Pumpkins are in season here, but I admit I did not buy a fresh, local one for this whole wheat pumpkin bread recipe. When it comes to convenience it is unfortunately hard to beat a can of organic pumpkin puree. That doesn’t mean pumpkin season can’t put us in the mood for this super-easy quick bread recipe though!
My 5-year-old has asked me about 20 times over the last week to make some pumpkin bread so this one is for her … grab some apple cider and enjoy!
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread Ingredients
Pumpkin bread can be a healthy alternative to other breads. That’s why I make mine with no refined sugar and whole wheat flour.
- Whole Wheat Flour. This is a staple in all my baking. For this recipe, I used King Arthur’s white whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour, but any whole grain flour will work fine.
- Pumpkin Puree. You can use store bought or homemade pumpkin puree in this recipe. While homemade puree usually tastes better, it’s important to know that 100% pure canned pumpkin is a great real food option for busy families.
- No Refined Sugar. Instead of sugar, I used 1/2 cup of honey.
- Coconut Oil. The fat in this recipe adds flavor, binds ingredients, and keeps the texture moist. Unsalted melted butter can be used instead of coconut oil at a 1:1 ratio.
- Pumpkin Spice. I used cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves to bring out the pumpkin flavors in this recipe. These are the exact same spices used in a pre-made pumpkin spice mixture. If you’d rather use a pre-made pumpkin spice, omit all 4 spices and replace them with 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Bread
I don’t set out to make vegan recipes, but it’s easy to substitute the eggs and honey in this recipe for other healthy, real food ingredients that happen to be vegan.
Use Flaxseed Instead of Eggs
Replace the 2 eggs with 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and 5 tablespoons of water. Flaxseeds are a great substitute for nutritious eggs because they can help recipes cooperate as a replacement.
Maple Syrup Instead of Honey
Both maple syrup and honey are great for adding natural sweetness to recipes and I often use them interchangeably based on what ingredients I have on hand. Honey is not recommended for babies under a year old, even in baking. If you’d rather use maple syrup, swap it in a 1:1 ratio.
Other Ideas for Pumpkin Bread Recipes
By mixing in other ingredients, this pumpkin bread can be transformed into a variety of easy recipes that are perfect for fall.
Dessert Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips
Chocolate chips can turn this pumpkin bread into an easy fall dessert; simply fold in ½ cup of chocolate chips alongside the pumpkin puree.
Pumpkin Bread with Fresh Cranberries
Another idea is to add cranberries to this pumpkin bread recipe! To make it, you’ll need ½ cup of fresh or frozen cranberries. Cranberries should be carefully folded in as the last ingredient. Note: If working with frozen cranberries, do not thaw them.
Add Nuts, Seeds, or Dried Fruit
You can add ½ cup of almost any nuts, seeds, or dried fruit you want to this recipe. Here are some ideas:
- Chopped walnuts or pecans
- Dried cranberries
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread Recipe FAQ:
What Size Pan Do I Use? This recipe uses a 9” x 5” pan and makes one loaf.
Can You Freeze This Recipe? Yes! It freezes really well. Cooled pumpkin bread can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
How Can You Make This Recipe Gluten Free? Any gluten free whole grain flour substitution can be used in this recipe with no other changes.
Some other great pumpkin recipes on the blog:
430 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread”
Can I add some bran to this recipe? If so how much to avoid messing up the loaf?
Delicious recipe…have made it dozens of times in different variations with dark chocolate chips, more pumpkin, added banana, etc…So happy to see a recipe that goes all in for whole wheat flour and doesn’t cut it with white flour — taste is so much richer.
The changes I make include less sweetener (since the chocolate chips make it sweeter) and I substitute olive oil (but probably closer to 1/4 cup than 1/2) for the coconut oil (too much saturated fat for me). Enjoy!
Followed recipe at 18 min in an electric oven and came out perfect! Love replacing honey for sugar – genius!
Love this healthier pumpkin bread alternative! No sugar needed :-) I like to make pumpkin banana bread every year (because my family loves banana bread so much). If I wanted to add a very ripe banana to this recipe, how much honey would I need then?
Made with my 5 year old son and we agreed it was delicious! Lightly sweet and moist. Wrapped it in tin foil and tasted fresh until we finished it 5 days later. We just made a double batch and added chocolate chips as serving it for dessert. I love that it is whole wheat flour with real ingredients. I did swap saflower oil for the coconut oil since coconut oil is not heart healthy (a common myth that it is!). A keeper for sure!
is there a good replacement for honey or coconut oil? i have sugar so i guess thats good in place of honey, and butter for the coconut oil?
Hi Vic, the only sweetener we would recommend in place of honey is maple syrup (in order to keep it “real food” approved). You can definitely use butter in place of coconut oil. – Nicole
I made the muffins last week and decided to try the loaf yesterday – and it came out fantastic. It’s very delicious! I used chopped pecans, maple syrup, and then I added carrots too to make it even more healthy! Very moist and flavorful. What a lovely recipe! I am extremely pleased with the outcome!
How many muffins does this recipe make?
You could do 12 normal size or 24 mini’s. – Nicole
I made this bread today for breakfast, thank you, Lisa. I have tagged you on instagram with the picture.
