Sourdough Pumpkin Bread

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A delicious way to use up sourdough discard! This soft Sourdough Pumpkin Bread recipe with cinnamon sugar topping makes two loaves.

A few weeks ago someone asked on Instagram if we had a sourdough pumpkin bread recipe. We didn’t, but at that point I was questioning why.

A few weeks ago we had tweaked our zucchini bread recipe to use our sweet Amish sourdough starter. But for this recipe we used traditional sourdough starter discard. And the results were amazing.

slice of pumpkin bread on a plate

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • uses up sourdough discard
  • quick bread that requires no rise time
  • intense pumpkin flavor
  • soft texture
  • cinnamon sugar topping
  • makes two loaves

What is sourdough discard?

Sourdough has been a traditional favorite, but it gained popularity in spring of 2020. Yeast was hard to find so everyone wanted to learn how to make sourdough bread which has a naturally occuring yeast.

You can read our complete sourdough guide, but once you start making sourdough, you either have to bake with it or discard part of the start or it will keep growing. In order to not be wasteful, you can make recipes with the sourdough discard. These discard recipes use other leavening agents (baking powder, baking soda or yeast) to get a rise in the baked good. See below the recipe for some of our favorites.

Want pumpkin bread but don’t have sourdough starter? Make my grandma’s pumpkin bread!

Tips for Making Sourdough Pumpkin Bread

  • This recipe makes two loaves. One to keep and one to give away. It also freezes well!
  • Use pure pumpkin puree. NOT canned pumpkin pie filling.
  • The sourdough starter does NOT have to be active. If it is a little active, it will be fine to use, but it can be sourdough discard. Notice in the recipe I gave the weight of the starter I used in grams so you can get an accurate measurement, whether there are bubbles in the starter or not.
  • Add more spices if you’d like! We used two nice size tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice to keep it easy. If you add any more spice, try cinnamon.
  • Mix the wet ingredients separately from the dry ingredients. Then combine the two and mix only until combined. Do not overmix the bread batter or it will be tough when it bakes.
  • This will bake for 60-70 minutes. Sometimes it is tricky to know if quick bread is done all the way through or not. If you have an internal probe thermometer, the internal temperature should be 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

**We LOVE our Thermoworks ThermaPen to quickly water and bread temperatures. This probe thermometer is AMAZING.  Get it here.**

Toppings for Pumpkin Bread

Use this easy pumpkin bread recipe as a springboard for other ideas. Add chocolate chips, homemade cinnamon chips, powdered sugar glaze or even a cream cheese frosting.

In this recipe we simply added a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar to the top of the batter before baking. This gives just a little extra sweetness to each bite.

cut loaf of pumpkin bread
cut loaf of pumpkin bread

Sourdough Pumpkin Bread

4.69 from 83 votes
A delicious way to use up sourdough discard! This soft Sourdough Pumpkin Bread recipe with cinnamon sugar topping makes two loaves.
Servings 20
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour

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For the bread:

Cinnamon Sugar Mixture:


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oil, eggs, vanilla, sugar and pumpkin. Mix well.
  • Fold in the starter.
  • Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. Mix just until combined.
  • Spray 2 8.5” x 4.5” loaf pans with cooking spray.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the pans.
  • Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the batter.
  • Bake for 60-70 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Internal temperature should be 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cool until the bread loosens from the pan evenly and turn onto a serving dish or wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container.


The calories shown are based on the recipe making two loaves of bread, each being cut into 10 pieces. One serving is 1 slice of bread. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**


Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 187mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 3853IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Calories 267
Keyword breakfast, sourdough, thanksgiving

Other Sourdough Discard Recipes

Have extra starter? Try one of these favorites:

About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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7 months ago

5 stars
This was the easiest and most delicious pumpkin bread that I have ever made! I did one loaf and 12 muffins. I would LOVE to try different variations for all seasons- how could I remove the pumpkin to make this into a regular cinnamon loaf- similar to a coffee cake?

1 year ago

5 stars
I followed the recipe as written, with the exception that my can of pumpkin was only 15.5 ounces instead of 16 ounces. I always save my sourdough discard in a closed quart mason jar in the refrigerator. I used it cold straight out of the refrigerator. I only have two loaf pans, one metal and the other glass. Baking time for the metal pan was 60 minutes and 70 minutes for the glass pan. The pumpkin bread turned out perfectly.

1 year ago

5 stars
Love this recipe … added some cardamom…even varied the topping on this last bake…I make these as muffins and get 18 nice size muffins. I converted the flour and sugar into grams and I have consistent bakes with using the weight … my go to oil is coconut

Amber Andersen
1 year ago

1 star
I was really excited about this recipe, but unfortunately this bread is incredibly bland!

1 year ago

Sounds delicious! I need to redo my starter and I always struggle with what to do with the discard. This is brilliant! I’m disappointed I forgot to pick up more pumpkin yesterday when we got groceries! Having my husband grab a can after work tonight! 😋

Hinerman Hill Farm
3 years ago

Is there a good time to add in the brown sugar? I don’t see it in the instructions!

3 years ago

5 stars
This was delicious! I made 6 small loaves to have for gifts and was able to taste one I kept for myself. Will definitely make again! So moist and flavorful. I reduced the sugar to ¾ cup each of white and brown and added dried cranberries to half and white and semi-sweet chocolate chips to the other three.

3 years ago

5 stars
The pumpkin bread was amazing! I made it this morning and one loaf is almost gone.

The only thing I would change next time is the amount of cinnamon sugar. A bunch fell off when removing from the pan and there would have been enough with half as much.

3 years ago

My sourdough discard has been in the fridge a few days, am I able to use that or does it need to be bubbly and active?

Jennifer Yee
3 years ago

Is there a reason why you just don’t give weight measurements for all ingredients? Would be much more consistent that way. Thanks.