New York Style Pumpkin Cheesecake and savory Pumpkin Chili are all time favorites for dinner and dessert. Now this moist pumpkin bread is an instant people pleaser for breakfast. Pumpkin all day long and we’re 100%  on board. 

After all, our best pumpkin bread boasts plenty of warming fall spices, is perfectly balanced in sweetness, and teams up with a secret ingredient that gives it an incredible moistness that can’t be beat.

best pumpkin bread

Cinnamon, Spice, and Secret Ingredient…

Your favorite pumpkin bread ingredients are wrapped inside this perfect loaf. Plus an ingredient you wouldn’t expect. 

  • For a tender crumb, we use all-purpose flour and baking soda.
  • A mixture of dark brown sugar and granulated sugar creates the perfect balance of golden sweetness.
  • Our recipe uses plenty of pure pumpkin puree. You get big pumpkin flavor and supreme moistness from 2 full cups.
  • Olive oil is our choice for this pumpkin bread, as you can’t taste it and it lends great moisture to the bread.
  • A double dose of cinnamon and warm fall spices give this pumpkin bread its amazing flavors.
  • We love a healthy sprinkling of semi-sweet mini chocolate morsels; be sure to use the mini sized chips, as they melt deliciously into the bread.
  • Secret ingredient? Coconut milknot the trendy beverage kind.
the best pumpkin bread

The right kind of coconut milk

It’s all about the old school canned coconut milk that’s traditionally used in Thai cooking. It’s now commonly found in Asian food aisles of major grocery stores. Be sure to use the right kind.

Go for whole coconut milk with all its creamy goodness. It provides depth and superior moistness in every bite, and it won’t end up tasting like coconut bread. Rather, your pumpkin bread will taste like the best pumpkin bread ever. 

Tip: be sure to give your can of coconut milk a good shake before using, as there’s usually water/cream separation in the can. 

moist pumpkin bread

Options for a healthy pumpkin bread

  • Substitute half of the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour. We use white whole wheat flour exclusively in this super moist Honey Pear Cake. It retains whole grain goodness with a lighter texture than regular whole wheat flour. 
  • Use melted coconut oil instead of olive oil if you’re all in with the coconut theme.
  • Substitute half the oil with unsweetened applesauce.
  • Chop your own dark chocolate into tiny pieces or use any variety of dried fruit or nuts in lieu of the semi-sweet morsels. 
  • While I’d normally suggest using less sugar, I can’t do that here because this pumpkin bread tastes perfect as is. That said, it does not need any frosting, drizzling, or topping of any kind. And the sugar is split between 2 loaves. 🙂 If no refined sugar is your goal, this Healthy Banana Bread is fantastic. 
  • Bonus Pro Tip: If you find yourself alone with this loaf of irresistible pumpkin bread, feel free to wrap it airtight and freeze for sharing later. Or not. Totally up to you. 


moist pumpkin bread


This Pumpkin Bread Recipe is extra tender, thanks to a secret ingredient nobody will guess. It’s the best pumpkin bread you’d ever want. Bonus: even your vegan friends will be impressed. (Note: This recipe makes two 8×4 loaves OR one 9×5 loaf plus extra batter for some muffins)



  • 2 cups pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup canned coconut milk (from Asian section of grocery stores)
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • Optional: 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels (mini morsels melt nicely)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F with rack on lower middle position. Place medium-large oven proof bowl of water on oven rack underneath, for moisture. Generously grease and flour two 8×4 nonstick loaf pans* and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. Use hand whisk to incorporate well. Add baking soda and flour; Use rubber spatula to gently stir and fold until no more flour streaks remain. Don’t over mix. Stir in mini chocolate chips, if using.
  3. Fill prepared loaf pans evenly with batter. Bake 55-65 minutes or just until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few tender crumbs attached. (Actual bake time depends on oven; keep in mind that if inserting where melted chocolate is, toothpick won’t come out clean.) If tops are browning before center is done, loosely cover top with foil.
  4. Let loaves rest at room temp, covered tightly with foil to keep moisture locked in. After 10-15 minutes, remove foil and let cool completely. Loosen sides carefully with thin knife and turn over to remove loaves. Slice and enjoy 🙂 


You can fill one 9×5 loaf pan for a bigger loaf and increase bake time (start with 5 minutes increase and keep checking every 2-3 minutes.) You’ll have leftover batter for some muffins.

Feel free to sub the mini chocolate morsels with dried fruit or nuts of your choice. If healthifying, you can sub half the regular flour with white whole wheat flour, and half the oil with applesauce. The texture will likely be a tad different, but your bread will still taste delicious. 

If you enjoyed this recipe, I’d love if you would come back and give it a rating. 🙂 

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pumpkin bread

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