Enjoy the fabulous Fall flavour of pumpkin and cinnamon in this delicious pumpkin yeast bread, with a pretty cinnamon sugar swirl.
Why you’ll love this bread
This pumpkin yeast bread just shouts Fall, with the combination of pumpkin flavour and warming cinnamon. It’s also a wonderfully moist bread, pretty as a picture and the perfect way to use up ends of cans of pumpkin.
This pumpkin bread is lovely plain with butter, toasted with butter, or try it for sandwiches, French Toast or Bread Pudding.
The simple ingredients
Here are the simple ingredients you will need for this bread …
Pumpkin Puree – I always seem to say this, but you’ll want to use Pure Pumpkin Puree and not pumpkin pie filling. That said, I feel like this bread would also work with an equal amount of sweet potato or butternut squash puree, if you happen to have left-overs. You will need 3/4 cup of puree.
Yeast – you will need either Active Dry Yeast or regular Instant Yeast (such as SAF Brand). Quick or Rapid Rise yeast is not recommended for this classic two-rise bread.
You will also need – all purpose flour, milk, eggs (2), salt, cinnamon, white sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil (or you can substitute melted and cooled butter).
Steps to make this pumpkin yeast bread
Step 1: Make the Dough and First Rise – Start by making the dough, mixing in flour only until you have a moist dough that cleans the bowl and wraps around the dough hook.
You may not need all of the flour specified to get to that point. For yeast bread recipes, always treat the flour amount as “approximate”. It may look a little sticky, but you can always add a bit more flour once you turn it out onto the work surface.
Once you lightly knead, form into a ball and set it to rise until doubled. This bread is a fast riser, so don’t wander far. I like to use my large measuring cups to rise my dough, as it is easy to see when the dough has doubled.
When it comes to rising dough, allow it to rise just until doubled and no longer. The exact time will vary from kitchen to kitchen. Trust what you see and don’t be dictated by the clock.
Step 2: Shape the dough – After the dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a roughly 10×16 rectangle. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over-top.
Roll the rectangle up, starting from the long side, then pinch the seam together. Flip it over so the seam side is down.
Using a sharp knife, cut down the centre of the log from end to end.
Step 3: Twisting and 2nd Rise – Shaping this twisted dough is quite easy, but it easier to see it done than to explain it, so be sure to have a look through the photos below so you have an understanding of the process.
After you cut the log down the centre from end to end, rotate the two pieces slightly, so that the cut side is facing straight up. Pinch together the far end of the two pieces the twist the two pieces together 3-4 times, pinching the end closest to you once it is twisted.
Once the dough is twisted together, lay it next to your loaf pan and if it is longer than the pan, use our palms to press both ends towards the centre, shortening it up until it is roughly the length of the pan, then lift it into the pan.
Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and set to rise until about doubled. The last picture shows my dough after it has risen and is ready for the oven.
- If you love raisins, they would be a great addition to this bread as well. I would scatter some over the cinnamon sugar mixture before rolling it up.
- Dried cranberries or Craisins would also be an optional addition.
- As noted above, instead of pumpkin puree, you could use pureed, cooked sweet potato or butternut squash here, in the same quantity.
- Don’t want cinnamon? Replace with cinnamon/white sugar mixture with about 3-4 Tbsp of light brown sugar.
- If you’d prefer, you can simply roll jelly-roll style (roll it from the short side, instead of the long side), don’t cut and twist it and bake it as a classic cinnamon swirl loaf.
- Are you all about the pumpkin spice? Replace the cinnamon with an equal amount of Pumpkin Spice Mix.
Storing and Freezing
This bread will keep well for several days, kept at room temperature and stored in an airtight container .
This bread will also freeze well. Wrap well and freeze up to 3 months.
Get the Recipe: Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Yeast Bread
- 1 Tbsp Instant or active dry yeast, not rapid or quick-rise yeast
- 1/4 cup milk, warmed to lukewarm (105F)
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup pumpkin purée, not pie filling
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, or other neutral-tasting cooking oil
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed, light or dark
- 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ginger, optional
- 3 cups all purpose flour, approximately
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp cold water
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the kneading hook, add the lukewarm milk and a pinch of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over-top, stir and let stand 5 minutes.
