Small Batch Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread

This post and recipe may contain affiliate links. Please see the Discolsure Policy for details.
Jump to Recipe

Fall baking isn’t complete without pumpkin bread and this Small Batch Pumpkin Bread recipe with a cinnamon swirl crunch topping is a must for the season!  This is quick pumpkin bread recipe that makes 5 individual loaves, or 2 mini loaves that are tender, moist, and full of all the fall flavors.  

mini Pumpkin Bread recipe

I think it is safe to say that Fall and pumpkin bread go together like peas and carrots.  So here you have it – the quintessential fall baking recipe.  And if I do say so myself, these pumpkin bread mini loaves may be the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever had!

Features of this cinnamon sugar pumpkin bread

  1. Small Serving – This recipe is enough to make 5 pumpkin bread mini loaves, or 2, 3×5 loaves of pumpkin bread.  
  2. Moist Pumpkin Bread – The pumpkin bread is tender, moist, and moist.   Yes – I said it twice, to reinforce it.
  3. Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Crunch – Cinnamon sugar is swirled on top for a sweet and crunchy topping.  I mean, I love streusel crumble, but the cinnamon sugar crunch may quickly take pole position.
  4. Delicately Sweet – The pumpkin bread is so delicately sweet that you won’t know whether to eat if for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  And you know what?  There is no judgment if you make these mini loaves part of your 3 squares a day!
  5. Reader Favorite – Thanks to all of you, this recipe for pumpkin bread is the most popular on the blog!  Everyone loves how tasty and easy it is – so I will go as far and say this is the best small batch pumpkin bread recipe!  Want to know the second favorite?  Try the Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies!
Four symmetrically arranged mini pumpkin bread on a table.

What Makes This Cinnamon Pumpkin Bread Recipe So Good

I am humble enough to never (probably ever) refer to one of my recipes as ‘the best’.  Because a persons palette and taste preference is completely subjective.  A great example:  my husband likes raisins in his oatmeal cookies.  That makes me cringe.  See – purely subjective.

So, from a self-taught home baker (who has had her share of pumpkin bread) – this is what I think makes this small batch pumpkin cinnamon bread so good:

  • Super, duper, moist – There is that ‘m’ word again.  Still searching for its replacement.  But, this pumpkin bread is the epitome of a moist bake.  We are talking ‘you could keep these little loaves in a pretty cake dish on your counter for two days, and they will still be moist‘, moist.
  • The pumpkin bread tastes like pumpkin – Seems obvious, but worth stating.  I’ve had my share of pumpkin bread that tastes nothing like pumpkin.  Not these.  The fall squash shines in these mini loaves!
  • Fall spices – You hear and see this a lot these days, and I’m guilty of it too.  But fall spices are packed into just about every bake from mid-September to Christmas.  But, we need some pumpkin pie fall spices to go with our PSL’s.  

There you have it – my humble little opinion on this recipe!

Single serving mini pumpkin loaf close up on a wood tray.

What You Need to Make A Small Batch Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread 

Every baker has their own version of pumpkin bread.  And one thing I am becoming more certain of the more I test and bake, is:  to have a moist and tender crumb – in a cake, cupcake, muffin, or sweet bread – a neutral oil ensures that

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin – We are using canned pumpkin puree.  Not pumpkin pie filling/mix.  Full disclosure – I’ve never had pumpkin pie mix, nor have I seen it at my grocery.  However, make sure to stick with the 100% pumpkin.  You will have leftover pumpkin, and I have included a few pumpkin dessert recipes at the end of the post to use up the pumpkin puree!
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – I use both because they add to the browning and flavor of the pumpkin bread.  Not to mention the necessary lift for tall mini loaves.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – We already have enough on our plates with fall and holiday baking.  Which is why we are using the pre-made pumpkin pie spice to flavor this pumpkin bread.
  • Light Brown Sugar – I recommend light brown sugar.  The brown sugar adds moisture to the recipe and dark brown sugar may add too much.  Additionally, dark brown sugar may overpower the pumpkin flavor.  
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Canola oil – Any neutral oil will work.  One personal note – every time I bake with vegetable oil, I can taste it.  So, I stick with canola oil.  You could swap the oil for butter, but just know the bread may not turn out as moist.
  • Cinnamon Sugar – There supposedly is a proper ratio for cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon to every 4 parts sugar) – but I say there is some creative authority here.  Meaning, make it how you like it!

