Is it ever too late or too early for pumpkin? I don't think so! My pumpkin pecan loaf is the perfect spiced pumpkin bread with chopped pecans thrown in! Topped with a maple cream cheese drizzle, this is sure to be a family favourite in the fall and all year long!
Ingredients for Making Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Purée versus Pumpkin Pie Filling
The key ingredient in pumpkin bread is canned pumpkin purée. It is important that this is the tin of pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling!
Pumpkin pie filling is pre-mixed with additional ingredients, such as spices and sweetener. It is a fundamentally different product. The pie filling will taste different and may also react differently, producing a different texture to the end bread.
Sugars and Spices for Pumpkin Bread
This recipe calls for a mix of sugars. I use part plain caster sugar (AKA granulated sugar in the US - the fine ground sugar normally used in baking). The other part is light brown muscovado sugar (packable light brown sugar).
The brown sugar adds a molasses-like flavour to the mix. You could substitute this for caster sugar if needed or preferred.
Spices help to further accentuate the warm flavours of pumpkin. In this recipe I've chosen:
- Mixed Spice
One Bowl Pumpkin Bread Recipe
This loaf can easily be made in one bowl by following these simple steps:
- Beat together sugars and butter until well creamed.
- Add the egg and incorporate.
- Add the flour, spices and baking soda, mixing well.
- Then add the pumpkin purée, blending until just combined.
- Fold in the chopped pecans.
This mixture can then be spread evenly into a prepared baking tin.
For a pecan topped pumpkin bread, add a few pecans to the top before baking.
This recipe has been made to fill a standard sized loaf tin, but could also be made in smaller mini loaf tins or muffin tins instead. Baking times for different tins will vary.
Maple Cream Cheese Icing
The maple cream cheese glaze on the top of this bread is a two-ingredient recipe, which can be amended to taste. The ingredients are simply:
- Maple Syrup: use a good quality maple syrup, not a pancake syrup or substitute.
- Spreadable Cream Cheese: using the spreadable variety saves time in softening or beating a cream cheese block and makes this recipe easily achievable with just the two ingredients.
In a small bowl mix equal measures of these two together - 1:1 ratio by tablespoon. This is a process that can be led by taste and desired consistency. If you would like a thicker icing, use less maple syrup or more cream cheese. If you would like a thinner glaze, add more maple syrup.
Alternatives for this Recipe
If you are looking for a pumpkin loaf without cinnamon or ginger, this recipe can easily be adapted for your needs. While I highly recommend the spicing instructed in this recipe, these can be left out entirely or amended if that is more to your taste.
Avoid adding more than a cumulative 2 teaspoons of spicing as this will start to impact the ratios or dry ingredients and may cause trouble to the loaf.
Options for different add-ins:
This recipe offers loads of versatility. If you are not a fan of pecans, why not try one of the following options:
- Chocolate Pumpkin Bread: Replace the pecans with chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.
- Pumpkin Walnut Bread: Replace the pecans with chopped walnuts.
- Pumpkin Cranberry Bread: Replace the pecans with dried cranberries (or raisins).
- A mixture of add-ins: try a cranberry pecan pumpkin bread or a chocolate pecan pumpkin bread. The options here are limitless!
If experimenting with the add-ins, substitute the ingredients using the same measurement of pecans called for in this recipe. Avoid adding more than ⅓ cup cumulative of add-in ingredients or you may impact the baking of the loaf.
Changes for the glaze:
- The simplest option, no glaze - the loaf is delicious on it's own without any topping!
- Buttercream - try my Vanilla Buttercream. A half batch will frost the entire loaf, a quarter batch will provide enough for a good drizzle.
- Cream Cheese Frosting - try my vanilla bean Cream Cheese Frosting. Like the buttercream - reduce the batch if you do not want leftovers. Half a batch should frost the whole loaf and a quarter batch is sufficient for piping a drizzle.
- Cinnamon Frosting - using either buttercream or cream cheese frosting (depending on your preferences), add ground cinnamon to give this a spiced finish. For half a batch of buttercream or cream cheese, use 1 teaspoon. Reduce the amount for a quarter batch. The cinnamon can be adjusted to flavour preference as well - start with a smaller amount if you want to test it.
- If you need a vegan and non-dairy topping, mix sifted icing sugar with maple syrup for a quick and easy vegan glaze.
Making this recipe vegan or dairy free:
If you are wanting to make this recipe vegan and/or dairy free, you will need to substitute the butter, egg and cream cheese.
As noted about in the options for alternative glazes, it is easy to amend the maple cream cheese glaze to a mixture of icing sugar and maple syrup. This may not be as thick and creamy, but will still provide a nice maple topping for the loaf. You could also use a vegan cream cheese such as Violife Vegan Cream Cheese for a more direct substitute.
For the loaf itself, try using a vegan substitute in place of the butter, such as vegan butter, ghee or oil. There are other options for substituting with banana, applesauce or coconut butter but each of these will bring a bit of a flavouring to the final product.
For the egg, you can use about ¼ cup of oil as an easy replacement.
FAQs for Pumpkin Pecan Bread
This pumpkin pecan bread can keep for about 4 days in an air tight container on a cool countertop. Refrigerating the loaf will hasten its staling. If you are making this ahead, I would recommend adding the maple and cream cheese frosting on the day of serving rather than in advance, for this to keep better.
Yes, the loaf can be frozen, either frosted or before frosting. Defrost prior to eating.
Add-ins sinking to the bottom occasionally happens during the baking process. A way to avoid this happening is to dust the add-ins (such as nuts or chocolate) in flour prior to folding in. This can help them to distribute more evenly and stay in place while baking.
If you like this, you may also like:
- Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
- Classic Banana Bread
- Zucchini Bread
- Pumpkin Cheesecake with Candied Pecan Trim
Pumpkin Pecan Bread
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- ¼ cup light brown sugar also known as muscovado, firmly packed
- ½ cup superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour or plain flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice or pumpkin spice mix
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup pecans roughly chopped, plus extra for decoration
- 2 tablespoon spreadable cream cheese
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
Instructions for Pumpkin Pecan Bread
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (165C/155C Fan) and prepare a standard sized loaf tin.
- In a large bowl, cream together the sugars and butter until smooth.
- Add the egg and beat to combine.
- Next, add the spices, baking soda and flour, beating until just incorporated.
- Add the pumpkin purée and mix whisk until just combine.
- Fold in the chopped pecans.
- Tip into the prepared baking tray, spreading evenly. Add a few additional pecan halves on top and bake in the pre-heated oven for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before flipping out to cool on a wire rack.
Instructions for Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a small bowl mix together the cream cheese and maple syrup. This will be fairly thick and most easily drizzled using a piping bag. To make a thinner glaze, add more maple syrup and/or water to thin. Drizzle over the loaf once cooled.