The Perfect Sourdough Pumpkin Bread

This delicious and moist sourdough pumpkin bread combines the earthy flavors of fall with the tangy flavor of sourdough. 

As the leaves change color and a chill creeps into the air, there’s nothing quite like the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the house.  Sourdough pumpkin bread is the perfect treat to ring in the pumpkin season. Get ready to slice into a warm, homemade loaf of pumpkin sourdough bread that’s sure to become a seasonal favorite!

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • It combines the best flavors of fall
  • This recipe is very quick and easy to make
  • You can even ferment it longer to get all the health benefits of sourdough
  • This recipe gives you great flexibility
  • You can use your sourdough discard or an active sourdough starter
  • It is a great addition to your Thanksgiving table 
sourdough pumpkin bread slices on plate

What are the ingredients

Even though this may look like a long list of ingredients, this is really an easy quick bread recipe:

  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour is what I usually use
  • Baking soda: This leavening agent reacts with the sourdough to give this bread a good rise
  • Cinnamon: We will use a good helping of this warming spice 
  • Pumpkin pie spice: You can either use a good-quality store-bought pumpkin spice or make your own (more on that later)
  • Salt: A little bit of sea salt brings out the sweetness
  • Eggs: They add structure to the dough
  • Sugar: I use regular cane sugar
  • Brown sugar: You can use either dark brown sugar or light brown sugar
  • Pumpkin puree: I highly recommend making your own but canned pumpkin puree is great (more on that later)
  • Butter: Butter makes it better, right? Homemade butter is the ultimate!
  • Sourdough starter: Adding sourdough to this beautiful bread gives it a nice, complex flavor and moist consistency
  • Chocolate chips: A handful of dark chocolate chips is a good contrast to the sweet, earthy flavor of pumpkin
sourdough starter, salt, melted butter, flour, pumpkin spice, cinnamon powder, brown sugar, regular sugar, pumpkin puree, and baking soda on kitchen counter

Useful tools and equipment

Here are some helpful tools:

  • Large bowl: I like keeping things simple and making the entire dough in one bowl
  • Handheld blender: I prefer using an electric blender but a simple wire whisk works, too
  • 9″ x 5″ loaf pan: This glass loaf pan is the ideal size for this recipe
  • Pastry brush: Brushing your loaf pan with some oil before baking ensures that your pumpkin bread comes out easily
  • Blender or food processor: Either one will come in handy if you’re making the pumpkin puree from scratch
  • Steamer basket: While you could bake your pumpkin, steaming it in a steamer basket is a lot faster

Substitutions and variations

Here are some tips on recipe substitutions: 

  • Flour: You can easily make this sourdough pumpkin bread with whole wheat flour, spelt flour, einkorn flour, or a simple mix of flour
  • Pumpkin spice mix: Feel free to adjust the spices but here is my recommendation for making your own for this recipe: ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon cloves, ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • Sugar: You can adjust the amount of sugar or the ratios of white and brown sugar to your liking
  • Maple syrup: You can use a liquid sweetener but then you will have to reduce butter or oil by about 1/4 cup for every cup of sugar you’re replacing with maple syrup
  • Pumpkin puree: While I call it pumpkin, you can easily make this recipe with butternut squash or another winter squash
  • Butter: You can easily use any vegetable oil or other neutral oil in this recipe
  • Chocolate chips: Not a fan of dark chocolate? Leave them out or use milk chocolate or your favorite type of chocolate chips
  • Pumpkin pie filling: If you’re not making your own pumpkin puree you can also use pumpkin pie filling. But then the pumpkin puree, sugar, and spices

Other shapes:

This recipe calls for a rectangular loaf pan. However, you can use a Bundt cake pan, a small Dutch oven, or even a muffin pan to make sourdough pumpkin muffins.

Long fermentation:

If you’d like to make a healthy sourdough pumpkin spice bread, mix all the ingredients EXCEPT the baking soda and let the dough rest at room temperature for about one hour. Then do the bulk fermentation in the refrigerator overnight or about 8 hours.

Shortly before baking, gently add the baking soda and transfer the final dough to the prepared loaf pan.

How to serve

Since this recipe contains dark chocolate chips, I recommend waiting until this sweet bread has completely cooled down. This also allows all the flavors to develop. 

