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Small Batch Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread

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Fall baking isn’t complete without pumpkin bread and this small batch cinnamon swirl pumpkin bread recipe is a must for the season!  This is quick pumpkin bread recipe that makes 5 incredibly moist and flavorful individual loaves, that are packed with fall flavors and an irresisitable crunch cinnamon sugar top!   

Small batch cinnamon swirl pumpkin bread loaves on a wood cutting board.

Small Batch 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 pretty mini loaves of cinnamon sugar topped pumpkin bread on a wood platter.

What Makes This Cinnamon Pumpkin Bread Recipe So Good

I realize everyone is different when it comes to taste preference.  However, I have had my share of pumpkin bread and this is the recipe I long for when I need a fall quick-bread fix

So, from a self-taught home baker, 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!

Close up of small batch pumpkin bread with cinnamon sugar swirl on a black plate.

What You Need to Make 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.  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 use 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
Ultra moist mini pumpkin bread loaves on a wood tray topped with cinnamon swirl.

Tips For Pumpkin Bread Success

  • 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.  
Close up of cinnamon sugar swirl on the best pumpkin bread for fall.

FAQ: 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.

Will fresh pumpkin that has been pureed work instead of canned pumpkin?

I have not baked with fresh pumpkin, but I believe canned pumpkin will be smoother, have less water, and a stronger pumpkin flavor, which makes canned pumpkin preferred for baking.

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!

Delicious slices of small batch easy sweet bread for fall on a black plate.

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Small batch cinnamon swirl pumpkin bread loaves on a wood cutting board.
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4.75 from 140 reviews

Small Batch Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread

Yield: 5 Servings
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 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Total30 minutes

Equipment

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

Ingredients
 

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 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
  • 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. Mini loaf pans: Lightly grease the pans 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. 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, canola oil, and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth.
    1 large egg, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin, 1/4 cup canola oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 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.
    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
  • 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.
    2-3 tablespoons Cinnamon Sugar
  • 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 to 15 minutes. Lift the bread out of the baking pan(s) to cool on the wire rack completely. Enjoy!
Loved the recipe?Please consider leaving a comment + star for the recipe! This greatly helps me continue to provide FREE recipes. Thank you!

RECIPE 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 in a 9×5 inch loaf pan.   
  • Bake Times For Larger Batch – For a larger loaf in a 9×5 inch pan, it may take up to 1 hour to bake – start checking at 50 minutes.   For muffins, start checking at 20 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Leftover Pumpkin – You will have leftover pumpkin, regardless of the size can you use.  Check out my other pumpkin recipes to make another batch of pumpkin treats!
  • 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.
  • Storage & Leftovers – The pumpkin bread is best the day it is baked.  Or, leftovers can be stored covered at room temperature for 3 to 5 days.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

NUTRITION ESTIMATES

Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 3868IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition information is calculated by a third-party and should only be considered an estimate and not a guarantee.
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about the author ...

I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!

I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you! Click here to learn more about me!

4.75 from 140 votes (100 ratings without comment)

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comments & reviews

107 thoughts on “Small Batch Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread”

  1. 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!

  2. 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. Thank you Lauren! So happy to hear you and your family enjoyed the pumpkin bread – makes my day!

    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!

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely perfect! It was super moist and was super delicious! I doubled the recipe and used homemade pumpkin purée.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

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