My pumpkin spice loaf cake is perfectly spiced, with a soft moist crumb and a delicious maple glaze topped with pecans. It is made without eggs and so can easily be made vegan too, with perfect results every time! An absolutely heavenly autumnal bake!
Better than Starbucks pumpkin bread
OK, so I know this is a rather large claim, but hear me out! Starbucks pumpkin bread is delicious and everything, but my version has a maple frosting AND pecans! You guys, you NEED to try this! The glaze is silky and sweet and has just the right level of additional spice to really make the whole bake pop. And the nuts are just perfect for that bit of additional crunch! Yum!
Why you’ll love this pumpkin bread recipe
- Simple to make. It is super easy to make this loaf cake. Simply mix together the wet ingredients, add in the dry and mix before stirring through the pumpkin puree and then bake!
- Widely available ingredients. It uses no unusual or hard to get hold of ingredients, making it brilliantly easy to make at any time!
- Perfect results always. Bake up a moist, fluffy and perfectly spiced pumpkin loaf cake each and every time.
- Easily adaptable. This cake is eggless, but could easily be made with non-dairy milk if this suits your lifestyle too to make a vegan loaf cake. I use my own pumpkin spice blend (see below for my recipe), but you could of course use your own or a shop bought version too.
What you’ll need to make pumpkin bread
- Flour: I use plain/all purpose flour to make this pumpkin spice loaf.
- Sugar: I used caster sugar to sweeten the cake and icing (powdered) sugar in the maple pumpkin glaze.
- Baking powder/bicarbonate of soda (baking soda): for a little bit of help with rising for this pumpkin loaf.
- Pumpkin pie spice mix: I used my own pumpkin spice blend when making this, but a shop bought version works beautifully too. If you would like to replicate my pumpkin pie spice recipe, you can find it here.
- Salt: enhances the flavours in the loaf cake. You will not taste it, I promise!
- Milk: makes up the liquid content of the cake as well as getting the consistency right for the glaze. You can make this cake vegan using oat or almond milk, or make it using regular cow’s milk too (I used whole milk).
- Vanilla: for delicious flavour in the best pumpkin loaf recipe ever!
- Oil: the fat in the cake, using oil rather than melted butter helps to keep the pumpkin spice loaf cake with oil moist and tender.
- Pumpkin puree: one of the key components in this bake, completely essential for the flavour and delicious moist texture it gives the spiced pumpkin loaf.
- Maple syrup: used to make the delicious glaze to top this stunning pumpkin spice cake loaf.
- Pecans: this optional topping ingredient adds a beautiful crunch to this easy loaf cake.
What equipment do I need to make a loaf cake?
- Loaf tin*: to bake the pumpkin tea cake in.
- Loaf tin liners*: for lining the tin to make this pumpkin bread. You can use parchment paper too, if you wish, but I find this a much easier option.
- Digital kitchen scales*: I provide all my measurements in cups too, however I would encourage all bakers to weigh out ingredients using weighing scales when baking. A set of digital kitchen scales is so useful and totally an essential baking tool for me.
- Measuring spoons*: a set of measuring spoons is essential for any baker. This is because these are more accurate than using everyday teaspoons and tablespoons, which can vary greatly in size.
- Mixing bowl*: used to mix the pumpkin cake loaf in before baking.
- Whisk*: for whisking up the dry ingredients when making this easy pumpkin spice loaf cake. I also use it when making the maple glaze with pumpkin pie spice to top the cake too.
- Sieve*: to remove lumps from the dry ingredients, ensuring everything mixes together smoothly.
- Spatula*: ensures you get every last bit of that heavenly cake mixture into the tin to bake! Plus useful to spoon out and spread the icing over the top of the spiced pumpkin loaf cake.
How to make pumpkin spice loaf
This cake takes just a few minutes to put together, it is so fabulously easy! Baking and cooling are the longest times in this recipe. Even the glaze and decoration are fantastically simple too!
For the cake
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line the loaf tin with parchment paper (grease the tin to help it stay better if using parchment) or a loaf tin liner and set it aside.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.
Step 3: In a smaller mixing bowl or jug, whisk together the milk, vanilla and oil. Fold this into the dry ingredients, then add in the puree and mix until everything is well combined.
Step 4: Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until the top is well risen and golden. A wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake will come out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing and decorating.
For the glaze and decoration
Step 1: Place the icing (powdered) sugar in a mixing bowl. Add in the pumpkin spice mix and whisk together to combine.
Step 2: Add in the maple syrup and stir through, then add in enough milk to get the consistency of glaze you desire.
Step 3: Once the cake is completely cool, spread the spiced glaze over the top of the cake, gently coaxing it over the edge to form drips. Sprinkle with some pecan pieces and enjoy!
Can I make my own loaf tin liners?
If you have run out of liners for your loaf tin, you can easily just use parchment paper! There are a couple of ways you could do it.
One, is to cut a piece of parchment paper about 6 inches larger on all sides than the base of the loaf tin. With the loaf tin in the middle of the parchment, use a pair of scissors to cut slits from two opposite sides all the way to each corner of the tin. Place the parchment into a lightly greased tin and press into the corners to encourage the parchment to remain in place. Fill with cake mixture and bake as per the recipe.
