When pumpkin season comes round, a big loaf of soft and fluffy pumpkin bread is a must. This Healthy Pumpkin Bread is packed full of those autumn flavours we know and love, but a little bit lighter and lower in sugar.
This isn't a bread like you would make a sandwich with, it's more of a loaf cake like banana bread - but full of pumpkin flavours and warming spices. It just smells like autumn and if you have never baked with pumpkin puree before, this is a great place to start.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Flour - We have used white flour, because it gives the best results and you get a light and fluffy pumpkin loaf. However, if you want to make this even more nutrient dense, then you can swap half the flour for wholewheat flour. It will give more of a dense loaf though.
- Baking soda - This helps the bread to rise. Make sure you are not using old baking soda, as it won't rise.
- Cinnamon and ginger - A must when it comes to any pumpkin sweet treat. These spices just scream autumn. You could also add some nutmeg.
- Vanilla - Make sure you are using vanilla extract and not essence, as it has a more natural flavour. This adds a lovely warmth to the pumpkin bread recipe.
- Salt - It brings out the sweetness.
- Eggs - We used medium sized eggs.
- Sugar - Brown sugar is what gives this loaf it's golden colour and the caramelised flavour. To make this a healthier pumpkin bread, we used Truvia brown sugar, which is low calorie brown sugar alternative made with stevia. You can swap it for regular light brown sugar, but it will change the nutritional information.
- Pumpkin - The star of the show. We used a can of pumpkin puree, but you could roast and puree pumpkin yourself. Using the wrong type of pumpkin can also affect the outcome of the bread. It is important to use pureed pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, which contains added sugar and spices.
- Coconut oil - This replaces butter to make the recipe healthier. Don't worry - there is no coconut flavour at all.
- Milk - This loosens the batter.
- Chocolate chips - We used refined sugar free dark chocolate chips to make this healthier too. We didn't use loads, but you could always add more.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make pumpkin bread - Step by step
Prep: Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C(fan)/350°F/Gas 4. Grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin.
One: Sieve the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt into a large mixing bowl (a). Mix it all together (b).
Two: In a separate mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar (a). Whisk together until pale and fluffy (b).
Three: To the egg/sugar mixture add the pumpkin, oil, vanilla and milk (a). Fold everything together (b).
Four: Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and fold together.
Five: Add the chocolate chips reserving a few (a). and fold them in (b).
Six: Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin (a) and top with the remaining chocolate chips. Put into the middle of the oven for 60 minutes (b).
Seven: After 40 minutes, cover loosely with foil and move to the bottom of the oven. When cooked, insert a knife or skewer into the loaf and it should come out clean. It may need 10 minutes extra.
The best way to serve a slice of this is with a big hot drink and somewhere cosy to sit. Think candle lit, blanket on and snuggly afternoon vibes. We recommend our Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte, Chai Tea Latte or Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate.
When serving healthy pumpkin bread, it can be enjoyed as it is or toasted with a bit of butter or cream cheese, or even some Homemade Almond Butter.
It can also be sliced and used as a base for French Toast or as a topping for porridge or yogurt crumbled on. For a bit of extra sweetness, the bread can be drizzled with honey or maple syrup.
Nuts - To add some extra texture and also give this healthy pumpkin bread recipe a nutritional boost, then you could add some crushed nuts. We love walnuts or pecans, as they go really well with the creaminess of the pumpkin.
Dried fruit - We like adding in some dried cranberries, cherries or raisins. It adds some extra natural sweetness and this little extra texture too which we love.
Glaze - Take this pumpkin bread recipe to the next level by finishing it off with a glaze. You can mix together icing sugar, some maple syrup and a little milk for the BEST glaze. Put some holes in the top of the bread with a knife and pour over the glaze. SO good.
Store: This loaf can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to three days. Alternatively, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Freeze: This healthy pumpkin bread can be frozen for up to three months. To freeze, wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil or place it in a freezer-safe plastic bag.
Defrost: When ready to serve, thaw the bread in the refrigerator overnight and then bring it to room temperature before slicing and serving.
Reheat: You can warm it up in the microwave or toaster for a few seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and fibre. But, this is still a sweet treat.
Read more about the health benefits of pumpkins.
Yes, pumpkin bread can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free flour or a combination of gluten-free flours. You can use almond flour or coconut flour to make a grain-free version of this.
Yes you can, and it's great for portion control. Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cases and bake for 25-30 minutes.
More loaf cake recipes
Healthy Pumpkin Bread
- 200 g (1.66 cups) Plain flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 tablespoon Ground cinnamon
- 0.25 tablespoon Ground ginger
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 2 Eggs - medium; room temperature
- 250 g (1.25 cups) Truvia brown sugar
- 320 g (1.33 cups) Pumpkin puree - canned
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 110 ml (0.5 cups) Coconut oil - melted
- 60 ml (0.25 cups) Semi-skimmed milk
- 60 g (0.33 cups) Dark chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C(fan)/350°F/Gas 4. Grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin.
- Sieve 200 g Plain flour, 1 teaspoon Baking soda, 1 tablespoon Ground cinnamon, 0.25 tablespoon Ground ginger and 1 pinch Sea salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix it all together.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add 2 Eggs and 250 g Truvia brown sugar. Whisk together until pale and fluffy.
- To the egg/sugar mixture add 320 g Pumpkin puree, 110 ml Coconut oil, 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract and 60 ml Semi-skimmed milk. Fold everything together.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and fold together.
- Add 60 g Dark chocolate chips. and fold them in.
- Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin and top with the remaining chocolate chips. Put into the oven for 60 minutes.
- After 40 minutes, cover loosely with foil and move to the bottom of the oven. When cooked, insert a knife or skewer into the loaf and it should come out clean. It may need 10 minutes extra.
- Make sure you cool the bread before slicing, otherwise it will just fall apart. When the bread is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes. Then, transfer the bread to a wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing and serving.
- Make sure you don't over-mix the batter. Over-mixing can lead to a tough and dense bread. It is best to mix the ingredients until just combined.
- Make sure you don't over-bake the bread. Over-baking can result in a dry and crumbly texture. Test the bread with a toothpick inserted in the centre. If it comes out clean, the bread is done.
- To make this recipe lower in fat, you can swap the coconut oil for apple sauce. It will change the texture though.
- Remember that every oven cooks things differently, and the type of loaf tin you use can change the cooking time too. So check the bread after the cooking time and you can always put it in for 10 minutes more if it needs it.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.