Healthy Pumpkin Bread

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Sweetened only with maple syrup, this delicious healthy pumpkin bread is low in sugar, vegan and made with fiber-rich whole wheat flour!

Pumpkin bread is one thing that I absolutely love making during the fall months! It’s loaded with pumpkin flavor, warm spices and tastes so good with a cup of hot coffee on a crisp fall morning. Pair it with my pumpkin spice latte for the ultimate fall experience.

Loaf of pumpkin bread on a parchment paper resting on a cutting board. 4 slices have been cut from the loaf.

That said, most pumpkin breads are far from being a health food. They’re loaded with sugar and lack fiber, so I set out to create a pumpkin bread recipe that’s lower in sugar and made with a higher-fiber flour, but still tasty and satisfying. And I finally nailed it!

Ingredients measured out in little bowls to make pumpkin bread: whole wheat pastry flour, flax egg, maple syrup, baking soda, applesauce, cinnamon, salt, coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, pumpkin and vanilla.

Here’s What You Need

This recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour, which offers a lighter texture than regular whole wheat, only 1/4 cup of maple syrup for the whole batch and if you use a flaxseed egg, it’s vegan too.

  • whole wheat pastry flour – whole wheat pastry flour works better than regular whole wheat flour if you’re looking for the light and fluffy bread that regular all-purpose flour provides, but still want the nutrients of whole wheat flour. If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour you can also use white whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose and 2/3 cup regular whole wheat or 1 2/3 cup all-purpose. Lots of options!
  • baking powder and baking soda – just to help the bread rise.
  • cinnamon – the perfect spice pairing for this bread.
  • pumpkin pie spice – you can do homemade pumpkin pie spice or a store-bought spice blend.
  • sea salt – to bring all of the flavors together.
  • pumpkin puree – use canned pumpkin or make your own pumpkin puree. If you use canned pumpkin from the store, make sure the ingredient list is just pumpkin – don’t accidentally buy pumpkin pie filling! It’s loaded with added sugar.
  • maple syrup – a natural sweetener to add just a touch of sweetness to this bread. If you like a sweeter bread, you can use 1/2 cup maple syrup instead of 1/4 cup.
  • vanilla extract – a delicious flavor enhancer.
  • coconut oil – helps bind the wet and dry ingredients together and add some richness.
  • unsweetened applesauce – keeps this bread moist without adding extra oil!
  • flaxseed egg – mix together one tablespoon ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of water and set aside to allow the mixture to gelatinize. If you don’t need this bread to be vegan, a regular egg also works!
  • cinnamon sugar topping – optional but highly recommend adding a coconut sugar and cinnamon mixture before baking to create a delicious, sweet crust!
Four photos showing the process of making pumpkin breadL dry ingredients measured out in a bowl, adding wet ingredients and pumpkin to a bowl, mixing the pumpkin bread batter and finally the pumpkin bread batter in a loaf pan.

Gluten-Free and Grain-Free Options

You can try using a gluten-free flour blend in place of the whole wheat pastry flour. I haven’t tested it myself, but Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour would be a good option. The bread might not rise as much, but I’m sure it will still taste delicious!

I also have a couple grain-free pumpkin options for you! These flourless pumpkin muffins are made with almond butter and SO amazing. Or this quinoa flour pumpkin bread with chocolate chips is another delicious, hearty option.

An overhead shot of a loaf of pumpkin bread, resting on parchment paper on top of a cutting board. Several ingredients in small dishes are scattered around the loaf of bread.

Optional Mix-ins

I didn’t add any extra mix-ins to this recipe because I love the texture and flavor without but if you want to take this bread to the next level, feel free! Here are some ideas:

  • chocolate chips – an obvious first choice! I recommend adding Lily’s chocolate chips to keep the sugar and carbs down while still adding decadent chocolate flavor.
  • chopped nuts – if you like nuts in your quick breads, add a handful to this batter! I recommend walnuts or pecans, but any nut will do.
Overhead shot of four slices of pumpkin bread, resting on parchment paper on a cutting board.

How to Serve Pumpkin Bread

This pumpkin bread is arguably delicious for any part of the day! I would eat this for breakfast, a mid-day snack or even dessert! I love putting a slice in our toaster oven to reheat and topping it with a little nut butter. Here are more ideas:

  • toast the pumpkin bread and spread on coconut butter or traditional butter
  • cream cheese – plain, vanilla or cinnamon cream cheese would be delicious spread on top a slice of this pumpkin bread
  • warm up a slice and top with apple butter or pumpkin butter
  • toast a slice and serve with a spread of butter and drizzle of honey on top
A close up shot of a slice of pumpkin bread.

