This moist pumpkin bread with streusel topping has everything you need to create the perfect classic fall loaf. Tender, perfectly spiced cake, with a crunchy and sweet brown sugar streusel, pumpkin bread never looked so good!!
Its finally fall and baking season is officially in full swing!! As soon as October hits, my mind is instantly filled with the bounty of fall produce and all of the comforting breads and cakes I can’t wait to bake. And what would fall be without the a comforting slice of warm pumpkin bread?
OK I am going to be perfectly honest here…. I’ve never really been a pumpkin girl. I KNOW, I KNOW, how can that be? Sweet potatoes have always been my first love. But the combination of brown sugar, warming spices, and that epic streusel made me quickly change my mind. This pumpkin bread recipe is super easy and dare I say it moist!! Made with simple ingredients, it still has that has that classic taste you know and love with a little something extra… a perfectly spiced brown sugar streusel. Need I say more? This pumpkin bread will be you new fall necessity!!
Ingredients for pumpkin bread with brown sugar streusel topping
With so many pumpkin recipes out there, how can you know that this one is the right one for you? I tested this pumpkin bread multiple times to make sure it was just right. Even though it may seem simple, pumpkin bread can be quite tricky to get right the first try. Pumpkin is generally bland, so adding the right amount of sweetness and warming spices is key to ensure you come out with a perfectly flavorful loaf.
Many recipes make the mistake of adding too much sugar so you’re left with a quick bread that is way too sweet with no hint of pumpkin or spice. After a couple tries, I finally came up with the perfect combination of sugar and spice. This harmonious combination not only adds depth of flavor but also allows the pumpkin to be the star of the show.
Key ingredients you’ll need:
- Melted butter – Many recipes use oil, but butter will also ensure a perfectly moist bread. I prefer using butter over oil because butter provides such a wonderful flavor and gives this bread amazing texture.
- Pumpkin – This pumpkin bread is full of cozy fall vibes!! Make sure you are using pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. There is a huge difference. Pumpkin puree contains mashed pumpkin only. No added sweeteners or spices. Pumpkin pie filling is mashed pumpkin blended with spices and sweeteners. We want to be able to control the amount of sweetness of our bread. Farmer’s Market is my favorite brand of pumpkin puree but feel free to use whichever brand you have on hand. The key is to make sure pumpkin is the only ingredient listed.
- Granulated sugar/Brown sugar – This sugar combo adds sweetness to our bread without making it too sweet. It is used not only in the bread but also in the streusel topping!! I used light brown sugar but feel free to use dark brown if that is all you have on hand.
- Sour cream – I love using sour cream in my desserts. Sour cream provides richness and moisture.
- Warming spices – This combination of warming spices takes this bread from bland to flavor town. Instead of using pumpkin pie spice, I created my own spice blend of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove to make sure you get the perfect blend of fall in every bite.
How to make pumpkin bread with streusel topping
- Melt the butter before mixing the dry ingredients. You can either melt the butter in the microwave in 10 second increments or on the stove.
- Next, in a medium size bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.
- Beat eggs and sugar until pale and creamy.
- Slowly pour in melted butter and mix until combined.
- Stir in pumpkin.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Add flour mixture alternatively with the sour cream mixture.
- Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with streusel mixture.
How to make streusel topping
Making streusel is foolproof and only takes a few ingredients and even fewer steps!! Making the streusel is the first step in this recipe since it will need time to chill in the fridge while you prep your other ingredients.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, and warming spices. Using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your hands, work room temperature butter into the flour mixture until combined. I like to cut the butter while it is still cold and then allow it to come to room temperature. Cubing the butter will help it to combine evenly with the flour mixture.
- Once combined, I like to take handfuls of streusel and squeeze it together then break it apart. This will ensure you get nice big chunks of streusel.
- Once streusel is combined, refrigerate until ready to use.
- When adding to the top of the batter, be sure to gently press it down a little. Doing this will help your streusel stay on your bread and not fall off while cutting it.
Tips for making moist pumpkin bread
- Always number one on my list is do not over bake. Over baking your bread will make it dry. In order to ensure your oven is the right temperature, I suggest purchasing a oven thermometer. Not every oven heats the same so it is important to make sure you are baking at the right temperature. This loaf takes 50 to 60 minutes to fully bake. My pumpkin bread was done at 50 minutes.
- How do I know when my pumpkin bread is done baking? The best way to check to see if your pumpkin bread is done is check 10 minutes before it is done. Insert a toothpick in the middle of the bread. If the toothpick comes out with wet batter, continue baking. If it has a dome top and the toothpick in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs, it is ready. The streusel should also be light and golden brown in color.
How to store
If you manage to have a little left over pumpkin bread, you can store it tightly wrapped in an airtight container for four days. Or you can store it in the fridge. Just know that once it has been cut, the bread will start to lose moisture and dry out so I do not recommend slicing it until you are ready to eat it. I love enjoying this bread slightly warm with a pat of butter!! Ugh I am drooling already!!
Can you freeze pumpkin bread
If you would like to save your bread for later, you can freeze the entire loaf. Wrap the bread in plastic wrap then foil and place it in a large plastic bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, defrost the bread at room temperature and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.
Chances are you over baked your loaf. Begin to check your bread 10 minutes before it is time to come out of the oven. Remember, if the toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, its ready.
Also, make sure to not over mix your batter. Mix until the flour is just combined and there are no white streaks.
If you are low or do not have any sour cream on hand, plain full fat yogurt should do the trick.
Of course you could most definitely add nuts!! I prefer to enjoy this bread without any added nuts, but if you wish to add them please do!! This loaf is customizable so add what you wish. 1/2 to 1 cup of pecans or walnuts would be perfect.
I like to enjoy this cake unadorned, but if you fancy a glaze, I am here for it!! Try my maple glaze!!
Now that you have all the tools to make the best pumpkin bread, go forth and bake until your heart’s content!! Your friends, family, and most importantly your tummy will thank you!!
Looking for more fall desserts check out these recipes:
Pumpkin Bread with Streusel Topping
- 9 x 5 loaf pan
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup sour cream room temperature
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees and line the long side of a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper. The parchment paper should make a sling and hang off the sides of the pan for easy removal.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Alternatively, place butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted.
- For the streusel, in the small bowl, whisk together flour, both sugars, and spices. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it forms a crumble and holds together. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and both sugars on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 – 3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add melted butter and mix until evenly combined. Butter should be slightly warm, not hot to the touch. Next, add pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- With the mixer on low, add flour mixture alternatively with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Flour mixture should be added in 3 additions and sour cream in 2. Mix until just combined after each addition, being careful not to over mix. Before adding batter to prepared pan, stir one final time with a large spatula. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure all the flour is incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
- Using your hands or spoon, sprinkle streusel over the batter. Be sure to cover the entire loaf with streusel mixture.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown (mine was ready in 50 minutes) and cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. The bread should have a dome shape and the streusel should be golden brown. Be careful to not overbake. Allow bread to cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes then using the parchment sling, lift bread out of pan and place onto wire rack. Let bread cool completely before slicing.