The Best Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf Recipe (Copycat)
Learn how to make an easy delicious copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf right at home! This pumpkin bread is studded with roasted pepitas and loaded with spices and so much pumpkin goodness!
If you’re anything like me, you could eat Starbucks’ pumpkin bread year-round. I love that the top is sprinkled with roasted pumpkin seeds and the inside is bursting with spices. But have you noticed that even then, you can distinctly taste that yummy pumpkin puree flavor?
That’s the key. To make a homemade pumpkin bread that has just the right amount of spices so that it works harmoniously with pumpkin. Also, I took the liberty of using the whole can of pumpkin puree to make two loaves. I hate having half a can of pumpkin left over, so I usually just make two loaves of this quick bread and share one with friends or family!
A warm slice of pumpkin bread slathered with a bit of butter while it’s still warm from the oven with a cup of coffee is the ultimate fall treat!
Ingredients for Starbucks Pumpkin Bread Recipe:
- All-purpose Flour: Provides structure to baked goods. I prefer to use unbleached flour for this recipe. I use the ‘spoon and level’ method. For this method, you would start by fluffing the flour with a spoon to aerate it. Then use a spoon to add flour to your measuring up until filled and overflowing slightly. Then run a flat butter knife to level off the top.
- Pumpkin Puree: You can use a can of prepared pumpkin puree or even homemade pumpkin puree for this recipe. You can easily make this in your instant pot! Side note: pumpkins are a good source of fiber! Keep in mind that if you use homemade pumpkin puree, you’ll still need the full 15 ounces in weight. Also, pumpkin pie filling is different from ‘pure pumpkin’ or ‘pumpkin puree’ so be sure not to use that. The pie filling already includes various spices and sugar and may have varying results if used.
- Brown Sugar + White Sugar: We’ll use a larger amount of brown sugar than white sugar for this recipe. Brown sugar adds a delicious caramel-like flavor to the bread, and it also adds moisture.
- Eggs: Eggs provide structure and flavor to the pumpkin bread. Make sure you use room-temperature eggs for this recipe. This is especially important if you use coconut oil. The coconut oil will seize up if you add cold eggs to the melted coconut oil!
- Spices: I use ground cinnamon, ground cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, ground ginger, and allspice. You could replace some of the spices (like the cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice) with an all-purpose pumpkin pie spice if you’d like. But pumpkin spice doesn’t contain cardamom so the taste of your loaf may be a bit different.
- Vanilla extract and Orange zest: vanilla extract is sort of a given in sweet quick breads! You’ll also want to use fresh orange zest here. The orange flavor pairs beautifully with the spices. You won’t be able to tell it’s there at the end, but it adds to the whole experience.
- Leavening Agents and Salt: You’ll need both baking soda and baking powder for this recipe. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of baking soda; this makes two loaves of bread so we’ll definitely need that much! You’ll also need some kosher salt – the pinch of sodium helps balance all the sweetness in the bread.
- Oil: I prefer to use coconut oil for this recipe as I just love how it makes the most deliciously moist texture to pumpkin bread. Don’t worry; if you aren’t a fan of coconut, this bread doesn’t taste like it! You can also use other clear or light-colored flavorless oils. Safflower, sunflower, vegetable oil, or canola oil also work here.
- Roasted Pepitas: I love topping my pumpkin bread with pumpkin seeds – it gives it the best texture! Sometimes I’ll use roasted and salted pumpkin seeds other times I’ll use unsalted. This is entirely up to you! I do love that the salted ones help balance the sweetness of the bread, so if you’re someone that doesn’t like sweet desserts, maybe opt for the salted kind! Starbucks uses unsalted pepitas on their pumpkin loaf.
How to make copycat Starbucks pumpkin bread at home:
- Prepping is key. Start by preheating the oven. You’ll also want to spray your 8 ½ x 4 ½ (or 9×5) loaf pan with cooking spray. Just for extra security, I line them with parchment paper so that it makes for easy lifting; however, if you use good quality nonstick pans, you can get by without it!
- Combine the dry ingredients. You’ll want to add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and all the spices to a bowl and whisk until combined. Make sure to take your time and whisk well here because once you add this to the wet batter, you don’t want to over-stir!
- Make pumpkin bread batter. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil to a large mixing bowl. If you’re using coconut oil and making this bread when it’s cold, you’ll need to melt the coconut oil first. Just pop the glass jar in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to help it melt. You can also add boiling water to a bowl and place the sealed bottle inside the bowl. Once you’ve combined the oil and the sugar, add the pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla, and orange zest. Don’t be alarmed if the batter splits or curdles! It’s totally fine! It will all work out once you add the flour. Then add the flour mixture in two batches. Stir just long enough for each batch of flour to be incorporated before adding the next.
- Make Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf! Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans. You’ll only fill each pan about ¾ of the way full. The bread will rise quite a bit, so you don’t want to overfill the baking pans! Smooth out the batter and sprinkle with pepitas on top. Bake until a toothpick or a skewer inserted in the center of the bread comes out without wet batter. Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes or on a wire rack. Then remove it from the loaf pan. Don’t let the bread sit in the loaf pan for longer than that. The moisture from the heat will cause the bread to sweat!
How to store Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf:
Your loaf with stay perfectly fresh for up to 5 days. I prefer to keep it in an airtight container at room temperature. If you make this bread in warmer weather, you may want to keep the container in the refrigerator. The high amount of moisture does cause it to spoil much faster in the summertime. If you’re making this for gifting purposes, wrap it in plastic wrap tightly.
If you like this recipe, you might also like these other pumpkin recipes:
- Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Muffins
- Harvest Pumpkin Leek Soup
- Chai Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins
- The Best Pumpkin Bread (with or without chocolate chips!)
- Weekend Pumpkin Chili
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons EACH: baking soda AND ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon EACH: baking powder AND ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon EACH: ground cloves, ground cardamom, AND ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup EACH: granulated sugar AND coconut oil (or other; see post)
- 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 4 large eggs, room temperature*
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 orange (optional)
- 4-5 tablespoons roasted pepitas, for topping
- PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray two 8 ½ x 4 ½ (or 9x5) bread pans with cooking spray, you can also line with parchment if you’d like; set aside for now.
- DRY INGREDIENTS: Add the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda baking powder, all the spices, and salt to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine; set aside for now.
- WET INGREDIENTS: Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil to a large bowl. Whisk to combine, then add the pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla, and orange zest and combine to whisk until all the eggs have been incorporated into the wet batter. Don't be alarmed if the batter splits or curdles! It's totally fine!
- BREAD BATTER: Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring just long enough so each batch of flour is incorporated. Do not over-mix or you’ll end up with dry bread!
- BAKE: Divide the batter into the to pans, taking care to only fill each pan about ¾ of the way full. The bread will rise significantly! Smooth out the batter then sprinkle with the pepitas. Bake the bread for 52-62 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the pans on a wire baking rack for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan and allowing the bread to cool further.
- Coconut oil: If you're using coconut oil and it's solid, you'll need to melt it first. Just pop the glass jar (without lid) in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. You can also add boiling water to a bowl and place the sealed bottle inside the bowl for a few minutes.
- Eggs: Make sure you use room-temperature eggs for this recipe. This is especially important if you use coconut oil. The coconut oil will seize up if you add cold eggs to melted coconut oil!