Ready or not, #PSL season has arrived! Let’s kick it off with VEGAN PUMPKIN BREAD. This marvelously moist, springy, and pumpkin-spiced bread is dairy-free, whole wheat, naturally sweetened, and uses a whopping WHOLE CAN of pumpkin (no weird pumpkin leftovers!).

A loaf of moist vegan pumpkin bread made without oil and topped with pecans and pumpkin seeds for a healthy breakfast or snack

Plus, this recipe contains NO OIL. The pumpkin does 100% of the lifting to make it super soft and tender, no extra fat or added sugars required.

The vegan pumpkin bread came to be a few weeks ago on an unexpectedly chilly morning. A crisp breeze ruffled the leaves in that particular way that belongs distinctly to autumn. I found a can of pumpkin in the pantry and took a poll on Instagram to see how many of you were ready for pumpkin recipes.

The answer? BRING ON THE SQUASH.

While I have dozens of healthy pumpkin recipes on my site both sweet and savory, pumpkin bread is what I crave first when pumpkin season arrives. I love the way it fills my house with warm scents of cinnamon and nutmeg, how fast and easy it is to make, and the way every bite wraps me up like the fuzzy plaid scarves waiting to emerge from my closet.

Pumpkin bread recipes are also some of the simplest to make healthy and still taste fab. Pumpkin itself is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, and more. Plus, since pumpkin is naturally moist, you can easily bake pumpkin bread without needing to add extra fat.

I also make pumpkin bread first for no other good reason than that I adore it, which is perhaps the best reason of all.

It’s also probably the reason I have a cache of healthy pumpkin bread, all of which I love for uniquely delicious reasons: Paleo Pumpkin Bread (this one is gluten-free and beyond moist); Healthy Pumpkin Bread (the timeless classic); Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (has oatmeal and made me everyone’s favorite co-worker in my last job); Pumpkin Banana Bread (best of both worlds)…and I’m not done yet.

Especially when there’s this dairy free, oil free, refined sugar free scrumptiousness like this Vegan Pumpkin Bread to bake!

As I mentioned, this vegan pumpkin bread is made without oil. Instead I used applesauce, and it worked like an absolute charm.

Even if you aren’t vegan, I encourage you to try this healthy vegan pumpkin bread. It rises sky high and tastes like glorious fall days to come. I adapted the recipe from my favorite Vegan Pumpkin Muffins (which have glowing reviews). I can’t wait for you try it.

One of the best, moist Vegan Pumpkin Bread recipes in a loaf pan

How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Bread

The Ingredients

  • PUMPKIN. The whole can! It makes this bread unbelievably moist and tender, no oil required.
  • White Whole Wheat Flour. This pumpkin bread is 100% whole wheat, but thanks to the mild flavor of white whole wheat flour, you’ll never suspect it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This bread must be made with wheat flour. Coconut flour and almond flour will not work and cannot be substituted. If you’d like to make pumpkin bread with almond flour, please check out my Paleo Pumpkin Bread (linked above). I don’t have a coconut flour pumpkin bread (yet). Anyone interested?

  • Pure Maple Syrup. Maple and pumpkin are fall flavor buddies! This recipe does not use sugar (the refined kind). Pure maple syrup is all you need. Note: do not use imitation maple syrup. It does not taste the same or perform the same in baking as pure (real) maple syrup.
  • Flaxseed Meal. This omega-3 rich nutrient adds to the healthy factor of this vegan pumpkin bread and stands in for the eggs. (If you don’t need the bread to be vegan, you can use eggs instead.)
  • Unsweetened Applesauce. Making this pumpkin bread with applesauce eliminates the need for oil. It would also be a delicious way to use this homemade crockpot applesauce.
  • SPICES! Pumpkin on its own is actually pretty bland, so we need to spice it up. Pumpkin Pie Spice is a true time saver and worth adding to your pantry if you bake often. The one downfall is that it doesn’t have enough cinnamon in it (in my cinnamon-loving opinion), so I added some extra cinnamon to the recipe also.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract. No resisting it.
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk. Or any milk you like. If you are concerned with keeping the bread vegan/dairy free, be sure to use a dairy free option.
  • Toppings and Mix-Ins. Feel free to top this pumpkin bread with chopped nuts, pumpkin seeds, or chocolate chips. It would also be delicious as a pumpkin cranberry bread. 

