This quick bread recipe is the perfect way to transition from fall to holiday season. Pumpkin gingerbread uses pumpkin pie spices and pumpkin purée, and pairs them with Christmas gingerbread ingredients. It’s easy to make and tastes delicious with a maple glaze!

spiced pumpkin gingerbread with two slices cut off the end.

The annual debate is determining when the appropriate time to start Christmas decorating and baking. Do you start November 1 or wait until after Thanksgiving? Luckily this recipe will appease either party since it uses fall’s favorite ingredient, pumpkin, and the ever popular holiday flavor, gingerbread. As for the decorating, that is still up for debate!

Why this recipe works

This quick bread is the best because it doesn’t require any electric mixer—just two mixing bowls and a loaf pan! The combination of molasses and pumpkin purée not only makes a flavorful loaf, but it also makes it super moist. The recipe is versatile so you can add in nuts or chocolate chips if that suits your fancy.

Ingredient notes

pumpkin gingerbread ingredients in bowls labeled with text.
  • Pumpkin purée: Use 100% pure pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling). I prefer Libby’s canned pumpkin.
  • Molasses: Unsulphured molasses is best for baking. I do not recommend blackstrap since it is too bitter for baked goods.
  • Sugar: A combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar is used for sweetness. You can use light or dark brown sugar in this recipe.
  • Spices: There are a lot of spices in this loaf to get that unique gingerbread and pumpkin flavor. Make sure your spices are not expired and fresh for best results.
  • Freshly grated ginger: This is optional, but recommended if you love ginger in your baked goods!

Recipe variations

I love adding chocolate chips or chopped nuts to this pumpkin gingerbread loaf. It adds a little extra texture and flavor! I suggest about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of either. Stir them in after mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.

Glaze for holiday quick breads

Sweet quick breads like this one could always use a little glaze on top to make it special. Try the maple glaze from my gingerbread scones. Whisk together 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup and 1 Tablespoon milk.

You can also try the orange glaze from my cranberry orange muffins. Whisk together 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1-2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice. Orange zest is a nice garnish for this!

How to make pumpkin gingerbread

photo collage demonstrating how to make pumpkin gingerbread in a mixing bowl and loaf pan.
  1. Whisk together the wet ingredients: granulated sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, milk, molasses, pumpkin purée and fresh ginger.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix just until combined. Transfer batter to a 9×5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake loaf at 350° F for 50 to 60 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely.
pumpkin gingerbread loaf with slices on a marble slab next to a knife.

Expert tips

Use room temperature ingredients. This ensures a consistently smooth batter and well-textured bread. Avoid overmixing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients otherwise the loaf will turn out dense instead of light and fluffy.

Use a metal loaf pan if you have it. Glass pans retain heat longer and will cause the edges of your bread to be crusty and baked more quickly than the center. Let the loaf cool in the pan for just 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. This will prevent the bread from holding on to heat for too long and getting dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze pumpkin gingerbread?

Yes, let the loaf cool completely. Wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before bringing to room temperature and serving.

Why is my quick bread dry?

Most likely it was either over-baked or the flour was measured incorrectly. Check that your oven temperature is correct with an oven thermometer. Use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients or spoon flour into a measuring cup and level it with a knife.

Can I make muffins with this recipe?

Yes, this recipe will work for muffins. Bake at 375° F for 18 to 20 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick is inserted into the center and little to no crumbs come out.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, this recipe doubles easily to make two 9×5 loafs. Perfect for holiday gifting!

two pumpkin gingerbread slices on a plate.

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

two slices of pumpkin gingerbread next to the loaf of bread.

Pumpkin Gingerbread

Pumpkin gingerbread is the perfect recipe to transition from fall to holiday season. This spiced quick bread is so easy and tastes delicious!
5 from 1 rating

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • ½ cup (100 g) packed brown sugar, (light or dark)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cup (80 ml) milk (dairy or dairy-free), room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) unsulphured molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger, optional
  • 1 cup (244 g) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 ¾ cups (218 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips, optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, milk, molasses, pumpkin purée and fresh ginger (if using). Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  • Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top.
  • Bake at 350° F for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.

Notes

Glaze: Whisk 1/2 cup confectioners sugar with 1 Tablespoon maple syrup. Add milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled bread.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Freeze bread wrapped in plastic wrap in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature.
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 310kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 250mg, Potassium: 266mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 3876IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 64mg, Iron: 2mg

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