Healthier Pumpkin Bread
This healthier pumpkin bread is made with coconut oil and whole wheat flour. Packed with lots of pumpkin flavor and fall perfect spices, this is an incredibly moist loaf of pumpkin bread. This fall perfect treat is loaded with sweet cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, and just a hint of orange to keep everyone guessing what makes it taste so gosh darn good!
The conversation in my head went something like this: I want healthy pumpkin bread. NOW!
But the oil, and the sugar, and my waistline. And so began the hunt for a healthy pumpkin bread recipe. I wanted my pumpkin loaf to be packed with sweet cinnamon and spice but still moist and delicious for days. Speaking of, I would go so far as to say my pumpkin bread actually tastes better the second day!
There is a TON of pumpkin used in my pumpkin bread recipe. I feel that in order for you to call it ‘pumpkin bread’ the pumpkin should be one of the main ingredients. If the quantity of pumpkin puree is less than that of most ingredients used (as in oil, sugar, butter etc) then it’s just bread with a side of pumpkin, not pumpkin bread. There are 2 main reasons why we use so much pumpkin in this recipe:
Gone are the days of bland and dry pumpkin bread! Along with the pumpkin, the coconut oil, 2 eggs, and a hint of apple cider (or orange juice) keep this pumpkin loaf moist. The sweet cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, ginger, and my secret ingredient – orange zest keep this bread nice and flavorful. The orange zest flavor is just barely even noticeable but it gives the pumpkin bread a nicer, well rounded flavor that keeps people guessing what makes this bread so delicious.
I feel like i’m cheating is I call this a ‘healthy pumpkin bread recipe’. Mainly because i’m still using granulated sugar. And I don’t know how some people feel about using the word ‘healthy’ to describe that kind of a recipe. That is precisely why I settled for ‘healthier pumpkin bread recipe’.
What makes it healthier? Glad you asked!
- We’re using less sugar than most pumpkin bread recipes call for.
- All whole wheat flour! That’s right, no all-purpose flour at all, and you’re not even going to miss it. Fiber. Healthy. Can’t even tell we swapped it.
- No butter! I’ve swapped the butter out for coconut oil. Olive oil, canola or vegetable oil are other great options for you to use.
- Pepitas! We’re using pumpkin seeds on top which adds the perfect amount of crunch and some protein.
You’re guests/friends/ family is going to lick the plate clean when this pumpkin loaf is served.
And I double dog dare you to find even a single dry crumb!
- 1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon all spice*
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg*
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 1/2 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract*
- 1/4 cup apple cider, no sugar added*
- 3 tablespoons pepitas, roasted and salted (or roasted and not salt, up to you)
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, and nutmeg. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until it's combined and lightens in color just slightly. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, oil, orange zest, vanilla extract, orange extract and apple cider. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together using a rubber spatula. It's okay if there are a few lump remaining; do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the pepita seeds on top. Bake the bread for 60-70 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the top of the bread after 30 minutes to prevent the top from excessive browning. Insert a toothpick in the center to test is the bread is done, it should come out clean with only a few small moist crumbs.
- Allow the bread to cool completely in pan on a wire rack before removing. Keep the pumpkin bread in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Baked bread can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Orange juice can be used in place of orange extract + apple cider.
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice can replace allspice + nutmeg.