Pumpkin Bread

If you love pumpkin, you HAVE to try this easy pumpkin bread recipe! Super moist, warmly spiced & filled with pumpkin flavor, it's the perfect fall treat.

Pumpkin Bread

Happy pumpkin season! To be honest, I didn’t get the fall pumpkin frenzy for a long time. Why go crazy for pumpkin when apples, sweet potatoes, and hundreds of amazing squash varieties (spaghetti, delicata, acorn, and butternut, to name a few) are in peak season too? Enter: this pumpkin bread recipe. Super moist, warmly spiced, and filled with delicious pumpkin flavor, it might just have won me over to team pumpkin.

I typically crave pumpkin bread at two times of day: in the morning for breakfast or in the afternoon with a coffee or tea. Because I wanted this recipe to be one I could feel good about enjoying for breakfast, I made it on the healthy side. Honestly, it’s the best pumpkin bread I’ve had! It’s lightly sweet, so the bold, spiced flavors really shine through. And though it’s wonderfully moist, it’s not too rich, so I don’t feel weighed down after eating a slice (or two). If pumpkin season means having this recipe on repeat for a while, I’m 100% on board.

Pumpkin bread recipe ingredients

Healthy Pumpkin Bread Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy pumpkin bread recipe:

  • Whole wheat pastry flour – My favorite flour for healthy baking! Whole wheat pastry flour has more nutrients than all-purpose flour, but it’s more finely ground than regular whole wheat flour. As a result, baked goods made with it (like my blueberry muffins or carrot cake) come out light, puffy, and not at all dense.
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice – In the past, I’ve just used cinnamon and nutmeg in my pumpkin bread. But, funnily enough, I was out of nutmeg when I was testing this recipe one day. I swapped in allspice, and I didn’t look back. Together, all three spices give this loaf an amazing autumn-spiced flavor.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – Not only is extra-virgin olive oil healthy, but it also gives this bread the perfect moist texture. And because the pumpkin is moist on its own, you only need to use a small amount of oil here.
  • Almond milk – Almond milk is what I keep on hand, and it makes this recipe dairy-free. However, any type of milk (or even water!) will work in its place.
  • Pumpkin puree – It wouldn’t be pumpkin bread without pumpkin! My loaf uses a full cup, which adds irresistible pumpkin flavor and plenty of moisture.

Along with these key ingredients, grab some baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, cane sugar, and vanilla. Then, you’re ready to bake!

Wet ingredients in a bowl

How to Make Pumpkin Bread

First, whisk together the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Don’t skip this step by mixing everything together at once! It’s essential to avoid over-mixing the batter, which makes any quick bread gummy and dense.

Pumpkin bread recipe

Then, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Adding wet ingredients to dry ingredients

Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until the top springs back to the touch or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing and serving. Then, enjoy!

Healthy pumpkin bread recipe

Easy Pumpkin Bread Tips

  • Wait before you eat. It may be tempting to devour this loaf straight out of the oven, but if you can wait for it to cool, your patience will be rewarded. After cooling, the bread has a deeper pumpkin pie spice flavor and an even softer, moister texture.
  • Make extra, and freeze it! Like most baked goods, this pumpkin bread freezes well! I currently have a stash of slices in my freezer for quick breakfasts and snacks throughout the fall.
  • Waste not, want not. If you use canned puree, you’ll end up with about 3/4 cup leftover. Don’t let it go to waste! Make pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, French toast, waffles, cake, or cookies next!

Easy pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread Recipe Variations

Do you like nuts, fruit, or chocolate in your pumpkin bread? Feel free to get creative with this recipe. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Make it vegan! Substitute 4 tablespoons ground flaxseed and 6 tablespoons warm water for the eggs. This version isn’t quite as puffy, but it’s still delicious.
  • Add some crunch. Stir in 1/2 cup of your favorite chopped nuts, and sprinkle some on top. Pecans or walnuts would be especially good!
  • Make it fruity. Fold 1/2 cup dried cranberries, dried tart cherries, raisins, or chopped dates into the batter.
  • Go the chocolate route. Sometimes, you just need a slice of pumpkin bread that’s studded with melty chocolate chips. If that’s what you’re craving, fold 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips into the batter, and scatter more on top for good measure.
  • Make your own pumpkin puree for the best pumpkin flavor. If you’ve never made homemade pumpkin puree, I heartily recommend trying it this fall. The stuff from the can is good, but the homemade kind is extra-sweet and bursting with flavor. Depending on the variety of pumpkin you use, your homemade puree may be more watery than the canned kind. If it seems thin, reduce the almond milk in this recipe by two tablespoons.

Let me know what variations you try!

Pumpkin bread

If you love this pumpkin bread recipe…

Try my banana bread, chocolate zucchini bread, blueberry muffins, or cinnamon rolls next!

Pumpkin Bread

rate this recipe:
4.91 from 74 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Serves 8
This moist & delicious pumpkin bread is the perfect cozy fall treat! Warmly spiced with nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon, it's healthy and easy to make.

