Easy Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread

By Lilian Dikmans

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This easy gluten-free dairy-free Pumpkin Bread is sweetly spiced, moist and delicious. Enjoy it on its own as a healthy snack, or serve it with maple glaze for a pumpkin spice dessert. It’s quick to make, and your kitchen will smell amazing while it’s baking in the oven.

As far as pumpkin breads go, this recipe is healthy without compromising on taste. A slice on its own has only 8 grams of sugar and 215 Calories or 900 kilojoules. I make the bread, slice it up and freeze the slices for easy snacks. Just defrost a slice in the oven or microwave when the mood strikes. The slice will end up warm when you do it that way, which is the best.

I use quite a lot of pumpkin purée in the recipe. The reason for this is to keep the bread moist and it also means that you don’t need to add as much sweetener or oil. Then I use a blend of buckwheat flour and almond flour instead of regular refined wheat flour. No need for complicated gluten-free flour blends. Buckwheat flour is a staple in my gluten-free baking recipes and almond flour helps to stop the bread from drying out.

Pumpkin bread ready to be glazed
Pumpkin bread ready to be glazed

To elevate the bread to something more dessert-like, I love to top the bread with a simple dairy-free maple glaze and crushed pecan nuts. I find that the pumpkin bread on its own is just sweet enough to be satisfying, but still healthy enough to eat as a snack. But adding the maple glaze brings up the sweetness and makes the bread more of a special occasion treat.

Maple glaze for cake and breads

Maple glaze for cakes and breads like this pumpkin bread are made with powdered sugar or icing sugar and maple syrup. You drizzle over the glaze once the cake or bread has cooled. The glaze starts out runny, but eventually sets firm. Glazes add extra sweetness and also provide a sticky foundation to hold toppings, like crushed nuts, on top of the cake or bread. Once the glaze has set, it’s ready to slice up.

Some maple glaze recipes also include butter and milk. To keep this pumpkin bread recipe dairy-free, I make the maple glaze simply with powdered sugar and maple syrup. Powdered sugar, also known as icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar, is clearly not a healthy ingredient. However, I personally prefer not to be too rigid with my eating, and don’t have a problem including some refined sugar at times. I just don’t make it a habit and usually eat it with something that includes good fats to avoid a massive sugar spike.

Sugar free maple glaze

If you want to keep sugar to a minimum, you can use sugar-free powdered sugar and maple syrup substitutes to make the maple glaze. There are quite a few sugar-free icing powders and sugar-free maple flavored syrups on the market these days. They are usually made with a combination of stevia or monk fruit and erythritol.

Easy Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread with Maple Glaze
The maple glaze is dairy-free and delicious

Erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that is commonly used as a sugar substitute. When you see sugar-free products that are marketed as being stevia or monk fruit sweetened, erythritol is also usually added. I personally don’t mind having erythritol in small quantities, but it can upset digestion for some people. If that’s the case for you, read on for some tasty alternatives to the maple glaze.

Alternatives to maple glaze

The pumpkin bread is also amazing warmed up with some whipped cream or whipped coconut cream on the side. If you serve it that way, you can sprinkle the crushed pecan nuts over the cream. The extra crunch of the nuts against the cream is so good.

To keep things dairy-free, you can easily make whipped coconut cream from a refrigerated can of coconut cream. When the coconut cream firms up in the fridge, the thick portion of the cream rises to the top and the watery part stays at the bottom of the can. All you have to do is scoop out the thick portion on top and beat it with a fork or whisk to smooth out any lumps.

Ingredients for Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin purée: I find that puréed butternut squash, also known as butternut pumpkin in Australia, gives the best flavor in this recipe. But any pumpkin purée will work. Check out my post How to make pumpkin purée for baking recipes if you want to make your own purée. The method I use in that post is an easy way to ensure your purée isn’t too watery. You can also buy canned pumpkin purée if you prefer.

Coconut oil: Used instead of butter to keep the pumpkin bread dairy free. The coconut oil also adds some natural sweetness. Since only a small amount is used, the bread won’t taste like coconut.

Maple syrup: To sweeten the bread. I have made this recipe using maple syrup and also brown rice syrup or rice malt syrup. I used brown rice syrup when I filmed the video for this recipe. However, maple syrup is my favorite option because it’s slightly sweeter in flavour than brown rice syrup. You could also use honey if you prefer.

Free-range eggs: We use three eggs to hold the mixture together. I haven’t tested the recipe with an egg substitute, but would be interested to know if you try it out.

Buckwheat flour: To keep the pumpkin bread gluten-free. You can buy buckwheat flour at most supermarkets in the baking or health food section. I prefer it to gluten-free flour blends because it’s simpler and comes with some added health benefits. If you prefer to use regular wheat flour, I imagine it would work, although I haven’t tested it in this recipe myself.

