This incredibly easy pumpkin loaf cake will quickly become your favourite seasonal bake! Light and moist sponge, full of fragrant, warming spices is made with pumpkin puree and topped with smooth and fluffy cream cheese frosting. Simple and delicious every day cake, ideal to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.
With summer sadly coming to an end, It's time to get ready for a change of season. And since September, October and November are the months dominated by all things pumpkin, this pumpkin loaf cake will be a great way to celebrate this fantastic ingredient!
Why you will love this recipe
This pumpkin bread recipe is the one I've been making for years, and once you try it, I'm almost sure it will become your go-to as well. It is loosely based on my Banana Bread recipe and similar to my Pumpkin and Chai Cupcakes.
This spiced loaf cake holds together beautifully, and can be enjoyed as a dessert, snack or part of healthy breakfast. I love pumpkin bread, because its fuss-free and super easy to make, and full of these warming, aromatic and fragrant spices. It also freezes beautifully, so you can always have an emergency slice in your freezer!
This richly spiced loaf is made with simple and basic ingredients and you probably already have them all in your kitchen. Here's what you will need to make this moist pumpkin bread recipe:
- Wet Ingredients - butter, canned pumpkin puree (you can also make your own pumpkin puree, see the bottom of this post for how-to), vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste) and eggs.
- Dry Ingredients - sugar, flour, baking powder (or baking soda), salt, teaspoon ground cinnamon and ground ginger.
See the recipe card for quantities and check out below for any substitutions.
First, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat them for 2-3 minutes until pale and fluffy, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue to beat the ingredients for about 1-2 minutes, until you have smooth, pale and fluffy mixture.
Next, mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then tip them into the bowl with the eggs and the sugar mixture. Fold the dry ingredients until just combined, then add the pumpkin purée (approx. 1 cup canned pumpkin). Mix everything together, until you have smooth, thick batter.
Lastly, transfer the batter into loaf pan, smooth the top with the back of the spoon or spatula and bake. The loaf will take about 60 minutes cook time, but the times may vary in different ovens. I suggest checking it after about 50 minutes with the skewer test.
Hint: Allow the pumpkin loaf to cool completely before topping it with cream cheese frosting (if using).
- Make it vegan - replace the butter with vegan alternative and replace the eggs with combination of dairy-free milk and sunflower oil (like in this Vegan Pumpkin Bread from Domestic Gothess
- Make it gluten-free - use good quality gluten free flour and make sure the baking powder is also gluten-free.
- Sugar - I normally use granulated or white caster sugar, but you can also use soft light brown sugar or even a combination of both.
- Spices - I'm keeping it simple by using a mix of cinnamon and ginger, but you can also use the ready-made pumpkin spice or pumpkin pie spice, which are widely available in shops these days.
Pumpkin loaf cake is delicious on its own, just as it is. But you can take it a step further and make it even more delicious by simply adding few extras:
- Cream cheese frosting - as you can see on the photos, I added simple topping of cream cheese. It goes superb with this cake and compliments the flavours beautifully, without overpowering them. You may also try it with chai frosting, as in my Pumpkin and Chai Cupcakes recipe
- For any chocolate fans - try adding some chocolate chips to the cake batter! Once baked, they will create delicious chocolate puddles inside of the cake. You can also drizzle some melted dark chocolate on top of your bake (instead of using cream cheese frosting).
- Drizzle it with cinnamon glaze - instead of using cream cheese frosting, use easy cinnamon glaze (mix icing sugar with milk and some cinnamon).
- Pumpkin seeds - you can sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on top of frosting (if using), or add some pumpkin seeds into the cake batter for more flavour and texture.
You will need an electric hand-held or freestanding mixer with a paddle attachment for this loaf cake recipe.
As for the baking tin, you can use a standard 2lb loaf tin, or any tin with similar capacity.
Hint: Use mini loaf pans to make smaller versions of this pumpkin bread. They will make fantastic gifts during festive season! (reduce baking times accordingly).
This loaf cake will keep well at room temperature for up to 4-5 days (unfrosted). Store it in a cake caddy or in the air-tight container.
If you are using cream cheese frosting on top of your pumpkin cake, store any leftovers in the fridge, for up to 3 days.
To freeze, slice the cooled cake into individual slices. Wrap each slice in kitchen foil and place in the freezer-friendly zip-lock style bag. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw the cake at room temperature overnight.
How to make your own pumpkin puree
Instead of using canned pumpkin, you may want to make your own. Here's how:
Heat the oven to 180 C. Cut the pumpkin into wedges, leaving the skin on. Loosely wrap the pumpkin wedges into kitchen foil and bake it for about an hour, until it is cooked.
Once cooked, scrape the pumpkin flesh away from the skin and blend using a food processor or an electric blender.
Pumpkin puree is a fantastic and very versatile ingredient that can be used in all sorts of pumpkin recipes, sweet or savoury. Make sure to visit my recipes page for more delicious ideas!
If you tried this Pumpkin Loaf Cake or any other of my recipes, feel free to leave me a comment and a rating below. I love hearing from you!
To pin this recipe and save it for later, use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above.
Pumpkin Loaf Cake
- baking paper
- 2 lb loaf tin (or any baking tin with similar capacity)
- hand-held electric mixer or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment
- mixing bowl
- 200 g sugar caster or granulated
- 100 g unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 150 g plain flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 200 g pumpkin puree *see notes for homemade pumpkin puree
For the topping (optional):
- 180 g full-fat cream cheese
- 50 g icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (160°C fan). Lightly grease the loaf tin and line it with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter, until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until you have light, pale and fluffy mixture.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, then tip them into the egg mixture. With mixer running on low, fold the ingredients together, until just combined. Add pumpkin puree and mix again until all the ingredients have been incorporated.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking tin and smooth the top with the back of the spoon or spatula. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the topping, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together, using an electric mixer until well combined. Spread the mixture on top of the cooled loaf cake, slice and enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- To make your own pumpkin puree: Heat the oven to 180° C . Cut the pumpkin into wedges, leaving the skin on. Loosely wrap the wedges into kitchen foil and bake for about an hour, until they are soft and cooked. Pull away the pumpkin flesh from the skin, and blend using food processor or an electric blender.
- Store unfrosted pumpkin bread at room temperature for up to 4 days. Frosted loaf should be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezing instructions: slice the cooled loaf into individual slices. Wrap each slice into kitchen foil and place them in the freezer-friendly zip- lock type bag. The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature overnight.