If you want a simpler version, cut a strip of parchment as wide as the longer side of the loaf tin. Lightly grease the tin, then lay the parchment across the same side of the tin, pressing in and into the corners. Then fill with cake mixture and bake according to the recipe. This method may require the loaf to be lightly loosened from the tin once baked, but it should still release quite easily.
How do I know when my loaf cake is done?
You can tell the loaf cake is done because it will be beautifully golden, firm on top and risen. It will also feel springy when lightly pressed. You can also use a toothpick or wooden skewer, poked into the middle of the cake. If the loaf is baked, you should have nothing come out sticking to this. If you find the cake is browning too much on top before it is fully baked, simply cover it loosely with some foil to stop the top browning further whilst the middle finishes baking.
Can you make pumpkin puree from scratch?
Absolutely you can! Make your own pumpkin puree using fresh pumpkins. Simply cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and most of the stringy bits. Then place it, cut side down, on a parchment lined baking tray and bake until the flesh is soft. Depending on the size of the pumpkin, this can take anything from 30-60 minutes. You will know when it is ready when the pumpkin can easily be pierced with a knife (test in a few places), and the flesh is pulling away from the skin. Leave to cool until safe to handle, then scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor until very smooth, about 4-5 minutes.
Can I make my own pumpkin spice?
If you cannot find pumpkin pie spice in a store near you, you can easily make your own! You will need a few easily available ground spices from your local store. These are cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg (I use whole nutmeg and grate it myself), cloves, allspice (the berry, not mixed spice), ground cardamom (use a little less if freshly ground) and a little ground black pepper. For the full recipe and quantities, check out my reel on Instagram.
Should you refrigerate pumpkin spice loaf
This pumpkin loaf cake does not need to be refrigerated and is perfect kept at room temperature before being consumed instead.
How to store pumpkin cake
Store this pumpkin loaf cake in an airtight container in a cool place away from direct sunlight. It should be consumed within 2-3 days of baking, but is best enjoyed as soon as it is decorated.
Can you freeze loaf cake?
Absolutely! Most loaf cakes will freeze well for up to three months.
How to freeze this pumpkin spice loaf cake
I would recommend freezing this loaf cake without the drizzle and decoration on top. Once baked, leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once it is cool, wrap it tightly with two layers of cling film (plastic wrap), leaving the parchment the loaf was baked in around the cake. Then wrap snugly in a layer of foil and freeze.
How to thaw a loaf cake
This cake will thaw fairly quickly. Depending on the temperature of the room, it can normally be completely thawed in 4-5 hours at most. To thaw the loaf cakes, remove the foil and both layers of cling film and place on a cooling rack, brushing off any ice crystals as you do. Once the cake has thawed, remove the lining paper and decorate according to the rest of the recipe. Store in an airtight container as before.
Can I make this pumpkin bread recipe gluten free too?
Absolutely! You can substitute the plain/all purpose flour for a gluten free flour blend, but do add an additional ¼ tsp Xanthan gum if you can tolerate it for better texture.
Recipe pumpkin loaf success tips
- Get some loaf tin liners! They are so easy to use, it makes prep for making any loaf cake a breeze!
- Make it vegan! The only ingredient you will need to change is the milk. Simply swap out the whole milk for any dairy-free milk alternative (I like oat or almond myself!) and you have yourself a delicious vegan pumpkin loaf cake!
- Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. This small step helps ensure all the ingredients blend together much more smoothly, resulting in a better bake.
- When combining the wet and dry ingredients to make the cake, make sure to sift the dry ingredients in before stirring it all together. This will help ensure less lumps in the dry ingredients, and so quicker and better mixing together.
- Do not over mix the wet and dry ingredients when combining or you will end up with a gummy cake texture instead of a light one.
- When making the glaze, add as much or as little milk to the maple spiced sugar as you wish to get the consistency you prefer. I like my glaze thicker, so I use 3-4 tsp of milk to get the consistency you see in my images.
If you have any questions about this pumpkin spice loaf recipe, please comment below and I will do my best to help. And do remember: if you enjoy this pumpkin spice loaf cake, please leave a rating and review below. You could even post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world. You already know I would love to see!
More recipes from my blog for you to enjoy
Vegan lemon drizzle loaf cake: This cake is totally and utterly delightful! It is all the things you want in a good lemon cake! It’s light, it’s fluffy, it’s packed with plenty of lemon flavour and it can easily be made gluten free too!
Rose pistachio and cardamom loaf cake (eggless): this cake was inspired by the stunning smells and flavours of India. Earthy pistachio, fragrant cardamom, and floral rose come together in this eggless bake to create an incredible stunning cake that is truly out of this world. This cake is not fully vegan, but is eggless so can easily be adapted to being vegan too.
Vegan coconut cake: This tempting cake is delightfully moist, light and fluffy and full of wonderful tropical coconut flavour. It is topped with a simply delicious coconut glaze and a decoration of toasted coconut flakes for a simple but effective flourish.
Thanks for joining me today, my friends. Hope you enjoy this gorgeous pumpkin spice loaf recipe as much as my family does, and happy baking! x