Ingredients for Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread
Ingredients for the gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin bread

Almond flour: To supplement the buckwheat flour and help to keep the bread moist. Almond flour is made from blanched almonds, which means their skins have been removed. It’s also sometimes labelled as almond meal. Just check that it’s white in colour. Almond flour usually gives a slightly lighter result in baking recipes that if you use ground whole almonds with the skins on.

Baking powder: To give the bread some lift. Make sure your baking powder is within its best before date to ensure that it works properly.

Fine sea salt: Always a good idea in baking recipes to bring out the flavor of the ingredients.

Cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg: Essential for pumpkin bread! These sweet spices blend so well with the pumpkin. If you have pumpkin pie spice mix at home, you can use that instead.

More healthy bread recipes

If you’re in the mood for something chocolate, this Grain Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread is one of my favorites. It’s sweet, moist, dairy-free and tastes super decadent, like a rich chocolate cake. You would never know it contains a hidden vegetable.

I also published the recipe for this Grain Free Banana Bread back in 2015. It’s a lower sugar alternative to classic banana bread that is usually made with large quantities of bananas and additional high-fructose sweeteners like honey or dates. Instead, I made use of coconut to add natural sweetness without extra sugar.

This super moist Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake is baked in a loaf tin and is a healthy alternative to traditional gingerbread. It’s made without molasses and is flourless and dairy-free with a paleo option.

As I add more loaf and bread recipes to Real Food Healthy Body, you will be able to find them all on the new Bread Recipes page. You can easily access the page via the menu at the top of this page. Just navigate to Recipes, Baking, then Bread.

Easy Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Serves
10 slices

Prep time
10 mins

Cook time
1 hour

Ingredients

For the pumpkin bread

  • 1 3/4 cups / 390g pumpkin purée (see Note 1)
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml / 54g coconut oil, softened
  • 1/3 cup / 80ml / 106g maple syrup
  • 3 medium free-range eggs
  • 1 cup / 120g buckwheat flour (see Note 2)
  • 1 cup / 96g almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder

For the maple glaze

  • 3/4 cup / 90g powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons / 45ml / 60g maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup / 27g pecan nuts, crushed

Method

  • 1
    Preheat your oven to 160°C fan-forced / 180°C / 350°F and line a 10 x 20 cm / 4 x 8 inch loaf tin with baking paper.
  • 2
    Beat the pumpkin purée, coconut oil, maple syrup and eggs together in a large bowl until smooth (see Note 3).
  • 3
    Add the buckwheat flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and stir everything together until just combined.
  • 4
    Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.
  • 5
    Allow the bread to cool completely, then make the maple glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and maple syrup together in a small bowl until smooth. If your powdered sugar is lumpy, you can either sift it first, or use your spoon to press out the lumps while mixing with the maple syrup.
  • 6
    Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bread, then sprinkle with crushed pecan nuts. Allow the glaze to set. You can speed this up by placing the bread in the fridge. Once set, slice with a serrated knife to serve.

Watch how to make it

Recipe Notes

1. Pumpkin purée – I use puréed butternut squash, or butternut pumpkin in Australia, for the best flavor. Check out my post How to make pumpkin purée for baking recipes if you want to make your own. The method I go through in that post ensures your purée isn’t too watery. I also suggest weighing the purée in grams for best results since cup measures aren’t always accurate.

2. Buckwheat flour – I recommend weighing your flour in grams for best results, since adding too much can result in dry bread. If you must use cups, the recipe calls for 1 US cup (240ml) and you will need to gently spoon the buckwheat flour into the cup so it doesn’t pack tightly.

3. Lumpy coconut oil – If your eggs or pumpkin purée are cold from the fridge, it can make the coconut oil form lumps when mixing. Ideally, bring your eggs and purée to room temperature before mixing. Or, if your coconut oil does form lumps, just warm the mixture by placing your bowl in some hot water and continue stirring until the lumps melt.

4. Storage – The bread is best stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last in the fridge for up to five days. You can also freeze the bread in slices. If freezing, it’s best to freeze the bread without the glaze, then add the glaze when serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 slice without glaze
Energy: 900kJ (215Cal)
Protein: 6g
Total Fat: 12.8g
Saturated Fat: 5.4g
Total Carbohydrate: 21g
Sugars: 8g
Dietary Fibre: 2.7g
Sodium: 246mg
Potassium: 175mg

Serving size: 1 slice with glaze
Energy: 1190kJ (284Cal)
Protein: 6.2g
Total Fat: 14.8g
Saturated Fat: 5.6g
Total Carbohydrate: 34.3g
Sugars: 20.8g
Dietary Fibre: 2.9g
Sodium: 247mg
Potassium: 198mg

Nutrition information is an estimate only. It may vary depending on the brand of ingredients used.

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Lilian Dikmans

Lilian Dikmans is an Australian model, Muay Thai fighter and founder of Real Food Healthy Body

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