Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

81 Reviews / 4.5 Average
This quick Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Bread recipe is a super easy, healthier version of a traditional favorite. It's dairy-free, has no sugar, and cleanup is a breeze—it uses just one bowl :)
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Whole wheat Pumpkin Bread from 100 Days of Real Food

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!

Cute pumpkin bread Halloween muffins
Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Bread turned into Halloween Muffins

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
  • Raisins
  • 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:

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428 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread”

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    I just made four 3″x5″ loaves and they’re delicious! I wanted to use up my pumpkin spice so I used 3 tsp of that instead of spices individually and it worked fine. Sadly, I forgot vanilla but still good! However, this is my first time cooking with coconut oil and I gotta say, the saturated fat is concerning. I added up all calories/calories from fat to share with y’all. Amy do you have an alternative to coconut oil?
    Whole-wheat flour 660/30
    Coconut oil 960/960
    Pumpkin 100/10
    Eggs 140/90
    Honey 480/0

    Totals 2340 calories/1090 calories from fat

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Yes, I often sub in apple sauce for up to half of the oil. In other recipes, I’ve subbed it 1:1. I’ve never had it not turn out well.

  2. 5 stars
    Such a great recipe that I come back to time and time again! I now make these in a mini muffin silicone pan for my 1 year old. She absolutely loves them! With the last batch, I was a little short on pumpkin so i made up the difference with some pear puree i had on hand and they were amazingly moist and delicious. YUM!

  3. This recipe sounds great! We are currently eating a gluten free diet. Can you recommend a gluten-free alternative to whole wheat flour that would work for this recipe? There are many kinds…(coconut flour, almond flour, etc.) Not sure which one would work the best…

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      HI there. For baking I generally use a gluten free whole grain blend like Bob’s Red Mill.. I also use almond and coconut flour but they require completely reworking a recipe.

  4. This was so good! My family is full of coconut lovers so I threw some flaked coconut in with some hemp seeds. I’ve made 3 dozen today and I only have one left. Safe to say it’s a hit.

  5. 1 star
    Coconut oil is NOT HEALTHY! There was some hope that it might not be as bad as other saturated fats because some of the saturated fat in coconut oil has a slightly different molecular structure. However, further research has shown that in fact it is as bad as other saturated fats and in in one respect it is worse: whereas butter and lard are 50-60% saturated fat, coconut oil is 90% saturated fat. And the lack of saturated fat in vegan diets is what makes them so healthy!

    The dairy industry and the coconut oil processors are all over the web claiming that saturated fat is not so bad after all. Don’t believe them. Go to Mayoclinic.org or NutritionAction.com for the facts.

  6. 5 stars
    I just made this following the recipe. I baked them in silicone muffin cups, and they came out great. I added pumpkin seeds and pecans which gave a nice bite to the fluffy texture of the muffin. Going to go make some breakfast cookies now (one our favorites around here)! We put pumpkin in those, too!

  7. Is a 1/2 of coconut oil really necessary? I feel like that’s a lot of oil. Is there anything I can substitute for that?

  8. 5 stars
    I made these last year when I had too much pumpkin than I knew what to do with, and they were delicious! Now I have a bunch of other squash from my CSA, and I am wondering if you can substitute a different winter squash, like carnival squash, for the pumpkin.

  9. 4 stars
    Made these as muffins and in a 8×8 pan and they turned out great! I even forgot to put the eggs in once and they were still great! A reliable recipe, I will try it with applesauce too :). Adding it to my regular rotation.

  10. 5 stars
    I have been making this recipe for 3 years and it has always turned out great! My family’s favorite pumkin bread recipe by far! I do have to bake my loaf about 50-52 minutes. Perfect every time.

  11. 4 stars
    Yum! I replaced the oil with applesauce and baked it for 20+ minutes longer than the recipe says. So delicious warm with butter!

  12. 1 star
    Updating that it’s complete goo in the middle. This recipe did not work at all. I was looking forward to pumpkin bread since yesterday (It was too hot to cook it then and I haven’t had pumpkin bread it since last year) so I’m really disappointed.

    1. So strange! I’ve made this recipe at least 30 times and it’s always turned out perfectly! My 2 year old loves these and eats 2 or 3 at a time!

    2. 4 stars
      Mine today was gooey too, at the recommended bake time. It was finally done somewhere around an hour or a tad more, not 30 minutes! Silly me for thinking this would defy all other quick breads, which do bake for around an hour. We enjoyed a nice breakfast once it was done, but we sure were hungry by the time it was ready! I’m not sure what magical ovens are being used to bake this loaf so quickly, but it seems you and I don’t have them.

