Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Like most states, Maine has a culture all its own, and it’s not one I claim to understand. I just claim to enjoy their beaches, their food, and their some of their fine towns throughout the year.

In many ways, Maine lives up to its motto of being the vacation state – their beaches are gorgeous in the summer, sometimes even the winter, and their ski resorts are pretty great, too. I might consider living there if their state taxes weren’t asinine.

As I mentioned in the making of the M&M cookies, my daughter has spent the month training out West and requested baked goods on a regular basis. I had a fantastic plan to mail her a big box of goodies each week, this Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread included, only to learn the town she is in doesn’t actually deliver packages or mail to residential addresses.

Yes. You heard me correctly, the USPS does not deliver to residential addresses in this town. So much for their charming little commercials this time of year saying they deliver more packages to homes than anyone else.

I call pure and utter bullshit.

I wasted $36 shipping two packages out, one with the M&M mint cookies and the other with this bread in it. But coming back to this bread, even after it had been made, shipped, and returned back to me almost a week later, I did eat it. Don’t be weirded out by that. It’s been in cool storage shipping mode most of the time. The bread is super moist and maybe even more delicious than the day I made it since the flavors have had time to set.


I know you might be thinking Meh, another pumpkin bread recipe, but this one is chocked full of spice that shines in the bread, and the pumpkin flavor isn’t cloying or overwhelming. It’s just really good. I had some leftover pumpkin, so I searched out a recipe online, and when it’s a 5 star recipe that’s been reviewed 7,000 times, I’m thinkin’ it’s maybe a keeper.

And you know what? I am right after tasting this bread .

The recipe says to use two 7×3″ loaf pans. Yeah. Don’t have those and not going out and getting any more bakeware. I used two of the approximately 8 1/2 x 4″ ceramic bread pans I had.

I made sure I weighed the batter as it went in each pan since I was already changing up what the recipe was asking.


I love my kitchen scale. Look…it is even friendly, saying hello to me when I turn it on. It has modes for grams, ounces, and pounds, and you can easily weigh individual ingredients simply pushing the tare button.

It took a little over 16 oz in each pan, so I knew my cooking time would increase.


These two sized loaf pans ended up baking in my oven somewhere between 70-75 minutes vs. the 50 minutes called for in the recipe. You will simply need to check the bread at the 50 minute mark and gauge accordingly. Smell will also become one of your primary gauges.

The result? Deliciously spiced, superbly moist (get over your weirdness with this word) bread that will become a Fall staple in this house.


My husband ate one whole loaf himself in less than two days…

As I was creating this post, I took the time to read through some of the reviews from the online recipe from allrecipes and came through a few that might be an interesting rewrite of the recipe. While I think it’s nicely spiced, as is, one maker suggested the following:

I added 1/2 tsp vanilla (had only half the batter left), doubled the spice amounts, and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on the tops. The recipe was way better with the changes.

I can see her point if you really like spices. This rewrite would totally work for me.

Another maker said she did the same thing as I, and read through many reviews and rewrote the recipe as follows:

Out of this recipe, I ended up making a dozen Pumpkin muffins and a Pumpkin loaf as well. It is simply scrumptious!! I read all the reviews and took all the suggestions that were offered that were similar. Below is how I ended up re-writing the recipe – it turned out moist, spicy, and DELICIOUS!! My family has already asked me to make this at Christmas!! 15 Oz Can Pumpkin; 4 Eggs; 1/2 Cup Veg. Oil; 1/2 Cup Applesauce (I used sweetened); 2 Cups Sugar; 3 1/2 Cups Flour; 2 Tsp. Baking Soda; 1 1/2 Tsp Salt; 1 Tsp. Cinnamon; Splash of Vanilla; 1/4 Tsp Pumpkin Spice; 1 Cup Walnuts; 1/2 Cup Raisins; 1 Tsp Nutmeg; 1/2 Tsp Cloves; 1/4 Tsp Ground Ginger; Blended and cooked as described in original recipe.. Both placed in the oven at the same time, the Muffins were done in 40 minutes and Bread was done in 1 hr 10 minutes. While on Cooling rack, poked holes in top of muffins and bread, and poured seperate hot Cinnamon Sugar Butter combo over holes, allowing it to seep down inside. Yummmmmmmmy! Will make again and again! Thanks for all the tips everyone!”

This version lowers the oil and adds applesauce to replace the moisture. Personally, I wouldn’t use sweetened, even though this version reduces the sugar by a whole cup. This also adds raisins and nuts, but that’s a purely preferential thing, in my humble baking opinion. If you wanted, you could also do chocolate chips. As a purist for these kinda breads, I’m gonna go with plain, no nuts or raisins, myself. Even with her rewrite, which I do like because of the lessened sugar and oil, I’d still maybe up the spices like the first reader. I love when spice shines even brighter than I already think it does in this recipe.

Always read the suggestions. Learn from others 😉

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

"This is a great old Maine recipe, moist and spicy. The bread actually tastes even better the day after it is baked. Great for holiday gift giving!"
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword #pumpkin, baking, bread, quickbread, Thanksgiving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 263 kcal
Author Laurie Bennett (allrecipes)


  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


    1. dangerouslybeautifulmoms

      Part of me is actually jealous of that fact!! I found another recipe recently that calls for a 4 qt ceramic bread crock. I’ll be looking for another alternative lol

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