A moist and flavorful pumpkin bread homemade with classic ingredients. Cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and PURE pumpkin melts in your mouth with a nice spread of warm butter right out of the oven. Libby's Moist Pumpkin Pecan Bread Recipe is sure to please.
What is a Quick Bread?
A "Quick Bread" is one that is made without using yeast. It's essentially a muffin in various shapes and sizes. Baking Powder, Baking Soda, or a combination of both is used to raise the bread. This Pumpkin Pecan Bread and my Banana Walnut Bread Recipe are both considered Quick Breads.
Then and Now
I LOVE pumpkin! Not just this time of year either, I like it all year long. We have such a beautiful, and way too short Fall here in Kansas.
I got this recipe back around 1995 when the internet first came out. I can tell I printed it out but have no idea from where. Plus, It really should be called, "Lanie's Pumpkin Bread Recipe" because I've changed it so much over the years.
It's a very simple One-Spoon Recipe that doesn't require a mixer. It's my favorite pumpkin bread recipe.
This is the perfect pumpkin bread for a pumpkin purist. It is the classic quick bread but is not saturated with sugary glazes, crumbles, or streusel topping. The bread is a sweet bread but not meant to be a dessert. I just like it warm, with a little spread of soft and salty butter spread that melts in my mouth! It could be served alongside or at the beginning of dinner. Over the years, for my girls, it was an afternoon snack.
They loved the warm cozy scent of Pumpkin and Spice baking and they would come home from school on the cooler weather days and devour it.
This is waaay better than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread! It's real, nothing artificial.
Recipe For The Best Pumpkin Bread
I have to assume the recipe was once printed in a Libby's sponsored booklet because it calls explicitly for Libby's "Solid Pack" Pumpkin on the original recipe card on file.
They changed the name from "Solid Pack" to "100%" at some time in the last 20 years. It's the same product. I think the re-labeling was to clearly differentiate it from the "Pumpkin Pie Mix" Can. 100% pumpkin gives your homemade pumpkin bread recipe that wonderful flavor of fresh pumpkin puree.
Also, 100% Pure sounds better than "Solid Packed", don't you think? I never use the Pumpkin Pie Mix, for anything. It's pumpkin with a pumpkin spice mix already included.
The two product labels look very similar and can often be confused. It's a mixture that is used for making a pie with fewer ingredients. If you want to make a pumpkin pie, I like the recipe on the label of the 100% pumpkin better than the Pie Mix can. However, it has more ingredients.
What is a Dickenson Pumpkin?
The Libby's pure pumpkin you buy in the can is from the squash called a "Dickenson pumpkin," not the giant orange field pumpkins we use for Jack-O-Lanterns.
The Dickenson pumpkins are grown here in the US and are similar to a butternut squash in flavor. Much dryer than regular pumpkins which makes them a better choice for pies or breads giving them a rich flavor. They are large and tan in color.
Why Smaller Loaves Are Better
If you've read my Banana Bread Recipe, then you already know that I prefer to make Quick Breads in smaller loaf pans or as muffins.
I just think they are better, smaller. Here is why:
- There is less of a chance of overbaking and the center will be baked through, without overbaked bottoms and edges.
- It takes less time for the heat to get to the center, therefore it's moister because it doesn't have to cook as long.
- The size of mini individual slices just fits perfectly in your hand.
If you want to make this recipe in a larger bread pan, you certainly can. You will need to bake it longer though, increase the amount of time in the oven. Try not to open your oven while it is baking or the center may drop due to the sudden drop to the internal temperature. Just peek.
This is when an oven with a window becomes your best baking pal. You could also stretch the whole can of pumpkin, and double the recipe to make 6 smaller loaves. Be sure not to fill any tin more than ¾ full from the top to avoid it not baking all the way through.
What Type of Pecans Should I Use?
I have tried every single available pecan in the nuts section at the grocery store for this recipe. I've roasted them whole and chopped them up. I've used Chopped. I've bought them Chopped and then chopped them again. I've had Pieces and then chopped them. 🙂
In the end, my favorite pecans for this recipe are labeled "Chips" or "Small Pecan Chips." They are little bits of nut. Just pour them right into the bowl. The oven takes care of the rest. Already chopped pecans would be my second choice. The star of the show is the bread and the nuts are the subtle backup singers.
How To Make Moist Pumpkin Bread
- In a large bowl, stir All Purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and freshly grated (or ground) nutmeg.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and pumpkin. Stir in cooled melted butter. Add this wet ingredients mixture to the dry ingredients flour mixture.
3. Fold pecan pieces into batter.
4. Spray the inside of the loaf pans with Pam Baking Spray. Pour batter into loaf pans. Divide evenly. Heat oven to 350 degrees, Bake!
The Stand Out Ingredient: Nutmeg
The ingredient that takes all things pumpkin to the next level is Freshly Ground Nutmeg. One thing about me, is I am fanatical about using fresh spices from the jar. In other words, if it is expired, I toss it. However, the one and only spice that I've found lasts far beyond its jar date, is whole nutmeg.
So while this may be a splurge, I promise it will keep for you for many years. 🙂 You need to have a small microplane mini rasp grater to do the job right. It is perfectly okay to use already ground nutmeg though if you don't want to splurge on a mere pumpkin bread!
How To Freeze Pumpkin Pecan Bread
In all of the years I've been making this, I've never frozen the bread before because it is always gone after the first day. Until, now, specifically when I wrote this post. I decided to freeze one.
- Secure separately in plastic wrap, then put it into a ziplock bag. A freezer bag is best. Then, put it into an airtight container and then place it in the freezer. When you are ready to have it, just let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours and the final product is wonderfully fresh.
2. You can freeze the bread and safely keep it in the freezer for up to two months.
Pumpkin Pecan Bread is DELICIOUS fresh out of the oven with softened butter spread just over the top of each slice. I hope this gives you and/or your family all the warm fuzzy Feelings of Fall and the Holiday Season.
Some Add-Ins To Change the Flavor Profile
If pecans are not your favorite, here are some other ideas instead of pecans.
- Other types of chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios)
- Add ½ cup mini Chocolate Chips for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins or Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- Add 1 Tablespoon of Orange Zest and some vanilla extract
- Dried Fruits ( cranberries, cherries, blueberries, shredded coconut, etc.)
Libby's Moist Pumpkin Pecan Bread
- 3 5x3 loaf pans If using foil tins, you will not need to grease or spray.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (or fresh grated)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup Libby's 100% Pumpkin There will be some left over in the can, freeze that for pancake batter for later if you like!
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup pecan chips or pieces
- Baking Spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients: whisk the eggs, milk, and pumpkin. Stir in the butter. Add this to the dry ingredients bowl.
- Gently fold in the pecan pieces.
- Spray tins with Pam Baking Spray.
- Fill tins with batter, in even amounts into the three loaf pans.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.