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This Pumpkin Bread recipe—a University of Tennessee campus tradition from the kitchen of Smokey—makes two loaves. One to enjoy, one to share!

A close up of a slice of Pumpkin Bread on a plate

We are a Tennessee Orange-blooded alumni family—in other words VFLs, Vols for Life! I know it’s been a little rough on the football field the last few weeks, but we still love the University of Tennessee, football in the SEC, and sharing good tailgating food, whether at the game or watching from home.

A close up of a slice of Pumpkin Bread on a plate

Students and alumni take pride in so many well known University of Tennessee traditions—Rocky Top, the Vol Walk, the Pride of the Southland’s “salute to the hill” and the UT Bakery’s signature recipe for Pumpkin Bread. 

Pumpkin Bread was one of the most popular bakery items when I was a student on campus (don’t ask, but it was more than 20 years ago) and still is today.

Pumpkin is one of my very favorite fall flavors, and I especially like this bread warm from the oven and with a cup of coffee. I think you will, too.

A close up of a slice of Pumpkin Bread on a plate

A few tips for this recipe:

  • Don’t get alarmed when you mix up the batter and it seems thin – it will bake up just fine.
  • The recipe says it will make two 9″ x 5″ loaves (nice for sharing!), but I really think smaller pans (8″ x 4″ if you can find them) work better.
  • I occasionally like to toss in a handful of chocolate chips. If you do add the chocolate chips, toss the chips with a tablespoon of flour and add to the batter just before pouring into the loaf pans. Don’t stir too much or they will all sink to the bottom!
  • If you like, spread warm slices with a little sweetened cream cheese.

UT’s Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Of course, our family will be cheering for the Vols tomorrow especially since a win against the Kentucky Wildcats would put us closer to the opportunity to play in the SEC Championship game! GO BIG ORANGE!

Sheila (’84), College of Communications; John (’85), College of Business; Allison (’10), College Scholars; Lindsay (’12), College of Business

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This recipe was originally posted on November 11, 2016, and was updated on November 25, 2019.

A close up of a slice of Pumpkin Bread on a plate

UT’s Pumpkin Bread

A great campus tradition from the kitchen of Smokey
4.36 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Quick Breads
Cuisine American
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 156 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 teaspoon cloves
  • 2/3 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2/3 teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" x 5" loaf pans.
  • In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, pumpkin, and eggs, mixing until well blended.
  • In another bowl, stir together the flour and spices. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and blend well. Stir in vanilla and water until all ingredients are well blended. Batter will be runny.
  • Pour into prepared pans. and bake for one hour. Remove pans from oven and cool on racks for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from pans and cool completely. Slice and serve.

Notes

  • Don’t get alarmed when you mix up the batter and it seems thin – it will bake up just fine.
  • The recipe says it will make two 9" x 5" loaves (nice for sharing!), but I really think smaller pans (8" x 4" if you can find them) work better.
  • Make pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Toss a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips with a tablespoon of flour and gently stir into the batter just before pouring into the loaf pans.
  • Nutrition

    Serving: 1gCalories: 156kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 124mgSugar: 15g
    Keyword pumpkin bread, pumpkin,
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
    A close up of a slice of Pumpkin Bread on a plate

    8 Comments

    1. The pumpkin bread from UT is my favorite ever!!! I have been looking for it for years!!! It is the BEST EVER!! I ate at least 2 pieces everyday in the art and architecture cafe. Thank you!

    2. 5 stars
      I have been looking for this recipe for years! Thank you so much! One of my fondest memories I’m going to UT was getting a cup of coffee and a slice of pumpkin bread in the art and architecture building before going to my 8 A M class.

      1. Mary, glad you found the recipe! It’s one of my favorites and I can’t help but think back to my college days every time I bake this delicious bread! #VFL

    3. I wonder if you could say what size can of pumpkin you used. I made the recipe and it turned out well although a bit more moist than even the UT pumpkin bread tends to be. It is possible I needed just a bit more cook time but I wondered if I also might have used a larger can of pumpkin (thus, half would be more than anticipated). Love the recipe and am ready to make it again. Thanks so much.

      1. Hi, Mary! I use 1/2 of a 15-oz. can of pumpkin in this recipe. I can understand how it could be confusing, so thank you for the question——I’ll update the recipe ingredient list to make it more clear. Happy Thanksgiving!

    4. Hello
      We love this pumpkin bread! Ever since my son was a freshman at UT, more than 10 years ago, and we had some at the parent coffee, I have been making it in the fall. I believe I asked the UT Parents’ Association for it:) I am wondering about the 1/3 and 2/3 tsp. measurements. I have never seen these and just use 1/4 or 1/2 tsp. and adjust. Also, a little chopped apple is great in this pumpkin bread, too.

      1. It is a great pumpkin bread recipe, for sure! The measurements were taken directly from the original UT recipe, so adjusting as you do is absolutely fine. I’ve never tried the bread with chopped apple, but that sounds delicious!

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