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Starbucks Pumpkin Pound Cake

Thick moist slices of pumpkin bread that perfectly mimic everyone’s favorite loaf at Starbucks. You’ll love this homemade copycat recipe even more than the real thing!


Thick moist slices of pumpkin bread that perfectly mimic everyone's favorite loaf at Starbucks. You'll love this homemade copycat recipe even more than the real thing!


I mentioned some time toward the beginning of the year that I’ve been trying to go through as many of my old posts as possible and “clean house.” Meaning…. writing this blog has been a learning process. A wonderful, fun-filled, delicious, sometimes frustrating, sometimes strenuous, sometimes exhausting, but always worthwhile and so rewarding PROCESS.


Some of the recipes I wrote 5 or 6 years ago aren’t really that good. I didn’t know which ingredients were best to use in certain recipes. And I didn’t know that it does, in fact, matter in which order you add the ingredients. Or that you can’t always just throw everything into the KitchenAid mixer and run it at full speed and let it go for 5 minutes. And I didn’t know that there’s a certain way to write recipes (thank you editing team at Houghton Mifflin for those fine lessons!).


And, of course, that’s not even mentioning my early photography. Updating photos is really just something I’m doing to appease my vanity probably. But I really can’t stand looking at some of those old pictures. They just make the food look downright gross sometimes! Now that I’ve learned how to use natural light and different kinds of lenses and how to style food and how to showcase a recipe’s star ingredients… well, I just want to go back and do those old recipes the right way, you know?


Thick moist slices of pumpkin bread that perfectly mimic everyone's favorite loaf at Starbucks. You'll love this homemade copycat recipe even more than the real thing!


It’s always risky for a blogger to go back and change anything (text, photos, anything) about a post that’s gone viral. In fact… it may be downright stupid. Because you just never know what the internet gods will do if you change something. Seriously. It’s taboo (at least that’s how it seems to those of us who just do not understand SEO and Google’s algorithms and Pinterest’s and Facebook’s ever-changing criteria for what shows up in newsfeeds).


Which is why I’ve been putting off updating this recipe for a long time. Because when I posted it back in 2012, it went NUTSO on Pinterest. I don’t know why. The pictures were horrible. And, truth be told… the recipe wasn’t even that good. It was a diet-y, knock-off recipe for Starbucks Pumpkin Pound Cake.


I left it in this post, here at the bottom, for those of you who really like it. Or for those of you who are looking for a more health-conscious version of the recipe.


But you guys. The truth is that I HAD to update this post. I was morally and ethically compelled as a dessert blogger (and eater) to do some recipe testing and get. it. RIGHT. Plus– the photos were all wrong. Not only were they awful pictures, but also Starbucks doesn’t add a glaze to their bread. So I was horribly off the mark there.


Thick moist slices of pumpkin bread that perfectly mimic everyone's favorite loaf at Starbucks. You'll love this homemade copycat recipe even more than the real thing!


I am SO HAPPY– thrilled— to finally present to you the new, improved, and right-on-the-money Starbucks Pumpkin Bread Copycat recipe.


It is SO GOOD. Thick and moist and just so perfect. And I’m just so darned proud of it. It’s like my little Fall pumpkin bread baby. I truly feel like this recipe hits the nail on the head. If you’re obsessed with SB’s pumpkin bread, this is the recipe you’ve been looking for. Make it at home anytime you want! It’s so easy, and it makes your kitchen smell absolutely heavenly.


And did I mention? IT’S SO GOOD!

Starbucks Pumpkin Bread Copycat

Thick moist slices of pumpkin bread that perfectly mimic everyone's favorite loaf at Starbucks. You'll love this homemade copycat recipe even more than the real thing!


2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

optional: 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for topping


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan by lightly spraying with cooking spray and lining with parchment paper.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin and oil.

Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gently fold into the wet ingredients using a rubber spatula. Stop mixing once batter has formed. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.

If desired, sprinkle pepitas over the batter.

Bake for 55-70 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (start testing at 55 minutes).

Let cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before slicing. I think it's best served at room temperature.

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Thick moist slices of pumpkin bread that perfectly mimic everyone's favorite loaf at Starbucks. You'll love this homemade copycat recipe even more than the real thing!


**Note: I modified this recipe and updated the photos in September 2016. The original photo and recipe as published in 2012 are below.
Starbucks Pumpkin Pound Cake


  • 1 1/2 c. All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 c. Sugar
  • 1/2 c. Fat Free VanillaYogurt
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1 c. Canned Pumpkin


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a loaf pan, set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, and nutmeg, into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, yogurt, and egg whites. Whisk thoroughly until blended. Stir in the pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Stir until completely incorporated.
  4. Pour into pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Let cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 serving.
  6. Add a powdered sugar glaze or cream cheese frosting if desired :)

Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.

