This Healthy Pumpkin Bread recipe is naturally sweetened, made with whole grains and is full of warm cozy spices. Easy, moist and fluffy, this pumpkin bread recipe uses an entire can of pumpkin puree!
Want more recipes that capture the essence of autumn? You’ll love this pumpkin banana bread, chocolate chip pumpkin bread or whole wheat apple bread.
Table of contents
I started dreaming about my favorite healthy pumpkin bread end of August.
And you know what is the best part? It has been tested like fifty times by now. So, be sure you are getting the best of the best!
This bread contains minimum wholesome ingredients! One bowl, 8 simple ingredients – less mess, less kitchen to clean is how we like it! It is fall baking dream come true full of pumpkin flavor!
You can make it plain or add in some crunch with nuts, chocolate chips or dried fruit. It’s delicious all ways!
What Makes This Pumpkin Bread Healthy?
- A whole can of pumpkin: It makes pumpkin bread moist, low fat and a healthier option. Not to mention there is no leftover pumpkin to deal with.
- Whole wheat flour: Makes it hearty, fiber and complex carbohydrates filled. I love quick breads with whole grain flour as it gives them the best texture too!
- Lower fat and low calorie: Only 2 tablespoon of oil is used compared to 1/2 cup in the classic version. Also coffee shop version runs at 410 calories a slice compared to this one at only 234 calories.
- Naturally sweetened: Not only maple syrup or honey contain vitamins and nutrients, but each individual slice has 23 grams of sugar compared to high 30s in other recipes.
Ingredients and Notes
Quick look at key ingredients for this recipe and possible substitutions:
- Pure pumpkin puree: When buying in a can, do not confuse with pumpkin pie filling that has added sugar and flavors. Can also use an equal amount of your own homemade pumpkin puree.
- Whole grain flour: Regular whole wheat flour, spelt flour, whole wheat pastry flour and white whole wheat flour. These are the only flours I tested this pumpkin bread with. I have not tested it with all-purpose flour.
- Liquid sweetener: You can use any liquid sweetener like pure maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, date syrup, agave etc. The goal is to keep liquids and dry ingredients ratio the same. So, coconut sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar or any sugar will not work.
- Eggs: 2 large. Flax eggs or chia eggs may work although it has not been tested. Please let me know how if you try.
- Oil: Any mild tasting oil like avocado oil, melted coconut oil or grapeseed oil works. You can use olive oil as its taste is not prominent in this bread.
- Spices: Pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I use a homemade pumpkin pie spice substitute for best fall flavors but store bought is OK.
How to Make Healthy Pumpkin Bread
The best part about this pumpkin bread is that there is no need for a bowl with wet ingredients and another bowl with dry ingredients. One bowl, 10 minutes and it totally works!
Combine liquids and spices. Grab a large bowl. You need to whisk eggs, pumpkin purée, maple syrup, oil, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and soda, salt at same time.
There is no need for a separate bowl. However, you just need to whisk well, pause and make sure there are no small lumps of leavening agents left. Whisk again, if necessary.
Add flour and mix ins. Stir gently with spatula until combined. A few flour patches are fine and actually desirable because last thing is you want to overmix your bread.
You can add up to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries as mix ins.
Transfer pumpkin bread batter into greased loaf pan. I also sprinkled 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds on top.
Bake for 50-60 mins at 350 degrees F. Toothpick should come out clean when inserted in the middle and deep.
Make sure to remove pumpkin bread from the loaf pan onto a wire rack after cooling in it for 10 minutes. Otherwise, hot bread pan keeps baking it and bread might be dry.
Serving: Cool for about 30-60 minutes to help bread hold nicely. Then slice with serrated knife.
Tips for Best Results
- Don’t over mix: If you do, bread will come out dense. Just give the batter a few stirs until most flour is mixed in but a few patches of white are even desirable.
- Optional add-ins: Up to 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate bar), walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries or even chopped dates (tossed with flour to prevent sinking).
- Homemade pumpkin puree: Substitute for canned pumpkin. Cooked pureed pumpkin is usually more watery, and that is OK. Got extra? Make healthy pumpkin soup! Another seasonal favorite.
- Low sugar or more sweet: Some readers have reduced the liquid sweetener to 1/2 cup and then added 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or unsweetened applesauce. If you love a sweeter taste, increase the liquid sweetener to 1 cup.
- Bread browning too quickly: Cover it loosely with foil or parchment paper and continue baking.
How to Store Pumpkin Bread
Store day 1-2: Place cooled pumpkin loaf back into the loaf pan and keep covered with a towel on the counter. Sliced bread dries out faster.
Store day 3-5: If you have any bread left at this point, for longer storage refrigerate it tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag.
Freeze: Freeze baked and cooled bread in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for 3-4 hours. Again, it’s better to freeze bread whole and not sliced.
If you have followed this recipe exactly, your pumpkin bread will turn out moist! Dry bread is because it’s over baked. All ovens vary, make sure to check at 50 minutes. To avoid gummy bread, remove it from a loaf pan 10 minutes after cooling. And follow the recipe.
