We adore this easy pumpkin bread recipe made with olive oil. It comes from a friend’s ancient family recipe. It couldn't be more tender or perfectly spiced. Makes a big batch that's great for gifts and freezes beautifully.
Why we love this recipe
Nothing says fall like a gorgeous slice of pumpkin bread brimming with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. How’s that for something you already knew?
This olive oil pumpkin bread has been in our family for years now, and it’s so good I can’t imagine ever trading it in for a different one. It comes from my friend Vivian Hasbrouk’s old family recipe, which I’ve tweaked just the tiniest bit over time. Delicately flavored olive oil gives the bread an unbeatable texture, and traditional fall spices in a slightly unusual proportion give it wonderful flavor.
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- Olive oil: This is not the place for the type of bold, extra-virgin olive oil you might prefer for salad dressings. Here you’ll want a delicately flavored oil. I usually use Bertolli Classic or Extra-Light, which is easily available in our local supermarkets and online.
- Canned pumpkin puree is perfect here. It’s easy and readily available. If you’ve made your own puree from roasted pumpkin, that’s great too of course. If the consistency is thinner than canned pumpkin, you may not need quite as much water.
- The ratio of spices in this recipe is a little different than usual, but it just works.
- I haven't pictured nuts here (and typically don't add them), but this recipe is great with chopped walnuts or pecans, too.
How to make olive oil pumpkin bread
Here's what you'll do to make this recipe. You can see all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- This recipe couldn't be easier. It all comes together in one bowl. First, give the eggs a quick whisk with a fork. Then add the wet ingredients.
- Give it a good stir.
- Sift in the dry ingredients and mix gently.
- Divide batter among loaf pans (or make minis!) and bake. That's it!
Expert tips and FAQs
Start with a sugar pumpkin (these are smaller and more round than a pumpkin you’d carve into a jack-o’-lantern, and the flesh is sweeter and less woody).
Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center. Carefully cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh from the center. (You can reserve the seeds to roast.) Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment for easy clean-up and lay the pumpkin halves cut-side down. Roast until tender throughout, likely 45 to 60 minutes depending on size.
When cool enough to handle, scoop flesh into a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until perfectly smooth.
In case you’re wondering: yes, that is butter on the bread in those photos. It’s totally unnecessary, but dudes, it’s delicious. Cream cheese would be great too. Or absolutely nothing at all. You really can’t go wrong.
Absolutely. It keeps really well for up to a week, so make it at your leisure. Once completely cooled, store covered at room temperature.
More great pumpkin recipes
- Looking for a pumpkin recipe with a little more flamboyance? How about Pumpkin Whoopie Pies?
- Looking for a healthy use of leftover pumpkin puree? Here’s a great Pumpkin Spice Smoothie.
- And don't miss a classic: Pumpkin Soup.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup delicately flavored olive oil
- ⅔ cup water
- 3 cups (600 grams) sugar
- 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree (or 2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin)
- 3 ⅓ cups (385 grams) sifted all-purpose flour (see note below)
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Grease three 1-pound loaf pans (8.5-by-4.25-by-2.75 inches) or 16 mini loaf pans with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. If you don’t have three pans, you can bake the bread in batches.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. Add the olive oil, water, sugar and pumpkin purée and whisk with a fork to combine thoroughly.
- Sift the flour together with the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and baking soda into the mixing bowl. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in nuts, if using.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared pans, about three cups of batter (with nuts) per pan large loaf pan.
- For large pans, bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. For mini loaf pans, bake 25 minutes.
- Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely.
- If you are measuring the flour by the cup rather than in grams, use the spoon and level method.
- Use a delicately flavored olive oil. I usually use Bertolli Classic or Extra-Light, which is easily available in our local supermarkets and online.
- If your make homemade pumpkin puree, it may be thinner (or, very occasionally, thicker) than canned pumpkin. If so, consider lowering the amount of water in the recipe by a little bit.
- The bread will keep at room temperature for more than a week if tightly wrapped in plastic. It also freezes beautifully.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 390Total Fat: 15.6gCarbohydrates: 60.2gFiber: 1.7gProtein: 4.6g