Naturally Sweetened Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread
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Total Time 50 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 40 min
Yield 12 slices (180 calories each)

Pumpkin is so good for you and is often paired with warm, comforting spices. But it can also be combined with loads of sugar and calories. This naturally sweetened pumpkin bread, however, uses unsweetened applesauce instead of refined sugar, and replaces flour with almond meal, making the recipe gluten-free.

The applesauce provides a hint of natural sweetness without any of the refined sugars we usually use in baking. Despite the sweetness, the entire cup of applesauce ends up providing less than 3 grams of carbohydrates per slice, keeping this a lower-carb recipe. Spread this bread with a little cream cheese and serve with a cup of tea—wonderful for a fall or winter afternoon. 


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, or more to taste
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 


  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. 
  2. In one bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: pumpkin, vanilla, eggs, melted butter, and applesauce. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: almond meal, spices, salt, and baking powder.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients well and pour into prepared loaf pan. Spread batter evenly.
  5. Bake for about 40 minutes, until middle springs back to the touch and a toothpick, comes out clean.
  1. Cool for 15 to 20 minutes, remove bread from pan, and place on cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Ingredient and Storage Tips

Although they may seem similar, canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling are two different things. Canned pumpkin is simply pureed pumpkin, while the pie filling has added ingredients, such as sugar syrup, salt, spices, water, and natural flavors. And that's not the only difference--plain pumpkin is much lower in calories, with 1 cup coming in at 81 calories while the pie filling has a whopping 281 calories. Pumpkin pie filling also has over triple the grams of carbohydrates.

To store the pumpkin bread, after cooled wrap in plastic wrap and then place in a plastic storage bag. Keep at room temperature for up to 2 days or place in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze the pumpkin bread for 3 months; thaw overnight before using.

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