Home Desserts Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread (Easy Recipe)

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread (Easy Recipe)

The Downeast Maine pumpkin bread is like a warm hug on a cool fall day. It’s everything fall should taste like: sweet, warm, and comforting.

It’s tender, moist, and bursting with pumpkin flavor and cozy autumn spices.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread with Pecans Top View
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The best part? Making this bread is as breezy as an autumn afternoon in Maine. 

Simple ingredients mixed with love can create something extraordinary. 

Make this pumpkin bread and bring a piece of Maine to your kitchen today!

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Downeast Maine pumpkin bread is sweet and moist with a tender crumb.

This bread is delicious fresh from the oven but tastes even better the next day! It stays soft and moist, and the pumpkin and spice flavors get even better.

Plus, one recipe makes two loaves. It’s perfect because one loaf isn’t enough.

Oh, and did I mention how easy it is? You don’t need any fancy equipment or ingredients. Just mix, bake, and enjoy the comforting embrace of autumn in every slice.

Nutty Homemade Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread Slices


Here’s everything you need to make this delicious pumpkin bread:

  • Pumpkin puree – Opt for pure canned pumpkin like Libby’s, which is ideal for baking. Avoid pumpkin pie filling, as it contains added sugars and spices.
  • All-purpose flour – This gives structure to your bread. To achieve the best consistency, measure the flour correctly. Use a kitchen scale or the spoon and level method.
  • Baking soda – This leavening agent ensures your bread rises well.
  • Granulated sugar – It sweetens the bread, enhancing its flavors.
  • Spices – A blend of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves infuses the bread with that warm, aromatic touch of fall. 
  • Eggs – Use room-temperature eggs to blend easily with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Oil – It ensures your pumpkin bread remains soft and moist. Use vegetable, canola, or even melted coconut oil. 
  • Water – It aids in saturating the dense batter.
  • Salt – A dash of salt intensifies the flavors and balances the sweetness.
Fresh Baked Pumpkin Bread on a Molding Pan

How to Make Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

1. Preheat the oven and grease and flour two loaf pans. If you have parchment paper, line your pans and leave an overhang on the sides. This makes the bread easier to release.

2. Combine the dry ingredients. Sift and whisk your flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.  Sifting the dry ingredients helps avoid lumps in your batter.

3. Combine the wet ingredients. Whisk the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, and sugar in a separate bowl until well combined. While sugar is technically a dry ingredient, in baking, it often gets mixed with wet components.

4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Pour the flour mixture into the wet mixture and stir it with a rubber spatula. Do not overmix the batter! Stop just as soon as the ingredients are well blended. Small lumps are okay.

5. Bake. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes. Monitor the bread while baking. Cover the top loosely with tin foil if it turns too brown after 45 minutes. 

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6. Cool and enjoy. Let the pumpkin bread cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread Sliced on a Plate

Tips for the Best Pumpkin Bread

Keep these tips and tricks in mind to achieve the perfect pumpkin bread.

  • Accuracy is key. Either weigh your flour or use the spoon and level method. Excessive flour leads to dryness.
  • Use room-temperature eggs. They incorporate more easily into the batter, ensuring a smoother mix. Take your eggs out of the fridge for an hour before you begin baking.
  • Don’t overmix! Overmixing the batter leads to tough pumpkin bread due to excess. To achieve a cake-like texture, mix until just combined. Small lumps are okay!
  • Make muffins or smaller loaves. 
    • Bake the muffins for 22 to 27 minutes. 
    • Adjust the baking time for smaller loaf pans, like 8×4 inches, by checking a bit earlier than the original recipe. 
    • Always keep an eye on them and do the toothpick test for doneness. 
  • Bake a breakfast delight. Convert your pumpkin bread into a flavorful French toast for a unique breakfast experience.
  • Be patient! Don’t take the bread out of the oven prematurely. Otherwise, you’ll get a gummy bread. It’s done when the top is slightly cracked and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Fresh Baked Sliced Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread Mix-Ins

Make your pumpkin bread your own with these mix-ins and toppings! They add a unique twist to the traditional recipe. 

  • Nuts: Elevate your bread with a nutty crunch. Mix in 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • Chocolate Chips: For a sweet touch, fold in 1 cup of milk, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate chips.
  • Cranberries: Merge sweet with tart by adding 1 cup of dried cranberries.
  • Orange Zest: Freshen the flavor profile by zesting one orange peel into the mix.
  • Cookie Butter Swirl: Enhance the bread’s top layer with a swirl of Lotus Biscoff spread. Its cinnamon note pairs perfectly.
  • Orange Glaze: Drizzle an orange glaze on top for an added zing.
  • Sugar Topping: Dust the top with sugar before baking for a crispy, sweet finish. Turbinado, demerara, brown, or granulated sugar all work well.

How to Store & Freeze

Preserve the fresh flavors of your Downeast Maine pumpkin bread with these simple storage tips.

To Store: Place your pumpkin bread in an air-tight container once it has completely cooled. It tastes better the next day, so leave it overnight before serving if possible. It’ll stay fresh at room temperature for about 3-4 days. 

To Refrigerate:

For extended freshness, store it in the fridge for up to a week. Place the pumpkin bread in an air-tight container or wrap it securely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. 

To Freeze: Good news! Downeast Maine pumpkin bread is freezable and retains its deliciousness for 3-4 months. Here’s how:

  • Whole loaf: Tightly wrap the loaf in plastic wrap, then store it inside a freezer-friendly container or a large freezer bag.
  • Individual slices: Wrap each slice in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer bag.

To Thaw:

  • Whole loaf: Remove from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for a few hours until it reaches room temperature.
  • Individual slices: Set a slice on the counter to thaw naturally. Or, for a quick fix, unwrap and microwave it in 30-second intervals until warmed to your liking. 

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread (Easy Recipe)



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This Downeast Maine pumpkin bread is full of classic fall flavors! Made with pumpkin puree, flour, sugar, and spices, it’s the perfect treat!


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 2/3 cup water

  • 3 cups granulated sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour 2 (9×5-inch) loaf pans.
  • Sift and whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a bowl.
  • Whisk pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, and sugar in a separate large bowl until well combined.
  • Pour the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and mix gently until well blended.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake it for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let the bread cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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