Pumpkin nut bread is the unfussy, easy, one-bowl recipe that you will want to make in the autumn and winter when you are entertaining friends and family for coffee or brunch.
This pumpkin bread is sweet, soft, and spiced, and has just the right amount of crunch from the addition of toasted walnuts. Topped with a light powdered sugar glaze, this recipe is simple and rustic; the perfect accompaniment to a cold, frosty morning.
Pumpkin nut loaf is the kind of bake to make when you have people coming over for coffee or a light brunch. Serve it on its own or with a spread of butter, and a small bowl of sliced melon or berries on the side. Enjoyed alongside a sturdy cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or tea, this is the kind of recipe that warms you up and gets you ready for the day.
The key to this recipe is toasting your nuts. You absolutely must do this. Just a light toasting in the oven opens up the flavors and aromas of the nuts, producing a deeper, richer flavor that tastes and smells delicious.
What You Need to Make Pumpkin Nut Bread
This recipe is one bowl and requires all-purpose flour, salt, eggs, light brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vegetable oil, salt, powdered sugar, chopped walnuts, and pumpkin puree.
You don’t have to use the powdered sugar glaze, but I like the extra bit of sweetness it adds.
- All-purpose flour
- Light brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Large eggs
- Powdered sugar
- Pumpkin puree
- Ground ginger
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground cinnamon
- Chopped walnuts
Pumpkin nut bread requires a loaf pan, a whisk, one bowl, and a baking sheet. You may also want a knife and cutting board to chop your nuts if you are using whole walnuts, and a nutmeg grater if you are grating your spice.
When you line your pan, I recommend using a piece of parchment paper that hangs over the two long sides of your pan. This creates a sling that makes removing the loaf from the pan very easy.
How To Make Pumpkin Nut Bread
Prepare the Nuts: Preheat your oven to 350ºF. On a lined baking sheet, place 1 cup of chopped walnuts. Put in the often for 6-8 minutes, stirring halfway through. Watch to make sure they don’t start to burn or take on color too quickly.
When they have started to darken and smell nutty, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
Make the batter: Whisk together eggs, oil, pumpkin puree, and sugar until smooth. Add in baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, and whisk until just combined.
Add in flour and fold until no streaks of flour remain, but do not over-mix. Fold in the toasted walnuts until distributed.
Bake the Bread: Pour the batter into a lined and greased loaf pan. Place into an oven preheated to 350ºF and bake for 65-75 minutes.
The loaf is done when a toothpick comes out completely clean. Allow to cool in the pan.
Ice the bread: Whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1-2 tablespoons of water until it is a pourable consistency. Take the bread out of the loaf pan. Using a spoon, spoon the glaze over the cake in random patterns and allow it to set for 5 minutes.
What other nuts can I use?
The walnuts could easily be substituted for pecans. Be careful when you toast the pecans because their darker color can make it tough to tell when they have toasted!
Do I need to use light brown sugar?
This recipe is supposed to be simple – so if you only have dark brown sugar, don’t make an extra trip to the store. While light brown sugar adds a subtle amount of rich flavor, dark brown sugar will deepen that flavor even more. If you substitute a deeper flavored robust nut, like a pecan, you might find you like the dark brown sugar flavor even more.
How long will this pumpkin nut loaf last?
You can keep this loaf at room temperature for several days covered, or freeze the loaf and reheat it in the oven with a little spread of butter.
Can I use pumpkin pie filling?
No. Pumpkin pie filling is already sweetened and is not a suitable substitution for pumpkin puree in this loaf. If you can’t find pumpkin puree try using a roasted mashed sweet potato with the skin removed, or roasted and mashed butternut squash.
Pumpkin Nut Bread
- Loaf pan
- Baking Sheet
- Cutting Board
- Parchment Paper
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups light brown sugar Dark brown sugar can be substituted.
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3 eggs large
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 15.5 oz can of pumpkin puree
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Place 1 cup of chopped walnuts on a lined baking sheet and toast for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Line and grease a loaf pan.
- Whisk together 3 large eggs, ½ cup vegetable oil, 1- 15.5 oz can of pumpkin puree, and 1 ½ cups light brown sugar.
- Stir in 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg.
- Fold in 2 cups of all-purpose flour until just combined. Fold in the toasted walnuts until distributed.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 350ºF degrees for 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan.
- In a bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of water until the mixture is smooth and spoon-able.
- Spoon icing over the pumpkin nut loaf and allow to set for 5 minutes.
- Slice and enjoy!
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