Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread (Loaf Cake)

This Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread is soft and moist with a tender crumb. Perfectly spiced with warm spice flavors. If you’re looking for the perfect pumpkin bread recipe, look no further!


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The Best Pumpkin Bread Ever!

This pumpkin bread recipe was adapted from All Recipes and after researching for awhile, I believe that it was originally posted on that website by Laurie Bennett. I am so grateful to have found this recipe.

I first heard about this delicious fall dessert recipe when a question popped up on my Facebook feed from a Facebook group member who was looking for a great pumpkin bread recipe.

One member chimed in with ‘Downhome Maine Pumpkin Bread’. Others agreed that it was wonderful.

Sliced pumpkin loaf on wooden board.

I have four great pumpkin bread recipes already, that I had been playing around with spices, sugar, etc. Something told me to just try this recipe. Maybe it was the charm of the recipe title? Downeast Maine simply had a delicious-sounding ring to it.

This recipe is A MUST TRY. Seriously, it is really quick and easy to make and you will be so happy that this recipe makes not one, but TWO delicious loaves.

I made only a few modifications to the original recipe. I decided to substitute the water in the recipe for orange juice and I substituted some of the white sugar for brown sugar.

The comments from the original recipe read that it was even better the next day. It mellows and the perfect balance of warm spices takes on a magical flavor the next day. As I edited the photos, I was thinking about the nicely wrapped loaf sitting on the top shelf in the cupboard within view. Let’s just say, it makes a wonderful breakfast treat!!

Close up view of the texture of sliced pumpkin loaf with pumpkin gourds in the background.

Ingredients

Ingredients for the recipe with text overlay.

1 (15 ounce can) pumpkin puree – use pumpkin puree, the pure pumpkin NOT the pumpkin pie filling.

4 eggs – use large eggs at room temperature.

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup orange juice

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

3 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

I found the blend of spices in this recipe to be absolutely perfect. Please try them as-written before experimenting. I think I am in love with this pumpkin bread.

Step by Step Instructions

This is one of the easiest fall dessert recipes ever!

You’ll need two 9×4-inch loaf pans, greased or sprayed with cooking spray (the kind with flour).

Preheat the oven to 350°F and let’s get started!

This recipe can be mixed entirely by hand! No fancy equipment needed.

First set of ingredients in mixing bowl with wooden spoon.

Step 1 – In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, orange juice and vegetable oil. Stir just until it’s well combined and mixture is smooth.

Dry ingredient in mixing bowl with spoon and black and white napkin on the side.

Step 2 – In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger and salt.

Dry ingredients are added to wet ingredients in mixing bowl with wooden spoon.

Step 3 – Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined, being careful not to over mix.

Step 4 – Divide batter evenly into the two prepared loaf pans.

Step 5 – Bake in 350°F oven for 50 to 55 minutes. Since the loaves might not be exactly the same size (unless you’re perfect at dividing them!), one may take a little longer than the other.

Test with a toothpick inserted into the centre. If the toothpick is still wet, bake a few more minutes but check it often. The middle of one of my loaves was still a little wet and it took only three to four minutes to finish cooking.

To Frost or Not To Frost?

The original recipe does not call for frosting. It’s really delicious plain. But, while I was taking the photos, one of my boys asked if the cake would have cream cheese frosting.

I had cream cheese on hand and it took me about two minutes to whip up a batch and it is SO GOOD with cream cheese frosting. Honestly, you can’t go wrong either way.

Pumpkin loaf with cream cheese frosting on wooden board.

Since the frosting is not part of the recipe, I will include it in the notes at the bottom of the recipe card.

Tips for Success

Sliced pumpkin loaf stacked on a plate with remaining loaf and pumpkin gourds in the background.

1 – Don’t over mix the batter

2 – Eggs at room temperature. Take them out of the fridge an hour before you start the recipe.

3 – Keep a close eye on it when it is ‘almost done’. It will quickly go from being not-quite-done to ‘done’.

Try These Fall Dessert Recipes Next

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Sliced pumpkin loaf on cooling rack with pumpkin gourds in the background.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings

Description

This Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread is soft and moist with a tender crumb. Perfectly spiced with warm spice flavors. If you’re looking for the perfect pumpkin bread recipe, look no further! 


Ingredients

1 (15 ounce can) pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup orange juice

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

3 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

OPTIONAL CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature

1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups powdered sugar


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease two loaf 9×5-inch loaf pans. You can either use butter or cooking spray that has flour. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, oil and orange juice. Stir just until the batter is smooth.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground ginger.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Do not over mix the batter as that will change the texture of the loaf cake.  Gently mix the ingredients together. 
  6. Transfer batter  to prepared loaf pans.
  7. Bake in 350°F oven for 50 to 55 minutes until toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack before carefully removing from pan. Slice and enjoy!
    Optional Cream Cheese Frosting: 
  9. In a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese with butter for one minute.

  10. Add vanilla and mix until combined.

  11. Gradually add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing on low speed of mixer. 

  12. Mix on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes until creamy. 

  13. Spread frosting on top of pumpkin loaf and enjoy!

Notes

Note: This recipe will make two loaves using 9×4-inch loaf pans with 12 servings for each loaf. 

Storage & Freezing Instructions

To store, wrap cooled loaf in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. (if frosting with cream cheese frosting, store in refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before serving).

To freeze, wrap cooled loaf in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before serving.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 388
  • Sugar: 40.8 g
  • Sodium: 298.1 mg
  • Fat: 17.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 56.1 g
  • Fiber: 0.9 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 51.3 mg

4 Comments

  1. This is one of the best pumpkin recipes we have ever tried really delicious! Great for breakfast with some peanut butter or on its own for a quick snack. Thank you






    1. I have only ever made it with the vegetable oil. I’m going to try it with coconut oil in the next few weeks and will add a note to the recipe card with the outcome. Other than that, I cannot think of any other subsitutes.

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