How to Store Leftovers

After allowing the pumpkin bread to cool completely, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, store in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for 1-2 months.

4 slices of pumpkin bread in focus with the remaining loaf in the background, resting on parchment paper on top of a cutting board.

Use Your Leftover Pumpkin With These Recipes

More Delicious Quick Bread Recipes

Healthy Pumpkin Bread

5 from 50 votes
Sweetened only with maple syrup, this delicious healthy pumpkin bread is low in sugar, vegan and made with fiber-rich whole wheat flour!
Overhead shot of four slices of pumpkin bread, resting on parchment paper on a cutting board.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅔ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons water)

Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 1 regular sized loaf pan (8.5 inch) by spraying it with cooking spray or lining it with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together ground flaxseed with water in a small bowl with a fork and let it sit for a few minutes until an gel like consistency forms.
    Ground flax and water combined with a fork.
  • In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt).
    A bowl of dry ingredients. A whisk is pictured, ready to mix them together.
  • Combine the wet ingredients (pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, oil, applesauce and flax egg) in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend well.
    A bowl containing the ingredients for pumpkin bread. They are ready to be mixed together.
  • Add the liquid mixture to the dry and stir well until just combined.
    A bowl with the ingredients for pumpkin bread all mixed together.
  • In a small bowl mix coconut sugar and cinnamon for the topping.
  • Pour batter into the loaf pan and top with coconut sugar cinnamon topping and place on the center rack of oven. Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
    Batter for healthy pumpkin bread in a bread loaf pan, ready to be baked.
  • Allow to cool before removing from pan.
  • Bread should keep at room temperature for at least 3 days. For longer storage, keep in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 1-2 months.

Video

Notes

  • Whole wheat pastry flour: If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour you can also use white whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose and cup regular whole wheat or 1 cup all-purpose. For a gluten-free option, you could try a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend.
  • Maple syrup: For a sweeter pumpkin bread, feel free to use ½ cup maple syrup.
  • Flax egg: A regular egg can be used in place of the flax egg if you don’t need the recipe to be vegan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice with topping Calories: 146kcal Carbohydrates: 23g Protein: 2g Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 5g Sodium: 258mg Potassium: 47mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 9g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy pumpkin bread

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    111 comments
    1. Brittney
      September 19, 2021 AT 8:34 pm

      5 stars
      Brittany- this bread is so good! I baked the gluten free version and had to sub almond milk for the applesauce (the store was completely out of applesauce:( ). It still turned out great! Can’t wait to pair it with the pumpkin spice latte in the morning!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 20, 2021 AT 1:39 pm

        Woo!! So happy to hear this bread was a success even with the substitutions. Thanks so much for trying it out, Brittney! And I really appreciate the review + star rating.

    2. Emily
      September 18, 2021 AT 12:52 pm

      5 stars
      highly recommended ! i made mine gluten free and it still came out with the best soft texture. i love how there is no granulated sugar in the recipe and it’s sweetened lightly with maple syrup. so delicious !! i made it twice already and it was a hit with my whole family.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 20, 2021 AT 1:50 pm

        Woo! So pumped to hear this pumpkin bread was a hit, Emily! Thanks so much for the review + star rating. I really appreciate it!

    3. Cheryl Martin
      September 17, 2021 AT 9:21 pm

      5 stars
      A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! I am starting to experiment with food blogging. The link to this recipe is for sure going into a Fall foods blog post! The texture is just perfect and the spice is spot on! One of my favorite fall treats! Thank you for creating such a healthy, tasty treat!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 20, 2021 AT 1:53 pm

        Happy to hear this pumpkin bread was a hit, Cheryl! Thanks so much for the review + star rating. It means so much to me!

    4. Shannon
      September 15, 2021 AT 8:16 pm

      5 stars
      Made this today and it was delish! My 1 year old twins enjoyed it too!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 16, 2021 AT 12:05 pm

        Yay!! So happy to hear this, Shannon! Thanks for the review :).

    5. Cristi
      September 13, 2021 AT 10:47 pm

      5 stars
      This pumpkin bread is so delicious! It is the perfect texture and the cinnamon sugar topping is the cherry on top. Will definitely be making this one again and recommending it to EVERYONE! lol.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 14, 2021 AT 10:33 am

        Woo!! So pumped to hear you loved this pumpkin bread, Cristi! Thanks so much for making it and coming back to leave a review and star rating. I really appreciate it!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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