Yesterday,I made this with my 7 year old .I added chocolate chips ! Delicious
This morning we had some again and it was moist and delicious !Thank you ! I’m a fan !!!
This recipe calls for a large loaf pan (usually 9×5), but It was way too big. I had already poured the batter, so I just baked the batter for less time. I think you meant a “standard” loaf pan (8.5×4.5). In would help if you also included the dimensions of required pans, as terms like large and small are often ambiguous.
Making this weekly. It’s great. Turned the recipe into one suitable for diabetics using a little over 1/2 c Splenda instead of maple syrup. Had to add coconut milk to thin batter. Also used flax eggs. Loved the walnuts. Also used whole wheat pastry flour. Made it into squares, cooled then topped with vegan cream cheese mixed with 1/4 t vanilla and 2 teaspoons of Splenda. It’s great!
Love this recipe. I make it with my kids all the time. Because of allergies, we use applesauce for eggs (1/4 cup per egg) and just because I like it better, maple syrup instead of honey. And we add bittersweet or dark chocolate chips, because kids
What to sub for the coconut oil?
You could use butter.
This looks so yummy! I love the idea of using honey over granulated sugar – I try to stay as sugar-free as possible! Can’t wait to try!
On roughly my 5th time baking this and feeling a little “meh” about the results, I changed a few things: mixed dry and wet ingredients separately. Made sure to heat pumpkin up a bit (used a heaping cup) to counteract the cold eggs and prevent coconut oil from hardening. Used half real maple syrup and half honey. Used scant teaspoon of salt. When I added the dry, to wet, I mixed minimally. They’re AWESOME. Fluffy and flavorful where before they were dense and a little bland.
This was delicious with a great texture, not heavy like some ww recipes can be. I used home-pureed squash and brown sugar since I was almost out of honey. I will make it again and probably double the spices. Thank you!!
Made double batch today. One loaf with honey and walnuts and 24 mini muffins with mini chocolate chips and maple syrup. Both were delicious!
Nutrition facts on this recipe?
Hi there. We do not provide nutrition details. This helps explain our philosophy: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/01/04/healthy-eating-defined/.
Jill, you can just upload the ingredients to Myfitnesspal and find out the information there. Some people do need to know what the calories/ macros are, depending on their fitness goals! There’s nothing wrong with that!
I was out of liquid sweeteners, so I used 1/2c organic sugar. I also had pumpkin pie spice and used 3t instead of the individual spices. Overall this was a win win!
Wow! I only just now discovered the thing where you can change the number of servings and the recipe will adjust proportions automatically! That’s awesome! Thanks!
This is my go to pumpkin recipe. We do mini muffins because there are 5 kids and minis go a little further. 12 minutes to perfection. Today we are celebrating the start of fall and a trip to the pumpkin patch. Pumpkin minis were a great way to start the day. (Followed recipe exactly)
This is by far the best pumpkin bread ever!!!! The pumpkin adds so much moisture – so many times things made with WW flour have a kind of dry texture but these are wonderful. We added chocolate chips. I cannot wait to make more.
Its very difficult to search the comments!
Is this freeze-able?
These are a family favorite. My children love to wake up and find these muffins cooking in the oven. I love recipes that incorporate super foods, like pumpkin. Thanks, great recipe
My 11 year old made this today following the recipe exactly. It is fantastic!!! We will make this again and again!
This turned out great! We’ve made it many times already! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!
I made this today using puree I created from one of those neat french pumpkins. Added an extra half cup of puree instead of the oil and ground the walnuts. Came out great. Neighbors tried it and couldn’t believe it used whole wheat! Had to give them 2 copies of the recipe. Total winner.
Can I use maple syrup instead of honey in this recipe?
Has anyone used agave instead of honey? Ratio the same?
Hi. We do not use agave.
When your recipes call for coconut oil do you melt it first or measure it as a solid?
I melt it myself. Easier to mix into the dry ingredients.
Hi this will help: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/02/07/how-to-cook-with-coconut-oil/,
I made this today, Can I substitute apple sauce for the oil?
Hi. Other readers have.
I used extra virgin olive oil instead of the coconut oil. Pumpkin bread turned out very good and moist.
I just made this last night and was trying to cut down the calories a bit so I used 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 no sugar added applesauce. It tastes great!
Should the coconut oil be in a liquid form for baking? if so, recommendations for liquefying it? THANKS!
Hi there. Yes, it should. This will help: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/02/07/how-to-cook-with-coconut-oil/.
Do you know if i can substitute gluten free flour for the wheat flour???
Hi. I have made these with a gluten free whole grain blend.
Does this make 1 loaf?
Thank you Lisa for sharing a delicious and healthy recipe! We baked these into muffins. These turned out fluffy and slightly sweet. We didn’t have any pumpkin, so we substituted puréed carrots. The muffins baked while we ate dinner and they smelled so yummy that the kids asked to eat them for dessert. Thank you Lisa!
Just pulled these out of the oven and devoured them with my kiddos. I made them exactly as directed, as muffins instead of a loaf. It came out sooo delicious. This recipe will be replacing my old standby as I move toward being a sugar-free home. Thank you so much for the delicious pumpkin bread!
Love this recipe. I used half honey and half black strap molasses!! Yum!
This was wonderful. Thank you for the recipe. I didn’t have honey so I used maple syrup and it still tasted great.