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Healthy pumpkin bread is an easy quick bread recipe that gives you all the sweet, moist flavor of a classic loaf, made with healthier ingredients. Get this low sugar, yogurt, whole wheat pumpkin bread recipe and indulge guilt free!
Ever since my son was born I’ve been way more conscious of just how much sugar goes into…well, everything. You would too if you had a 3 year old who bounces off the walls when a drop of sugar hits his system!
But I still love to bake, and I still love to indulge my family with delicious treats. Which is when tasty and easy bakes like this healthy pumpkin bread recipe make an appearance.
What I love about this pumpkin bread is that it’s made with yogurt so it’s still really moist. It has all the spiced flavors you want, and is still sweet and satisfying – but with a lot less sugar and whole grain flour that make it easier on our holiday waistlines.
How I made it Healthier
By choosing healthier ingredients and balancing them with just enough of the unhealthy ones, you end up with a satisfying baked good without sacrificing on flavor.
I have a pumpkin bread recipe I love, but it has well over a cup of sugar per loaf, that’s a LOT. So I started by reducing that and my ingredient list ended up looking like this:
- All-purpose flour – in all of my tests an exclusively whole wheat loaf was dense and didn’t have the best texture. So I decided to split the difference for a balance of health and flavor. You have to actually want to eat it!
- Whole wheat flour – white whole wheat or regular will do, they both add a subtle nuttiness that’s yummy with pumpkin..
- Winter spices – a blend of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon.
- Baking soda – don’t swap in baking powder here!
- Pumpkin puree – real pumpkin puree please, either homemade or canned. Don’t buy pumpkin pie filling.
- Greek yogurt – plain or vanilla flavored.
- Oil – vegetable oil is the best for moisture, melted coconut oil could also be used.
- Eggs – 2 large, room temperature ones.
- Vanilla – Make homemade vanilla for cheaper, better flavor!
- Brown sugar – we use way less than traditional recipes. Turbinado or coconut sugar can also be used.
- Optional Topping – Pecans, maple syrup, sugar – Instead of glazes or crumb toppings, I opted for a lightly sugared nut that adds protein and a teeny bit of extra sweetness.
All these combine to make a lighter, much healthier version of traditional pumpkin bread!
How to Make Healthy Pumpkin Bread from Scratch
On to the baking! This simple from scratch recipe is a two bowl quick bread. You can check out more info in my guide to quick breads post if you’re curious, but basically it means this: a bowl for wet and a bowl for dry.
Once those two are mixed together, it’s put into a loaf pan, topped with nuts if you’d like, and baked in a 350°F oven for 55 to 60 minutes. Easy peasy right?
Here are my quick tips for getting it perfect every time:
- Use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients by weight.
- Beat the wet ingredients until they’re very well combined, no lumps!
- Whisk the dry until they’re a uniform mix too, that way you don’t have spots of concentrated cinnamon or other spices.
- FOLD them together – don’t use the electric mixer on high here. Overmixing will lead to a dry, unhappy bread instead of a delicious, moist pumpkin loaf.
- Turn it out onto a cooling rack within 5 minutes of taking it from the oven – leaving it in the loaf pan will make the sides soggy.
- Let it cool completely, or at least mostly, before slicing.
Fun, optional add-ins that taste great!
I love to encourage my foodie friends to experiment, and there are lots of ways to have fun with a recipe like this one.
- Dried fruits – cranberries, raisins, or dried cherries are all really tasty in a bread like this.
- Chopped nuts – if you’d rather have nuts mixed in, go for it! Walnuts, pecans, and almonds would all be great.
I always attempt to answer all the questions I might have when baking something like this. If I missed yours, please feel free to leave it in the comments!
Traditionally, pumpkin bread is not healthy due to high amounts of sugar and butter. This recipe is healthier thanks to the addition of whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, and a reduced amount of sugar.
You can technically use only whole wheat flour to make this healthy pumpkin bread, but I recommend a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat for the best texture and flavor.
Adding chopped nuts or dried unsweetened fruits to pumpkin bread can make it healthier and flavorful without adding more sugar. Swapping traditional glazes or frosting for a sprinkle of spices or chopped nuts is also a great way to avoid extra sugar.
This pumpkin bread recipe will stay good on the counter in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Yes! You can freeze pumpkin bread whole, or as individual slices. Freeze slices in a single layer on a baking sheet for 1 hour first then transfer it to an airtight container or reusable silicone bag to prevent them from sticking together.
There you have it! The best healthy pumpkin bread out there! Okay, I might be tooting my own horn a little, but I really think you’ll enjoy this bake, and you won’t feel nearly as guilty about indulging on that second slice. Enjoy and happy eating!
Check out these other healthy bakes too!
- Healthy Oatmeal Muffins
- Blueberry Sweet Potato Bread
- Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bread
- Healthy Honey Banana Bread with Cinnamon Swirl
Healthy Pumpkin Bread
- 136 grams all-purpose flour 1 cup
- 100 grams whole wheat flour 3/4 cup
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 250 grams pumpkin puree* 1 cup
- 130 grams Greek yogurt 1/2 cup
- 2.5 ounces vegetable oil 1/3 cup
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100 grams brown sugar 1/2 cup, packed
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan.
- Combine the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until well blended.
- Combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla in another bowl and beat until smooth.
- Combine the wet with the dry and gently fold together until all the flour is incorporated.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan and spread gently to fill all the corners and level the top.
- If making the topping, mix the pecans with the teaspoon of maple syrup and brown sugar, then sprinkle on top.
- Bake on the center rack of your oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Transfer out of the loaf pan within 5 minutes, and let cool on a cooling rack until cool to the touch.
- Store, once completely cooled, in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.