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.
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.
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!
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.
Then, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
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!
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!
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!
If you love this pumpkin bread recipe…
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour*
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ 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
- 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.
**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.