Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread

A family member makes the moistest pumpkin bread that I have ever tasted. And the super fun thing is that she makes them in coffee cans…does anyone remember that? I do!

I have the old-time black and white photo…

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The interesting thing is that metal coffee cans are harder to find these days because many are made of plastic or some other material that cannot be baked. Last year I made it my mission to find some metal coffee cans, drink the coffee (what a hardship) and on one of my trips back to NY I surprised her with a whole bag full of empty metal coffee cans, and even a few with coffee in them – why should I have all the fun?

Then I turned my attention to my own kitchen and started making coffee can cakes myself. Not all of the quick bread recipes that I tried baked well in a coffee can, but this Pumpkin Bread is a winner. (This Spice Bread with Maple Butter from Taste of Home works very well too!)


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The recipe makes 3 loaves, which you would think would be divided like this: one for me and two for someone else. The truth is, we have almost finished 2 loaves ourselves. We could easily polish off the 3rd but I am thinking it would be great to pop it in the freezer and then when there is a weekend morning when our groceries have been depleted and the weather is chilly, our hearts will be so happy to have another can of Pumpkin Bread. There’s really no reason the giftee can’t be us!

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Mmmmmm…can’t you just smell that fresh-baked pumpkin bread?

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Oh, it is soooo moist and delicious. I made mine without nuts because my wee ones do not like nuts baked into goodies (they’re nuts).

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Add a dollop of Vanilla Bean Butter and tell everyone not to talk to you for a moment while you savor this flavorful and moist bit of heaven.add link to Vanilla Bean Butter recipe


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And if you actually manage to give a can as a gift, wrap it up and top it with a bow! It would make a perfect “thank you” for someone who needs one!

Here are some tips:

– if your coffee can has a lip on the top, take it off with a can opener – you will need to be able to slide your bread out. I learned that the hard way because I did not even notice the lip on the can. I had to cut chunks of bread to get it out – it was still delicious but not pretty and not really the best-looking for gift-giving, even for “just like perfect”.

– you can use smaller soup or vegetable cans that are metal and make smaller cakes to gift away or use them for adorable brunch appetizers when sliced and topped with a homemade whipped butter.

And the most important tip: Make sure the giftee knows that you need your coffee can back if they want more bread!

Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Makes 3 loaves

Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread


  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease well 3 - one pound coffee cans. (Do not use the plastic lids but save them for storing the bread later).
  • Beat spices, sugar, oil, eggs and salt.
  • Do the following steps in this order: Mix in pumpkin. Mix in water. Mix in baking soda. Mix in flour. Add nuts (be are what you eat).
  • Fill each coffee can about 2/3 full and bake upright. Put cans on a baking sheet for easier handling.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, when a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Turn cakes onto a rack to cool.
  • For gift giving in cans, wash and dry the cans. Return the cooled bread to the cans. They are just cleaner looking this way!
  • Feel free to wrap the cans with wrapping paper and top with a bow, the old-fashioned way!

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