- Add the egg, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, brown sugar, salt and ginger if using. Mix to combine. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix in until moistened and well combined. You may need to scrape down the bowl a bit.
- Begin adding the last 1 cup of flour in small increments, mixing between additions and adding only as much flour as needed to make a moist dough that cleans the sides of the bowl and wraps around the dough hook. *If your dough is not to that point after you have added the 3 cups of flour, don't be afraid to add a little bit more, but don't add too much more, as you can always add a bit more on the counter when kneading.
- Remove dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough about 1 minute, adding a little more flour only if the dough is sticking to your hands or the work surface. Form dough into a ball and add to a large container or bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until just doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix up the cinnamon sugar filling by stirring together the white sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. Prepare the egg wash as well, by stirring together the egg with the water. Set aside.
- Remove dough to a work surface and gently deflate. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 10×16-inch rectangle. Brush dough with egg wash, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over-top. (*If wanting to add raisins or dried cranberries, sprinkle them over the cinnamon mixture now).
- Starting from the long side of the dough, roll up the dough jelly-roll style, then pinch the seam together. Flip the dough over so the seam in at the bottom.
- *If the shaping instructions below are unclear, scroll up from this Recipe Card to have a look at the Step-by-Step photos, which illustrate the shaping of this loaf.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the log of dough down the centre, from end to end, cutting it into two even pieces. Rotate the pieces slightly so that the cut edge is facing straight up and lay them side-by-side. Pinch together the two pieces at the end furthest from you. Twist the two pieces together, by laying the right piece over the left piece and repeating 3 or 4 times, until you get to the end. Pinch the ends closest to you together.
- Grease an 8×4-inch loaf pan and place next to your twisted dough. If the loaf is longer than the loaf pan, press both ends of the loaf at the same time, pressing towards the centre, to shorten the loaf up to the same length as the loaf pan. Lift the dough into the greased loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F. (regular bake setting/not convection), with rack in the middle of the oven.
- When loaf is ready, remove the plastic wrap and place into the preheated oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, covering the top loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes of baking, if loaf is at risk of over-browning. Bake loaf until it reaches an internal temperature of between 195-200F, when tested with an instant read thermometer.
- Remove from oven. Run a knife around the outside of the pan and immediately remove the loaf to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. (Avoid slicing a hot loaf, as it will cause the inside crumb to be gummy.)
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Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
Hi Jennifer. I’m a novice baker and followed your recipe and it turned out beautifully. Thanks for the recipe and great instructions. Everyone loved it!
I am so glad to hear, Michael and so glad everyone enjoyed it :) Thanks so much!
I am wondering about the yeast. You say to use a TBSP for each loaf. Is this the equivalent to one packet? I read that there is only a bit more than 2 tsp in packet. I also saw that you say to not use rapid or quick rise yeast but instant is fine. I have some red star instant yeast quick rise.So I imagine this is not suitable? I thankfully have regular active dry yeast so I will use that but I was just a bit confused with this instant yeast I have.
I know it is weird to be baking in such hot weather but I think this is the ideal conditions for it. No cool drafts right now for sure! So I am making a loaf for now and a loaf for freezing. This just sounds lovely and welcoming for coming fall1
Hi Carol, A packet of yeast is 2 1/4 tsp, so you would need one full packet and 3/4 tsp from a second packet for the Tablespoon of yeast. Quick rise instant yeast is different from regular Instant Yeast (such as SAF yeast). It doesn’t perform well for classic two-rise breads. So in this case, the Active Dry yeast would be the better choice. And I bake bread all Summer long, too :) Hope that helps.
Thanks Jennifer! That helps so much to clarify all my worry about yeast for this recipe and I always hear such surprise comments from people when I tell them I am baking in the hot weather. I guess they just don’t have the serious love of baking that we do!:)
This recipe is great!! It has helped us use up our mounds of pumpkin purée… the kids love it too, thank you!!
So glad you all enjoyed it :) Thanks so much!
The color of this loaf is gorgeous and I agree about the cinnamon enhancing the feeling of a warm fall in the mouth:)
Thanks Milena :)