Healthy Pumpkin Bread
Published Sep 01, 2021, Updated Sep 14, 2023
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This healthy pumpkin bread is made with fiber-rich whole wheat flour, naturally sweetened with maple syrup and packed with warm spices. It’s moist, fluffy and makes for the perfect fall treat. Plus, it can easily be made vegan.
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 or pumpkin cream cold brew for the ultimate fall experience.
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!
Here’s What You Need
- 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 3/4 cup regular whole wheat or 1 3/4 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.
- eggs – gives the loaf structure and helps it rise. You can use 2 flax eggs or an egg replacer to make this loaf vegan.
- maple syrup – a natural sweetener to add just a touch of sweetness to this bread.
- 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!
- cinnamon sugar topping – optional but highly recommend adding a coconut sugar and cinnamon mixture before baking to create a delicious, sweet crust!
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.
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.
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
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.
Use Your Leftover Pumpkin With These Recipes
- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
- Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
- Soft Pumpkin Cookies
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Pumpkin Bran Muffins
- Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Brownies
- Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- Pumpkin Spice Donuts
More Delicious Quick Bread Recipes
- Healthy Gingerbread Loaf
- Cranberry Banana Bread
- Coconut Flour Banana Bread
- Tahini Banana Bread
- Vegan Zucchini Bread
- Vegan Apple Bread
- Zucchini Bread
- Vegan Banana Bread
- Healthy Lemon Loaf (Starbucks Copycat)
Healthy Pumpkin Bread
- 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.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt).
- Combine the wet ingredients (pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup, oil, applesauce and vanilla) in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend well.
- Add the liquid mixture to the dry and stir well until just combined.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 ¾ cup regular whole wheat or 1¾ 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.
- Eggs: Flaxseed eggs can be used to replace the regular eggs to make this loaf vegan.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.