Baking Equipment

Making a small batch of pumpkin bread requires special equipment.  However, you can make this pumpkin bread into muffins using a muffin/cupcake pan, if that is all you have on hand.

  • Brownie Pan – I used this non-stick brownie pan to make the individual loaves.
  • Mini Loaf Pans – 2 of these mini loaf pans can also work to make the pumpkin bread.
  • Mixing Bowls
Close up of a small batch cinnamon swirl pumpkin bread mini loaf on wood tray.

Tips For Making cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread Minis

  • Use pure pumpkin – A can of pure pumpkin is what we need for this recipe.  You may see cans of Pumpkin Pie Filling, and this is not what we want for this recipe.
  • Light brown sugar, not dark brown sugar – Light brown sugar adds just enough moisture to the bread.  Whereas dark brown sugar may add too much and the flavor may mask the other flavors in the bread.
  • Try canola oil – Whenever I use oil in my recipes, I reach for the canola oil because I find it does not impart any unnecessary flavor.
  • Use a brownie pan to make individual loaves – This pan has 12 cavities and is similar to a cupcake pan.  I have provided a link above in the Baking Equipment Needed.  
  • Line the pan(s) with parchment – We want to make sure we can get the bread out of the pan!  We do spray the pan with cooking spray, but for added insurance, I recommend lining with parchment paper.  For the brownie pan, a strip of parchment long enough so you have some overhang to lift the loaves out of the pan.
  • Don’t forget the cinnamon sugar swirl – We only swirl the cinnamon sugar on top of the batter, rather than mixing it in all of the way.  Adding it just on the top creates the sweet and crunch top.  
Top view of small batch cinnamon swirl pumpkin bread mini loaves on a cutting board.

Common Questions For Making Small Batch Pumpkin Bread

Can this pumpkin bread recipe be doubled?

Yes! I have not personally tested it, but many readers have stated they doubled the recipe without any problems.

Can I use pumpkin pie filling instead of pure pumpkin?

Pumpkin pie filling tends to have added ingredients that we don’t necessarily need in the recipe. And as the name implies, it is best served as a filling for a pie. Pure pumpkin allows us to create the ideal texture and flavor.

Can I cut back on the sugar and omit the cinnamon crunch topping?

You certainly can, but the crunchy topping is part of what makes this pumpkin bread taste so good!

Will butter work instead of the oil?

Butter should work, but I believe the pumpkin bread will not turn out as moist. If you use butter, I would recommend melting it and adding it with the liquid ingredients.

What else can I use to bake the pumpkin bread in?

You can use a muffin/cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners. The number of cupcakes you get from the recipe will depend on how full you fill the liners. I recommend 2/3 full which may yield 5 to 6 muffins.

What can I make with the leftover pumpkin puree?

I have included some dessert recipes below that you can use the leftover pumpkin puree in!

Can this pumpkin bread be made gluten free?

Great question, and I do have a Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread recipe on the blog!

Recipes For Leftover Pumpkin Puree

One thing with this mini pumpkin bread recipe – you will have leftover pumpkin.  And trust me, I don’t want a bunch of leftover pumpkin sitting around either!  So, because it is the season for pumpkin, how about a small batch of Pumpkin Cupcakes with Whipped Ganache Frosting or Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips.

But, pumpkin doesn’t always have to be in a dessert, cookie, or bread!  A few (healthier) pumpkin recipes like the Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding or Pumpkin Spice Latte Overnight Oats are a great way to use up the pumpkin – with a tad less guilt!

Or, if you’re looking for a little heartier breakfast treat with pumpkin?  Try the Pumpkin Apple Muffins with Crumb Topping or Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts – which happen to be my personal favorite!

Cinnamon swirl pumpkin bread loaves on a wood tray.

If you loved the recipe, please leave a rating & review below!  It helps me continue to provide FREE recipes.  And I’d love to see your creation – tag me on Instagram @butterandblissblog and #butterandblissblog.  For more small batch recipes and desserts for two, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Close up of a slice of pumpkin bread
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
4.73 from 70 reviews

Small Batch Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread

Yield: 5 Mini Pumpkin Bread Loaves
Fall baking isn’t complete without pumpkin bread and this Small Batch Pumpkin Bread recipe with a cinnamon swirl crunch topping is a must for the season!  This is an easy recipe that makes 5 individual loaves, or 2 mini loaves that are tender, moist, and full of all the fall flavors. 
Prep10 mins
Cook20 mins
Total30 mins

