Sometimes it can be hard to reconcile my commitment to healthy eating with my ever-persistent sweet tooth. That’s why I love this recipe – it’s low on sugar (but still plenty sweet) and full of fiber thanks to the whole wheat flour and pureed pumpkin. The recipe even cuts out butter by substituting in olive oil, making it a great contender for post- Thanksgiving breakfast or brunch.

Pumpkin Bread

I’ve used both low and high quality oil for this recipe in the past. While I recommend something on the higher end, the Trader Joe’s variety has served me well in a pinch.

To prep the pan for baking, lightly coat all sides with butter. Add a bit of flour and shake the pan lightly, tapping on the sides to make sure that the flour makes its way around. This is the best way to ensure that your bread won’t get stuck in the pan – even if you’re using a non-stick variety, the extra step never hurts.

Much like all other quick bread recipes, this one starts by combining all of the dry ingredients. Sifting isn’t necessary, but prepare to spend a bit longer on this step due to the number of spices included. I’m sure that some of the spices can be swapped out for others (ginger always shouts out to me as missing here), but the end result tastes so delicious that I rarely experiment.

The highlight of this recipe is that the entire thing can be, and should be, done by hand. To combine the wet ingredients, take out your handy whisk, grab a large mixing bowl, and add the ingredients one at a time in the order instructed. The batter will have a strange texture for much of the mixing process, so don’t worry if everything isn’t coming together as nicely as you’d like it to.

Pumpkin Bread Ingredients

To fold in the dry ingredients, use a large spatula and take big, sweeping strokes. Try to stir the batter as little as possible, repeating the folding motion until the white streaks of flour just disappear.  While this method takes some practice, it’s a helpful skill to add to your baking repertoire.

Once the bread is in the oven, leave it undisturbed for around 50 minutes. Then test for doneness, inserting either a knife or toothpick into the center of the bread. If the knife doesn’t come out clean, give it a few more minutes. Pumpkin bread is reliably moist, so it’s a good idea to leave the bread in the oven until you’re sure it’s done.

The best part about this bread is that it can be eaten at almost every time of day – in the morning for breakfast, around mid-afternoon for a snack, or after dinner as a delicious dessert.

Olive Oil Pumpkin Bread Recipe (Adapted from


  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 cup pumpkin (from a 15 oz can)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan and dust lightly with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and pumpkin puree until combined.  Add the sugar and stir until smooth.  Whisk in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1/4 cup water at room temperature.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix the batter.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

This bread tastes even better the next day, so do not hesitate to make it in advance!


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