In addition to sprinkling the nuts, seeds, and/or chocolate chips on top, you can also fold up to ½ cup into the batter. Given my love of pumpkin and chocolate together, I suspect that a chocolate chip vegan pumpkin bread is sure to follow later this fall.

Dairy free Vegan Pumpkin Bread that's low in calories and moist

The Directions

Another favorite feature of vegan pumpkin bread: it is SUPER easy to make!

  • Grab a small and a large mixing bowl. In the small bowl, stir the flaxseed meal together with the water and set aside. Let it gel for a few minutes. This creates a flax “egg” that will bind the vegan pumpkin bread and help it rise too.

Pumpkin puree and flax eggs in mixing bowls for making moist and healthy Vegan Pumpkin Bread

  • In the large mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Add that magic flax egg!
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. If you accidentally go overboard on the pumpkin spice, I will not judge.
  • Add the dry ingredients all at once to the wet ingredients and stir. Be gentle.

Batter for healthy, moist Vegan Pumpkin Bread in a mixing bowl that's low in calories

  • Now it’s time to bake! Line an 8×4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper (no one likes sticking). Scrape the batter in (it will be thick but don’t worry). Sprinkle the top as your heart desires.

Vegan Pumpkin Bread in a loaf pan that's low in calories, moist, healthy, and topped with pumpkin seeds and pecans

  • Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees F, then loosely tent the pan with foil to keep the top from browning too quickly. Keep on baking for another 50 to 60 minutes (70 to 80 minutes total), until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Now the hard part: let it cool in the pan for a full hour. This will give the flavors time to marry and make the bread easier to cut. Serve yourself a big ‘ol slice and ENJOY.

How to Store Vegan Pumpkin Bread

  • To Store. Keep bread at room temperature according to this guide for How to Store Muffins and Quick Breads for up to 2 days. This bread is SUPER moist, and doesn’t last as long at room temperature. If you want it to last longer, I suggest placing it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Freeze. Place vegan pumpkin bread in an airtight freezer safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. I also love to wrap and freeze individual slices for quick pumpkin bread portions.

Recommended Tools To Make Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Dairy free and healthy Vegan Pumpkin Bread in a loaf pan that's moist and can be topped with chocolate chips

What are you most excited to bake this fall? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. And if you make this recipe, please let me know! Your enthusiasm and hearing you enjoy my recipes makes my day, every day ♥

A loaf of moist vegan pumpkin bread made without oil

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

5 from 13 votes
Moist, DELICIOUS vegan pumpkin bread made with applesauce and no oil! EASY, packed with fall spices, and naturally sweetened, this recipe is the best!

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 1 hr 10 mins
Total: 2 hrs 35 mins

Servings: 8 slices (1 loaf)

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree about 1 ½ cups (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For topping: pumpkin seeds chocolate chips, or chopped raw walnuts or pecans (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, stir the flaxseed meal together with the water. Set aside for 5 minutes to thicken (this creates 2 “flax eggs.”) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper so that two sides of paper overhang two opposite sides of the pan like "handles." Lightly coat with nonstick spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and applesauce until well blended. Add the thickened flaxseed mixture, and stir until fully combined. Stir in the pumpkin puree, almond milk, and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the white whole wheat flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the wet ingredients. By hand, stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, just until the flour disappears. The batter will be very thick.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips, nuts, or pumpkin seeds as desired. Bake for 20 minutes, then loosely tent the pan with foil to keep the top from browning too quickly. Continue baking for 50 to 60 additional minutes (70 to 80 minutes total), until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Be sure to test the bread and a few different places to make sure that it is fully cooked through. An even easier way to check: use an instant read thermometer! When it registers 200 degrees F at the center of the loaf, the bread is baked.
  • Place the pan on a wire rack, and let it cool in the pan for 1 hour. Gently remove the loaf from the pan using the parchment paper handles, and transfer the loaf to the wire rack to finish cooling completely. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you do not need the pumpkin bread to be vegan, you can replace the flax eggs (2 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 5 tablespoons water) with 2 large eggs at room temperature (omit the water).
  • No pumpkin pie spice? Use 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice.
  • TO MAKE GLUTEN-FREE: I haven't yet experimented with making this bread gluten-free. If you'd like to try, I would recommend starting with a 1:1 baking blend like this one.
  • TO STORE: Store at room temperature according to this guide for How to Store Muffins and Quick Breads for up to 2 days (this bread is SUPER moist, so it doesn't last as long at room temp) or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze for up to 3 months. I also love to freeze individual slices for quick pumpkin bread portions.
  • Recipe adapted from my Vegan Pumpkin Muffins.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 164mgFiber: 4gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 19IUCalcium: 87mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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Recipe Rating




