by Olena

Healthy Pumpkin Bread

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 15 votes

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This Healthy Pumpkin Bread recipe is naturally sweetened with maple syrup, made with whole wheat flour and is full of warm cozy pumpkin pie spices. A pumpkin quick bread that is so moist and fluffy and perfect for a fall brunch or healthy snacks. Your family will never guess this pumpkin loaf is secretly healthy.

Want more festive pumpkin treats that capture the essence of autumn? You’ll love this healthy pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, and even pumpkin brownies!

healthy pumpkin bread recipe in a loaf pan with pumpkin seeds

Healthy Pumpkin Bread Recipe

This healthy pumpkin bread is easy, moist and fluffy. And the best part is it contains minimum ingredients! Full of fiber from whole wheat (or spelt flour) plus pumpkin and then naturally sweetened with maple syrup/honey, this healthy pumpkin loaf is heavenly! Enjoy it warm right out of the oven or pack a slice of whole wheat pumpkin bread as a snack for any fall activities you have planned.

Even more reason to love this healthy pumpkin bread recipe is that it is made in one bowl! Less dish washing means more time to savor those fall colors or a plan a pumpkin patch outing. Plus, you can eat it plain or add in some crunch with nuts or if you are feeling sweet add some chocolate chips or dried fruit. It’s delicious all ways!

Do you love pumpkin year round? We are more of a “baking with pumpkin only in fall” type of household. Like clockwork, between September and October you will find me alternating between this healthy pumpkin bread recipe, healthy pumpkin muffins with cream cheese (just like Starbucks) and pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

Most recently I even made some pumpkin oatmeal cookies, pumpkin protein bars and pumpkin bars – I’m obsessed!

Then I used leftover pumpkin for a savory dish; parmesan, pumpkin, and spinach quinoa and also have been known to make this one pot taco pasta with pumpkin on a whim. I love pumpkin for it’s nutritional benefits and how it gives all foods a fall vibe with its orange hue.

Why This Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread Recipe Works?

  • Loaded with fall flavors: No bland pumpkin bread here! This bread has a full 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves make this bread taste warm and inviting – just like your favorite fall sweater!
  • Easy to make: One bowl, 8 ingredients – less mess, less kitchen to clean is how we like it!
  • Extra moist: A full can of pumpkin (15 oz) is used in this healthy pumpkin bread recipe making it turn out moist and fluffy every time. Pumpkin is a magical baking ingredient!
  • Healthier ingredients: Pumpkin and whole wheat (or spelt) flour make this hearty and fiber filled and no refined sugar and low oil make this pumpkin loaf a great choice for a healthy breakfast or snack.
  • Customizable: Add chopped walnuts (or pecans!), pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries or chocolate chips – I recommend semi sweet or dark chocolate like I use in healthy skillet cookie!
  • Smells wonderful: We can’t forget how wonderful whole wheat pumpkin bread smells while baking – it gives the whole house a warm cozy vibe.
healthy whole wheat pumpkin bread slices

Ingredients for Healthy Pumpkin Bread

  • Canned pumpkin purée: Do not confuse with pumpkin pie filling that has added sugar and flavours.
  • Flour: Whole wheat or spelt flour. These are the only flours I tested this bread with (and also for my zucchini applesauce muffins and cranberry orange muffins!). Gluten helps bread to rise and requires different amount of liquids than gluten free flours. If you need gluten free, try my pumpkin bread with almond flour recipe!
  • Liquid sweetener: You can use any liquid sweetener like maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, date syrup, agave etc. The goal is to keep liquids and dry ingredients ratio the same.
  • Eggs and oil: Any mild tasting oil like avocado oil, melted coconut oil or grapeseed oil works. You can use olive oil and its taste is not prominent in this bread.
  • Spices: Pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

And if you want another homemade quick bread recipe full of warm spices, you’ll love my gingerbread loaf!

whole wheat flour, pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice.

How to Make Pumpkin Quick Bread

  • Combine liquids and spices. You want to whisk eggs first. Now add pumpkin purée, maple syrup or honey (make sure it’s liquidy), oil, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and soda, salt. Whisk well. There is no need for 2 bowls with quick breads.
  • Add flour and mix ins. Stir gently with spatula until you see no more white spots. You can add up to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries as mix ins. I just 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 bread from the loaf pan after cooling in it for 10 mins. Otherwise, hot pan keeps baking it and bread might be dry.
  • Serving: Cool for about 1 hour and slice with serrated knife.

