Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Buttercream


I make a lot of pumpkin bread in the fall and winter, and wanted to try out a new recipe. So I decided to try the Pumpkin Loaf from Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More by Carole Walter (I made a few small changes, noted in the recipe below). It’s a great basic pumpkin bread recipe–the loaf rises nicely and has a great texture and taste. It’s very good, even without any spread or glaze…


but I also thought it would be yummy with buttercream frosting. And, even better, Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting! So I came up with my own recipe for that and heaped it on the pumpkin bread. The frosting turns this tasty basic loaf of pumpkin bread into a delicious dessert! If you don’t like quite so much frosting, you can halve the frosting recipe. But I like frosting, so I put every last bit of it on the pumpkin loaf! 🙂

Here are the recipes for the Pumpkin Loaf and Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting. Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf.

PUMPKIN BREAD by NancyCreative, adapted from Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins and More

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (I substituted light brown sugar)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (I omitted this)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (I left this out, too)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts, optional (I didn’t add the nuts to the batter, but sprinkled them on top of the frosted loaf instead)

Position your oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5″ loaf pan; set aside.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined; set aside.

In another bowl, or bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs on medium-high speed for two minutes or until lightened in color. Add the brown sugar, mixing for about 2 minutes, then the granulated sugar, mixing for about 1 minute. Add the orange and lemon zests, if using, and beat for another minute. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

Drizzle in the canola oil with beater on medium-low. Reduce speed to low and add the pumpkin puree. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients in two additions and blend for 10-15 seconds just until incorporated. Fold in the pecans using a rubber spatula.

Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

If you’re going to frost the loaf, you can make the frosting while the loaf is cooling…


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons half & half or milk
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional, for sprinkling on top

Cream the butter, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and vanilla, blending well. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Add half & half or milk and blend well. NOTE: This makes a very thick buttercream frosting. If you want a thinner, creamier frosting, add more half & half or milk until you get the desired consistency.

After frosting the cooled pumpkin loaf, sprinkle with chopped pecans or walnuts if desired.

Frosted or unfrosted, I think you’ll love this pumpkin bread! 🙂

Sharing at Meal Plan Monday


98 thoughts on “Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Buttercream

    1. Lynette

      This bread is awesome! I made it and doubled it, it was gone in no time! Will be making again, Thanks for the recipe!

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  2. Lori

    This looks delicious! The frosting recipe is def a buttercream but you write about Pumpkin Cream Cheese frosting. Do you have a pumpkin frosting using cream cheese?

  3. Renate

    My mind is going leaps and bounds! For Thanksgiving, i’d like to make your recipe and then make another using Splenda and whole wheat pastry flour for the diabetics in our family. I’d love to find if they have a diabetic powdered sugar yet; if not, I’ll make a diabetic cream cheese frosting instead. Thanks for the recipe, and the opportunity to use it as a jump-off point!

    1. nancyc Post author

      You’re welcome, Renate! You’ll have to let me know how your healthier version turns out-sounds like a great idea! 🙂

    2. Jessica

      I’m not totally positive if it work with Splenda but if you put sugar into a food processor for a while, it becomes powdered sugar. I would assume that it would work that way with Splenda as well.

      1. Julie

        Substitute powdered sugar for diabetics:
        2 c non-fat dry milk powder
        2 c cornstarch
        1 c splenda granulated
        Mix in blender til fluffy
        Yields 3 cups

  4. Roberta

    I just made this and it was yummy but since I made it with whole wheat flour it came out dry. Any advice to avoid that? Thanks for the recipe!

    1. nancyc Post author

      You could try adding 1/2 cup of applesauce, plain yogurt, or sour cream to the batter–that would give it some moistness. Or maybe you just don’t need to bake it as long–try checking it 5 minutes sooner next time you make it. Hope that helps, Roberta!

    1. nancyc Post author

      Yes, it’s the 100% pure pumpkin that comes in a can (such as the Libby’s brand) but NOT the canned pumpkin pie filling, which has extra ingredients added in.

  5. Chelsea

    I just made this, and it was soo amazing! This recipe is perfect! My family loved it. I am making another one tomorrow to give away. Thank you for sharing it, it was a huge hit!

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  7. Jen

    I just made this but added a bit of maple syrup to the frosting—just for fun. Turned out pretty darn good. Also, I do half whole wheat and half unbleached all-purpose in much of my baking and it works out to be a nice compromise.

