Pumpkin Spice Bread

by on December 19, 2006
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Pumpkin Bread Gift BasketReading other food blogs over the past couple of weeks has made me think a little about how being vegan has influenced my gift-giving. While lots of cooks, vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike, merrily bake and pack up goodies to give as gifts, I’ve become a little hesitant about giving gifts of food. It’s not that I don’t think that vegan food can be as tasty as non-veganโ€”I’ve had plenty of people ask me for recipes, not even realizing that the dish in question was vegan. It’s just that being vegan has made me see that we all have different food preferences, restrictions, and needs and that what might be a treat for me could be a disappointing reminder of something they can’t eat to people who have, for instance, diabetes or celiac disease. I’ve been on the receiving end of many gifts of goodies that I don’t eat, and while I’m happy to pass them along to someone who will appreciate them, I would hate to give a gift that resulted in someone else being disappointed.

On the other hand, there’s just something about a homemade gift of food that is so much more personal than anything you can buy. So, when I saw these cute ceramic loaf pans at Michael’s, I decided to put my concerns aside and make little loaves of pumpkin bread, one of my favorite recipes, for my daughter’s teachers and bus driver. I put them into baskets, along with a few Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Squares* and some candy canes.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

I’m just going to hope that none of the recipients are following low-carb, gluten-free, or sugar-free diets or are allergic to pecans or pumpkin. But I figure that even if they have to pass the edibles along to someone else, at least they’ll have the little loaf pan and basket to enjoy or re-use .

Pumpkin Spice Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
When cooking this for other people, I usually use a little oil, as noted in the recipe below. It makes the loaf lighter and less likely to sink or be gummy in the middle. But you can make it completely fat-free and still have a tasty treat.
Serves: 8
Wet ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (you can use half canola oil if you want)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed well with 4 tablespoons water
Dry ingredients:
  • 1 2/3 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 โ€“ 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil 1 regular sized loaf pan or 4 small ( approximately 3 1/2 X 5 1/2-inch) loaf pans or a dozen muffin cups. (Or use silicon pans or cups.)
  2. Combine the wet ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend well. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the liquid mixture to the dry, and stir well. Stir in the nuts, if desired. Pour the batter into the pan(s) and place on the center rack of oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out cleanโ€“about 15 minutes for muffins, 35 minutes for small loaf pans, and 60-70 minutes for one large loaf. Allow to cool before removing from pan. Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional info below is without oil or nuts.

Each serving, with oil and 1/4 cup pecans, contains: 318 Calories (kcal); 10 g Total Fat; (26% calories from fat); 3 g Protein; 57 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 237 mg Sodium; 1 g Fiber.

Each serving, without oil and with 1/4 cup pecans, contains: 264 Calories (kcal); 3 g Total Fat; (8% calories from fat); 3 g Protein; 59 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 237 mg Sodium; 2 g Fiber.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/8 of recipe Calories: 239 Fat: trace Carbohydrates: 58g Sodium: 237mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 3g

I’m sorry I don’t have a gluten-free version, but if any of you gluten-free bakers out there have any suggestions, I’d love to give them a try.

* Lindt Excellence chocolate is non-dairy, though made on equipment used to process products containing milk.

Rich and moist, this pumpkin bread makes a great holiday gift and no one will suspect it's vegan and oil-free.

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Blackhorserider September 23, 2009 at 8:26 am

Thank you again for a delicious recipe! I used 2 TBS flaxseed in place of the Ener-G Egg Replacer and it worked well! I'd like to make it again but this time replace the white sugar with molasses. Equivalency data shows 1 1/3 cup molasses plus 1 tsp. baking soda to one cup of sugar. Seems like a lot to me. Think I'll try 1/2 cup molasses along with the 1/2 cup brown sugar already in the recipe.


2 Sylwia October 5, 2009 at 5:40 pm

I tried a few of your recipes and love them. I was looking for a fat free vegan pumpkin bread and cannot find one that doesn't have that much sugar or sugar at all. This one especially has a lot of sugar. Is there a way I can substitute with apple juice concentrate and cut it down? thanks


3 Zena December 17, 2014 at 11:01 am

Hi Sylwia,
I think you can just replace the sugar with Stevia powder. I haven’t yet tried it, but I plan to replace the white sugar with Stevia, and the brown sugar with evaporated cane juice, called panela. This has worked great for me in other recipes.
Good luck!


