Say hello to the healthy pumpkin bread of your dreams (and mine too!)
You know I consider myself the muffin queen, but a few years back as I was going through my recipes I realized I had been slacking in the bread department. I’ve since made TONS of delicious quick breads for you, and this fall-inspired bread might just be one of my favs that’s healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast, yet still indulgent enough to feel like a treat. You know how I do.
Please allow me to re-introduce you to this HEALTHY PUMPKIN BREAD. TOPPED WITH A MAPLE GLAZE.
All caps necessary.
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Healthy pumpkin bread ingredients
Truthfully, this easy, healthy pumpkin bread recipe could be one of my favorite pumpkin recipes of all time (besides my soft pumpkin cookies and healthy pumpkin pie.) It’s moist, infused with maple flavor, tender, packed with cozy spices and so delicious that it’s bound to become a forever family favorite. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Pumpkin Puree: my favorite part about this pumpkin bread is that it uses an entire (15 ounce) can of pumpkin puree. Most pumpkin bread recipes call for 1 cup of puree, but with this recipe you don’t have to worry about having leftover pumpkin! Feel free to make your own pumpkin puree using this tutorial too.
- Butter: most of the time I’m using coconut oil in recipes, so I thought, why not use butter for moisture and texture? If you use butter, I highly suggest browning the butter for a toasty, nutty flavor that adds amazing depth to this pumpkin bread. If you don’t want to use butter, you can also use melted and cooled coconut oil, or even olive oil!
- Pure maple syrup: my favorite natural unrefined sweetener to use. If you don’t feel like using pure maple syrup, honey will also work well.
- Eggs: you’ll need two eggs for fluffy texture in the bread.
- Vanilla: the one and only vanilla extract.
- Whole wheat pastry flour: this is one of my favorite whole grain flours to use because it keeps baked goods soft instead of dense. If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour, you can use white whole wheat flour OR feel free to sub 1 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour.
- Baking soda: to help the bread rise!
- Pumpkin spices: I prefer to use my own blend of pumpkin spices instead of using pumpkin pie spice. This pumpkin bread uses cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice.
The addictive maple glaze
Not only is the maple glaze for the homemade pumpkin bread easy to make, but you’ll find yourself wanting to put it on just about anything and everything. Of course, the glaze is completely optional but I find that it adds a little uniqueness to the bread. All you’ll need is powdered sugar, pure maple syrup and almond milk. Yum.
What makes this pumpkin bread healthy?
- It’s a great source of whole grains. We’re using whole wheat pastry flour instead of regular, white refined flour for the perfect boost of fiber and whole grains.
- It’s packed with vitamins and fiber. Because we’re using a whole can of pumpkin in this healthy pumpkin bread recipe you’re getting a delicious source of vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants.
- It’s naturally sweetened. We’re just using a bit of pure maple syrup instead of refined sugars to naturally sweeten this bread. Feel free to use my paleo powdered sugar for the glaze, too!
- It’s easily dairy free. While I love the moisture that good old butter adds to this pumpkin bread, feel free to use coconut oil or vegan butter to keep the bread dairy free.
Tips for making this healthy pumpkin bread
- Follow the recipe. The best way to ensure the success of this easy, healthy pumpkin bread is to follow the recipe and use the exact ingredients as written (unless I note specific substitutes).
- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. If your eggs are too cold you risk the butter coagulating. To bring your eggs to room temp, simply place them in a bowl of warm water for 3-5 minutes before you use them.
- Do not overmix the batter. If you overmix batter you’ll end up with a bread that’s more dense and gummy instead of fluffy and soft.
- Use fresh baking soda. If your baking soda is older than 3 months, I suggest grabbing a new one for best baking results.
- Line your loaf pan. I recommend lining your loaf pan with parchment paper AND spraying it with nonstick cooking spray so that your pumpkin bread comes out easily.
How to make pumpkin bread into muffins
I know I’m going to get questions on if this healthy pumpkin bread can be made into muffins and the answer is YES.
- Divide the pumpkin bread batter evenly between 12 greased muffin cups.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until a tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Don’t forget that delicious maple glaze!
How to store & freeze healthy pumpkin bread
- To store: this bread will last for a few days on the counter, but after that, I suggest wrapping it up and keeping it in the fridge.
- To freeze: let the pumpkin bread completely cool and wrap it tightly with aluminum foil. Then, place it in a freezer-friendly bag and pop it into the freezer. Bread will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Just look at that texture! I can’t stop staring at it. Or frankly baking this bread. I find that somehow it continues to get better as the days go on. My recommendation? Top a slice with peanut butter or almond butter and a sprinkle of sea salt for the ultimate 3pm afternoon snack!
More pumpkin recipes to try
Get all of my pumpkin recipes here!
If you make this healthy pumpkin bread, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below to let us know how you liked it. You can also use the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram!
Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Maple Glaze
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
The best healthy pumpkin bread made with an entire can of pumpkin puree! This cozy, healthy pumpkin bread recipe is loaded with pumpkin spices and naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup. It’s perfectly moist, topped with the most addictive maple glaze and can easily be made into pumpkin muffins!
- For the wet ingredients:
can pumpkin puree
pure maple syrup
- For the dry ingredients:
whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)
- For the glaze:
pure maple syrup
unsweetened almond milk (any milk will work), if necessary to thin glaze
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Line an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Add butter to a saucepan and place over medium heat. The butter will begin to crackle and then foam. Make sure you whisk constantly during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a medium bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes or until cool enough to touch.
Add pumpkin puree, pure maple syrup, eggs and vanilla to a large bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Whisk in browned butter.
In a separate large bowl, stir together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice until well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake for 50-65 minutes until a tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Allow bread to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove bread from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Once bread is completely cool, make the maple glaze: In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, pure maple syrup and almond milk (only if necessary to thin the glaze). Pour over the pumpkin bread, then cut into slices and serve!
*Feel free to sub 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices mentioned.
How to make pumpkin bread into muffins: Divide the batter evenly between 12 greased muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes until a tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Don’t forget that delicious maple glaze.
See the full post for tips, tricks and ways to customize this healthy pumpkin bread!
Servings: 12 slices
Serving size: 1 slice (with glaze)
Saturated fat: 4g
This post was originally published on September 19th, 2019, republished on September 30th, 2020, and republished with new photos on September 29th, 2022.