Pumpkin Bread

I look forward to the arrival of pumpkins each year almost as much as I look forward to seeing the leaves change color. Maybe it’s because I love pumpkin bread so much, but I also think that it’s because pumpkins are a simple symbol of the beauty of fall produce. They are one of the most beloved of the vegetables, likely because of their uniqueness, holding meaning as both a decoration and a food.

In October, they beckon us to carve them in celebration of Halloween, while the pumpkins of November and December inspire us to make a holiday pumpkin pie. Even pumpkins of the coldest winter months give us something to enjoy until spring arrives.

Pumpkin bread is a fun way to enjoy this hearty winter gourd. Buying pumpkin puree takes the hassle out of cutting, scooping and roasting raw pumpkins. Adding a crunchy pumpkin seed topping and candied ginger adds an exciting a twist to an old favorite.

Pumpkin is also an amazingly nutritious food. That bright orange color signifies that pumpkin is loaded with beta carotene. Beta carotene is a carotenoid that is converted by your body into vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that supports eye health. Pumpkin also supplies fiber which helps with satiety and gastrointestinal health. Lastly, pumpkin is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports a healthy immune system as well as the growth and repair of the body’s tissues.

Food Safety Tip: This recipe for pumpkin bread uses 100 percent pure canned pumpkin. When purchasing your canned pumpkin, look closely at the can. If there are any signs of dents on seams, sharp dents, swelling or bulging, then it is considered unsafe. Take your time and find an unblemished can to keep you and your loved ones safe. Also, leftover pumpkin should be removed from the can. Simply store it in the refrigerator or freezer in an air-tight, food-safe container.

Pumpkin Bread with Candied Ginger and Pumpkin Seed Streusel

Recipe by Sara Haas, RDN, LDN


  • 1 tablespoon butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon candied ginger, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, chopped
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour (lightly spooned into measuring cup)
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour (lightly spooned into measuring cup)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup 100% pure canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  2. To prepare the streusel, combine the butter, flour and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl. Cut with a fork until crumbly, and then mix in the candied ginger and the pumpkin seeds.
  3. To prepare the bread, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice in a mixing bowl. In a separate, larger mixing bowl, combine the oil, pumpkin, buttermilk, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and top with streusel. Bake until golden-brown on top and toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes.
  5. Cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.


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Sara Haas
Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, is a Chicago-based dietitian and co-author of the Fertility Foods Cookbook. Read her blog, The Cooking RD, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.