4 Bonnie October 7, 2009 at 6:08 pm

This was the best!!!! I made it without the oil since for some crazy reason I was out of canola oil. I wasn't sure how it would turn out or taste for that matter without some oil but oh my goodness, it is fabulous!!! I made them in four small bunt pans and they were so cute.


5 Bonnie from Harlem October 20, 2009 at 11:10 pm

I made this last night and am adding it to my repertoire. Its delicious and comforting. Thanks, Susan!


6 Heather K. October 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Love it! It's perfect! Thank you!


7 angelina October 29, 2009 at 10:27 am

i just made this last night for a bake sale and it came out so well, the only problem was getting it out of the tin… do you have any suggestions for next time?


8 Anonymous November 23, 2009 at 3:21 am

Even though we're not vegans, just dairy-free and often vegetarian, I've been enjoying the recipes from your site for the past few years. Last night I made the pumpkin spice bread with a few changes and it is the best pumpkin bread I've ever made! I substituted buckwheat flour for the flour and added 1/2 cup of raisins to the dry ingredients. Instead of the egg replacement, I used the whites of 2 eggs. I also used 2 Tbsp of oil, 3 Tbps of applesauce, and a little extra pumpkin for liquid — no water because the pumpkin was rather wet having just been roasted and pureed.
Thanks for posting some great recipes — tonight I'll be trying the pumpkin pie squares.


9 Samanpka November 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Hi Susan, thanks for another great recipe. Breads like these are such a nice gift, thanks for the idea.

I baked this bread this morning for myself, because I had pumpkin leftover from making the 2-layer cheesecake (!). It was really delicious, and definitely something I will be making again, but the one problem I had was that it did not rise very much. This is actually a problem I always seem to have with quick breads, and I'm not sure why. This time, I followed your recipe exactly, except that I did not have any applesauce, so I used Earth Balance instead (I worked out extra today to justify making this bread). Also, they do not sell Ener-G egg replacer where I live, so I used another brand whose directions are unintelligible – so maybe I messed up with the egg replacer. In any case, it was very dense, about half as high as the lovely loaf in your picture! I even made sure not to overmix the batter.

Anyways, sorry for the long post, but if you have any suggestions for how I can get this to rise more, please let me know! Otherwise, if I make this recipe for gifts I may just make muffins instead.


10 Anonymous December 14, 2009 at 6:08 pm

my comment won't in any way be connected to pumpkin spice bread. i'd only like to say that your blog rocks. the prudence behind the eating credo you subscribe to is so great to see (prudence in general is ๐Ÿ™‚ ), and the way you write makes me laugh out loud. your photos are amazing, and you're truly advocating a way of life that's good on so many levels. way to go!!!!!!! cheers!


11 Allison January 11, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Do you think this would work with barley flour? Or any other flour besides wheat? I'm not gluten sensitive, but I stay away from regular wheat as much as possible.


12 Christy March 20, 2010 at 6:55 am

I made this recipe last night and it is fantastic!! I didn't use any of the oil or nuts and am so surprised at how moist and tasty the muffins are! I'll definitelly be making this one again. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚


13 bridy July 7, 2010 at 4:17 pm

my house smells so good!
I used 100% whole wheat flour and 1 cup of unpacked brown sugar. It tastes great! I also sprinkled some almond shavings on top and used the oil instead of apple sauce.


14 Natalie July 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Hello! I have been a big fan of your site for a long time and I finally got around to making this bread this afternoon. I substituted a few things- whenever I open my baking cabinet, the ingredients just jump out at me and I can’t resist.

I cut the sugar in half and added a little molasses for good measure. I also threw in a bunch of flax (soaked in hot water first) to make up for not using any oil (any time I just use applesauce my baked goods tend to either sink or fall apart- unless I add flax!). Also, I tossed in some dried unsweetened cherries to add a little tartness in addition to the walnuts. Just because I can, I topped it off with some pumpkin seeds.

It turned out SO well and I love your idea of putting in ginger. Delicious! Thanks, Susan!


15 F-M-Mossman September 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm

What are the calories for serving on this one…by the way am totally addicted to your site.


16 F-M-Mossman September 27, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Ooops! Just found the calorie section


17 Katie September 29, 2010 at 11:45 am

I have been making this recipe for two years now and I love it!! As soon as it becomes a bit crispy outside, I make a loaf. It makes a perfect Autumn breakfast, and my boyfriend loves it heated up with (non-vegan) ice cream on top. Thanks so much for my fave fall recipe!!


