Healthy Low Sugar Pumpkin Bread

Sweetened only with maple syrup, this delicious healthy low sugar pumpkin bread is made with whole wheat flour and it’s vegan!

If there’s one thing I love making during the fall months it’s pumpkin bread! It’s loaded with pumpkin flavor, spices and tastes so good with a cup of hot coffee on a crisp fall morning.

Sliced low sugar pumpkin bread on a cutting board.

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 found it!

Ingredients and Substitutions

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 totally 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. If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour you can also use white whole wheat flour or 1 cup all-purpose and 2/3 cup regular whole wheat or 1 2/3 cup all-purpose.
  • baking powder and baking soda
  • cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
  • sea salt
  • pumpkin puree – use canned pumpkin or make your own pumpkin puree
  • maple syrup
  • vanilla
  • coconut oil
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • flaxseed egg
  • coconut sugar

Three slices of low sugar pumpkin bread stacked.

The coconut sugar and cinnamon topping does add a bit of sugar to the recipe so if you’re really look to keep sugar in check you can omit the topping, but it’s pretty darn tasty and makes for a pretty crust on top of the bread so I wouldn’t recommend skipping it.

Sliced low sugar pumpkin bread loaf on a cutting board.

I am honestly so excited with how great this bread turned out — it took several test batches to finally land on this recipe but it’s perfect.  The bread is  moist, fluffy, flavorful and not too sweet. Perfect for breakfast or mid-day snacking. I love putting a slice in our toaster oven (the actual oven part, not the bread slot) to reheat and topping it with a little nut butter. Such a good combo!

And if you’re gluten-free or grain-free I have a couple other pumpkin bread options for you — these flourless pumpkin muffins (they’re made with almond butter and SO amazing) along with this quinoa flour pumpkin bread with chocolate chips. It’s so hearty, plus pumpkin and chocolate is basically the best combo ever!

Loaf of low sugar pumpkin bread in a baking tin with parchment paper.

Use Your Leftover Pumpkin With These Recipes

More Delicious Quick Bread Recipes

If you make this low sugar pumpkin bread be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Your feedback means the world to me and is so helpful for other EBF readers who are thinking about making the recipe. 

Print
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Sliced low sugar pumpkin bread on a cutting board, photographed from above.

Low Sugar Pumpkin Bread


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Sweetened only with maple syrup, this delicious healthy low sugar pumpkin bread is made with whole wheat flour and it’s vegan!


Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons water)*

Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare 1 regular sized loaf pan (8.5 X 2.5 X 2) by spraying it with cooking spray.
  2. 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.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon pumpkin pie spice and salt). Combine the wet ingredients (pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, oil, apple sauce and flax egg) in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend well. Add the liquid mixture to the dry and stir well.
  4. In a small bowl mix coconut sugar and cinnamon for the topping.
  5. 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.
  6. Allow to cool before removing from pan.
  7. Storage: 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.

Equipment

Notes

  • For a sweeter pumpkin bread, feel free to use 1/2 cup maple syrup.
  • A regular egg can be used in place of the flax egg if you don’t need the recipe to be vegan.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 165
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Sodium: 225mg
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: healthy pumpkin bread

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    70 comments
    1. JENNIFER
      December 9, 2020 AT 10:08 pm

      Followed the recipe except for the coconut oil which I replaced with applesauce and used whole wheat flour. I had to add around 15 mins additional cooking time, and the bread didn’t rise all that much. There’s a nice crack in the center, but the texture is chewy and rubbery with no crumb. Any idea what went wrong?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 10, 2020 AT 12:12 am

        Oh no!! So sorry to hear that. Did you add the baking soda and baking powder?

    2. Tricia
      December 1, 2020 AT 4:26 pm

      I’m making this recipe for the third time! It’s great for breakfast, a snack, or dessert. I like to heat up a slice with some vegan butter.

      I make a few alternations: For the spices, I do 1+ teaspoons cinnamon and 1+ teaspoons ground ginger (it’s what I have). I do a little less than 1/4 cup maple syrup to make it less sweet. And I do 1/4 cup avocado oil instead of coconut oil. 50 minutes in the oven seems to be the best baking time for my oven.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 2, 2020 AT 12:57 am

        I’m so glad you’ve been loving this recipe, Tricia. Thanks for coming back to share the subs you made – it’s super helpful for other readers, so I appreciate it!

