This easy walnut pumpkin bread yields a moist, warmly spiced loaf that is quick to whip up in about 10 minutes. Enjoy a cozy slice with butter for breakfast or snack, or offer the bread as a side dish with supper. A year-round family favorite!
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The best pumpkin nut bread
Once temperatures drop and you wake up to crisp autumn mornings, you’ll be craving a slice of this delicious, warmly spiced pumpkin walnut bread with your cup of coffee.
It’s an easy and scrumptious treat that your whole family will devour. And best of all, with only 10 minutes prep time, you can skip the drive-thru and enjoy this bakery-style loaf at home.
Pumpkin bread is a traditional American fall treat. And this version with walnuts is extra cozy. It’s so delicious for breakfast, brunch, snacks, dinner, and dessert.
If you love pumpkin bread as much as we do, you definitely want to check out some of our other favorites too. Try this condensed milk pumpkin bread, Downeast Main pumpkin bread, or Libby’s pumpkin bread.
The great thing about walnut pumpkin bread is that it uses only pantry staples. As long as you have some pumpkin and walnuts, you likely have everything else to whip up this tasty loaf. Please scroll down to the recipe card below for full ingredient quantities.
- Walnuts provide the bread with a wonderful crunch and lovely nutty flavor.
- Sugar: A mix of light brown sugar and white granulated sugar provides the perfect amount of sweetness.
- All-purpose flour makes up the base of the bread.
- Baking powder is the leavening agent that helps the pumpkin bread rise.
- Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the other flavors. Regular table salt is fine here.
- Spices: Warm spices give the loaf its classic fall taste. You can use pumpkin pie spice or substitute a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves if that’s what you have on hand.
- Canned pumpkin: Be sure to buy a can of 100% pure pumpkin puree, not a can of pumpkin pie mix or pumpkin pie filling.
- Oil: I like to use vegetable oil, but any neutral-tasting oil, such as sunflower or canola, will work.
- Eggs: 2 large eggs give the bread structure.
- Pure vanilla extract boosts the other flavors.
Can I make this walnut pumpkin bread with fresh pumpkin?
Yes, you can prepare this bread with fresh pumpkin puree. I usually prefer canned pumpkin for a stronger pumpkin flavor.
How to make walnut pumpkin bread
Since this walnut pumpkin bread is a quick bread, there’s no yeast necessary, no rising time, no kneading, and no mixer to haul onto the countertop. The entire loaf whips up in about 10 minutes, making this an incredibly easy pumpkin bread recipe.
#1: Whisk together dry ingredients
- To a large mixing bowl, add the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, walnuts, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and break up clumps.
#2: Mix wet ingredients
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the canned pumpkin, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
#3: Combine batter
- Next, add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and stir the two together. It’s best to only mix until the two are just combined and you no longer see streaks of flour. You may still see a few lumps, but that’s okay.
#4: Bake pumpkin bread
- Then pour the batter into a parchment paper-lined loaf pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the top of the bread with extra walnuts.
- Pop the bread into a 350°F oven and bake for 60 to 75 minutes. Start checking the bread after 50 minutes. The bread is ready once a skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- You can tent the bread with a piece of foil if it starts to brown too much before it’s done baking.
#5: Cool bread
- Let the bread cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.
- Then use the parchment paper overhang to transfer the bread onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for success
Walnut pumpkin bread is pretty straightforward, and I have a few extra tips to guarantee a perfect loaf. You’ll want to make this recipe for fall season every year, it’s so good!
- Line the baking pan with parchment paper to ensure the pumpkin walnut loaf releases easily from the pan. Otherwise, the loaf might get stuck and break when you try to remove it from the pan.
- Use 100% pure pumpkin puree, which is different from canned pumpkin pie filling. Pure pumpkin puree is unsweetened and has no seasonings or other additives. I like to use Libby’s pure pumpkin, but you can swap in 1 cup of homemade fresh pumpkin puree.
- The baking time will vary depending on your oven and the type of loaf pan you use. A lighter metal pan, glass pan, or ceramic pan can easily need 70 minutes of baking. By contrast, a dark metal pan cooks bread faster and might be done within 45 to 55 minutes.
- Test doneness: You can tell that your pumpkin walnut loaf is ready when you insert a skewer or toothpick deep into the center of the bread and it comes out clean (without wet batter).
- Swap the nuts: Feel free to replace the walnuts with the same amount of pecans, hazelnuts, or try a combination of different nuts.
- Chocolate chips: Adding 1 cup of chocolate chips to the batter will take this pumpkin nut bread over the top!
- Raisins: Fold in 1 cup of raisins into the batter for extra sweetness.
- Cranberries: Stir 1 cup of dried cranberries (like craisins) into the batter, or add fresh cranberries for a pop of tart flavor.
- Pepitas: Like Starbucks, you can sprinkle pumpkin seeds (pepitas) on top of your loaf before baking.
- Coconut oil: Feel free to use melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. Just note that the taste of the bread might change slightly.
- Pumpkin walnut muffins: Pour the batter into lined muffin tins and bake at 375°F for 20 to 24 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Mini loaves: You can also use this recipe to create mini walnut pumpkin loaves. Mini loaves need to bake at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes.
There are so many ways you can enjoy this delicious walnut pumpkin bread! Offer this walnut pumpkin bread as a quick grab-and-go breakfast on busy mornings. Pile the slices in a basket for a special brunch.
Set out a plate of bread with cold milk as an afternoon snack, or even serve the bread as a side dish with dinner.
The easy pumpkin nut bread recipe tastes delicious at room temperature and even better when served warm. We love it with a smear of soft butter or cream cheese and a dollop of jam or homemade lingonberry butter.
It’s also delicious with peanut butter or almond butter, and don’t forget a cup of steaming coffee or a cold glass of milk.
How to store pumpkin walnut bread
Always wrap your bread in foil or plastic wrap to protect it from drying out. The loaf will stay good at room temperature on the counter for 2 to 3 days, and will remain fresh in the fridge for up to a week.
Reheat pumpkin bread with nuts
For that freshly baked effect, warm a slice in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. Alternatively, wrap a piece in aluminum foil and place it in a 300°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until heated through.
Freeze walnut pumpkin bread
Let the loaf cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a large freezer bag or wrap it again with tin foil. You can freeze the bread for up to 3 months.
When it’s time to eat, thaw the bread on the countertop or reheat individual slices in the microwave for a couple of seconds. It’ll taste just as fresh as the day you made it!
Is canned pumpkin the same as pumpkin puree?
Canned pumpkin and pumpkin puree are essentially the same thing. The terms are often used interchangeably. You could also use 1 cup of fresh pumpkin puree instead of the canned product if you prefer.
Just make sure that you don’t purchase pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin pie mix. This product includes sugar and spices you wouldn’t find in pure pumpkin.
Why is my walnut pumpkin bread gummy?
The secret to a well-balanced, moist loaf of walnut pumpkin bread with a light, tender crumb is the right ratio of pumpkin puree and oil.
Too much pumpkin, oil, or butter results in dense, heavy, gummy, and wet bread. Too little oil or pumpkin puree makes the bread dry, crumbly, and flavorless.
I’ve baked many loaves of this classic fall treat over the years, and can confidently say that this recipe is just right.
It’s perfectly moist (without being wet or heavy) and has just the right amount of sweetness and spices. Even the pickiest eaters in my family enjoy this sweet treat.
Baking with pumpkin
From muffins to quick breads to pies, pumpkin is a fantastic baking ingredient! Here are a few more tasty pumpkin recipes to celebrate autumn. Your whole family will love them!