65 comments on “Starbucks Pumpkin Pound Cake”

  1. Ok, hello! I took the plunge and whipped up this pumpkin pound cake. I made a few adjustments, I replaced the white sugar with light brown sugar (1 cup) and I added 1/3 cup of Agave syrup nectar. I’m also a lil chocoholic, so I added 1/2 cup of semi sweet morsels to the batter. I cant wait for the oven to beep! Great recipe! Thanks so much for sharing it. ~ leelee

  2. This looks so good! And I am most definitely a recipe junkie, diet or otherwise ;)

  3. Ive also made this before and everyone wants the recipe. I replaced the vanilla yogurt with a stick of butter and used 3 whole eggs. I could eat the whole loaf by myself.

  4. I was wondering if I could substitute c3ake flour in place of the all purpose flour in this recipe.

  5. Yummy! I made them in mini loaf pans. The office staff gobbled them up. I did notice the loaf I saved for the second day was rubbery. The second batch I doubled the recipe. Iused half white sugar and half brown sugar. I used 3 egg whites and 2 whole eggs. This solved the rubbery problem but not quite as healthy. I added a little cinnamon to the glaze – perfect!! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe.

  6. Pingback: 60+ Pound Cake Recipes - Something Swanky

  7. Pingback: Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino Recipe

  8. Baking this right now! Hopefully it turns out!!

    • DELICIOUS!!! Just took out of oven, smells SO GOOD and TASTES GREAT!!! Better than the Banana Bread I made a few days ago!! I did add pecans and instead of 3 egg whites, I did the whole 3 eggs. Thank you!!

  9. Pound cake looks delicious. What size can of pumpkin?

  10. Hi, I just found your delicious blog from a pin for this awesome bread on pinterest. I can’t believe I’ve never come across your blog before :( So, I’ve added you to my bloglovin! Can’t wait to follow along.

  11. looks yummy!!! I can’t wait to make this for a fall recipe round up I’m participating in :o) I’ll link back here for the recipe!!

  12. Hi there! I wanted to let you know I featured you on Sugar Blossoms today. Stop by and check it out! http://sweetsugarblossoms.blogspot.com/2013/09/i-freakin-love-pumpkin.html

  13. instead of using vanilla yogurt, use unsweetened apple sauce (I buy the snack pack containers and use one whole snack cup). also, try using one whole egg and 1/2 c. egg beaters. this will take care of the “rubbery” dough problem and still be really moist.

  14. disaster :( I used one loaf pan. The outside was too done & the inside was still gooey. It smelled so delicious though. Next time I will try this in 2 loaf pans instead.

  15. I’m Chilean and here there is no packaging pumpkin puree. I’ll have to make my own puree. I want to know how many grams of mashed need, please ……

  16. I’ll definitely have to give this one a try this fall – I loooooove me some pumpkin!

  17. This recipe is so good! There is a slight crunch to the top too- I immediately made a second batch- thanks for my new pumpkin bread recipe!

  18. This recipe looks delicious…but I was more excited about the Homestead Creamery milk bottle in the picture! That’s my family’s creamery!!! It’s a small world.

    • That’s awesome! That bottle actually broke recently, and I went back to buy some more (of the chocolate milk– YUM!) just so I could have another bottle in my prop collection :)

    • My sons love the milk from Homestead !! We have been drinking it for years;) I collect the Holiday jugs!! love this recipe – I used butter not yogurt – delicious!!

  19. I plan on making this tomorrow however I don’t have a bread pan..do you think it’ll work on a greased cheesecake pan or brownie pan or maybe even as cupcakes ? I also plan on using greek yogurt since I don’t have vanilla. Maybe I should put in a tad of vanilla extract.

  20. This looks amazing! I love that kind of cake and glaze…

  21. I can’t wait to bake this cake with home made pumpkin puree!

  22. Delicious! It’s hard to find moist and deliciouis low-fat baked items. I used freshly roasted sugar pie pumpkins. Passed on the recipe to my co-workers.

  23. I made a double portion just today, right after I found this, we ate up 1/2 already :) I butchered it, because I just used what I had on hand, but this is a great base recipe! I used hazelnut & hemp milks instead of yogurt, added a little ACV & vanilla. Also substituted buttermilk pancake mix for the flour and stevia & honey & maple for the sugar. Also some chocolate chips sprinkled on top :) We made mini muffins knocked temp to 375. Also made muffins & mini doughnuts, now about to throw remainder of the dough in a bread pan and sprinkle with walnuts and chocolate chips. Thanks again for the inspiration…I like your sour cream idea too!

