My Mother's Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Around the Harvest Table

Learn how to make my Mother's World-Famous Pumpkin Bread Recipe

All the sweat, all the hours spent weeding and watering the garden are worth it when you harvest the fruits and vegetables of your labor.

Baskets of potatoes, apples and onions, pumpkins and pecans sit on your kitchen counters and scent your home with harvest goodness, and you feel a sense of pride at the work of your hands.

Serving a meal to my family using those items I've grown myself is even more satisfying than the harvest itself. I don't know if that feeling will ever lessen - in fact, I hope it won't.

We all have our favorite ways of preparing and serving our homegrown harvest, and this is one of my favorite recipes, handed down from my mom.

And if you didn't grow that pumpkin yourself, don't worry, I won't tell anyone. In fact, I'll include the directions for using a can of pumpkin puree.

Celebrating autumn

When I was a child, as soon as autumn arrived my mother made her world-famous pumpkin bread. 

(Why is her recipe is world-famous? Because hubby and I have lived all over the world and I always used her recipes no matter where we lived. People loved those dishes, so they're famous all over the world!)

I know it came from a cookbook originally, but Mom's pumpkin bread recipe is the best I've ever tasted, moist and delicious and rich with pumpkin and spices. 

It was Mom's way of celebrating the change of the season. There's nothing better I could do with a pumpkin.

My mother's pumpkin bread recipe - Around the Harvest Table

Where to source your pumpkins

If you don't have pumpkins in your garden, you can buy one at your local farmers market or a roadside stand, or use a can of pumpkin puree (that's what Mom did). 

Either way this quick bread is delicious, whether served as a dessert with whipped cream or as a snack slathered with real butter.

If you're making this from honest-to-goodness-scratch, you'll find directions on how to make pumpkin puree from scratch here.

My mother's pumpkin bread recipe - Around the Harvest Table

Why this pumpkin bread recipe is so special

This pumpkin bread recipe is what I call a "luxury recipe" because it requires four eggs. I come from a frugal family and four eggs was considered, well, a bit above our means at times. 

That's probably why pumpkin bread seemed like such a celebration to me; Mom didn't make it very often and it was a special treat.

But if you live on a homestead and your hens are cooperative, four eggs is easy.

On the other hand, if you live on a homestead and it's cold outside and your hens aren't spring chickens anymore, you might have to go to the store to buy a carton of eggs so you can make pumpkin bread. 

But the result is worth a trip to town.

This pumpkin bread recipe is the best quick bread you'll ever taste.

If you can't find mace

Mom's recipe calls for mace, which can be hard to find and quite expensive when you do spot it on a grocery store shelf. 

Mace and nutmeg both come from the fruit of nutmeg trees. 

Nutmeg comes from the seed of the nutmeg fruits, while mace is the covering of the seed, ground into powder.

You can substitute the mace in this recipe with an equal amount of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, ginger or pumpkin pie spice.

Print the recipe

If you'd like to print this recipe, you can download it here, then print.

Mom's pumpkin bread recipe

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp mace
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups of fresh pumpkin or 16 oz of canned pumpkin (some cans are 15 oz)
1/2 cup water if pumpkin is fresh or frozen OR 2/3 cup water if pumpkin is canned
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the flour, soda, salt, spices and sugar in a large mixing bowl. 

In another large bowl, combine eggs, water, oil and pumpkin; stir until blended.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, add nuts if you're using them and mix well. 

Lightly grease the bottoms of two 9"x5" loaf pans and pour in the batter.

Bake for one hour*. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the loaves; the toothpick should come out clean. 

*NOTE: The baking time will depend on your oven and your bakeware. The one-hour mark is when you should begin testing your loaves with a toothpick, but more than likely they will require more baking time, perhaps as much as an extra half-hour or even more. 

Stick the toothpick in as far as it will go to test doneness, and test multiple areas of the top of your loaves.

When the toothpick comes out clean, your pumpkin bread is ready!

Remove the pans from the oven and cool slightly. Take the loaves out of the pans to cool completely on a rack. Makes two 9"x5" loaves.


Hubby and I always slice off the end of one loaf while it's still warm and spread some real butter on top. Yummmm, it melts in your mouth. 

Now that's some good comfort food, and a great way to welcome fall!

More fall recipes

Around the Harvest Table, a farm-to-table meal brought to you by homesteading bloggers using the produce from their gardens and some old-fashioned skills. Come join us!

If you're looking for more fall recipes, check these out:

Italian Green Beans from Terri at Our Good Life

From Tree to Table - Homemade Applesauce from Michelle at Mid-Life Blogger

Crockpot Chicken from Danielle at Spring Lake Homestead

Create a Harvest Tablescape from Danielle at Spring Lake Homestead

Syrup on a Salad from Michelle at SoulyRested

Sugar-free Raspberry Coffee Cake with Zingy Raspberry Sauce from Kim at Day to Day Adventures

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My mother's world-famous pumpkin bread recipe, the best pumpkin bread you'll ever eat.

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