The Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe That’s Actually Kinda Healthy


Call me an extremist, but by the time October arrives, I’m already stockpiling cans of puréed pumpkin in my pantry. I think it stems from this one weekend a few years ago when I was dying to make pumpkin bread, and there was some kind of shortage on puréed pumpkin at the grocery store and the shelves were totally bare. I had to make banana bread instead, which did nothing to satisfy my cravings… so now I plan ahead to avoid this nightmare situation at all costs.

Since I currently have quite a few cans of pumpkin on hand, I’ve been playing around with my classic pumpkin bread recipe and have made a few tweaks that have resulted in a bread that’s a bit healthier — and dare I say, even tastier, too.

Keep scrolling for my tips on making this year’s pumpkin bread your best ever, and I’d love to hear if you try this recipe in the comments!

photos by kristen kilpatrick

This recipe can be made into muffins, cupcakes (hello, cream cheese frosting!), bread in a traditional loaf pan, or a bundt cake, like I did here. An added bonus is that you can call it whatever you want to meet your needs in a given moment. For example, when I eat it for breakfast, I tell myself it’s a “healthy bread,” and when my kids ask for their dessert, I can proclaim, “Who wants a slice of warm, gooey pumpkin cake?!” See how that works? Everyone’s happy.

This caramel glaze is totally necessary optional. It’s ridiculously easy — just stir together butter, sugar, & cream on the stove — and drizzles over the top of the cake like a dream. If you want to go a bit healthier, just leave it off and the cake is beyond delicious on its own. I added a few extra toasted walnuts to the top of the cake for added crunch and prettiness.

Okay, so what makes this bread healthier than most other recipes out there? I’ve made a few substitutions with wholesome, less processed ingredients than actually enhance the flavor, too. Applesauce and maple syrup stand in for most of the processed sugar (though I included a little), and I used coconut oil and greek yogurt as healthier fat alternatives to the vegetable oil you often find in traditional recipes. The addition of whole wheat flour upps the nutrients, and I love the more complex nuttiness it adds to the final bread.

The walnut, cinnamon and sugar streusel in the center of the bread is an easy addition that really takes this to the next level – no man, woman or child will be able to resist a second slice.

Are you feeling the fall vibes yet? ‘Cause this bread will fill your kitchen with all the scents of autumn. Hope you give this one a try, and don’t forget to invite a few friends to gather around the table and share it with you.

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