pumpkin Loaf slice

This dairy-free, whole wheat pumpkin bread is moist, delicious and easy. This is a quick bread that would be at home for dessert, breakfast or a snack. I just sent a loaf to each of my college students and it traveled well.  They were delighted to receive it. 

I always make two loaves, like the recipe below, so I have some in. the freezer, but you could easily half the recipe, using a small can of pumpkin.   My kids insist on mini chocolate chips being added.  But I love it with the lemon glaze.  

Nutrition tidbits and Substitutions

Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene which is both an antioxidant and vitamin A precursor.  An antioxidant helps fight inflammation caused by free radicals in your body.  

Canned pumpkin contains 7 grams of fiber per cup for only 80 kcals.  It also is a good source of potassium. 

Whole wheat – this is a part whole wheat recipe.  You can easily substitute all whole wheat, especially if you are using white whole wheat flour.  White is often preferred by non- whole wheat lovers because of its milder flavor.  But don’t worry – you are still getting all the benefits of whole wheat.

Substituting to make this gluten-free – a one to one substitution with a gluten-free baking mix should work fine, but I have not tried it.  So we might as well address the elephant in the room:

The benefits of whole grains are great. 

An article in Today’s Dietitian (May 2013) summarized the benefits of whole grains:

“Overall, studies show that consuming two to three servings of whole grain foods per day will provide health benefits, possibly reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and obesity.  In prospective studies, several whole grain components can have a positive effect on gastrointestinal health, including fiber, oligosaccharides, phytochemicals, antioxidant vitamins, and minerals, though fiber has been studied most extensively.”

Eggs –  in this recipe I would try a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water per egg. Let is sit for 5 minutes or so before using in a recipe to allow the soluble fiber to form the gel.)  This recipe does not need the extra moisture that applesauce would give, but it should not hurt either.

Oil – Use whatever oil you prefer, I use canola for the omega 3 fats it contains which gives it a better ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats than most liquid oils.

Spices – we just add a small amount of cinnamon because my husband is sensitive.  However I would like more cinnamon and would add ginger.  Crystalized ginger would be awesome in this recipe if you are a ginger fan.


  • This is a quick recipe.  
  • Combine the eggs & oil and mix well.  
  • Add pumpkin and sugar.  
  • Mix until combined.  
  • I usually combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix to be sure the spices and leavening will be distributed evenly, but it is not really necessary.  
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet in two or three batches.  
  • Add chocolate chips if using.  
  • Grease baking pans and bake.
  • If you are adding the lemon glaze, prepare it while the bread bakes and pour it over the loaves while hot. 
  • Try to wait until cook to cut.  

Like all quick breads, it is better the second day.  (Wrap well and freeze or store at room temperature.)


pumpkin Loaf slice

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

A part whole greain loaf that is simple, delicious, freezes well and loaded with beta-carotene. It makes enough for two loaves, or six mini loaves.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 24
Calories 190 kcal


  • 1 29 ounce can pumpkin
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or other oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour*
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 10 ounce bag mini chocolate chips optional, omit if use lemon glaze

Optional Lemon Glaze (omit chocolate chips if glaze is used.)

  • 1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon rind from 1 lemon


  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Combine the eggs and oil and mix well.
    adding oil to eggs
  • Add the pumpkin. Mix well.
    adding pumpkin to bowl
  • Add the sugar. Mix well.
    adding sugar to mixing bowl
  • Add the dry ingredients in about three batches. ** Mix only until combined after each addition.
    adding dry ingredients to mixing bowl
  • Add mini chocolate chips and stir. (optional)
    mini chocolate chips. being added to batter in bowl
  • Spray your baking pans with cooking spray, or grease with another method.
  • Divide the batter into 2 prepared pans. ***
    dough in 1 long, 3 mini pans
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes in 9 x 5 loaf pans, until toothpick comes out clean. Test after 35 minutes in mini loaf pans, 40 minutes in 12 x 4 inch pans. Bake longer as needed.
  • Cool slightly (about 5 minutes) and remove from pan.
  • Cool on wire rack.
  • This bread will be easiest to slice and the flavor will be the best if you let it sit at room temperature for a day. After the bread is cool, wrap well, then let it sit. Slice and freeze or enjoy!

Optional Lemon Glaze

  • While the bread bakes, prepare the glaze.
  • Zest the lemon before squeezing the juice.
    2 cut lemons on cutting board, lemon reamer glass measuring cup
  • Sift the confectioners sugar & measure.
  • Mix until sugar is dissolved.
    confectioners sugar, lemon juice & lemon oil being mixed
  • Pour over bread as soon as it comes out of the oven.
    lemon glaze being poured over hot loaves
  • Let bread cool at least 10 minutes then remove from pan. (I have left it in the pan to cool completely with the glaze and it has come out fine.)
  • Cool on rack (& see instructions above)


*You can certainly use all whole wheat flour.  The bread will be slightly denser, but still delicious.
**It is probably best if you combine the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, soda & cinnamon) in a separate bowl and whisk.  I do this for most recipes, but I do not usually bother for this one.   If you do not, add some of the leavening or cinnamon each time you add flour to the recipe.
***About the pans: I usually bake this pan in one long "tea" loaf pan 12 x 4.5 inches and three mini loaf pans.  You can use two 9 x 5 inch loaf pan or 8 x 4.5 or any combination.
Inspired by Pumpkin Harvest Loaf, The New American Diet, Sonya L Conner, MS, RD, and William E Conner, MD, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1986.


Calories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 4gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 110mgPotassium: 105mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 66IUVitamin C: 1mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 3µgCalcium: 45mgFolate: 24µgIron: 1mgZinc: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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