    3. Bo
      November 8, 2020 AT 3:08 am

      I omitted the coconut oil because I wanted it to make even healthier, so I added some more milk and it turned out great! It wasn’t dry at all, it was the perfect snack to get me through the week!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 9, 2020 AT 12:06 am

        So glad this pumpkin bread turned out for you, Bo! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. 🙂

    4. Sandra
      October 23, 2020 AT 7:04 pm

      Absolutely delicious!!!
      Made one with King Arthur gluten free (one to one) Added 1/3 c chocolate chips
      The other used part Einkorn part unbleached all purpose and the chocolate chips.
      Perfect!!!💕💕💕

      Love all your recipes I’ve tried

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 24, 2020 AT 3:57 pm

        Ahh yay!! So good to know this bread turned out with the different flours you used. 🙂 I’m so glad they’re a hit! Thanks for making this bread and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    5. Lan
      October 23, 2020 AT 2:58 pm

      This is a great recipe! Healthy and tastes delicious! Thank you for such great recipes!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 24, 2020 AT 4:02 pm

        You’re so welcome, Lan! So glad this bread was a hit. 🙂

    6. Anna
      October 15, 2020 AT 12:03 am

      I’m really excited to try this! I’m just wondering if I can use regular ol flour instead of ww pastry flour? And also do you have any subs for applesauce?

      Thanks!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 15, 2020 AT 8:53 am

        Hey Anna! Yes, you can totally use purpose flour to replace the ww pastry flour. For the applesauce, you could do an extra 1/4 cup of coconut oil or 1/4 cup mashed banana. I haven’t tried either of these so I can’t say for sure but I think they should work just fine! Let me know if you try the recipe.

    7. Summer Rottinger
      October 7, 2020 AT 5:25 pm

      If I only have a 9.5 in loaf pan, what should the baking time be?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 7, 2020 AT 5:51 pm

        Hey Summer, with the 9.5 inch pan the bread might be done faster. I would check it around the 40/45 min mark and add more time if needed.

    8. Yeimi
      October 4, 2020 AT 2:11 pm

      Wow! Just made this. 1) I am not a baker and ruin everything. 2) I am also not a vegan. BUT wow! Super easy, quick and soooo stinking good. I will be making this atleast once a week!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 4, 2020 AT 7:44 pm

        Ahh yay, that makes me so happy to hear!! I’m so glad this bread turned out for you. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    9. Allison
      September 28, 2020 AT 11:21 am

      The recipe looks great and I love that they are low sugar. Do you think I could use honey instead of maple syrup?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 28, 2020 AT 2:16 pm

        Yes! I think honey should work just fine.

    10. Hillary A
      September 23, 2020 AT 2:36 pm

      Just make it. It’s delicious and not overly sweet! I love toasting it and putting some butter on top.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 23, 2020 AT 2:42 pm

        So glad you loved this pumpkin bread, Hillary!! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    11. Amanda
      September 10, 2020 AT 10:15 pm

      So very yummy!

    12. Michaela
      May 31, 2020 AT 11:52 am

      Hi!
      This recipe sounds and looks delicious. I can’t find any whole wheat pastry flour these days due to the pandemic, so I’m wondering if you think whole grain spelt flour will work? I was also thinking about subbing the remaining oil for applesauce. Additionally, do you think I could make these into muffins? I can’t eat a whole loaf myself, but my family won’t eat pumpkin bread without chocolate chips, so muffins would make it easier to throw chocolate chips into half the batch lol! How long would I bake for if I made into muffins?
      Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 2, 2020 AT 5:44 pm

        Hey Michaela – I haven’t tried using whole grain spelt flour before, but feel free to experiment! I think it’d work just fine as a sub. Applesauce should also work just fine as a sub for the oil. I’m not sure on the timing for the muffins, I’d maybe start with 15 minutes and just keep an eye on them. Also, I do have these flourless pumpkin muffins that you could try! They call for chocolate chips, but could always take out the chocolate chips in half of them. 🙂

    13. Emilie
      February 20, 2020 AT 4:06 pm

      Once again, wow. I love every recipe I have tried, feeling like such a fangirl, but seriously everything is sooooo tasty ! I had only All purpose wheat flour and it turn out really good ! Thanks again !

