This bread has the classic flavor and moist crumb of a traditional Pumpkin Bread, but with half the sugar. It stores well too in the fridge or freezer, and uses a full can of pumpkin!

healthy pumpkin bread sliced on white plate

Healthy Pumpkin Bread

As soon as there was even a hint of fall in the air, I was ready for pumpkin bread. And I had a feeling that the basic method I used for my Lower Sugar Banana Bread would work really well with pumpkin.

And wow it did.

This recipe uses a whole can of pumpkin puree, so you won’t be left with a small amount at the end to use up. And it bakes up moist and delicious. It stores well, is good cold or toasted, and is an easy breakfast or snack to share with the kids.

Sometimes we even have it as a side for something like Veggie Chili or Broccoli Soup.

This quick bread is less sweet, but has the classic texture and flavor you expect.

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ingredients in healthy pumpkin bread

Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Pumpkin puree: I like to use a can of pumpkin for this since you’ll need a full can, but you can also use homemade pumpkin puree.
  • Unsalted butter: You’ll want to melt this and let it cool slightly before stirring it into the batter.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Whole wheat flour: I choose whole wheat flour since it helps absorb the moisture from the pumpkin puree and ensures it bakes through well.
  • Sugar: I use granulated sugar and use about half as much as classic recipes.
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin pie spice: This, paired with cinnamon, adds the classic pumpkin pie flavor.
  • Salt: I add a small amount of salt to help ensure that the flavors taste as good as possible.

Ingredient Substitutions

how to make healthy pumpkin bread step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this recipe so you know what to expect when you get to baking.

  1. Whisk together the wet ingredients. This helps to smooth the batter and avoid any lumps.
  2. Whisk in the dry ingredients to evenly combine and distribute the baking soda and spices throughout.
  3. Add to a greased baking pan. I prefer to grease with classic Pam spray so the bread always comes out of the pan easily.
  4. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.

TIP: You’ll want to let this cool fully before slicing to help it hold together nicely.

sliced pumpkin bread on cutting board

Frequently Asked Questions

Is pumpkin bread healthy?

This pumpkin bread is loaded with whole grain flour, fiber, and vitamin A. And it has about ½ as much added sugar as classic similar breads.

Why is my pumpkin bread gummy?

The best way to ensure that the bread isn’t gummy is to make sure that the baking soda is fresh and also to remove the loaf from the pan soon after taking it out from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. That will help make sure it doesn’t overbake.

What goes well with this?

You can add cream cheese, nut or seed butter, or a little honey to this bread.

What should I serve this with?

We like this with a side of fruit, though it can also be a nice side for chili or soup.

cubes of pumpkin bread on blue plate

How to Store

Store any leftovers, once fully cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for 5 days.

Or freeze slices, once cooled, and freeze in a zip top storage bag with as much air removed as possible for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.

Best Tips for Success

  • Serve chilled or slightly warmed or toasted. (If it’s been a few days and the bread is getting a little dried out, toast it!)
  • Add ½ cup chocolate chips to the batter if desired.
  • Use homemade pumpkin puree or canned puree.
  • Place a piece of foil or parchment over the top of the loaf for the last 15 minutes of baking to ensure it bakes through but doesn’t get too brown.
  • Spread on a thin smear of nut butter or cream cheese if desired.
  • Cut into cubes for younger kids and serve with a simple side of fruit.
  • You may also like Lower Sugar Banana Bread, Cranberry Orange Bread, and Blueberry Banana Bread.

I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe if you try it, so please comment and rate the recipe below.

sliced-pumpkin-bread-on-plate

Healthy Pumpkin Bread (Lower Sugar, SO Good!)

This bread has the classic flavor and moist crumb of a traditional Pumpkin Bread, but with half the sugar. It stores well too! (Heads up: There's a full can of pumpkin puree In this, so it takes a little longer to bake.)
4.99 from 58 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 231kcal
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 14.5 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled; 1 stick)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. (I use classic Pam.)
  • Add the pumpkin, butter, eggs, and vanilla to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Stir in the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula so it's even. Bake for 60 minutes, then place a piece of foil or parchment on top. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted Into the center comes out cleanly. (The foil or parchment will prevent over-browning while the bread continues baking.)
  • Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan (carefully) and let cool on a wire rack completely.
  • Slice and serve.

Notes

  • Store any leftovers, once fully cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, in the fridge for 5 days, or freeze slices, once cooled, and freeze in a zip top storage bag with as much air removed as possible for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Serve chilled or slightly warmed or toasted. (If it’s been a few days and the bread is getting a little dried out, toast it!)
  • Add ½ cup chocolate chips to the batter if desired.
  • Use homemade pumpkin puree or canned puree.
  • Spread on a thin smear of nut butter or cream cheese if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 231kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 242mg, Potassium: 190mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 6732IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My 12mo old liked it. Since it’s lower sugar, it tastes more like pumpkin flavored bread vs the pumpkin load at Starbucks. Remaking it since we finished the first loaf.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this twice in a week and am delighted with how wholesome, delicious and moist it is. As an Aussie, this is not something I have ever had, so can’t wait to try more pumpkin recipes- Thank you! Your food is wonderful!

  3. 5 stars
    I just made this last week for my family and I am about to make it again. It was delicious – perfectly moist, not too sweet. I added a banana that was “time to go” the first time and it just elevated the flavor even more without making it that much sweeter!