  8. Kimmie

    I wanted to add some pumpkin spice to the icing…you think that would be a good idea…. I am just learning to cook …well I’m expanding my cooking abilities lol

    1. nancyc Post author

      Yes, I think that would work–you could start with a 1/2 teaspoon of the pumpkin spice and if you want a stronger flavor, add a little more. Have fun with your cooking and baking! 🙂

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  10. Louisa

    Made this yesterday – huge hit with the whole family & my teenage daughter’s best friend too. Not a morsel left for today.
    Making another batch to take to the family reunion tomorrow. Thanks for the terrific recipe!

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  16. Erin

    Did you refrigerate the leftovers since there is milk in the frosting? I’m asking before I make it; assuming, of course, there are leftovers.

    1. nancyc Post author

      Yes, I would refrigerate any leftovers (like you said, if you have leftovers 🙂 ) of this bread–the frosting will keep better that way.

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  20. Dee

    Made this bread without the frosting! Added a hint of both the lemon & orange rind. It was delish and moist! The orange flavour was noticable even though I probably only used a 1/2 teaspoon (I think 2 tsp would have been too much). Making it again this weekend! Thanks so much!

  21. Sherre

    I made your yummy pumpkin bread and frosting yesterday. Thank you for posting, everyone loves it. I only made half the frosting.

    1. nancyc Post author

      You’re welcome, Sherre, and glad to hear everyone liked it! And yes, if you don’t like heavy frosting, half of the frosting recipe is plenty! 🙂

  22. brie

    Made this for my friends-giving tonight and i am not someone who cooks at all. The directions were perfect and easy for me to follow. the butter cream is incredible too! Thanks so much – will be following you for sure via pinterest and your blog!

    1. nancyc Post author

      If you want to try these as muffins, I would try baking them at the same temperature and check them after 20 minutes. They may need to bake anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes–let me know how they turn out for you!

      1. Laura

        Well I started baking them before you replied and I tried 25 right off the bat, and they turned out perfect! I put the buttercream on and sprinkled it with cinnamon–perfect. Thanks for the recipe!

  23. Jewely

    This sounds like an awesome dessert. Wondering if I could substitue shredded zucchini for the pumpkin puree? I have soo much of it from this summer and would like to make this bread with the delicious buttercream frosting recipe you have.

      1. Jewely

        I made the zucchini bread with a cup of crushed pineapples for added moisture and topped it off with your buttercream frosting. What a BIG HIT!! Thank you!

  24. Gayathri Athreya

    Absolutely delicious! I used egg substitute instead of eggs and left out the granulated sugar and the icing. Best vegan bread I have made. Thanks!

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  26. Elise

    I used your recipe tweaks, and this was GREAT! I’m going to go lighter on the nutmeg and cinnamon next time to make it more pumpkiny, but besides that I loved it.

  27. T Borden

    Thank you so much for your post! I have been using Carole Walters recipe for years – its the best! We recently moved and I couldn’t find where I had packed my copy so I was so excited to find your blog 🙂

  28. T Borden

    I doubled the recipe and made muffins and added streusel on top.. Sooo good! Can’t wait to try w your buttercream too!

  29. Kelsey

    Great recipe! I added some raisins to the pumpkin bread and left out the nuts completely. Everyone loved it. I will for sure be making this again and I plan to use the frosting on cupcakes(not sure what type yet) in the future.

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    1. nancyc Post author

      You can try that, but I think it would be better to just freeze the bread and frost it when you’re ready to serve it.

  32. Itoro

    Hi! I tried this recipe, and OMG! It turned out fantastic – it tasted soooo good. I used the nuts in the batter and also in the topping, gave it to my Mom for her b-day gift, and she loved it! Thanks so much for this recipe!

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    1. nancyc Post author

      Sure, I think you could frost the cookies with it–if it’s too thick, you can always thin it out with a little extra milk or water!

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  36. Andrea Harris

    I made this for a cookout last week…was a HUGE hit. I didn’t have any leftovers, and everyone loved the icing! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

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  38. Elaine

    I made this and my family has gone crazy for it. I am making more but need to use Buckwheat flour. Has anyone tried this? Im worried about it being too dry.

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  40. Jeri

    I made your pumpkin bread a few days ago, but instead of using pecans, I used roasted unsalted sunflower seeds…turned out great. Was also thinking that a maple buttercream frosting would work well with this and am planning to do that the next time I make it. Great recipe! Thank you.

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