This sourdough pumpkin bread with toasted pumpkin seeds is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover sourdough discard! It's soft, fluffy and has that slight tang from the sourdough starter! It comes together super easily in just one bowl!
Don’t have a sourdough starter? Never fear! Just check out my Sourdough Guide for all my tips and tricks!
You might also like this sourdough banana bread or these sourdough pumpkin pancakes!
You just need a few simple ingredients to make this sourdough discard pumpkin bread!
- Sourdough starter - I typically use leftover sourdough discard to make this pumpkin bread because I always need to use up extra discard, but ripe sourdough starter works just as well! This recipe uses a little bit of baking powder to help it rise, so the sourdough is just for that tangy flavor.
- Cake flour - I always use cake flour in my pumpkin bread because it makes it super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
- Pumpkin pie spice - You can buy pumpkin pie spice at most grocery stores, or just make your own!
- Pumpkin puree - I almost exclusively use Libby's Pumpkin because it really is the best of the best! A ton of people have run blind taste tests comparing different brands of pumpkin puree, and Libby's is always the winner! You can also make your own pumpkin puree!
How to Make Sourdough Pumpkin Bread
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add in the vanilla and egg and whisk until smooth.
Then add in the sourdough discard and pumpkin puree and mix until fully combined.
Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
To get your sourdough pumpkin bread to come out of the pan easily, I highly recommend using a high quality pan and preparing it properly!
I love all of my USA Pan cake pans because they are extremely sturdy and truly nonstick. However, I still like to prepare my pans to ensure the cake comes out easily.
Cut a parchment paper sling slightly smaller than the width of the pan and make sure it fits flatly in the bottom. Then lightly spray the bottom and sides of the pan with a vegetable oil based spray (I love Bakers Joy or Everbake). Place you parchment paper sling in the bottom of the pan and smooth it out so that it sticks to the pan spray. You can also use solid metal binder clips to hold the parchment in place.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and sprinkle pumpkin seeds over the top of the batter if desired.
Bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then use the parchment sling to remove the pumpkin bread from the pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
You can easily make this sourdough pumpkin bread into muffins! Simply line a muffin pan with muffin liners, and reduce the baking time to 25-30 minutes! This recipe will make about 12 muffins.
If you're feeling fancy, I also recommend substituting the butter for brown butter for an rich, nutty depth of flavor!
Yes!! Just note that the active starter may cause the bread to rise a little bit more, and the discard will yield a tangier sourdough flavor.
Wrap the pumpkin bread in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Recipes You Might Like!
If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating at the bottom of the page! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, scratch-made recipes you can subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Sourdough Pumpkin Bread
- 1 ¾ cups cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups pumpkin puree, (about 1 15 ounce can)
- ½ cup sourdough discard
- ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare your loaf pan. Cut a parchment paper sling slightly smaller than the width of the pan and make sure it fits flatly in the bottom. Then lightly spray the bottom and sides of the pan with a vegetable oil based spray (I love Bakers Joy or Everbake). Place you parchment paper sling in the bottom of the pan and smooth it out so that it sticks to the pan spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add in the vanilla and egg and whisk until smooth.
- Then add in the sourdough discard and pumpkin puree and mix until fully combined.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and sprinkle pumpkin seeds over the top of the batter if desired.
- Bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then use the parchment sling to remove the pumpkin bread from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Browse more fall recipes →
This was so easy and so delicious! 🙂