18 Merri November 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm

So believe it or not I actually accidentally forgot to add 1 cup of sugar that the recipe calls for and instead of nuts I added chocolate chips .The were DELICIOUS even without the sugar.


19 Meg November 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm

I followed the recipe as written using fresh pureed pumpkin instead of canned and I am very impressed with how it turned out! I’m not vegan (neither is my husband) and this was my first attempt at vegan baking. We both think this bread is delicious and it made our apartment smell amazing. I’m now looking forward to trying many more vegan recipes. Thank you! : )


20 Margaret November 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I have this bread in the oven right now. I had a big can of pumpkin so I had to come over here to see what I can make with it. I came across this bread and it looked good so I made 3 batches because I had a huge can of pumpkin. One is muffins and two are loaves. I can’t wait to try it. It smells amazing in here. Thanks!


21 Merry November 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I just made this last night for a guy I’ve been dating. I used canola oil, apple sauce, and a real egg. We absolutely LOVED this bread and could not stop eating it. He asked me if I bought it from a bakery because it tasted so good and looked so attractive. Haha. He even took the rest of the loaf home with him. If I marry this guy, you get credit.


22 Christine December 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Just pulled it out of my oven and tasted it – I followed the recipe to a T and IT IS FANTASTIC!!!!! I’ve been perusing your site for a while now and have tried a few things with varying results, but far and away, this is the best one I’ve tried! I can’t believe its vegan AND healthy! I did the no nuts version, but kept the oil because I have had issues with the density, but will cut my loaf pan into 12 servings to reduce the calorie count. Thanks so much for a great recipe that I will be sharing with all my friends :-).


23 Mouthwatering Vegan December 21, 2010 at 1:35 pm

You can almost smell this delightful loaf (Pumpkin Spice Bread) – I confess, I don’t have all the ingredients at home, but will try it after shopping next week. One question though, can the sugar I use be brown (as you mention both brown and white)?


24 dee April 21, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I was wondering if I could replace canola oil with coconut oil?
I also wanted to keep the sugar down. Any suggestions?


25 Heather May 2, 2011 at 8:05 am

Love this bread! Thanks!


26 Caryn October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

We love it!

Made muffins and used the 2T Flax seed/1/2 C applesauce/whole wheat flour and added some vegan mini choco chips. Mmmmmm. Yummy, sweet, a big hit. Thank you.


27 melissa Rogers December 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm

My idea for making it gluten free….
I use this combo to make 12 muffins ( make sure it is more loose like pancake batter) in the wet ingredients I use 1/4 cup applesauce or 1 mashed banana & 3 Tblsp ground flax meal in 1/2 cup warm water.
For the flour:
1 cup oat flour (gf)
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup light gf flour mix ( equal parts brown rice flour,tapioca flour, corn starch)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbls Rumsfords baking powder


28 Laura January 29, 2012 at 11:56 am

Wow! You never let me down. Love this recipe, and all the others I have tried. Thanks so much from a fellow mother trying to keep my kids healthy and well fed!
I used whole wheat flour for one cup of the flour called for, just delish.


29 Lisa Dominick March 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm

why not use raw honey in place of both white sugar and brown sugar? you would need a total of 3/4 cups. Also try this with oatmeal flour instead of white flour. Finally, I use coconut oil instead of canola for healthier benefits.


30 Susan Voisin March 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Hi Lisa, honey is not vegan, so it’s not an option for me or my blog. Also, changing the recipe from a dry sugar to a liquid one could adversely affect the moisture balance of the recipe.


31 Abe McGowan April 15, 2015 at 6:35 am

Hi Susan- what about using maple sugar? It is dry and the flavor might compliment rather than compete with the finished bread. Would this be a feasible vegan substitute for the sugar?


32 Susan Voisin April 15, 2015 at 7:37 am

I haven’t ever tried it, but it should work. Just remember–sugar is sugar. ๐Ÿ™‚


33 Abe McGowan May 17, 2015 at 7:30 am

Still haven’t tried it yet but when we do, we may make it as cupcake sized samplers- and make half a batch with maple sugar and half with the normal ingredients. Looking forward- Thanks again!

34 Maria M Triana October 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Hi fatfreevegan, my name is Maria. This is an amazing recipe. I love all your recipes so much that I added this one to my blog, but giving the link to here, as the original source, as I always do with everything I publish. Thank you very much for your time and kind consideration.


