Gran's Pumpkin Bread (GF, Dairy-free)

Family traditions are the best, and family recipes are some of the greatest traditions to have! They say that your sense of smell is the strongest trigger for memory, and most of us can attest to having at least one recipe in our family that just make us light up when we eat or make it. One such recipe in our family is my Gran's pumpkin bread. You see, Gran had 14 children within 14 years. That's real. My mom is the oldest of the 14, and I remember growing up in Houston where every single Fall, there'd be no lack of pumpkin bread. My mom would make it in our kitchen (in big batches, so she could freeze a few loaves too), it would always be available at Gran's house for tea parties (along with the infamous Mamaw's Cookies), and it was always on the dessert table at family gatherings. This bread (i.e., cake) was the "go-to" Thanksgiving and Christmas gift and love offering for neighbors and friends. Everyone loves it. As an adult, being told I had to live without gluten in my diet, I had to cut out a lot of my nostalgic childhood food, and it broke my heart. Once I got more comfortable baking, I tackled these recipes head-on and vowed I would make them taste as close to the real deal as possible with GF flour. Then I got more adventurous and decided I would also make them slightly healthier without compromising flavor! I'm happy to report I think I did it! Enjoy this healthier version of Gran's pumpkin bread from my family to yours!!

Gran's (Healthier) Pumpkin Bread

  • 3.5 cups GF Flour Mix (like Bob's Red Mill 1-1 ratio) *feel free to make this with whole wheat flour if you aren't GF*
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil (melted to be a liquid)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (room temp)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (room temp)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 eggs (room temp)
  • 1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
  • Optional: make a healthy Maple Pecan Glaze to drizzle on top!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix all wet ingredients (coconut oil through pumpkin puree) in a medium bowl with a hand-mixer, making sure the liquids are at room temp so the coconut oil doesn't solidify.

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and use the hand-mixer on a medium-high setting for at least 3-4 minutes. NOTE: With gluten-free flours, you need to mix a bit longer to activate the proteins. Many GF baked goods are SO dense because it's missing gluten which creates the fluffy texture. Mixing GF batter longer helps create the pockets of air that gluten naturally creates in baked goods.

This will yield a large, heavy batter. Grease pans and pour in the batter (see below for amounts and bake times)!

3 standard bread loaves: bake for 45-60 mins. Check with a toothpick at 45 mins to see if it needs more time. (If using wheat flour, may need 30-45 mins.)


1 large bundt: bake for 75-90 mins. Check with a toothpick after 75 mins to see if it needs more time. (If using wheat flour, may need about 60 mins.)