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 21, 2020 AT 1:58 pm

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Emilie!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this pumpkin bread. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. <3

    14. Andrea
      December 1, 2019 AT 6:05 pm

      Made this pumpkin bread exactly as directed. Delicious!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 2, 2019 AT 3:45 pm

        Yay!! Thanks for trying this recipe and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. The reviews are super helpful to other readers, so I appreciate it. <3

    15. Barbara Checknoff
      November 10, 2019 AT 1:11 pm

      I really like to bake with whole grains and I loved that the applesauce replaced some of the oil. I wonder what it would taste like to add more applesauce and cut out the oil entirely. I also like that it wasn’t so sweet which brought out the spices. Have made it twice already!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 10, 2019 AT 7:19 pm

        Yay!! I’m so glad you enjoy this recipe, Barbara. I think it would turn out just fine if you sub the oil for more applesauce. Definitely let me know if you end up making it that way and how it turns out. 🙂

    16. Lynda
      October 23, 2019 AT 11:21 pm

      So easy to make and I used white whole wheat, ran out of ww pastry flour. It was very good and almost omitted the topping, glad I didn’t. This recipe is a keeper. Do I need to refrigerate?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 24, 2019 AT 12:10 pm

        So glad that you enjoyed this recipe, Lynda! Thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment and star rating as well! I so appreciate the feedback. In terms of storing the bread, it should last 3-4 days at room temp but if you’d like to keep it longer I do recommend storing it in the fridge. It should last at least 7 days in the refrigerator. For longer storage, you can freeze it!

    17. Jan
      October 6, 2019 AT 2:08 pm

      This is delicious and my whole family loves it!!!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 6, 2019 AT 2:13 pm

        Yay! I’m so excited to hear that, Jan! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment (and star rating) on the recipe. I so appreciate it and I know other EBF readers will too.

    18. Emily
      September 15, 2019 AT 8:36 am

      This was so easy to make and delicious! I added 1/3 cup of maple syrup and used a regular egg and it was perfect! Will definitely make again!

    19. Julie Saldana
      December 27, 2018 AT 10:55 pm

      I am also making this recipe for today. I like to eat a lot of eggs so I used 2 eggs, to balance for me to add powder so that I don’t get sticky. great. Thank you for your post

    20. Mollie
      October 22, 2018 AT 11:20 am

      Would oat flour work if I was to use it?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 22, 2018 AT 1:04 pm

        I haven’t tried the recipe with oat flour so I’m not 100% sure how it will turn out, but I have a feeling it will work fine. That said, I think oat flour might make it a bit more dense so you may need to add more liquid to the batter. Let me know if you try it.

    21. Kelly
      October 14, 2018 AT 2:34 am

      Made it today – love it! I’m often looking for an afternoon treat that isn’t loaded with sugar. I used a regular egg too as I’m not vegan. I decided not to omit the sugar topping. Glad I didn’t – that crust was yum – and really not much extra sugar as I only used about a tablespoon.

    22. DA
      October 6, 2018 AT 8:52 pm

      I made this recipe today and it came out fantastic! I used a regular egg, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and no added sugar on top. The texture of the bread was great (not too dense), and the flavor of the pumpkin and spices really shines through without all the sugar overpowering it. This one is a keeper!

    23. Linda
      October 3, 2018 AT 6:56 pm

      I appreciate the fact that so many people think the pumpkin bread recipe sounds great (which it does), but wish more people would write what it tasted like and adaptations for it they made. For me that would be more helpful, and encouraging me to try ip.

    24. Brittany Audra @ Audra’s Appetite
      October 1, 2018 AT 9:07 pm

      My go-to flour is often white whole wheat, but now I’m excited to try whole-wheat pastry flour! 🙂

    25. Let’s Fly Travel
      January 11, 2017 AT 5:29 am

      Thank you for sharing these treats…and your life! Don’t you love the fall months? I hope you are having a blessed week.

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