Pumpkin Soda Bread

16 Slices
1 hr 10 min

is moist, tender, and full of pumpkin and dried cranberries. It's an easy Fall treat! No yeast required, you'll have two warm and delicious loaves ready in just over an hour.

Get the recipe here!

Every year over St. Patrick's Day we make Irish soda bread that my grandma used to make. It's so good! I figured I would try and make a different version for the Fall and it turned out amazing! The pumpkin gives the bread a beautiful orange color and the dried cranberries add a little extra sweetness.

What is Soda Bread?

Soda bread is a type of bread that uses baking soda as a leavening agent instead of traditional yeast. Baking soda needs an acid to activate it, in this case, we will be adding buttermilk. There's no need to let this dough rise, or wait for yeast to activate. You can mix everything together in one bowl and it's ready for the oven.

This recipe also uses baking powder to help make the bread rise. There's a lot of flour and moisture in this bread, so the baking powder and baking soda really give this bread a nice rise.

Why This Pumpkin Soda Bread Is Great!

  • No kneading required! You'll add everything to a stand mixer and let the stand mixer do the work!
  • It's yeast-free! The baking soda and baking powder do the hard work of making the bread rise. No need to activate yeast, wait for the bread to rise, and then bake. Bake it up right after mixing it!
  • This recipe makes a lot of bread! You'll get two loaves out of this recipe, so save one for later and enjoy one now.

Ingredients You'll Need

  • All purpose flour- unbleached is the way to go!
  • Pumpkin puree- You'll need a full can (15 ounces)
  • Baking soda and baking powder- these are the leavening agents for the bread.
  • Buttermilk- that will activate the baking soda and make it rise\
  • Pumpkin Spice- to get those Fall flavors!
  • Dried cranberries- usually, soda bread would have raisins, but since it's the Fall, we are adding dried cranberries instead.


  • Stand Mixer
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Loaf Pans

Canned Pumpkin vs Canned Pumpkin Pie

This recipe has canned pumpkin puree, which is just pure pumpkin. Canned pumpkin pie is essentially the inside of a pumpkin pie. It has all the spices already in it. When making this recipe, make sure it's pure canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin pie will double the spices, which would overpower this bread with cinnamon and pumpkin spice.

Step By Step Photos

Mix the dry ingredients together
Mix the wet ingredients in a stand mixer bowl
Add the sugar
Mix all the wet ingredients with the stand mixer
Add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer
Butter and grease two loaf pans
Add the batter to the loaf pans and bake

How To Make Pumpkin Soda Bread

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the "dry ingredients". In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin spice. Set that aside.
  3. Mix the "wet ingredients". In the bowl of stand mixer, add the pumpkin puree, buttermilk, eggs, and sugar.
  4. Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Turn the stand mixer on low, and mix all the wet ingredients together until they are fully combined.
  5. Making sure the stand mixer is on low, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and let the mixer knead the batter. Mix for 2 minutes on low. The dough will be very wet and that's ok! There's no need to add more flour.
  6. Add the dried cranberries to the mixture and mix it just until everything is combined.
  7. Divide the dough evenly between the two loaf pans and place them in the oven for 1 hour, or until the a knife is inserted into the dough and it comes out clean.

Greasing The Loaf Pans

I've lost a lot of breads to not properly greased pans. It's the sad truth when it comes to making bread. Do not use cooking spray. You really need the butter and flour to get the loaves out of the pans perfectly. Don't forget to flour the pans either. The flour acts as a barrier to prevent the butter from completely melting into the bread.

To properly butter and flour the loaf pans, take a pat of butter and place it in the loaf pan. Using a paper towel, spread the butter all over the loaf pan, especially up the sides. When the inside of the pan is completely covered in butter, add a tablespoon of flour to the pan. Tap the flour around the pan so the inside of the loaf pan is completely covered in flour.

Tips and Tricks

  • Don't stress if you don't have buttermilk! If you don't have buttermilk on hand or can't find it in the store, make it at home. Per one cup of whole milk, add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for five minutes and you have buttermilk! It won't work as well for non-dairy milks, but for 2% or whole milk, it does the trick.
  • Substitute raisins for dried cranberries. If you don't have dried cranberries or aren't a fan of cranberries, use raisins!
  • No pumpkin spice? Pumpkin spice is cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. This is a great recipe if you'd like to make it yourself!
  • To serve this bread, I like to toast it and add a shmear of salted butter or cinnamon sugar butter.
  • Optional add ins- Walnuts, pecans, raisins, or pumpkin seeds would all be great ideas to add into this bread!

Frequently Asked Questions

I don't have buttermilk, what can I use?No buttermilk? No problem! Instead of buttermilk, you can use the same amount of sour cream. It will moisten and tenderize the bread nicely, you won't even know the difference!

How do I store this bread?Store this bread in a Ziploc bag on the counter for up to 4 days. It freezes perfectly too! Wrap the bread in plastic wrap and place it in a Ziploc bag. Store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, place it on the counter for a few hours and then serve.

Do I have to use loaf pans?Yes, most traditional soda breads are made on a sheet pan and then scored, but this one is much wetter. The bread dough would not hold it's shape in the oven if you put it directly on a sheet pan. The loaf pans help the breads keep their shape.

Other Recipes To Try

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And don't forget to tag me on Instagram or Facebook and share this recipe on Pinterest! Thanks for sharing this journey with me and enjoy these delicious recipes!

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📖 Recipe

Recipe details
  • 16  Slices
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 1 hr 10 min
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  • 4 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice
  • 1 cup Buttermilk or 1 cup whole milk with 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 can Pumpkin Puree 15 ounce can
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 cups Dried Cranberries

Preheat the oven to 375°,
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt. Set that aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, and buttermilk.
Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and turn it on low. Mix the wet ingredients until fully combined.
Turn the stand mixer off and add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Carefully turn the mixer on low and mix for 2 minutes until all the ingredients are mixed together.
Add the dried cranberries to the dough and mix until just combined.
While the batter is mixing, grease and flour two loaf pans.
Divide the dough between the two loaf pans.
Bake for 1 hour or until a knife is inserted into the middle of the loaf and comes out clean. Allow the loaves to cool slightly before cutting into slices.
  • If you don't have buttermilk, sour cream is a perfect substitute.
  • Make sure the loaf pans are well greased and floured. The dough will stick to the pans if they aren't greased. Don't use cooking spray. Butter and flour is the way to go!
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