Optional Add-Ins and Variations

  • Orange zest: Use up to one teaspoon of finely grated orange zest to add a subtle orange flavor to this pumpkin quick bread.
  • 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). You may also like this healthy blueberry bread recipe!
  • Homemade pumpkin puree: Substitute for canned pumpkin – note: cooked pureed pumpkin is usually more watery, that is okay.
  • Egg free: This may work although it has not been tested. Try learning how to make a flax egg or chia egg and let me know how it turns out!
  • Less liquid sweetener: Many readers have reduced the liquid sweetener to 1/2 cup and then added 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or unsweetened applesauce.
  • More liquid sweetener: If you love a sweeter taste, increase the liquid sweetener to 1 cup.
  • Drizzle with a healthy homemade icing: Use the glaze from our healthy cinnamon rolls for a decadent twist or ice with healthy cream cheese frosting. Add after bread has cooled.

Tips for Best Results

  • For best results follow the recipe: Baking is a science and likes precise measurements. Gluten free flours and dry sweeteners will not work in this recipe as they will throw off batter consistency. If you want a gluten-free option, try my almond flour pumpkin bread!
  • Don’t over mix: If you over mix the batter, bread will come out dense. Just give the batter a few stirs until no visible white pockets of flour and then pop it in the oven.
  • Solidified (hard) honey: Melt it on the stove by warming up in small pot.

Preheat oven for at least 10 minutes! Putting your bread in a cold oven may not give the pumpkin quick bread enough time to rise before baking.

  • Get batter into oven quickly! Baking powder and baking soda activate as soon as they get wet.
  • Adjust baking racks so your healthy pumpkin bread recipe bakes in the center of oven. If your bread is too low, it can burn the bottom. Too high and your top might burn.

If you find that the top of your pumpkin quick bread is browning too quickly, you can cover bread loosely with foil and continue baking until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

healthy pumpkin bread recipe garnished with pumpkin seeds

FAQs

Serving Recommendations

Why did my pumpkin bread sink in the middle?

This could be caused by a variety of things. If you didn’t follow the recipe exactly and the ratio of liquid to dry ingredients was out of proportion, if your leavening agents were expired, if your batter stood too long before baking or if you over mixed the batter – all these reasons could cause it to sink. Alternately, if you live at 5,000 ft altitude this may cause it to rise at first, then fall.

My pumpkin bread is cracked on the top, is that supposed to happen?

If your quick bread is puffed up with a slight crack, that is a sign that your pumpkin bread with whole wheat flour is done! Test with a toothpick inserted about a 1/2 in into the top of the loaf, if it comes out clean it is done. If it does not come out clean, cover the top of the loaf with foil to prevent over browning and bake longer.

Do I need to refrigerate pumpkin bread?

Pumpkin loaf can stay at room temperature for up to five days. Refrigerate up to 7 days.

How do you moisten dry pumpkin bread?

If you have followed this recipe for healthy pumpkin bread exactly, your pumpkin bread will turn out moist! If you find your are just shy of 15 oz of pumpkin puree, you can use unsweetened applesauce or pureed bananas to ensure you have enough ‘wet’ ingredients.

Serving Recommendations

My family loves to enjoy this bread as is, sometimes with just a slight spread of real butter. But if you are feeling adventurous, here are some other fun topping ideas:

  • Cinnamon honey butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Nut butter
  • Apple butter
  • Low sugar homemade jam
  • Cranberry sauce (just a small amount!)

One reader actually used this pumpkin bread for pimento cheese sandwiches! Be sure to leave a comment if try an interesting combination so others can be inspired by your creation.

Making This Pumpkin Quick Bread in Advance

Storing: Day 1-2: place cooled pumpkin bread back into the loaf pan and keep covered with a towel on the counter. Sliced bread dries out faster. Day 3-5: if you have any bread left at this point, refrigerate it tightly wrapped in plastic or in a plastic bag. After day 5: refrigerate.

Freezing: Freeze baked and cooled bread in a plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for 3-4 hours. Again, it’s better to freeze bread whole and not sliced.

More Healthy Quick Breads Recipes

I bake this healthy pumpkin bread recipe every fall for healthy snacks. It is hearty, healthy and delicious!

whole wheat pumpkin quick bread
Healthy Pumpkin Bread

Healthy Pumpkin Bread

Healthy Pumpkin Bread recipe is naturally sweetened with maple syrup, made with whole wheat flour and is full of warm cozy pumpkin pie spices. A pumpkin quick bread that is so moist and fluffy and perfect for a fall brunch or snack. Your family will never guess this pumpkin loaf is secretly healthy.
5 from 15 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 234kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray ceramic non-stick 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for 10 seconds.
  • Add 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 to combine.
  • 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.

    Video

    Notes

    • 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.
    See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1slice | Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 357mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 23g

    Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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    50 comments on “Healthy Pumpkin Bread

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    1. 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 ?

    2. 5 stars
      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!

    3. 5 stars
      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.

    4. 5 stars
      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.

    5. 5 stars
      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.

    6. 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!

    7. 5 stars
      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.

    8. 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

      1. 5 stars
        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?

    9. 5 stars
      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!

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