You can simply cut the sourdough pumpkin bread into slices and eat it on its own. However, it is so delicious with a dollop of whipped cream or some vanilla ice cream. 

slices and loaf of sourdough pumpkin bread

How long does it last?

If you’re keeping your sourdough pumpkin bread at room temperature, I recommend lightly covering it and eating it within 5 days. 

You can also slice it, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and keep it in your freezer for up to 3 months. Let the slices come to room temperature for the best flavor.

How to make this dish

1. How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree:

With a sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the pumpkin seeds (remove the stringy part and roast them!). You can bake the pumpkin halves in the oven at 375˚Fahrenheit  for about 30-45 minutes or until soft. You can also put one pumpkin half at a time in a steamer basket and steam it over softly boiling water for about 15 minutes or until soft. Scoop the pumpkin flesh out of the skin and puree either in a high-speed blender or a food processor. 

2. Have your Sourdough Starter ready:

If you don’t already have one, you can follow my super easy method to make a sourdough starter from scratch. An active starter is great but this recipe also works with a young starter or sourdough starter discard.

3. Preheat the Oven:

Preheat the oven to 350˚Fahrenheit.

4. Combine the Dry Ingredients:

Into a large mixing bowl, measure and add the flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and sugars. Mix them well with a wire whisk or fork. 

dry ingredients in a mixing bowl

5. Add the Wet Ingredients:

To the dry ingredients add the pumpkin puree, melted eggs, and butter. With an electric mixer or wire whisk, mix the ingredients until well combined. Add the chocolate chips if you are using them.

woman holding electric mixer in bowl with dry and wet ingredients

6. Prepare the Loaf Pan:

Add a bit of melted butter or oil to the loaf pan and spread it evenly with a pastry brush. Optional: Add some flour and shake it around. Gently add the dough to the loaf pan.

woman pouring sourdough pumpkin dough into glass loaf pan

7. Bake the Sourdough Pumpkin Bread:

Bake the pumpkin bread in the hot oven for 50-60 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean and is golden brown on top. Let the pumpkin bread cool down for 10 minutes. Remove it from the loaf pan and let it completely cool down on a wire rack.

sourdough pumpkin bread and slices on white plate

Other Pumpkin Recipes you might like

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Sourdough Bread Pudding

Cheesy Cauliflower Pumpkin Casserole

Pumpkin Face Mask

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

Pin For Later: 

How to Make a Sourdough Pumpkin Bread

Fun tip: Cake in a Jar!

You can also make little individual cakes by baking them in canning jars. I show you exactly how to bake a cake in a jar in this post.

sourdough pumpkin bread on plate
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Sourdough Pumpkin Bread

This delicious and moist sourdough pumpkin bread combines the earthy flavors of fall with the tangy flavor of sourdough. 
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
steaming and blending the pumpkin and30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 275kcal
Cost: $9


  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • cup chocolate chips


  • Preheat the oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and sugars. Mix well.
  • To the dry ingredients add eggs, pumpkin puree, melted butter, and sourdough starter. Mix until well combined.
  • Grease and flour a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
  • Pour the dough into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake the pumpkin bread for about 60 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the loaf pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.


  • you can easily make your own pumpkin puree by either roasting a halved and seeded pumpkin in the oven at 375˚F until soft or steaming it in a steamer basket for about 15 minutes or until soft
  • you can make your own pumpkin spice: ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon cloves, and ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • this recipe is perfect for an active sourdough starter or your discard
  • if you’d like to properly ferment this sweet bread, make the dough EXCEPT adding the baking soda and let it sit at room temperature for about one hour, then let it ferment in the refrigerator for about 8 hours, and gently add the baking soda right before baking



Calories: 275kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @ourgabledhome or tag #ourgabledhome!


  1. Do you think the bread is better with active starter? Or would it be just as good with discard? Would I need yeast? I hadn’t thought of this with butternut squash. Have you made it this way before? Do i roast butternut squash first? Sorry for all the questions :j)

    1. Since this recipe has baking soda, you can use discard or an active starter and doesn’t need yeast. You either want to roast the squash or steam it (it’s in the video that’s linked in the recipe card) ~ Anja

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