This insanely delicious vegan pumpkin bread is soft, fluffy and moist! The recipe uses a whole can of pumpkin puree, is packed with warm spices and comes together in just one bowl.
Simple ingredients you'll need
The full list of ingredient quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Notes about the ingredients
Pumpkin puree, either canned or homemade (I've tested this pumpkin bread with both)! I love using Libby's canned pumpkin puree as it's thicker than most brands. If you use homemade pumpkin puree, make sure it has a similar consistency to the above picture. I've listed some tips for making your own puree further down in this post.
Light brown sugar for depth of flavor. Granulated sugar makes the pumpkin bread fluffier but lacks depth of flavor. For refined sugar-free bread, use coconut sugar, granulated stevia or erythritol.
Dairy-free milk. I prefer using soy milk in baking as it's higher protein which makes breads/muffins more tender. However, any milk will work, such as oat milk or almond milk.
Baking powder AND baking soda to ensure the bread rises well and isn't too dense or moist, unlike many pumpkin bread recipes.
Flaxseed meal or ground chia seeds (optional) to help bind the ingredients. Your pumpkin bread will still work without flax/chia but will be slightly more crumbly.
How to make vegan pumpkin bread
I specially developed this recipe so the batter comes together in one large bowl! You don't need to prepare the flax egg separately, which means less washing up.
Here are my top tips for soft and fluffy pumpkin bread:
- Measure the flour accurately using the spoon and level method. Or use the grams measurements. Adding too much flour to this bread (or any recipe) will make it dry and dense.
- Use fresh baking powder and soda. Older baking powder and soda lose their effectiveness and result in denser bread.
- Don't overmix the batter. Mix the batter until JUST combined. The key is to stop mixing once there are no more streaks of flour or pumpkin puree.
Your final pumpkin bread batter should be thick. If it looks curdled, don't worry! Using Libby's pumpkin puree sometimes results in a curdled batter (see pictures 2 & 4) but it bakes beautifully. When I used homemade pumpkin puree, my batter was smoother.
Tips for baking the bread loaf
This recipe makes a tall vegan pumpkin bread so it will take over 1 hour to bake.
If your oven runs hot (or has strong heating elements at the top), the top of your pumpkin bread may brown quickly while the center is still raw. If this happens, I recommend tenting your loaf pan with aluminum foil and reducing your oven temperature by 50°F (10°C).
When you remove the pumpkin bread from the oven, allow it to cool in the pan for around 15 minutes then place it on a wire rack. If you leave it to cool in the pan, the bottom may become soggy.
Serving the pumpkin bread
Cakes and quick breads are always a bit crumbly when they're hot from the oven! So, it's easiest to slice this pumpkin loaf when it has mostly cooled down or is at room temperature. The bread is even easier to slice the next day!
If you have leftover pumpkin bread, you can keep it for a few days or freeze individual slices. Or, use leftovers in a delicious pumpkin trifle!
Customizing this vegan pumpkin bread recipe
Yes, some delicious additions are:
- chopped pecans, walnuts or pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- a cinnamon sugar layer, such as from my pumpkin coffee cake recipe.
On top of the bread, you can add:
- chopped pecans, walnuts, chocolate chips or rolled oats
- a crumb topping such as the one from my pumpkin muffins.
The most flavorful way to make pumpkin puree is:
1. Grab a large pumpkin or butternut squash/pumpkin and cut it in half. Remove the pumpkin seeds
2. Place the pumpkin, flat side down on a lined baking tray.
3. Bake the pumpkin in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 45 minutes or until it is fork tender.
4. Allow the pumpkin to cool. Scoop out the flesh then puree it in a food processor or blender. You may need to stop your appliance and scrape down the sides a few times.
Alternatively, you can chop your pumpkin and steam it. This method is quicker but less flavorful.
More vegan pumpkin recipes
Check out my round-up post for all my vegan Thanksgiving desserts.
Vegan Pumpkin Bread
Wet ingredients for pumpkin bread
- 15 ounces (425g) pumpkin puree, canned or homemade (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 cup (190g) packed light brown sugar, or granulated cane sugar (note 1)
- ½ cup (125g) neutral flavored oil
- ⅓ cup (85g) dairy-free milk,
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, or ground chia seeds (note 2)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or lemon juice (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
Dry ingredients for pumpkin bread
To decorate (optional, see note 4 for alternatives)
- ½ cup (60g) raw pumpkin seeds
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8-inch (20 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper.
Preparing the pumpkin bread:
- Add the wet ingredients including the sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until there are no big lumps of flour or streaks of wet ingredients. If your batter looks curdled, don't worry (this is due to the consistency of your pumpkin puree).
- Pour or scoop the batter into your prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface with a spoon. If desired, sprinkle the top of the loaf with pumpkin seeds.
Baking the pumpkin bread:
- Bake the bread for around 1 hour and 5 minutes. The time it takes to bake this bread will hugely depend on your oven. If you insert a toothpick in the center, there shouldn't be any wet batter, though some moist crumbs are fine.
- Allow the bread to cool in the tin for around 15 minutes then cool on a cooling rack.
- When the pumpkin bread is at room temperature, cut with a serrated knife and enjoy! The bread is wonderful by itself or toast a slice with some vegan butter.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, in the fridge for 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. However, it usually doesn't last that long in my home!
- Light brown sugar provides the best flavor. However, you can use granulated sugar (for fluffier bread) or coconut sugar (for refined-sugar free bread).
- This pumpkin bread will still work without flax/chia seeds, but your loaf will be slightly crumblier.
- It's important to measure the flour accurately otherwise, your bread will be dry and dense. If you're using measuring cups, use the spoon and level method where you fluff up the flour in the bag, use a spoon to add flour to a measuring cup, then level it off with a knife. I don't recommend using the measuring cup to scoop flour out of your container as it'll add too much flour to the recipe. Alternatively, use the grams measurements.
- To make your own pumpkin spice, use 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger and ½ teaspoon ground cloves. If you don't have any nutmeg, ginger or cloves, add more cinnamon.
- Alternatively, you can top your loaf with the pumpkin seed streusel topping from my pumpkin muffins recipe, chocolate chips or rolled oats.
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