56 Comments

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  1. I will definitely make this bread this week! The apple smoothie was delicious. So love receiving your recipes in my email!

  2. Trying this ASAP! (and all the other pumpkin bread recipes too :P) I really wanted pumpkin bread this weekend but couldn’t bring myself to make the sugary/fake box mix I had in the pantry. I already have 99% of this recipe’s ingredients, so after a picking up a can of pumpkin on the way home, I’ll be all set to fulfill my pumpkin bread craving!

  3. Hope not to alienate you with this comment, Erin, but I’m with your husband – NIX on the chocolate & pumpkin :-/ … Just. No. But spice overload? AMEN.
    (Promise, NOT a serial killer!)
    I have a bag of Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF flour that needs to be used, and two cans of pumpkin. I’m on this Pumpkin Bread this afternoon! Will try very hard to remember to post a review afterward, if I’m not too busy eating pumpkin bread and trying to further triangulate where your awesome recipes correlate to pantry staples needing seasonal rotation ;-). Happy fall and thanks for the smile the excellence of recipes and blog writing gives me daily!5 stars

  4. If I were to put this into 3 mini pans would it work ok? How long do you think it would need to bake? Thanks! it looks so yummy!

    1. Hi Christine! I haven’t tried the recipe this way, so I can’t say how it would turn out. If you experiment with this, I suggest checking the bread frequently to make sure it doesn’t overcook. You could also try working from my Vegan Pumpkin Muffins recipe, if you want to use a smaller pan. I hope this helps!

  5. It might still be 90+ and humid in Charlotte, NC, but yesterday in my apartment it was a cool 68 and smelled like fall thanks to this vegan pumpkin bread. It was super easy to make and absolutely DELICIOUS! I added 1/2 cup chopped pecans to the batter and another sprinkling on top. SO GOOD!5 stars

  6. Phenomenal! I made ours GF for Matt, & it’s so tasty. I should have let it baked about five or at most 10 minutes more, but I cooked a slice in the skillet, & oh my word, heaven. It had a crispy exterior & doughy interior. Tasted like pumpkin pie. Thank for this stellar recipe, Erin! 5 stars

      1. I use Bob’s Red Mills GF 1-for-1 all purpose flour! It comes in the blue bag. If you purchase their other GF flour in a yellow & red bag, you’ll need xanthan gum. I’ve always had the most success from the former. Hope this helps! 

    1. Hi Stephanie! Whole wheat pastry flour is more finely ground than white whole wheat flour, and it produces lighter results so your bread texture may be moderately impacted. All purpose flour would be a more direct swap. I hope you love the recipe if you try it!

  7. Love love LOVE this recipe! Always looking for some oil-free and refined sugar-free plant-based (so many words haha) fall recipes and this one was perfect! Made the bread today and the only comment I have is that I needed to bake it longer than what was listed…I had it in for the 20+60 minutes suggested plus an extra 5 and it still came out a little too doughy. I like it moist but it definitely should have been in a bit longer. Thanks for this great recipe!!5 stars

  8. I made this a couple of days ago and it turned out great. I baked it in my silicone bundt pan and it took only about 50 minutes to bake and came out of the pan very easily (no sticking!).
    The next time I make it I’ll add some dried cranberries or apricots to brighten up the flavor. IMHO it needs a bit of tartness, but I can’t fault the recipe since it did come out perfectly.5 stars

