A tender, plush crumb with a rich, earthy flavor you’ll love this easy Sourdough Pumpkin Bread recipe! An easy, two-bowl recipe that only takes a few steps, this is the perfect way to use up your discard when you’re craving a treat with rich notes of spices and earthy pumpkin flavor.
Pumpkin is an incredible ingredient, it adds sweetness and moisture and completely transforms the texture and flavor of baked goods. With such good quality canned pumpkin puree available all year round, it really shouldn’t be relegated to fall. Whatever time of year you crave pumpkin, you’ll love this moist, tender, perfectly-spiced Sourdough Pumpkin Bread!
When I set out to create my version of pumpkin bread, I wanted it to have the perfect mix of spices that didn’t completely overpower the flavor of pumpkin. Of course, it also had to have a soft and moist crumb that’s delicious on its own without the need for nuts or any other mix-ins.
Looking for more delicious pumpkin ideas? Try my Sourdough Pumpkin Cookies and Sourdough Pumpkin Bundt Cake.
Why I love this recipe:
- The batter is all mixed by hand, no special equipment needed!
- It contains the perfect mix of spices that won’t overpower the earthy flavor of pumpkin.
- It has the most tender, light and plush crumb.
- Sourdough adds a tangy flavor and moisture that keeps the loaf tasting fresh for up to a week.
- Uses simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry!
Baking with Sourdough Discard
Sourdough discard adds a great tangy flavor to these pumpkin bread. Since you’re not using it as a leavener, your sourdough starter does not need to be activated or fed for it to work in this recipe and you can use it straight from the refrigerator. Older discard will have a tangier, more acidic flavor than freshly-fed sourdough starter. Both will work for this recipe, you’ll get a slightly different flavor but your bake will still be delicious!
Absolutely! Use the same proportion of freshly fed sourdough starter in the recipe. Your starter won’t add a strong tangy flavor to your bread, but will still work.
If you don’t have a starter, but still want to try out this recipe, just add 56 grams of all-purpose flour and 56 grams of water to your batter.
What You'll Need
- All-purpose flour: low protein content of all-purpose flour imparts a soft and tender texture to this pumpkin bread.
- Baking powder: The main leavener, adds lightness and lift to the pumpkin bread.
- Baking soda: Helps baking powder with leavening and increases the Maillard reaction which helps with browning.
- Salt: provides structure to loaf and brings out the flavors of the remaining ingredients.
- Spices: a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and fresh ginger that let’s the earthy flavor of pumpkin shine (feel free to substitute your favorite store-bought pumpkin spice mix if you prefer)
- Oil: Tenderizes the crumb, adds moisture and prevents the cake from drying out. Use a neutral-flavored oil like grape seed, vegetable or canola oil.
- Brown sugar: Adds moisture and a rich molasses flavor.
- Granulated sugar: Creates structure, imparts lightness and tenderizes gluten.
- Eggs: Binds the ingredients together, creates structure and stability in the batter.
- Sourdough discard: Adds a delicious tangy flavor and moisture that keeps this loaf tasting fresher for longer.
- Canned pumpkin: Imparts an earthy flavor and a soft, plush texture.
- Mixing bowls
- Silicone spatula
- Parchment paper
- Pullman pan
- A normal loaf pan would work but the high sides of the pullman pan will encourage your loaf to rise higher
Homemade pumpkin puree has a different moisture content than canned pumpkin puree. This could add too much water into pumpkin bread and could affect the texture of your bake. It’s best to use canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling).
1. Your baking powder and baking soda may be past its prime and not able to leaven your pumpkin bread
2. You may have opened the oven door before the center of your loaf is fully baked, unfortunately this would cause your bread to sink and the center of your loaf to be dense
3. You may have measured your ingredients incorrectly, weigh your ingredients to make sure your baking proportions are correct
4. The sides of your loaf pan may be too low, your loaf may sink if it rises past the sides of the pan that its baked in, that’s why I love using my Pullman Pan to make this loaf
You may have developed too much gluten in your batter. It helps to fold your flour into the batter ⅓ at a time to ensure all of the flour is incorporated without over-mixing. Opening the oven door before your loaf is fully baked could also cause your bread to be too gummy. In this case, your bread will sink and the interior will be gummy.
Sourdough Pumpkin Bread
- 150 grams 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 113 grams ½ cup vegetable oil
- 100 grams ½ cup brown sugar
- 100 grams ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 113 grams ½ cup sourdough discard
- 226 grams 1 cup canned pumpkin
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a loaf pan with baking spray and line with a large piece of parchment paper, with a little bit of overhang. Set aside.
- Mix the dry ingredients: Whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and ginger until fully combined and no lumps remain. Set aside
- Mix the wet ingredients: Whisk together the vegetable oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar, until the mixture no longer looks grainy. Stir in the egg, sourdough discard and canned pumpkin until no traces of discard remain.
- Make the batter: Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a third at a time. Continue until all of the flour is incorporated. Don’t over mix the batter or your pumpkin bread may turn out gummy.
- Bake the loaf: Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning it out gently on a wire rack.
- Enjoy and store: Serve once it has cooled completely and the crumb has set, about 1 hour. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- When in doubt, use weight over volume measures
- This recipe was first published in Oct. 2019 and has been updated to include volume measurements and a simplified ingredients list
Is it ok to use this recipe to make muffins?
Make It Dough says
It probably works for muffins but I'm not 100% sure as I haven't tried. You may need to shorten your baking time!
This is a great recipe & has been a hit with my family. I ❤️ chocolate, so I’ve been adding chocolate chips. Making it again today. Thanks for sharing this one!
Make It Dough says
So happy you love it!
Is the starter used directly out of the fridge or does it need to warm first?
Make It Dough says
Straight from the fridge would work perfectly fine here!
I loved this recipe and is a great way to use discard. However, I do not have a fancy weighing scale so my freshly ground nutmeg would not register any weight at all! In the end, I feel there was a bit too much. Any chance you can give equivalent teaspoon or tablespoon measures for the spices? Thanks, Hannah. Love all your recipes!
Make It Dough says
Oh no! I'll definitely try to include these moving forward. Glad you love the recipes!