Raise your hands if you’re excited about fall! I’m looking forward to pumpkin treats, cooler weather and dusting off my favorite boots. The leaves on the trees outside look tired, so I think we’re in for a show soon.
The weather has been lovely the past few days. I’ve been cooped up indoors, however, sneezing like I do this time every year, and making recipe videos with my little brother. It’s been a rough learning curve, and we have definitely argued more than I’d care to admit. We’ve gotten into a rhythm now, finally, and I’m super proud of our videos. Click through to see our first one and let us know what you think, will you, please? It’s short and snappy, and I hope you love it.
While we wait for those magnificent red and orange trees, I’m satisfying my early pumpkin cravings with this pumpkin bread. This recipe is a simplified and perfected version of my old honey-sweetened pumpkin bread. It’s made with pumpkin purée and spices, of course, plus honey (or maple syrup), white whole wheat flour (which is more neutral-flavored than regular) and coconut oil. Combine all of those in one bowl and you’ll get some seriously amazing pumpkin bread.
If you’re a fan of my banana bread, you’re going to love this recipe, too. This recipe is highly adaptable to special diets, and I’ve added notes for adjustments under the recipe. Pumpkin bread for everyone!
Watch How to Make Healthy Pumpkin Bread
Healthy Pumpkin Bread
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 55 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 loaf
- Category: Quick Bread
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
This amazing pumpkin bread is naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup, and made with whole wheat flour. It’s so moist and fluffy, no one will ever guess! You can easily make this pumpkin bread vegan and/or gluten free—check the recipe notes for details. Recipe yields 1 loaf.
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil*
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- ¼ cup milk of choice or water
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice blend (or ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice or cloves)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (NOT baking powder; they aren’t the same!)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
- Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit…
- Pinch of ground cinnamon, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and whisk until blended. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)
- Add the pumpkin purée, milk, pumpkin spice, baking soda, vanilla and salt, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
- Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (typically, if I haven’t added any mix-ins, my bread is done at 55 minutes; if I have added mix-ins, it needs closer to 60 minutes). Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the bread to a cooling rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
Recipe adapted from my honey whole wheat pumpkin bread and healthy banana bread.
Storage suggestions: This bread is moist, so it will keep for just two or three days at room temperature. Store it in the refrigerator for five to seven days, or in the freezer for up to three months or so. I like to slice the bread before freezing and defrost individual slices, either by letting them rest at room temperature or lightly toasting them.
*Oil options: I love coconut oil here. I used unrefined coconut oil and can hardly taste it in the final product. Olive oil might lend an herbal note to the muffins, if you’re into that (I tested with California Olive Ranch’s “Everyday” variety and couldn’t even taste it). Vegetable oil has a neutral flavor, but the average vegetable/canola oil is highly processed, so I recommend using cold-pressed sunflower oil or grapeseed oil if possible.
Make muffins: Here’s my pumpkin muffin recipe.
Make it vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey, replace the eggs with flax eggs and choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water.
Make it dairy free: Choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water.
Make it egg free: Replace the eggs with flax eggs.
Make it gluten free: Bob’s Red Mill’s all-purpose gluten-free flour blend works well. Do NOT substitute coconut flour.
Flour alternatives: An equal amount of all-purpose flour can be used in place of the whole wheat flour.
Make it lower in fat: I would argue that this bread contains a healthy amount of fat, but you can replace the oil with applesauce if you’re following a low-fat diet.
If you love this recipe: You will also love my pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones, pumpkin polvorones (Mexican wedding cookies). Here are all of my pumpkin recipes, and all of my healthy baked treats.
Recommended equipment: I love my Fiesta Loaf Pan in Turquoise (affiliate link).