Equipment

  • 1 – Square Brownie Pan (or) 2 – Mini Loaf Pans

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons Cinnamon Sugar - 3/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon for every 1 tablespoon of sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Lightly grease the baking pan(s) and line with parchment paper – long enough to hang over the sides to use as a sling to lift the bread out of the pans. If using the brownie pan, line 5 of the wells with 1-inch strips of parchment that hang over the sides.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the egg, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, vanilla extract, and canola oil. Whisk together until smooth.
  • Sift or sprinkle the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt over the top of the wet ingredients. Whisk until no dry streaks remain. Tip – To sift the dry ingredients into the wet – Set a fine mesh strainer over the bowl with the wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients into the strainer and sprinkle over the batter.
  • Scoop even amounts of batter into the prepared baking pan(s). Spoon a generous amount of cinnamon sugar over the batter. Gently swirl it just on the top of the batter with a knife.
  • Baking: in a brownie pan – 20 to 22 minutes; in 2 mini loaf pans – 28 to 30 minutes; or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Cool the pumpkin bread in the pan set on a wire cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Invert (or lift) the bread out of the baking pans to cool on the wire rack completely. Enjoy!
Liked the recipe?Please leave a review and star rating for the recipe! This greatly helps me continue to provide FREE recipes!

Notes

  • Serving Size – The recipe is intended to be small batch.  However, many readers have had success in doubling the recipe to make a larger batch, or a single larger loaf.
  • Extra Spice – If you want an extra kick of spice, add another 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.
  • Pumpkin – Depending on the brand, canned pumpkin can have different names, but is the same thing:  Pumpkin Puree, Pure Pumpkin, 100% Pumpkin, Organic Pure Pumpkin.  Just be sure it is not Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • Brownie Pan – I use this non-stick brownie pan to make the individual loaves.
  • Mini Loaf Pans – 2 of these mini loaf pans also work to make the pumpkin bread.
  • Leftover Pumpkin – I have included a few pumpkin dessert recipes at the end of the Blog Post that use pumpkin puree.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

46 thoughts on “Small Batch Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread”

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is wonderful! It’s the softest and most moist recipe for pumpkin bread i’ve ever tried. It’s also very easy and fast. I love any recipe that needs only a bowl and whisk. Additionally, even after the bread has been in a container and is no longer crunchy, the sugar still has that tiny bit of crunchy texture. I have also made it with chocolate chips stirred in and sprinkled on top in place of the cinnamon/sugar. I’ve gotten so many compliments on this bread and it’s the only one i’ll ever use now.

    1. 5 stars
      I forgot to say that I used normal sized loaf pans and baked for 30 minutes. The loaves don’t have the height of a normal loaf but they’re then wide enough that I cut each slice in half so there are square pieces for easy grabbing.

  2. 5 stars
    Terrific two-loaf recipe! Followed it as written and the breads were unbelievably moist and well baked. I use the same loaf pans as the author but I had to increase the baking time for a total of 24 minutes. The cinnamon sugar swirl topping is crunchy and adds additional autumn flavor! Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    This is one of the best recipes i’ve found to date. I wanted to make a normal sized loaf so i decided to double the recipe. I had the loaf in at 350 as suggested, but left it in for about 50 minutes instead of 20-30. It came out moist and tastes amazing. My husband has been raving about it ever since. I will definitely be making this every fall.

    1. Hi Cassie – The small batch won’t be enough batter to fit a traditional size bundt pan. You could try the mini bundt pans – I would just grease/butter them really well. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely perfect! It was super moist and was super delicious! I doubled the recipe and used homemade pumpkin purée.

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times and LOVE it. I do the 2 mini pans. I also tried with oat flour instead of regular and it worked wonderfully!

  6. What altitude are you at? I’m at almost 6,000 feet, and I hate when delicious looking recipes like this don’t work out because I didn’t make the necessary altitude adjustments! Can’t wait to try this!

  7. 5 stars
    Mine turned out great!!! My family of 6 wishes I would have just doubled the recipe to begin with!!! 🙂
    Also, instead of pumpkin, I used butternut squash that I had roasted up the day before. Yum!

    1. The baked loaves can be frozen for up to 3 months. I’ve never frozen this batter, but it is possible. Transfer to a ziploc bag and seal tightly. The batter can be frozen for up to 3 months as well. Defrost in the refrigerator.

    1. There is not enough batter to fill a regular loaf plan – it would bake very thin. Some readers have said they doubled the recipe to bake a regular size loaf.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

recipe rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.