Made with better-for-you ingredients and also really delicious, this healthy pumpkin bread is an excellent option for anyone who wants to bake a healthier loaf.
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Oh, pumpkin bread, how I love thee! When I think about fall, a few things come to mind first: boots, football, and ALL THINGS pumpkin. To say I’m a pumpkin fanatic would be, well, an understatement. This pumpkin bread uses coconut oil, coconut sugar, and whole wheat (or a cup for cup GF swap) for a healthier take on things, and WOW, it is delicious.
This is another really wonderful recipe developed by none other than Brittany Angell! She’s an incredible recipe developer that is really gifted in specialty (think: special diets) baked goods. Brittany knocked this recipe out of the park (no surprise there, though!).
If you’re looking for more pumpkin bread recipes, we’ve got you. These recipes are all really delicious and worth adding to your list: keto pumpkin bread, vegan pumpkin bread, and classic pumpkin bread.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s a healthier option – while this pumpkin bread isn’t a “health food,” it is made with better-for-you ingredients than your average pumpkin bread, so it is a good option if you tend to be a bit more health-minded.
- It’s delicious – healthier or not, this pumpkin bread is DELISH. The flavors and texture are everything you want in a cozy fall baked good.
Healthy Pumpkin Bread Ingredients
You’ll need a handful of ingredients for this healthy pumpkin bread (all of the usual baking ingredients plus a few pumpkin-specific ones). Find ingredient notes (including substitutions and swaps) below.
- Pumpkin Puree – when you’re buying pumpkin puree, make sure that you purchase pureed pumpkin and not pumpkin pie “filling”. If you’d like to make your own, check out our Instant Pot pumpkin puree recipe.
- Coconut Palm Sugar – to keep this bread “healthier,” Brittany opted for coconut sugar. If you’ve got brown sugar on hand, though, that’ll work just as well.
- Flour – you’ll want to grab whole wheat flour for this recipe. If you’re gluten-free, a gluten-free all purpose flour (like King Arthur’s Measure for Measure) will also work.
A full ingredient list with exact amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
Recipe Variations and Modifications
- Add mix-ins – the bread is delicious as is, but if you’d like to kick things up a notch, feel free to use up to 2 cups of mix-ins. Chocolate chips, chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, minced candied ginger, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds would all be great.
- Make it dairy-free – to make this recipe dairy-free, opt for coffee or orange juice (instead of milk) to add moisture to the bread batter.
- Add more ginger – if you’d like a little bit more of a kick, use 1 teaspoon of ginger rather than a ½ teaspoon.
- Use white whole wheat flour – for a lighter bread with more rise, use white whole wheat flour rather than regular whole wheat flour.
How to Make Healthy Pumpkin Bread
The process is super easy and, essentially, consists of measuring, mixing, pouring, and baking! Here’s the full how-to.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Then, add the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, your liquid of choice (milk, water, orange juice, or coffee), eggs, and vanilla to a large bowl and mix.
Step 2: Add to the bowl, the sugars, baking powder, spices, salt, and all-purpose flour. Mix just until the batter is smooth. If adding any mix-ins, stir them in.
Step 3: Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Step 4: Cover with tinfoil and bake for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Remove the foil and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Step 6: Let cool, then slice and serve.
- Use the right pan – for best results, use an 8.5×4.5 or 9×5 loaf pan for this recipe.
- Use exact gram measurements – use gram (weight) measurements rather than cup (volume) measurements for perfect results.
- Don’t use too much salt – because table salt is finer than pink Himalayan salt, decrease the amount of salt to a ½ teaspoon if you’re using it.
How to Serve
There are a couple of ways that I love enjoying pumpkin bread:
- On its own with a cup of hot tea or coffee.
- As an accompaniment to my normal savory breakfast (cheesy egg muffin cups are my current go-to).
- Crumbled into a Greek yogurt bowl with granola and nut butter.
- With a good smear of nut butter (I especially love peanut butter) on it.
How to Store
Store your homemade pumpkin bread covered on the counter for up to 5 days.
To freeze, simply slice the already cooked bread, then wrap each slice in parchment paper, and place the wrapped slices in a freezer-safe bag. This will allow you to pull, thaw, and enjoy one slice at a time rather than having to commit to the whole loaf.
Frequently Asked Questions
Brittany developed this recipe with moist, delicious, healthier pumpkin bread as the goal, so between the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, and added liquid (milk, water, orange juice, or coffee) you shouldn’t run into any issues with your pumpkin bread being too dry.
You’ll know that your pumpkin bread is done and ready to come out of the oven when you insert a toothpick into the bread and it comes out clean. If there is batter on the toothpick, your bread will need to go back into the oven for a little bit longer.
While this pumpkin is by no means a “health food,” it is a healthier version of classic pumpkin bread. Because “health” really means something different to every person, though, take a look at the ingredients before diving in to see if it’s something that you feel really good about.
If you pull your pumpkin bread out of the oven, check the doneness with a toothpick, and the toothpick comes out of the bread with batter on it, don’t worry! Just pop it back into the oven to cook for a little bit longer.
You can’t. Once you’ve made your bread batter, you’ll want to get it into the oven ASAP. The reason here is because the baking powder will start to activate as soon as it comes in contact with liquid, so if the mixed batter sits out too long before baking, the baking powder won’t rise the bread in the oven.
If you tried this Healthy Pumpkin Bread Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!
Healthy Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- 1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree 264 g
- 2/3 cup melted coconut oil 126 g
- 6 tablespoons milk water, orange juice, or strong coffee
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour 220 g or King Arthur GF Measure for Measure flour
- 1 ¼ cup coconut palm sugar 176 g
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 ¼ teaspoon double acting baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 cups mix-ins (optional) max of optional mix-ins (chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Combine all wet ingredients in a large bowl and mix.
- Add to the bowl, the sugars, baking powder, spices, salt, and all-purpose flour. Mix just until the batter is smooth. If adding any mix-ins, stir them in.
- Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Cover with tinfoil for the first 15 minutes. Bake 50-55 minutes total until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Use an 8.5×4.5 loaf pan OR 9×5 loaf pan. THIS is the pan we use most often.
- Use gram measurements for perfect results
- 1 teaspoon of ginger can be used for a little bit of kick
- If using table salt, decrease the amount to a ½ teaspoon
- Other gluten-free cup for cup blends should work as long as the gram measurements are used
- For lighter bread with more rise, use white whole wheat flour