A warm spiced brown butter pumpkin bread! The brown butter takes the flavors of the spices over the top in this simple pumpkin bread recipe. The best part? You don’t need a mixer or any special equipment!

thick slices of brown butter pumpkin bread


That is the mic drop to all pumpkin bread recipes. But before we hop to it, let me start by apologizing to you if you aren’t a fan of pumpkin. First, I brought a harvest pumpkin soup to you and now, spiced brown butter pumpkin bread, the nerve.

This brown butter pumpkin bread is the more elevated, highly sophisticated, older sister to the basic pumpkin bread recipe. We’re swirling the brown butter with all sorts of spices, vanilla, and making an uber tender and moist pumpkin bread. To be honest with you, when I first started developing this recipe, I was a little worried whether the pumpkin flavor would be able to stand up to the toffee notes of brown butter and all the spices I wanted to load this pumpkin bread up with. And if you’re looking for a recipe for pumpkin loaf that lets all that pumpkin flavor shine through, this is it.

Pumpkin was made to be had with brown butter.

hand grabbing a thick slice of pumpkin bread

Not going to lie, this is the second addition to my brown butter bread family. The first was a maple pecan banana bread that so many of you have made and enjoyed and shared pictures with on Instagram and have made me crave it all over again! So today, we’re swapping out the bananas for a full can of pureed pumpkin. 

I know, most recipes call for roughly ½ a can of pumpkin puree for a loaf, but can I tell you a secret? I despise having half a can of leftover pumpkin stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Too many times, I’ve labeled the box with the full intent of usage, popped it in the cooler thinking I’ll revisit it. Only months later do I find it forgotten in the back and laden with frost burn begging to be chucked. And tossing out half a can of pumpkin puree just isn’t for me either. I hate the thought of wasting food.

So there I went, scooping an entire can of pumpkin puree into one loaf of pumpkin bread, praying it wasn’t pudding when it came out of the oven. And boy am I glad I did!

slices of pumpkin bread on white surface

What do you need to make brown butter for brown butter pumpkin bread?

  • Stainless steel (or a light-colored) saucepan. This allows you to be able to monitor the color of the butter easily. Preferably one that has a thick-bottom. 
  • cold butter, cut into 8 slices

How to make brown butter for brown butter pumpkin bread:

  1. Start by slicing the butter into thick slices and adding it to your saucepan. Place the saucepan on the stove and allow for the butter to melt. Once it’s completely liquid, stir the butter by grabbing the handle and swirling the saucepan. You’ll notice that it starts to foam, keep going, you’re doing it right.
  2. Once the butter starts to smell like hazelnuts and looks light-medium brown, remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately pour the brown butter into a medium bowl. You don’t want to leave the butter in the hot saucepan as it will continue to cook the butter.

Key points:

  • Slicing the butter makes for it to melt and brown more evenly
  • Swirling the pan occasionally allows for the browned milk solids to sink to the bottom.
  • Use your nose as the guide. Once you smell a nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat and allow the butter to cool in a different bowl.
  • When in doubt, less is more. It’s better to under brown your butter than to over-brown it. Once it gets too dark, you’ll have to toss it out and start over. So if this is your first time browning butter, keep a close eye on it!

pumpkin mixture in a glass measuring cup

Do I have to use brown butter to make this pumpkin bread recipe?

No, you can use melted butter in place of the browned butter if you do not like the toffee-like scent and taste of brown butter.

What do you need to make brown butter pumpkin bread?

  • brown butter
  • all-purpose flour
  • spices
  • salt
  • leavening agents (baking soda/baking powder)
  • brown sugar
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • pumpkin puree
  • vanilla extract

slices of brown butter pumpkin bread in loaf pan

How to make the best spiced brown butter pumpkin bread:

  1. Brown the butter. Pour the brown butter into a bowl and allow for it too cool.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine: all-purpose flour, spices, salt, and leavening agents.
  3. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, add in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and pumpkin puree. Then, add the eggs and vanilla extract. Finally, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Work out the flour pockets, but do not overmix.
  4. Pour the batter into a prepared 9×5 baking loaf pan and bake the bread in a 350ºF oven or roughly 55-62 minutes or until the bread is cooked through. You can check by inserting a toothpick into the center. You want it to come out mostly clean without any wet batter. Allow the pumpkin bread to cool on a baking rack for at least an hour before removing from the pan!

Other tips for making homemade pumpkin bread:

  • If you don’t have allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves, you can swap all the spices for one tablespoon of pumpkin spice mix. Since the quantities used to make pumpkin spice are different, it won’t have as much of a spicy punch, but it works well as a substitute if you simply don’t keep all the individual spices on hand!
  • leftover pumpkin bread can be kept at room temperature for two days. Keep in mind that this bread is super moist, so if it’s warm where you live, it’s best to refrigerate the bread.
  • serve this with a warm mug of coffee — it’s the best way to eat brown butter pumpkin bread

showing texture of pumpkin bread on wire rack placed on a tea towel on white marble

Yield: 12 slices

Spiced Brown Butter Pumpkin Bread

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

A warm spiced brown butter pumpkin bread! The brown butter takes the flavors of the spices over the top in this simple pumpkin bread recipe. The best part? You don’t need a mixer or any special equipment!

Spiced Brown Butter Pumpkin Bread


  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: baking soda AND ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon EACH: baking powder, salt, ground cloves, ground allspice, ground cardamom, AND ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with additional butter or cooking spray; set aside for later.
  2. BROWN BUTTER: Heat the butter in a medium stainless steel saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown for a total of 3-7 minutes. Every now and then grab the handle and gently swirl the pan and stir often. You’ll notice it’ll start to foam but keep going. Usually, better quality butter has less water, which means it would brown quicker. Remove the saucepan from the stove when the butter smells like hazelnuts and looks light to medium brown in color. Pour into a medium glass bowl and allow it to cool to room temp.
  3. DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, ground ginger, baking powder, salt, ground cloves, allspice, cardamom, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine. 
  4. WET INGREDIENTS: When the butter is cool, add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract to it. Whisk until smooth. Then, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. BAKE: Place the prepared pumpkin bread batter into the loaf pan and bake for 55-62 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center of the bread comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool to room temperature in the pan, placed on a wire rack before removing it.

Have you made this recipe?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below. You can also share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #LITTLESPICEJAR, I'd love to see what you made!

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