Pumpkin Bread Without the Can

Well, hello there! Why yes, it looks like I am still alive and possibly feeling better {dare I jinx it}. My head is still in a cloud, full of cold medicine, so be patient with me and possibly my poor writing skills.

Before I got this plague cold, I embarked on finally making my favorite pumpkin bread with fresh pumpkin! For us expats, we have to learn to adapt and in Germany, they don’t sell canned pumpkin. So what’s a girl to do? Figure out how to make it anyway!

Years ago, I found this recipe and it has never let me down. It is always moist with a perfect chewy crust on the outside. It has a perfect spice to it and the recipe makes a lot! I have made both bread loaves and muffins for gifts from this recipe and always received rave reviews. The bread tastes better the second day making it even more perfect for holiday gift giving!

But first, if you are without the luxury of canned pumpkin, you have to make your puree. I found this recipe, courtesy of Pinterest and it worked out great. I would suggest possibly making the puree the day before only because it can get a bit time consuming. I used these four pie pumpkins which gave me enough for the recipe and an equal amount to freeze for next time {or pumpkin pie}.

As you can see from the photo, there is one pumpkin that looks more “normal”, like the ones we are used to in the states, but all were listed as Kürbis (pumpkin). The three that look the same I bought at Aldi and I was actually more pleased with their results. They were more moist and did not require any added water to make the puree while the other was quite dry. However, the seeds seemed different so if you are also wanting to roast seeds, I would recommend buying the pumpkin that looks “normal”.

To Make the Puree:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C)
  • Cut off the top of the pumpkin and then cut in quarters.

  • Remove all the seeds and place quarters in a baking dish ( I used a baking sheet lined with baking paper).

  • Bake the pumpkins for about 45-60 minutes until you can pierce through the flesh and skin with a fork.

  • Let the pumpkin cool and then peel off the skin. The quarters make it easy for you to cup in your hand while scooping out.
  • Place the pumpkin in a food processor or blender {I used my fabulous Vitamix that I love so much I that we have a transformer so I can use it here with the different power voltage)

It had to make an appearance….did I mention I LOVE this thing?

  • As you blend, add water a teaspoon at a time, to reach the puree consistency. The first batch I made, I used the “normal” guy and one of the other pumpkins. I needed 3.5 teaspoons of water. However, the other two pumpkins did not require any added water. **Just be careful to add it slowly as you don’t want it watery.**

It’s not the usual brown color like the can, but it smells so good and it’s fresh!

Then I just proceeded to follow the bread recipe from allrecipes.com as usual.


1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

3 cups white sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Zimt)

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (Muskatnuss)

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (Nelken)

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (Ingwer)

*The German word has been placed in parenthesis for the spices. Also make sure the spice is labeled “gemahlen” for “ground”. 


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

It turned out mostly perfect! The only difference is that the cloves were too prominent. Here in Germany, they sell ground cloves in a jar like usual but when opened they are in little packets. This obviously keeps the spice very fresh, but for me, a bit overpowering. 

M suggested adding some whipped cream or ice cream when eating it to smooth it out, but next time, I will just use less. I gave a loaf to my mother-in-law who had never had it before and she loved it just as is!

Hope you love it as much as I do! If you make it, let me know how it turns out!

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24 thoughts on “Pumpkin Bread Without the Can

  1. Anni

    The Hokkaido makes your life a lot easier as well: You don’t even have to peel it :)!!! Maybe it will safe you some time.

    Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!


  2. Ace

    Yay for feeling better!
    And yay for pumpkiny goodness! Thanks for sharing this! There’s talk of the frozen pumpkin chunks I’ve been using getting pulled out of some stores, so it may become harder to find. I’ll turn to your tips here if that happens. =) Your breads look like they came out delicious. Enjoy them.
    Glad to have you back! =)

  3. Amy Lynne Hayes

    Yay for pumpkin!! I think canned pumpkin may just be a specialty unique to the US, as no one in Australia had even heard of it either! This shortage definitely cut back my pumpkin recipe prowess lol. I was able to introduce my Aussie friends to a version of pumpkin pie, but as they didn’t have frozen pie crusts either they weren’t quite like home… the bizarre food trials of being an expat! Glad you are feeling at least a little better!! :)

      1. Amy Lynne Hayes

        I was able to find a sort of pre-made pastry crust, but it just wasn’t the same. Still haven’t dared attempt to make a pie crust on my own yet!! Coincidentally, there was an American grocery store in Paris called Thanksgiving, and that’s where we went for our American food staples when I lived there. Pricey, but worth it!! :)

  4. pollyheath

    Mmm, yes please! The pumpkins here in Moscow are all green (and maybe a bit orange). They’re close, but not quite right. Might still have to give this a try!

    1. From Casinos to Castles Post author

      Do you have the Hakkaido? Looks like that’s what I ended up using and turned out great! It’s all squash. I read that you can also use butternut squash in pumpkin recipes. Hope you try it! Let me know if you do :-)


  5. La Maman Heureuse

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve been seeing these recipes all over, but as we don’t have canned pumpkin here in Europe, I always figured how to make it. You solved that problem! Definitely trying it out, I’m in a pumpkin kind of mood :-)

  6. Pingback: The New Me | From Casinos To Castles

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