35 Kristen November 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I do a lot of gluten free baking. I substitute the flour cup for cup with Gluten Free Pantry’s French Bread mix in most recipes. They seem to turn out pretty well and I think it would work great in your pumpkin bread ๐Ÿ™‚


36 cherry January 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Thank you so much for this exciting blog and vegan recipes. I have been sitting for hours reading your recipes and want to try them all.
I have just dicovered your blog recently and I am so eager to try ALL your recipes.
I am trying very hard to change my eating habits and to show my family how delicious vegan cooking can be.
As I cannot find canned pumpkin here in Germany, how many cups pumpkin is one can?
Thank you so much for sharing so generously these wonderful recipes.


37 Annie September 8, 2013 at 8:28 am

I was so excited to make this as muffins for a birthday breakfast, but they just didn’t turn out. They completely lost form and turned into a gooey mess once outside of the pan. I’m an experienced baker (though not with vegan baking) and I don’t know what went wrong. It was almost like there was far too much liquid listed for the amount of dry ingredients. I ended up tossing them (and the time) in the trash.


38 Susan Voisin September 8, 2013 at 8:53 am

Annie, I’m so sorry the recipe didn’t work for you! Could it be that you used a whole can of pumpkin instead of just a cup? Or did you use fresh pumpkin instead of canned? I’ve never had it turn out like that, so I think there must be some simple explanation.


39 Andrea November 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I doubled this recipe with the substitutions below (mostly to reduce oil and sugar used) and it came out delicious! Love a good solid recipe that can be modified a bit for taste and still come out great ๐Ÿ™‚

Doubled all ingredients with following changes:
1/4 cup oil total
1 1/4 cups water total
1 cup sugar total
No ginger or cloves (didn’t have in pantry)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons ground Flax Seed instead of Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/4 cup raisins

Thank you for such a terrific web site – this is my first time commenting but I’ve visited the site and used several of your recipes, all winners!



40 Esther J December 6, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Oh, wow, this recipe was great! I made it into muffins for an elderly neighbor and I was a little reluctant to give them to him. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Actually, not really. (Oil and sugar will need to wait until the next special occasion for me.) I made them with muscovado and brown sugars (but only 2/3 cup total for *half* of the recipe) and I also sub’d half of the apple sauce with melted coconut oil and threw in some walnut pieces.

Ample sweet and moist.

Thanks, Susan!


41 Chery October 16, 2015 at 7:36 pm

1.5 cups sugar is really too much. Why avoid the natural fat in coconut milk while consuming so much sugar? Isn’t this just as unhealthy, if not more, than 1.5 cups of fat?


42 Christine October 30, 2015 at 1:28 pm

I just wanted to let you know that I have been making this for quite a number of years now, and it’s my go to for fall/winter holiday gatherings. I just brought it again for my work Halloween party and it was the only thing that completely went! So many compliments on it – kudos to you!


43 Christina November 18, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Oh my goodness! I have never really left a comment on anything before but I felt the need to say that these are seriously the best muffins I have ever made in my life! I have honestly never had a better taste in my mouth, even before I was vegan! I am also allergic to gluten and all I did was substitute the wheat flour for the same amount of brown rice flower… I would have used gluten free all purpose flour if I had remembered I had it, but the muffins still came out SO fluffy, moist, and absolutely DELICIOUS! I used the applesauce, added a few generous shakes of pumpkin pie spice, and I am IN LOVE! I also added cacao nibs, which on their own I am not a very big fan of, but in this recipe, they taste EXACTLY like chocolate chips! I cannot wait to try the rest of your recipes, they all look amazing. Thank you so much for this recipe, definitely making these for Thanksgiving!


44 Cheryl December 23, 2015 at 11:26 am

I made this bread for a cookie exchange. It was sooooo good and a big hit. Thank you so much for keeping up the web site. It is so helpful with my quest to become 100% fat free vegan. It is a work in progress.


45 Stacy December 23, 2015 at 12:46 pm

I eat gluten free and have made this recipe using Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour. It’s fabulous! And seriously, you just sub the Cup4Cup for whatever flour any recipe calls for. No one can tell the difference. One of my daughters is a professional baker and they use Cup4Cup in their bakery.


46 Stephen Timmons March 30, 2016 at 7:17 am

I notice nutritional info does not list any sugar yet my there is sugar in recipe. Please advise. Recipe looks great.


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