You might be able to use all-purpose gluten free flour but a tad less, as it is more absorbing. Coconut flour will not work. I also have not made it with oat flour, so can’t vouch for results.
If you want to use almond flour, try my almond flour pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins with almond flour!
My family loves this bread with just a slight spread of real butter or cream cheese. Enjoy warm with a cup of coffee or pumpkin spice latte. It definitely satisfies a sweet tooth!
Everyone has their own definition of “healthy”. I consider it a healthier pumpkin bread with maple syrup full of vitamins and nutrients. And with whole grains. It’s full of fiber. Also, it’s about how much of it you eat and how often. Balance and moderation.
More Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
- Whole wheat pumpkin muffins
- Healthy pumpkin cookies
- Healthy pumpkin bars
- Healthy pumpkin pancakes
- Pumpkin protein bars
This is the best healthy pumpkin bread recipe on the internet! I bake it every pumpkin season for healthy snacks. It is hearty, healthy and delicious! Enjoy!
Healthy Pumpkin Bread
- 2 large eggs
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 3/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cups spelt or whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- Cooking spray I use Misto
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add eggs, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, oil, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, salt and whisk until combined.
- Add spelt or whole wheat flour and stir gently just enough to combine. Be careful not to over mix. Add desired mix ins like walnuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips etc. and give a few more gentle stirs.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and level gently with spatula. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds on top, if you wish. Bake for 50-60 minutes our until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool off more. Cut into 10 slices with serrated bread knife and enjoy!
- Store: Store covered in a cool dry place for up to 5 days. Refrigerate covered for up to 7 days. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Gluten free flour: Please use only whole wheat or spelt flour in this recipe. For gluten free recipe, check out my almond flour pumpkin bread.
- Sweeter bread: If you like very sweet breads, increase maple syrup to 1 cup.
Can I use a aluminum foil loaf pan with parchment paper or silicone pan instead instead of a ceramic loaf pan?
P.S.You have a new fan:)
I loved the zucchini brownies!
My friends and family enjoyed it as well! And I have since shared your recipes to three other people!
That is awesome, thank you for sharing the site/recipes with others! Yes, that is fine, keep an eye on the cooking time as the type of pan can alter that.
when you say ‘can pumpkin puree’, can you use cooked pumpkin instead ? I froze many portions of 2 cups when I last bought a pumpkin and I realize it’s very watery when it defrosts. Should I drain it before if I use it as a substitute ?
Yes you can use it and don’t drain, just stir.
Wonderful bread! Unlike another poster, I found it too sweet the first time and cut the honey to less that 1/2 cup, added a squirt of real maple syrup, and added 1/4 cup plain yogurt to make up for the missing moisture. I don’t keep pumpkin pie spice, so I used a riff on the spices I put in my own pumpkin pie recipe: 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon each allspice and ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon each cloves and mace (nutmeg).
Made this way, it can be served spread with pumpkin or other fruit butter OR served alongside a savory dish such as stew or chili. Amazingly, it is also a great bread for pimento cheese sandwiches!
Thank you for sharing Rhonda!
Just made the pumpkin bread from my sweet pumpkin from the garden. Instead of pumpkin spice, I used 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger and 1/8 tsp of cloves. I also added some chocolate chips. The bread is delicious. Next I will make it with some hubbard squash from the garden.
I love hearing that you made this bread from a pumpkin in your garden! Amazing Rose!
I just made the pumpkin bread. Very easy. I doubled the recipe, and made in smaller pans. I used local honey, threw in some oat bran and wheat germ. Very pleased with how it turned out.
I am so happy that you enjoyed the pumpkin bread Laurel!
This bread turned out great….. I used 1/2 cup honey and 1/4 applesauce (so it would be less sweet). Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.
You are very welcome!
Can I use fresh cooked pumpkin? I cooked a baking pumpkin in my Instapot and now need a recipe to use it in. Thanks for many great recipes!
Very good, easy to make. I used half almond flour and half whole wheat flour. Used pure Vermont maple syrup for the sweetener.
No mixer needed, just a whisk & large spatula.
Would it be alright if I made it with agave syrup .Also, I have only metal non stick pans. In case I don’t have whole wheat flour, can I use white . I realize it is not as healthy but just in case. My husband is diabetic so I am h experimenting with agave
Agave is fine. And I have a few readers subbing white flour in my recipes and they say it works. 🙂 Enjoy, Carol!
Metal non-stick pans are what I used. Came out great! I was running low on whole wheat flour the last time I made it, so there was more plain white flour than whole wheat. It was still good, just not quite as healthy.
While we’re on the subject of health, are you sure that agave is safe for diabetics?
I have made four of these and given them as thank you gifts to people who have helped me. Rave reviews! There’s one baking right now, perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon because they are so easy to whip up!
Fantastic! Glad everyone enjoyed my recipe.:)