The holidays have passed, and the unofficial pumpkin season is winding down. But that doesn’t mean you have to abandon pumpkin bread! Canned pumpkin is available year round, and it’s easy to turn that classic pumpkin bread into a better-for-you loaf that you can enjoy any time. This is our favorite dairy-free healthy pumpkin bread recipe that is nutritious enough for breakfast. It also happens to be naturally free of eggs, nuts, and soy, and it’s plant-based.
Healthy Pumpkin Bread that’s Moist, Tender, and Just Sweet Enough
I do love pumpkin bread. But most recipes are a little too indulgent to enjoy often. So I decided to create a dairy-free healthy pumpkin bread recipe that’s whole grain, lower in sugar, and melt-in-your-mouth tender. I like it for breakfast or with afternoon tea. It’s amazing slathered with nut butter, seed butter, chia jam, or buttery spread. I originally posted this recipe over five years ago, but have since updated it with nutrition facts, added notes, and the following FAQs.
Is there a Substitute for the Flaxseed?
You can use chia seed instead. Use an equal amount of chia seeds or chia seed meal in place of the flaxseed meal.
Can I Use Eggs Instead of Flaxseed?
I haven’t tested it, but if you are okay with eggs, it should work just fine. Omit the flaxseed and add 2 eggs with the wet ingredients. You might also need less milk beverage. I would add milk beverage as needed for a thick batter that’s a little bit thinner than pudding.
I Don’t Have Vanilla Milk Beverage. Should I Add Vanilla?
You can use plain milk beverage or water and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. If you don’t have any vanilla, don’t worry. It will still be tasty!
What Oil Do You Recommend?
Your favorite baking oil should work great! I typically use extra-light olive oil (not extra-virgin) or grapeseed oil. But it’s up to you! Most neutral-tasting oils are seamless in this healthy dairy-free pumpkin bread. If you opt to use coconut oil, make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature. If any ingredients are cold, the oil will bead up. It begins to solidify once it hits the cold. If this happens, just mix! Your mixer should heat it up enough.
Can I Use Dairy-Free Butter Alternative instead of Oil?
Yes, you can! You can either use melted buttery sticks or spread, or cream softened butter alternative with the sugars and then blend in the other wet ingredients. The latter will make it a little more cake-like.
Special Diet Notes: Healthy Pumpkin Bread
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based. I haven’t tested this recipe without gluten, but let me know if you do try it gluten-free! If you need a gluten-free classic pumpkin bread, see my Perfect Pumpkin Bread for All recipe.
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (see Flour Note below)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg or allspice
- ½ teaspoon baking powder (omit over 4000 feet for higher altitude)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1½ cups pumpkin puree
- ½ cup maple syrup (can sub honey)
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar (for less sweet) or firmly packed brown sugar (for more sweet)
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed or flaxmeal
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup unsweetened vanilla dairy-free milk beverage
- ½ cup optional add-ins (raisins, dairy-free chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried cranberries, etc)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease four mini loaf pans (5x3-inch each) or one 9x5-inch loaf pan. Flour the inside bottom(s) of the loaf pan(s) or line the bottom(s) with parchment paper overhanging on each long side.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice, baking powder (if using), salt, and cloves.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, sugar, flaxseed, oil, and vanilla with a hand mixer until smooth.
- Add the dry mixture and milk beverage to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined. Do not over-mix. Fold in the optional add-ins (if using).
- Scrape the batter into you prepared loaf pan(s) and level the batter out.
- Bake for about 35 minutes if using mini loaf pans, 50 to 60 minutes if using a full-size loaf pan, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.
- Let the bread cool for 15 minutes in the pan(s) before turning it out to a wire rack. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.