February 28, 2024

Cafecharlotte Southbeach

The View On Cooking

Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread

Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread

Total Time:
1 hour 10 minutes

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Love Starbucks Pumpkin Bread? Bet you’ll love this moist, tender, incredibly delicious Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread even more! It’s a one-bowl, no-mixer recipe that you can throw together in minutes!

This pumpkin bread is our very favorite fall recipe. And although I love Starbucks pumpkin bread, this one is so moist, has such a tender, delicious crumb and it’s SO easy to make, it deserves its name “Better than Starbucks”!

I decided it was important to get in the right frame of mind to write this post. So I’ve got a loaf of this Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread in the oven. I also purchased a slice of Starbucks Pumpkin Bread to nibble on and just made a cappuccino to sip on. You know, to get in the mood, and to say the right things about this delicious sweet treat. After all, a girl has to be prepared, right?

One-bowl, no-mixer required!

I’ve got a lot on my to-do list today, so why would I bother to make another batch of this Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread? Well, first of all, it takes less than 15 minutes to put together… you basically dump everything in a bowl and stir till it’s all combined. And then, wait for the intoxicating aroma to waft through your entire house.

I’m starting to smell it now and it’s beyond amazing! And if you think I’m spoofing you about how easy it is to throw together, check out this video.

See what I mean? Super easy!

Closeup vertical photo of two slices of Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread (One-Bowl, No-Mixer!)

Breakfast, brunch, snack or… dessert!

Another reason I decided to make a loaf this morning is that it’s not only a fabulous breakfast treat and any time-of-day snack, it can also double as dessert! I love to slice it thick, warm it just a bit in the microwave (10 seconds), top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle this Real Deal Microwave Caramel Sauce or this Ridiculously Easy Butterscotch Sauce over it.

Want to really take things over the top? Add a few of these Easy Candied Pecans and you’ll feel like a culinary rock star. However you serve it, this Better than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread makes an incredible fall-inspired dessert! So you see, in addition to getting in the proper frame of mind to write this post, my morning baking efforts have also reaped dessert for dinner tonight – certainly a win-win!

Better than Starbucks?

Why do we call this “better” than Starbucks? Don’t get me wrong, I love Starbucks Pumpkin Bread. It’s a delicious treat with a cup of coffee or a tall glass of cold milk. But I’m only taking a few nibbles of this piece in front of me because I’m waiting for the loaf in my oven to finish baking. Then I may seriously indulge. Why? I’m glad you asked!

First of all, I think this pumpkin bread has a more tender crumb than the Starbucks version. Check it out in the picture below!

It’s also super flavorful with the addition of a generous scoop of pumpkin pie spice (a combination of warm autumn spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves). Extra cinnamon brings out all that wonderful fall flavor.

Starbucks pumpkin bread has a tiny (as in minimal) sprinkle of crushed pepitas (pumpkin seeds) on the top of their loaves. Nice, but not super attractive. I think this bread has a prettier and tastier topping. A handful of pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of honey and a splash of oil are stirred together and then sprinkled on top of the batter before baking. As the bread bakes, this topping takes on a beautiful glaze and crunch. See what I mean? Better than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread!

Extreme closeup vertical photo of the top of a loaf of Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread (One-Bowl, No-Mixer!) featuring the pumpkin seed top crust.

Another benefit of making this bread yourself is that you can adapt it to your preferences. Don’t like or don’t have any pepitas on hand? Leave them off or use chopped pecans. You could also simply add a sprinkle of granulated or raw sugar for a sweet, crisp topping.

Vertical photo of three mini loaves of Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread (One-Bowl, No-Mixer!) lined up on an orange and white cloth surrounded by mini pumpkins.

You can also use different size baking pans. This recipe works well in a 9×5-inch pan, but you can also use 4 smaller pans for mini loaves. No loaf pans? Just bake it in a 9-inch round pan and slice it in half, then crossways into thin rectangular slices.

Save a bunch of bucks!

Okay, one last reason this pumpkin bread is better than Starbucks is – the price! Yikes, if you’ve purchased anything at Starbucks, you know it’s not cheap. A slice of any of their bread is around $3.00. You can easily make a whole loaf of this bread for less than it would cost for two slices at Starbucks!

A lovely seasonal gift

Pumpkin bread makes a wonderful gift. Who wouldn’t love to find a delicious loaf on their doorstep or in their mailbox? It also makes a nice hostess gift and would be perfect to give as a Thanksgiving treat.

We’re offering a pretty little label to dress up this Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread for gift giving. If you’d like to receive our free printable PDF, just let us know in the comment section below this post. We’ll send it right to your email inbox where you can download and print the labels from your computer.

Vertical closeup photo of a loaf of Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread (One-Bowl, No-Mixer!) in a decorative white baking pan wrapped up for gift giving with a custom label on top.

Okay, it smells like a fine bakery in here as the amazing aroma wafts through the house. I need to run and take the bread out of the oven. I can hardly wait for it to cool a bit. Sure wish we could sit down and enjoy a piece together, but since we can’t, make a loaf of this Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread today and give a little “cheers” to the Café when you take the first fabulous bite!

