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UT’s Pumpkin Bread

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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.

Yield: 2 loaves

UT's Pumpkin Bread

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

A great campus tradition from the kitchen of Smokey

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

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

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" x 5" loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, pumpkin, and eggs, mixing until well blended.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    20

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 124mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    ABOUT SHEILA
    Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTubePinterestInstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

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    Jeanne Altman

    Wednesday 4th of November 2020

    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.

    Sheila Thigpen

    Wednesday 4th of November 2020

    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!

    Mary

    Monday 25th of November 2019

    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.

    Sheila Thigpen

    Monday 25th of November 2019

    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!

    Mary Garner

    Wednesday 26th of September 2018

    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.

    sheilathigpen

    Sunday 30th of September 2018

    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

    Lanna Keck-Smith

    Tuesday 21st of January 2014

    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!

    sheilathigpen

    Tuesday 21st of January 2014

    Thanks, Lanna! This is our favorite Fall quick bread, too!

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