Healthy(ish) Pumpkin Breakfast Bread

I was planning on baking with butternut squash this month – after all, it’s just now turning to fall, and it’s not even October yet. So, it’s obviously too soon for pumpkin! Or, so I thought, until I went to the grocery store and saw barrels of Sugar Pie Pumpkins (on sale, no less!). I immediately bought two and came home and made this for dinner. It was delicious and I decided to accept the inevitable – it’s basically the holiday season.


Okay – not really, and not yet. Something I’m not really emotionally prepared for anyway, especially since this is going to be a weird year, without being able to spend one of my favorite holidays with my favorite people (and to state the obvious: of course I understand that it’s not really any less fall-like to bake butternut squash muffins as it is to make pumpkin bread. And yet somehow, the use of pumpkin makes it seem more accepting of the shift away from summer, and towards the holidays).


But, I figured if I’m going to launch myself into pumpkin bread at the first sighting of pumpkin, I should at least try to make it a bit healthier – a little less fat, a tiny bit more whole wheat. And not to sweet, of course. The results are a springy and moist fall-spiced bread with a salty crunch; it’s delicious and addictive and perfect with morning coffee or as a late night snack with some milk (Brandon worked late last night, and came home at 1030pm and promptly ate half the loaf*).


* hence the photo of a 1/2 loaf of healthy(ish) pumpkin bread

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Healthy(ish) Pumpkin Breakfast Bread

  • Author: adapted from All Recipes "Downiest Maine Pumpkin Bread"


  • 1/2 can (7 1/2 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana (or skip the banana and double the oil)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or skip the brown sugar and double the white sugar)
  • scant 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or skip the white whole wheat, and just use all purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted and salted pepitas + more for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray one 8×4 loaf pan with cooking spray, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, banana, water, vanilla, white and brown sugars until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended, then mix in the pepitas.
  4. Pour into the prepared pans and sprinkle top with pepitas.
  5. Bake for about 60 minutes. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
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