    3. I have had trouble with my bread being gooey as well. I have now started baking it in 3-4 smaller loaf pans or muffin pans and haven’t had a problem!

  13. 2 stars
    I followed the recipe, but my loaf is just mush. I think breads like this should be about 60 minutes in the oven, not 30-40. I put it back in for longer, but it’s still mush. So I’m putting it in for even LONGER. Hopefully I can eventually eat it because I hate wasting eggs, flours, pumpkin, etc.

  14. 5 stars
    Tried making this with some leftover fresh pumpkin mash. For the first time, my husband also liked something ‘healthy’! I halved the recipe and added a lot of slivered almonds and cashews and raisins. Used maple syrup and a little more cinnamon than the recipe calls for. It was almost like fruit cake. The texture was perfect. Will be making this again and again!

  15. I stocked up on organic canned pumpkin in the fall when it was at a killer price just for this recipe so I can make all year. Love to turn it into a loaf too. I doubled the recipe today for muffins and added 1/4 C enjoy life mini choc chips. The kids are eating them up! Thanks!

  16. 5 stars
    Thanks for the great recipe. I added 1/2 cups raw oats, a little less flour, agave syrup (1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup honey), raisins and used parchment paper instead of greasing the pan. Big hit with the family.

  17. 3 stars
    The texture of these were spot on, but they were really pretty bland and under-spiced for my liking. I will absolutely make these again, but I would prefer more spice since they’re not overly sweet.

  18. 5 stars
    I’ve been meaning to tell you that I’ve made these muffins 6 times in the past 2 months (adding chocolate chips sometimes). Our whole family LOVES them! Thank you so much.

  19. I did substitute lower glycemic agave for the honey Came out great!!! I assume if one wants to substitute maple syrup for honey it should work

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Deb. I’m sure you can with some adjustments but you would not be able to replace it for flour 1:1.

  20. I just made these with left over butternut squash (roasted) as I did not know what to do with the leftovers. They are delicious and I think I’ll make another batch in the am to freeze :-) thank you!
    I’m sorry, I can’t getting the rating to work?

  21. I have just found your site and I noticed that you use whole wheat flours, I have celiac and ibs. I have been off all wheat for a year now. Do you have GF receipes…maybe I have not looked very hard.

    1. 5 stars
      I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour mix as an equal substitute and they taste great! I’ve only done muffins so far, but I’m sure it would work just as good in bread form. I also sub organic unsweetened apple sauce for the oil.

  22. 4 stars
    This is a good recipe but for us it needs more pumpkin flavor. Next time I will adjust the amount of coconut oil and add more pumpkin. The spices were right on though! :) I did have to cook it 5 minutes longer but it came out perfect – not dry at all. This recipe is a keeper!

  23. Hi. I’ve made this twice with the exact recipe and for some reason the middle doesn’t seem to cook all the way. I even leave it in extra time (oh, the only difference is I put chocolate chips in it). Any idea why this is happening? We still eat it; just not the middle and it’s yummy. :-)

  24. THANK YOU for sharing this honey recipe! I have now made two triple batches (with chocolate chips) for neighbor and friend holiday gifts. It is really good!

  25. I made these muffins for Thanksgiving and they were a hit!! Being that I eat healthy, I was tired of being required to bring foods to family functions that I couldn’t even enjoy. So I found this recipe and made a test batch and loved them! I baked two batches for turkey day and have made a batch since! Thank you for the delicious muffin recipe, they were everything I hoped they would be, minus the guilt.

  26. Hi, I have this in the oven right now and am at a 45 minute cooking time so far and the center is still not cooked. The rest looks like it is getting overcooked, any suggestions for next time? I live in CO, could it be an altitude thing?

    Thanks, Laura

  27. 5 stars
    I have a question regarding sugar substitute. I try to use honey or maple syrup when recipe calls for white sugar. What would be a good substitute for brown sugar? Have you ever used coconut sugar?

  28. 5 stars
    First of all, I just made this and the house smells amazing!

    I doubled up on everything and made 2 loaves. The flavor and texture are awesome. I’ve looked around at a lot of pumpkin bread recipes and most of them contain atrocious amounts of sugar. This recipe contains much less sugar than any other I found and I think the coconut oil enhances the sweetness. Thanks for an excellent recipe.