  24. I forgot…I also just threw whole eggs in mine, instead of egg whites.

  25. Made this and I baked it for nearly 90 min. It came out sticky and rubbery in the middle. How can I tweak this so that it bakes right? I love the flavor! More flour? Different pan? Thanks!

  26. So I’m not a recipe junky, but I do love a good pumpkin recipe. Would you mind sharing how you make your glaze, or is it somewhere here on your site? Thank you!

  27. Okay, I’m making my third loaf in a week! I only made one tweak: I used 2 egg whites and one whole egg. I always add one yolk to every thing I bake and I always have moist and tender baked bliss-unless I overcook it. Whoops.
    And if you store it in the fridge, the cake takes on a wonderfully satisfying dense texture.

    This recipe is a keeper for sure!

  28. This is going to save me so much money because I order one every time I go for a drink : )

  29. Hey,
    I would love to make this recipe. I have a whole pumpkin that I bought. Any ideas how to cook the pumpkin to get the canned pumpkin the recipe asks for? Thanks!

  30. Can you please tell me what size can of pumpkin is is needed? The recipe only mentions 1 can, but not size.

  31. I had to put this one in my pumpkin round up post today too. It sounds so yummy! Great photography too!

  32. How do you make pumpkin puree from a fresh pumpkin?

  33. Can we replace the canned pumpkin with a cup of fresh puréed pumpkin?

  34. Wondering if I cld make this with butternut squash purée? Anyone have any thoughts?

  35. Has anyone tried making this with plain Greek yogurt?

  36. I made this cake with some changes like using butter and 2 eggs and 1 egg white (also found out how to make puree from fresh pumpkin). Well, it was a winner. Very moist and got rave reviews. I will definitely make this again for Thanksgiving. Thank you!

  37. I tried to make this today…outside burned while the inside was mushy, dense, and wet…can you tell me what I might have done wrong? I followed the recipe, using cake flour, a little more baking powder, and one whole egg and one white.

  38. This pound cake is awesome. I used three eggs an 1/2 cup of butter. Glazed with powdered sugar and eggnog, AWESOME!

  39. Ok, so everyone above left a comment saying they made this, but noted their revisions to the recipe…
    Followed the recipe exactly, batter tastes yum, and JUST put this in the oven. I’ll update again with the outcome!

  40. Try using french vanilla yogurt not Greek, brown sugar and no cloves! Best ever

  41. Omg, I can NOT wait to make this!! Drooling on my tablet

  42. I followed the recipe and baked in a 8×4 pan. Baked ten minutes longer and even though it turned out gooey. Especially the bottom part.. It smelled really good but overall I was not happy with the result.. Would try baking in a mini-muffin pan..

    • I meant to comment again after mine were done.. After following the recipe exactly, I still had gooey results as well. I also left it a bit longer after checking. Something needs to be altered in the recipe. I think it may be the yogurt. If anyone can suggest how to get a better outcome, please let me know!

    • I had the same issue. The outside was starting to get really dark and if I left it in the oven any longer it would burn. I’m not sure what went wrong, unless it has to do with my conventional oven.

  43. This is lovely. I used sour cream instead of yogurt. But at 60 minutes the top was still a bit soggy, so I put it back in for 5 more minutes…and the edges are all overdone. Dumb me! Great recipe – I’ll make it again! Thanks!!

  44. I had the same issue. The outside was starting to get really dark and if I left it in the oven any longer it would burn. I’m not sure what went wrong, unless it has to do with my conventional oven.

  45. I think part of the gooey/gummy issue is there’s no fat in this recipe! I don’t know why some are so afraid of fat, yet think it’s ok to eat gobs of sugar that are there to make up for the lack of fat. I should have known better with this recipe, especially with 1.5 cups of sugar (not counting the glaze!) and no fat. If you’re like me and prefer not to use oil, try melted butter, whole buttermilk, or sour cream in place of the fat free yogurt. Two eggs instead of three egg whites.

  46. I would like for you to add me to your list so that I might receive your new letter. Thank you, RUBY L. BROWN

  47. Can you use pumpkin pie spice instead and how much?

  48. Just curious….some commenters mention a can of pumpkin.  Is it a can or a cup?  C is the abbreviation for cup in baking.  It seems some younger bloggers are getting away from standardized  terms and this would definitely impact the turnout of the final product.  I have not baked in almost 4 weeks due to  recovery from surgery. I usually make things 4 to 6 days a week  and am anxious to try something I’ve not made before. I would like to try this so am awaiting your resposne.

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