  4. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! So quick and good. I made 2 this weekend, one to enjoy and one for the freezer for an easy postpartum breakfast

  5. How would you adjust this recipe for a 12-month-old with the sugar? I’m trying to avoid too much sugar in his diet. Thanks

  6. 5 stars
    I have made this many times, and it’s my favorite for an easy one-bowl recipe for my 4 and 2 year old. I just tried making it in mini muffin tins (sprayed well with Pam, 350 degrees for ten minutes) and they turned out perfectly. It made a ton of muffins and I plan for freeze them! Thank you for being my source of go-to recipes for yummy toddler food 🙂

  7. I think I was expecting a less sweet Starbucks pumpkin bread. But it’s more like pumpkin flavored wheat bread. Now my husband loved this wheat bread and any time I say I’m never making this recipe again he gets upset because he really liked it as toast. It’s just not what I was expecting.

  8. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!!! I made a little powdered sugar glaze to lightly drizzle on top for a little fun and it was perfect. Thank you for this recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    This recipe was SO good! I followed it exactly and it turned out so moist and perfectly sweet without being overly cake like sweet. I really appreciate that it uses a full can of pumpkin as well! Thanks for sharing!

  10. How would you adapt cooking temp and time if I just have a standard square pan (9×9 or so I think)? I don’t have a loaf pan. Thanks! Love your recipes!

    1. I think the bake time would be in the 28-32 minute range for that size pan (that’s my best guess—keep an eye on the middle of the pan as that would be the spot that would take the longest to bake through). Let me know how it goes if you try it!

      1. Yes, don’t level it off since it would be just a smidge more than 1 3/4 cups. I can measure it exactly in a bit but that is about the right amount!

  11. Can I use gluten free all purpose baking flour instead to make this a GF pumpkin bread? Any changes you would recommend?

  12. 5 stars
    Added half a mashed banana, a little extra of the spices, and some chocolate chips. So easy to make and came out great! Would love guidance on how to adapt bake time for muffins instead of a loaf.

      1. What about mini muffins for BLW? Any need to add plain yogurt to make it even more moist? Bake temp and time for the mini muffins? I love using the mini muffin pan for BLW bento boxes for daycare (i.e. egg cups, etc). Leave in the freezer and take out the night prior to make your life easy for food prep!

      2. Hi- I don’t think you’d need to add yogurt. Baking time for minis would be about 12 minutes. I’d do the same temperature!

  13. I actually split the recipe into 12 muffins and cooked for 22-24 minutes on 375 convection bake and they turned out great. A lot easier to portion than slicing the bread and still tastes great.

  14. 5 stars
    Excellent! Followed the recipe (added additional spices and subbed coconut sugar for the white) and it turned out perfectly! Definitely not very sweet which is great for my 13
    month old – as well as the rest of us! Give this a try!

  15. 5 stars
    Perfect amount of sweetness! I used coconut oil and split the batter into two loaves and it worked perfectly. Next time I think I will add slightly more pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon but other than that super tasty.

  16. I’d love it if you had substitutions for egg. And for those wanting sugar free you can use monk fruit sweetener. Studies show monk fruit and erythritol are the ONLY sweeteners that don’t negatively affect the body and brain

  17. Hi! Just a quick note- in the recipe overview it states cook time as 55 min- but the recipe itself says 60 min then an additional 15… so actually 75 min. (Unless I’m reading something incorrectly:)) thanks!

  18. 5 stars
    I made this with all purpose flour because it was all I had on hand and added two extra tablespoons of flour as was recommended in another comment and it turned out great! So yummy!

  19. I love all your recipes! This one is a favorite! I puréed broccoli, spinach, flax seed and lentils and added them to the mix. My kids gobbled it up!

    1. Sounds awesome! How much of the brocolli, lentils etc did you add? And did you precook them? I’m always looking for more ways to kick up protein and add veggies since neither of my kids love vegetables

  20. Is there something you can sub for the sugar? Like apple sauce or a ripe banana? Wanting to bake for my 13mo but not wanting to add any artificial sugar! Thanks!

    1. Pumpkin isn’t very sweet on it’s own so I think you’d need to replace part of the pumpkin with one of those options you mention. If I was going to try it, I would do 1/2 cup pumpkin and 1/2 cup mashed banana because I think that would be a nice balance of flavors. The texture may not be totally the same without the sugar, but I bet it would be good and work well. Report back if you try that!

      1. 5 stars
        The best pumpkin bread I’ve ever tried! The ingredients and process were so easy I can’t believe how good it turned out. I subbed AP white flour because that’s all I had. My kids really enjoyed this too.

    2. 5 stars
      I made mine with the Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer and it came out great! I love using the whole can of pumpkin at once. I’m glad to see a recommendation in the comments for muffin timing and will try that next! I was wondering how many calories you give for the spray of Pam in the loaf tin. Thanks!

    1. I haven’t tried it that way but I think I would add at least 2 additional tablespoons of the all purpose flour to make sure it cooks through well.

      1. 5 stars
        Love it! Made it last night and both kids (2.5 and 16 months) gobbled it up for breakfast. The toddler said “yummy in my tummy!”.

        I used all purpose flour because that’s what I had on hand. I didn’t add any extra and I think it came out fine. I like that the end result isn’t as crumby/messy as some other baked goods.

        Husband suggested adding more pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon next time, but the kids seem happy with it as is.

  21. 5 stars
    This is by far the easiest pumpkin bread recipe I’ve ever made and so delicious. I added chocolate chips to mine and once it was done & cooled it was almost all gone! This is now one of my favorite recipes that I’ll be using here on out!