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The Best Pumpkin Bread

Moist and spicy pumpkin bread with a sweet bourbon glaze - this loaf is perfect for holiday giving AND year round eating! You can substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla for the bourbon if you like. Just add enough extra liquid (water, cream, milk) to make up the difference.
Course Breakfast Bread
Cuisine American - Vintage
Keyword fall, pumpkin spice, spicy, sweet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Calories 289kcal
Author Marye Audet-White



  • 1 cup cooking oil be sure to use a light flavored oil such as peanut oil (if there are no allergies) or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin about 1 15-ounce can or equivalent in homemade puree (instructions above in post)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspooons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne optional
  • 1 cup pecans chopped and toasted


  • 1 cup confecioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon or enough to make a thick glaze.


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.
  • Set aside.
  • Add the cooking oil, brown sugar, and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Beat on medium until well mixed and the sugar starts to dissolve.
  • Add the eggs, water, and bourbon.
  • Beat on medium until very smooth.
  • Stir in the pumpkin.
  • Set aside.
  • Mix dry ingredients.
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients quickly, just until blended.
  • Fold in the pecans.
  • Spoon into the prepared loaf pans and bak for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Glaze while slightly warm.


  • Mix the bourbon and the confectioner's sugar until smooth, adding the bourbon a little at a time.
  • Spoon over pumpkin bread.


this was made in 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 sized loaf pans.
  • Make the pumpkin spice bread in mini loaf pans.
  • If you don't want to use alcohol then an equal amount of ginger ale, or apple juice will work fine.
  • Rum substitutes nicely for the bourbon.
  • You can substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla for the bourbon and make up for the rest of the liquid in water or apple juice.
  • This is not the place to use a honey bourbon or very sweet bourbon.
  • Hubbard squash or sweet potato is a fantastic substitute for the pumpkin.
  • Walnuts can be used in place of the pecans.
  • I use light brown sugar but you could use dark brown if you prefer the darker flavor.
  • 1/2 cup chopped, candied ginger can be added to the batter.
  • The oil makes this pumpkin spice bread recipe extra moist - but you can substitute with melted butter or melted, browned butter if you like.
  • Toasting the pecans before adding them to this recipe adds a buttery flavor and better texture.
  • Add 1 cup or so of chocolate, white chocolate or toffee chips.
  • If you don't want to use the glaze dust the cooled loaf with Confectioner's sugar.


Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 3835IU | Vitamin C: 1.1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1.6mg