Soft, moist, and fragrant with fall spices, this easy Vegan Pumpkin Bread is a sweet fall treat everyone will love! Add diced pears or apples, or even chocolate chips for a yummy twist. It’s oil-free and so delicious!
Reason to love this easy quick bread:
- big fall flavor
- easy to make
- no stand mixer required
- makes your house smell amazing as it bakes
- dairy-free and oil-free
- perfect for snack time or dessert
- super delicious (my daughter says it’s mind blowing!)
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Flour ~ I wanted to keep this recipe as simple as possible, so chose to use all-purpose flour. You could use an equal amount of white whole wheat flour or spelt flour if you prefer. For a gluten free option, an all-purpose gluten free flour blend designed to replace wheat flour 1:1 would work.
Cornstarch ~ A couple tablespoons of cornstarch helps the bread stay nice and soft.
Sugar ~ I use a combination of white sugar and coconut sugar for optimal taste. I love the caramel flavor of coconut sugar, but find it’s not sweet enough on its own in this bread. Cane sugar provides nice sweetness while still allowing the deep flavor of the coconut sugar to come through. If you like your bread less sweet, you can safely cut down the sugar by ½ cup without changing the texture.
Pumpkin ~ It wouldn’t be pumpkin bread without the pumpkin! Nothing beats canned 100% pure pumpkin purée for convenience. This recipe uses the whole can – no leftovers to worry about! If you prefer to make your own pumpkin purée from scratch, that will work, too. Just be sure to drain any excess liquid out of your homemade purée before measuring and adding to the recipe.
Sweet potato would also work. Or try a different spin with my Spiced Butternut Squash Bread!
Do not use pumpkin pie filling – it will make this recipe way too sweet and overly spiced. Not to mention it can contain some questionable ingredients that we don’t want.
Liquid ~ Because this recipe is oil-free, I chose to use light coconut milk for a bit of healthy fat. Fat helps keep the bread soft and moist. While full fat coconut milk will technically work, I find it overpowers the fall spices, so I don’t recommend it. Soy milk would be a good alternative.
Spices ~ Pumpkin pie spice is what brings all the lovely warm fall flavors. Most blends contain some combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. Some even have lemon peel and cardamom, like my favorite pumpkin pie spice from Trader Joe’s. Feel free to use your favorite here. Or you can make your own!
I like to add additional cinnamon on top of the pumpkin pie spice to really boost that warm sweetness.
Add-ins ~ I opted to use diced pears in this vegan pumpkin bread recipe. I love the little pops of juicy freshness which further keeps this bread super moist. You can use diced apples instead. Or skip the fruit and try chocolate chips or chopped nuts! This bread is also delicious without any add-ins at all!
How to make the recipe
This vegan pumpkin bread recipe is really easy to make! All you need it some mixing bowls, a whisk, a spatula, and a loaf pan. The ingredients come together quickly and easily. The hardest part is just waiting for it to bake and cool, but it’s so worth it!
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper so that the ends overhang to use as “handles” later (1).
Add all the dry ingredients to a medium mixing bowl (2) and whisk well to combine (3).
In a separate large mixing bowl, add the sugars and the pumpkin purée (4) and whisk until fully combined (5). A few lumps are fine. Add the coconut milk and vanilla (6) and whisk until smooth (7).
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet (8) and whisk to combine (9). Switch out the whisk for a spatula as the batter gets thicker (10) and make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to fully combine. Mix until no white flour remains, but do not over mix!
Add the diced pears, if using, to the batter (11) and stir gently to distribute throughout (12). Using the spatula, scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the surface (13).
Bake for 60 to 75 minutes until a toothpick or knife comes out clean (14) (a few crumbs are okay, but it shouldn’t be gooey). Let cool completely on a wire cooling rack before slicing (15).
Store the pumpkin bread wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in an air-tight container on the counter for 1 to 2 days. Transfer it to the fridge if you still have leftovers on the 2nd day for an additional 2 to 3 days.
You can also freeze this loaf for up to 3 months.. Place the tightly wrapped bread in a freezer safe plastic bag, compress all the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Thaw on the counter for a couple hours.
For convenience, you may choose to freeze slices instead of the whole loaf. Tightly wrap each slice in plastic wrap then transfer to a freezer safe plastic bag. This way you can take out only what you need. You can quickly warm a slice in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.
Pro tips for success
~ Use parchment paper as a liner in your loaf pan so the bread doesn’t stick. I like to spritz the pan gently with cooking spray and then lining the pan. The cooking spray allows the parchment to adhere to the pan so it doesn’t move when pouring in the batter.
~ Leave the sides of the parchment longer than the pan, so you can use them as handles when you pull the baked bread out of the pan.
~ Be sure your oven is preheated! Do not try to bake in a cold oven or even one that hasn’t come up to temp yet. It won’t work.
~ When measuring the flour, spoon it into a measuring cup and then gently level off. Do not scoop the flour with the measuring cup – you’ll end up with too much.
~ Use your favorite pumpkin pie spice. Each brand is a bit different, so use the one you like best!
~ Be sure to use 100% pure pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling!
~ Do no over mix the batter! Over mixing will cause a denser, tough bread.
~ Bake until a toothpick or knife comes out clean from the center. A few crumbs or okay, but it should’t be gooey. For quick breads, it’s best to over bake than under bake.
~ If the top is getting dark, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the top so it doesn’t burn while the middle is still baking.
~ Let the bread cool completely before slicing. I KNOW it’s hard to wait, but if you slice too soon, the bread won’t slice cleanly and may become gummy.
Quick bread is a term for breads that are leavened using ingredients other than yeast or eggs. This can include dessert breads, muffins, scones and even cakes pancakes and more.
Although most quick breads tend to be sweet, like banana bread, there are savory versions of quick breads as well. For example, biscuits are considered a quick bread and are typically savory, as is this Jalapeño Cornbread.
Pumpkin is a nutrient dense winter squash. It’s low in calories and high in vitamins A, C and E, iron, folate, fiber and antioxidants.
A slice of vegan pumpkin bread is fantastic all on it’s own or accompanied by a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
It’s also yummy with a schmear of vegan butter, dairy free cream cheese, or a drizzle of pure maple syrup or melted chocolate.
More sweet vegan pumpkin recipes
- Vegan Pumpkin Donuts
- Soft Baked Vegan Pumpkin Cookies
- Vegan Pumpkin Layer Cake
- Pumpkin Fudge Brownies
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Vegan Pumpkin Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour Spoon into a measuring cup and level off – do not scoop (use spelt flour or an all-purposed gluten-free flour blend as an alternative)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin purée (or 1 ½ cups)
- ⅓ cup light coconut milk (or soy milk)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pear diced (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, letting the sides overhang to use as "handles" to easily pull the baked loaf out later.
- Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl: flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice cinnamon, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: sugars, pumpkin, coconut milk, and vanilla.
- Stir the dry into the wet until just combined. Ensure there is no white flour visible, but do not over mix, a few lumps are okay.
- Stir in the diced pear, if using.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan using a spatula to scrape it all out of the bowl. Smooth out the top of the batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Add a piece of aluminum foil tented over the top of the loaf and bake an additional 15 to 25 minutes until a knife or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. A few crumbs are okay, but it shouldn't be gooey.
- Let the bread cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then, using the "handles" of the parchment paper, gently lift the bread out of the pan and let it cool on the cooling rack for at least an hour. (If the bread is stuck to the sides of the pan in some parts, gently run a knife along the side of the pan to release it.)
- Once the bread is cooled, slice the loaf using a serrated knife.