Ingredients

  • cups whole wheat pastry flour*
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup almond milk, or any milk
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs**
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8x4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin purée, eggs, sugar, milk, olive oil, and vanilla until smooth.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the loaf pan and bake 45 to 50 minutes or the top springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes clean.

Notes

*I like Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
**Make this recipe vegan: In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons ground flaxseed and 6 tablespoons warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes, until thickened, and use in place of the eggs.

 

137 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. stephanie
    11.27.2021

    3 stars
    This bread has a nice texture however, I found it lacking in pumpkin flavor. I think the culprit is the use of olive oil. Pumpkin is very moist and there is 3/4 of a cup leftover in a can when making this. I wonder if using just pumpkin and no oil would help with the lack of pumpkin flavor?

  2. Hope
    11.25.2021

    5 stars
    This is a great, easy to follow recipe! The bread was delicious!

  3. Rachel
    11.15.2021

    New favorite pumpkin bread recipe! Perfectly moist and healthy.

  4. Kristen
    10.30.2021

    I used white whole wheat flour and Splenda baking mix, and it did not taste good (not very sweet, dense). It seems that the pastry flour is an important component!

  5. Pam
    10.27.2021

    5 stars
    Delicious bread that takes minutes to put together! I have baked this several times and been asked to share the recipe ( always giving “Love and Lemons” credit!). I like to add about 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, my husband drizzles it with a glaze of powdered sugar and milk.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.29.2021

      Hi Pam, I’m so glad you’ve loved the bread!

  6. Maria
    10.21.2021

    Can I use maple syrup or honey instead of sugar? And how about using white whole wheat flour? Thank you! I can’t wait to try to make it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.21.2021

      Hi Maria, no you can only swap another dry sugar (coconut sugar would be a good choice). White whole wheat flour will work just fine.

      • Maria
        10.28.2021

        4 stars
        Thank you! I tried it with flax eggs and it did not rise much. I had to bake it an extra 20 min for it not to be wet. I probably did something wrong. The taste though was amazing!!!

  7. Lisa
    10.17.2021

    Hi! Do you think I could use whole wheat flour instead of pastry flour?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.17.2021

      Hi Lisa, you can use a 50/50 mix of all-purpose and regular whole wheat to replace the whole wheat pastry.

  8. Robin
    10.16.2021

    How can I make this gluten free?

    • Lisa in Austin
      10.16.2021

      Hi! I don’t represent this website but thought I would chime in. There are a lot of great GF flour blends out there that you can directly replace the wheat flour in this with. My favorite for quick breads lately has been Bobs Red Mill 1-to-1, and I bet that would work with this too.

  9. Allie
    10.14.2021

    I’m excited to try this!! I love quick breads with whole wheat flour 😍 just wondering if I could use melted butter in place of olive oil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.14.2021

      Hi Allie, I think that would be fine!

  10. Cristina
    10.11.2021

    5 stars
    My mom has made this recipe several times in the last few weeks, and let me just say, it’s the best pumpkin bread I’ve had!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.12.2021

      I’m so glad you’ve loved it!

  11. Hayley
    10.02.2021

    What are some flours i can use in place of whole wheat pastry flour? Would GF baking flour work?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.06.2021

      Hi Hayley, I think other’s have used Bob’s GF all purpose baking flour with success.

  12. Judy
    09.25.2021

    Can I use buttermilk?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.25.2021

      Hi Judy, I haven’t tried it, but I think it would be fine.

  13. JANE
    09.24.2021

    3 stars
    Hi Jeanine,

    I am a bit perplexed here. Although the bread is very moist, I was not impressed with the pumpkin flavor. I thought it was a bit bland. I’m a fairly accomplished cook and also made 3 loaves. All three tasted the same. (I thought maybe I had accidently ommited an ingredient in the first loaf I tasted.) Perhaps it’s supposed to be a lighter pumpkin flavor?
    I made it exactly as you requested, including Bob’s Red Mill 100% Stone Ground WW Pastry Organic Flour and Almond Milk. I’ve never baked with this flour. Does it change the overall taste that much? I would guess no. Thanks for your feedback!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.25.2021

      Hi Jane, I’m sorry you didn’t find it flavorful enough – I think it’s probably personal preference, because we like it :). I’d suggest adding more of the spices to bring out more pumpkin flavor, and be sure you didn’t omit the salt.

  14. Maya
    09.22.2021

    5 stars
    This was an amazing pumpkin bread, definitely worth making! If you don’t have an whole wheat pastry flour, can substitute by using 3/4 cup cake flour, and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour instead, and it turns out just the same.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.23.2021

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  15. Kat
    09.20.2021

    This looks yummy! Just curious… is there a reason why you’ve chosen olive oil rather than something like grapeseed oil for this? I tend to think of olive oil as more savory and use oils like grapeseed for baked goods instead.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.20.2021

      Hi Kat, you can use any neutral oil you like. I use a light everyday-type olive oil for many things, even baking.

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.