My Mother's Pumpkin Bread Recipe: Around the Harvest Table

Around the Harvest Table

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 today I'm sharing one of mine with you. Keep reading for the recipe!

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.

Around the Harvest Table

I'm excited to bring this post to you today as part of "Around the Harvest Table," a group effort of several homesteading and homemaking bloggers who have put together this farm-to-table meal using the harvest from our gardens plus some old-fashioned skills.

At the bottom of this post you'll find the rest of the participants and the recipe they're contributing to this harvest meal. I hope you'll visit them all! Plus if you pin this post you'll have all these recipes conveniently bookmarked so you can find them again.

A holiday meal complete with recipes! Come join us around the harvest table.

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 need to turn that pumpkin into puree. 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.

Mace can be hard to find

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.

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
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. Cool slightly and take 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.

Keep reading for the rest of the recipes from this group collaboration, Around the Harvest Table.

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.

I hope you'll visit each blogger listed at the bottom of this post, because each one of my friends is sharing the recipe for her dish at this communal meal. Have a seat at our table and join us!

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!

Visit our participating bloggers and get their recipes too!

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
My Mother's Pumpkin Bread Recipe from Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

Subscribe to Oak Hill Homestead's weekly-ish newsletter
and receive my e-booklet "How to Make Vinegar at Home for Pennies."

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

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
Facebook | Pinterest | Subscribe | Instagram


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Danielle - it was!

  2. It was so good to read about your mom's way of "celebrating the changing seasons." (And I love the fact that it was world-famous. :-) ) As one who always clings tightly to each summer, never ready to let it go, I needed to be reminded to celebrate this new season. And what better way than with your mom's pumpkin bread and this amazing meal we have all put together, friend! It's been a ton of fun; I'll make a meal with you anytime! Sending <3 from New England!

    1. Likewise, Michelle! Autumn is my favorite season so to me it really is a celebration, but you're right, we do need to celebrate and mark the passing seasons even if it isn't our "favorite." So much lies ahead to look forward to.

      This was such a fun project. We had such a variety and yet, it all went together perfectly.

  3. Ok now I'm hungry and since I have pumpkin in the freezer I know what I will be baking later today! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe and I love that it came with a story.

    1. I hope yours turned out perfect and delicious too, Kim.

  4. This brought back wonderful memories. My mom, a self proclaimed "noncooker" made the best pumpkin bread. We loved it as kids. She drizzled some kind of glaze on it that hardened a bit and getting that little piece of sweet was divine.

    1. What a sweet memory, Terri. That glaze sounds delicious too.

  5. I love pumpkin bread and so does my family. I've used homegrown pumpkin as well as canned. It's delicious either way. Lucky for me, I'm covered up in eggs and look for ways to use them, so this is a great way! Your recipe seems very similar to mine.

    1. Perfect, Michelle! I hope you love it as much as we do.

  6. Love pumpkin bread! all year round, but especially this time of year. Thank you for sharing your mother's recipe with us - it looks delicious - can't wait to try it myself.

  7. This pumpkin bread looks delicious! I'm going to save this recipe for later! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  8. Of all the quick breads (banana, zucchini, etc.), my family always asks for pumpkin bread first! I'll have to give this recipe a try. It looks like it has a few more spices than the one I use. When I make quick breads, I make four loaves at a time. Might as well fill that oven up! I usually time it with our turn for taking snack for Sunday school, so one goes there. We eat one loaf pretty quickly, and the rest go into the freezer.
    This sounds like a great recipe!

    1. Those extra spices make it extra delicious, for sure! I hope your family loves it, Michelle - I'm pretty confident they well, and so will your Sunday school class. And it does freeze well; I do that too!


Thank you for stopping by. I hope you will leave a comment - I would love to hear from you. If you wish to email me instead, please click here. Thank you!