Pumpkin Bread, the Absolute Best!

slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen

Yield:  2 loaves


5 Tbsp packed light brown sugar

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie mix)

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp cloves

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 oz. cream cheese, cut into  12 cubes

4 large eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped fine

Place the rack in the middle position. 

Preheat oven: 350° F.

Prepare (grease) two loaf pans (8 1/2 X 4 1/2-inches).  Set asked.


In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients together using your fingers.  When the mixture resembles wet sand, set it aside.


In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, 6-8 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and cream cheese to the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.  Mix until there are no visible pieces of cream cheese and the mixture is smooth.

Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.  Add the egg mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk to combine.  Fold in the flour mixture until well combined. (Some small lumps of flour are okay.)  Fold the walnuts into the batter.  

Pour the batter into the prepared pans.  Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of each loaf.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Allow the loaves to cool in their pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Remove the loaves from their pans and continue to cool, about 1 1/2 hours.

Note:  If a larger loaf pan is used, start checking the bread about five minutes earlier.