  9. I just made this bread with 1 banana instead of apple sauce and 1 cup gluten free flour, 1 cup coconut flour. It turned out amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe!5 stars

  10. Finally a recipe that uses the whole can of pumpkin! I generally don’t leave comments, but this recipe is too good not to! I have done my share of vegan baking in the past and this by far has been my non vegan husbands favorite, so much so that he went out of his way to say so. I had my 6 & 4 y/o help make it (thought it would be a fun family activity) and we accidentally poured way too much applesauce in the bowl so ended up omitting half of the maple syrup and it still turned out amazing!!! I generally like a really well spiced pumpkin (anything) so I doubled the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla and had no issues. This is such a forgive recipe. Thank you so much for sharing. We will be making this several more times. This is a great little snack and also tastes divine toasted with some pumpkin spice cream cheese slathered on for breakfast. Thank you thank you thank you!5 stars

    1. This made my day, Maylis! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this kind review! I’m so happy the recipe was a hit!

  11. I have made this multiple times and it’s wonderful each time.   If you haven’t made this yet; you need to!  It won’t disappoint. 5 stars

  12. Hey! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Made a loaf tonight and had a similar experience as some of the others who commented. Even with the 20 + 60 min bake time, it came out wet (toothpick tested). I put it in for another 20 min at 350 degrees, which firmed it up a bit but it still tasted doughy. Not sure what happened, but was planning to try the paleo version and hoping for better luck…

    1. Dan, it’s so hard for me to say without being in the kitchen with you! Did you use whole grain flour? It absorbs more liquid that all purpose flour, so that could affect your bake time too. I’m glad it came out in the end!

      1. Thanks Erin! I used whole wheat flour and not sure why it didn’t firm up as quickly but going to give it another try with the paleo pumpkin bread! :)

        1. I hope it goes better Dan! (FYI, all ovens are different, so that could be part of the issue too! The paleo pumpkin bread is VERY moist because of the kind of flour it is made with, just a heads up. I hope you enjoy it!)

  13. These were amazing! I dislike using oil in my recipes. They didn’t need the egg. I did use a gluten free flour and it was one to one. ( not bobs red mill, that is my least favorite gluten free flour because of chickpea flour.) Plus I love maple syrup. So i kinda feel like you made this recipe for me! I made them as cupcakes and just baked for less time5 stars

  14. I thought this was the best oil-free bread I’ve ever made. Didn’t miss it a bit.
    I left it cool in the pan for an hour or so and found the bottom quite wet. I poured out a tablespoon or more of liquid out of the pan. Is this normal?

    1. Hi Sheila, I’m so happy that you enjoyed this bread recipe! I’m sorry to hear that the bottom was so wet though. Was it cooling in the pan for longer than an hour? Did you let the flax seeds thicken for the flax egg? I’m glad you were still able to enjoy it!

  15. So delicious and moist! This will definitely be an all-year-round fave in my family. I love that this isn’t oversweet, just full of flavor! Pumpkin comes through beautifully.5 stars

  16. Hi, I am excited to try this recipe. One question, I have never seen white whole wheat flour. I have all-purpose white flour and whole wheat flour. Which do you recommend I try?
    Thanks!

  17. Can oat flour be substituted for white whole wheat flour?  I make pumpkin muffins with banana and oat flour and they are amazing. Wonder if it would work in this recipe too?

  18. Really good and not overly sweet. I baked it hotter, 375 degrees for 55 minutes in my convection oven. It baked perfectly.5 stars

  19. I followed the recipe, trying with with 1:1 gluten free flour… didn’t work for me unfortunately. Ended up adding addition cooking time and still very doughy with the outside being very hard. Sounds like a great recipe, may try when I do have some whole wheat flour!

  20. Hi Caitlin, I’m sorry you had trouble with this recipe! It doesn’t sound like the pan size would’ve caused this issue. It’s so hard for me to say without being in the kitchen with you. Something might have been mismeasured, or it could be that your oven temperature was off (do you have an oven thermometer? You’d be surprised!). Again, I’m sorry you had trouble with this recipe, and I truly wish it would’ve turned out for you!