A healthy pumpkin bread, soft and warmly spiced, made with simple healthy ingredients and easy to make and made in one bowl. Super healthy breakfast bread, rich in vitamin A and other eye-support ingredients. Vegan, gluten-free and egg-free. View step by step video in this post.
Healthy Pumpkin Bread
A soft spicy healthy pumpkin bread made simply and healthier in one bowl. This bread is the perfect breakfast bread, full of protein and fiber.
Table of Contents
Is Pumpkin Bread Healthy?
Yes! It's low in sugar and full of metabolism-triggering spices.
And it's surprisingly healthy with pumpkin being so rich in vitamin A and other ingredients that support eye and skin health, and boost the immune system. According to the NIH, pumpkin is high in vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, minerals that block cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration. [source]
Is Pumpkin Good for Losing Weight?
Pumpkin is a great at helping you lose weight because the vegetable is low in calories and very filling. So eating a bread rich in pumpkin is a terrific snack when you want to stave off the feeling of hunger.
Ready to bake?
Healthy Pumpkin Bread Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy pumpkin bread recipe:
Flour – I use GF baking flour but all purpose flour would also work easily.
Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves – I use my homemade pumpkin spice recipe off my homemade spice recipe guide here - In this guide, I not only share a homemade pumpkin pie spice, also homemade gingerbread spice, homemade chia spice, and homemade apple pie spice.
Oil – If you don't want to use oil in this recipe, replace it with unsweetened apple sauce. I use extra-virgin olive oil which is heart-healthy and the least processed oil. I like a small amount of oil in pumpkin bread to give it a bready texture.
No eggs - instead use 3 tbsp of aquafaba or 1 flaxseed egg (3 tbsp water + 1 tbsp flaxseed).
Dairy-free milk activated with lemon juice – I add a tbsp of lemon juice to my almond milk to activate the baking soda to help the bread rise. This is also called vegan buttermilk.
Organic cane sugar - There is only ½ cup of sugar in this loaf and I find it sweet enough, especially if you added a glaze or crumble.
Pumpkin puree – I use quality canned pumpkin puree. The only ingredient is pumpkin. So don't mistake this for pumpkin pie puree which has added sugars. Also, sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree also works perfectly.
And then we have the baking essentials baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Now you’re ready to bake!
How to Make Healthy Pumpkin Bread
Step #1: Mix up the wet ingredients in a large bowl. And sift in the dry ingredients.
Step #2: Pour the batter into the parchment-lined pan.
Step #3: Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. After 30 minutes, lay a small piece of foil over the top of the loaf to prevent the top from blackening. Then continue to bake for the remaining 15 minutes.
Step #4: The loaf is done when cracks appear and a test comes out clean.
Step #5: Remove pan and allow to sit for 20 minutes before slicing. This waiting period is important to allow the texture to become bread-like.
Common Questions Regarding Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin bread is such a fall tradition but there are so many different recipes out there. Mine focuses on plant-based, whole food ingredients so my answers come through that lens.
How Do You Keep Pumpkin Bread Moist?
The best way to make sure your pumpkin bread is moist enough is to be sure to thoroughly mix your pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, milk and aquafaba before adding the mixture to the dry ingredients. You don't want to do much mixing of the combined batter or your bread will turn out rubbery, so put more time into blending up the wet ingredients before adding.
Why is My Pumpkin Bread Dry?
Pumpkin bread can come out dry with an imbalance in your dry and wet ingredients. If your pumpkin puree is on the dry-side, add a few more tbsp of water. If your batter is looking dry compared to mine, add a few tablespoons of water. My recipe really is perfectly balanced if you use canned puree.
Is Pumpkin Bread Supposed to be Dense?
Yes, pumpkin bread is a bread, so it is not light and airy. Be sure however that your bread is not under cooked or it will be dense and damp in the center. Bake it at least 45 minutes, and use a tester in the center to be sure it comes out clean.
What Goes Good with Pumpkin Bread?
I love it with a crumble or glaze on top, or even plain, spread with cream cheese or homemade apple butter.
Is Canned Pumpkin the Same as Pumpkin Puree?
Look at the ingredients before you buy. For this recipe, the ingredients need to be ONLY pumpkin. There is a product called "Pumpkin Pie Puree". This is not correct for this recipe as it has added sugars and spices and is more suitable for pumpkin pie.
How to Store Pumpkin Bread
Store my pumpkin bread covered at room temperature for one day. After that, refrigerate for 3 days, again well covered. To freeze long-term, cut in slices and freeze each slice so thawing is easy.
Substitutions for Healthy Pumpkin Bread Recipe
Oil-free: Swap oil for applesauce.
Egg replacements: I used aquafaba but you can also use a flax seed egg. You'll need the equivalent of one egg for this recipe.
Milk: I used almond but any dairy-free milk works. I add the lemon juice to curdle the milk into a kind of buttermilk - this allows the baking soda to help with lift.
Flour: I used Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour blend but his GF all purpose would also work. If you don't need the bread to be gluten-free, regular all purpose flour would also work.
How to Make Pumpkin Muffins
Make the same batter and divide into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners. Bake about 20-22 minutes.
Tips to Make Healthy Pumpkin Bread
Tip#1: When making an egg-free recipe, it's important to add an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar to the milk to react with the baking soda and help the cake rise.
Tip #2: Top the bread with foil 15 minutes in to keep the top of the bread from burning. Also the trapped warmth will help the texture retain a cake like consistency.
Tip #3: Make sure your oven temperature really is 350 F. This loaf is in your oven for a long time and it depends on having a consistent temperature of 350 F. So I suggest checking your oven with an inexpensive oven thermometer as it preheats to know if you need to adjust it up or down a few degrees to get it right.
More Easy Healthy Desserts:
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Healthy Pumpkin Bread
- 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned Or sweet potato puree, or butternut squash puree - Farmers Market brand has both in cans
- ½ cup dairy-free milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (Or apple cider vinegar or white vinegar)
- 3 tbsp aquafaba, liquid from a can of chickpeas (Or 1 tbsp flaxseed mixed in 3 tbsp water)
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (Or unsweetened apple sauce)
- 1 ¾ cup flour (I used GF baking flour, but all purpose will also work)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
Spices to add to dry ingredients
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp cloves
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Be sure your oven heats accurately. Use an oven thermometer to test it.
- Line an 8x4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper that hangs over the sides.
- Measure out aquafaba from a can of room temperature chickpeas or prepare flaxseed egg by mixing 1 tbsp flaxseeds into 3 tbsp of water and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir 1 tbsp of lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar) into the milk and allow it to curdle for 5 minutes.
Make Pumpkin bread batter
- Mix up the wet ingredients in a large bowl.
- Set a sifter over the bowl, and add the dry ingredients + spices to it. Then using a spoon to push the dry ingredients into the bowl on top of the wet ingredients.
- Or, alternatively, just stir up the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and dump that into the wet ingredients.
- Pour the batter into the parchment-lined pan.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. After 30 minutes, lay a small piece of foil over the top of the loaf to prevent the top from blackening. Then continue to bake for the remaining 15 minutes.
- The loaf is done when cracks appear and a test comes out clean.
- Remove pan and allow to sit for 20 minutes before slicing. This waiting period is important to allow the texture to become bread-like.
- Glaze or eat plain.
Store Pumpkin Bread
- Store pumpkin bread covered at room temperature for one day. After that, refrigerate for 3 days, again well covered. To freeze long-term, cut in slices and freeze each slice so thawing is easy.