Vertical photo of slices of Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread (One-Bowl, No-Mixer!) on a blue and white patterned serving plate.

Café Tips for making this Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread

  • This recipe calls for pumpkin pie spice which is a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Don’t have any pumpkin pie spice? No problem, you can make your own in way less time than you can run to the store and pick some up!
  • Make sure you use pumpkin puree in this recipe and not pumpkin pie filling. They are usually sold right near each other, often in the same size can. Pumpkin puree is simply pumpkin that’s been cooked and pureed. Pumpkin pie filling is pumpkin puree as well as sugar and spices.
  • This recipe calls for using a 9×5-inch loaf pan. You can also use two 8×4-inch pans.
  • Another option is to make 4 loaves in small loaf pans. The small ceramic loaf pans in the pictures above are also nice to bake this bread in and give as gifts.
  • If you’re in a hurry or just want to keep things a little simpler, a sprinkle of raw or regular granulated sugar before baking (in lieu of the pepita topping) is also delicious and creates a crisp, sweet topping as it bakes.
  • Although I’m a huge fan of butter for both cooking and baking, don’t try to sub butter for the oil in this recipe. It’s the oil that gives this bread such a moist, tender crumb.
  • You can use any neutral-flavored oil for this recipe. I love sunflower, safflower and grapeseed oils, but canola, corn or vegetable oils also work. Stronger flavored oils like peanut, coconut, sesame or olive oils will add a flavor of their own to this bread.
  • Instead of the pumpkin seed topping, this bread is also delicious with just a sprinkle of sugar over the top before baking. I like to use Turbinado or Demerara sugar but regular granulated sugar will also work.
  • To transform this Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread into a delicious dessert, place thick slices in pretty (microwave-safe) bowls. Warm each slice for 10-15 seconds in the microwave. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of this fabulous Real Deal Microwave Caramel Sauce (takes less than 15 minutes to prepare). To take it over the top, add a few of these Easy Candied Pecans for the crowning glory. Your guests will be in dessert heaven, for sure!
  • When making the larger loaf, I like to line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and bake the bread right on the sheet pan. If the bread seems to be getting too brown after 40-45 minutes of baking, I simply pull up the foil around the sides on the pan and tent it loosely over the top.
  • There’s nothing worse than going through the trouble of putting together and baking a cake or loaf of bread only to find that you’ve under or over baked it. The BEST way to determine when baked goods are perfectly done is to use an instant thermometer. Quick breads, like this Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread, are done when an instant thermometer, inserted in the center, reads 195-205˚F.

Thought for the day:

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.
Psalm 116:1&2

What we’re listening to for inspiration:

Psalm 116

If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.

Better Than Starbucks One-Bowl Pumpkin Bread

Love Starbucks Pumpkin Bread? Bet you’ll love this moist, tender, incredibly delicious Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread even more! It’s a one-bowl, no-mixer recipe that you can throw together in minutes!

Author: Chris Scheuer

Prep Time:
15 mins

Cook Time:
55 mins

Total Time:
1 hr 10 mins

Servings: 12

Calories: 311 kcal


For the bread:

  • 3
    large eggs

  • cups
    pumpkin puree

  • cup
    sunflower oil or any mild-flavored oil
  • 1
  • ½
    light brown sugar
  • 2
  • 2
    pumpkin pie spice
  • 2
  • 1
    baking soda
  • ¾
    baking powder
  • ¾

  • cups
    all-purpose flour

For the topping:

  • 3
    pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1
    (or maple syrup)
  • ½
    sunflower oil or any mild-flavored oil


For the bread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan (see the Café Tips above in the post for using other size pans) with baking spray. Set aside. Line a sheet pan with foil. Set aside.

  2. Place eggs in a medium-large bowl and whisk well.

  3. Add pumpkin and whisk until smooth. Add the oil, white and brown sugars and vanilla. Mix until nice and smooth.

  4. Sprinkle the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt over the pumpkin mixture and mix until well combined.

  5. Add the flour and stir just until the flour has disappeared and no large lumps remain.

For the topping:

  1. Combine pumpkin seeds (pepitas), honey and oil and stir to combine. To make mixing easier, you can pop the pepita mixture in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to thin out the honey. Set mixture aside.

To bake:

  1. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth the top and scatter the pumpkin seed mixture over the top. Place on the prepared sheet pan and bake for 55-65 minutes. Check the bread after 40-45 minutes and if the top seems to be getting brown, pull the foil up around the sides of the pan and loosely over the top. Return to the oven and finish baking, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or the internal temperature is 195-205˚F when checked with an instant thermometer (the best way to determine doneness).

  2. For the smaller pans (see Café Tips above) you’ll only need to bake for 25-30 minutes but again, the best way to determine doneness is with an instant thermometer).

  3. Cool for 20 minutes, then slide out of the pan and transfer to a cool rack. Cool completely before slicing (if you can wait!).

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.

Calories 311kcal

Fat 15g

Saturated fat 2g

Cholesterol 41mg

Sodium 257mg

Potassium 153mg

Carbohydrates 42g

Fiber 2g

Sugar 27g

Protein 4g

Vitamin A 4826%

Vitamin C 1%

Calcium 42%

Iron 2%






Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Bread