My mom always told us that having my brother and I in the school system was an education for her as well as for us. She learned about American traditions, sports, and much about the colloquial English language. She involved herself as much as she could in our schools – volunteering wherever she could, chaperoning, and was always a “class mom”. When I was in pre-school, one of the activities before thanksgiving was to make pumpkin bread together.

We made little reader booklets, which my mom saved in the Steno Notebook pictured below, along with this typed recipe from 1990. Every year since, she made this pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving – both to serve after dinner, but also to gift to family, neighbors and friends. It became part of our tradition since.

We’ve always used fresh pumpkin for the recipe, as much like in other recipes that contain pumpkin, fresh gives an entirely differently flavor than canned. You’ll find a note on how to prepare fresh pumpkin at the bottom of the recipe – each fall, I spend about an hour cooking pumpkin so that I can use the fresh puree throughout the season. It is definitely worth the effort!

I hope you enjoy this moist, buttery loaf as much as we do in our family!


  • Servings: 8-10 people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1.5 sticks of butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb pumpkin*
  • 2 cups sifted All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a loaf pan.
  2. Sift flour with salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices – set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl and with an electric mixer), beat together the sugar and butter until just combined on a medium speed. Add eggs one at a time, and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin.
  4. At a low speed, add in the flour mixture until combined. Be sure to scrape the edges of the bowl.
  5. Pour batter into a greased pan. Baked at 350 fo an hour, and check that a toothpick comes out cleanly when inserted. The top should be split, and a rich golden brown. Let cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan before loosening the edges with a knife and turning out onto a serving plate.
  6. Cover with saran wrap until serving.

*To make the fresh pumpkin: wash and cut a sugar pumpkin or pie pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds with a spoon and cut into 6-8 slices per half, discarding the stem. Place in a large stock pot and cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Cook on medium heat until the pumpkin is tender – about 45 minutes. Remove the pumpkin slices from the water and let cool. When they are cool enough to handle, peel back and discard the skin. You can puree the pumpkin flesh in a blender, or just mash with a fork.

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