It’s not fall without a perfect loaf of paleo & gluten free pumpkin bread! This naturally-sweetened version is ready in an hour or less!
Fall is easily the most toddler-friendly time of year. No one can convince me otherwise.
Or, maybe it’s just the time of the year when I love having a toddler most. Summer’s not bad, but apple picking? Pumpkin carving? Trick of treating? Tiny puffy vests? Forget it.
Plus, I finally have a baking assistant and willing taste tester for all of the pumpkin recipes I can possibly churn out. It’s the dream.
Recipe Inspiration for gluten free Pumpkin Bread
I’m actually a bit surprised I haven’t attempted a paleo pumpkin bread recipe yet. I’ve done the paleo banana bread thing (more than once). I even made sweet potato bread, zucchini bread, and other gluten free breads.
And pumpkin recipes? Don’t get me started. Pumpkin muffins (with a crumb topping), pumpkin cheesecake brownies, even a pumpkin chocolate chip pecan cake. You name it, I’ve baked it. (Except a paleo pumpkin pie, but I’m working on it!)
But pumpkin bread fell though the cracks.
That was one fall challenge I had yet to conquer.
Until now, obnoxiously.
If you think this gluten free recipe starts with a visit to the pumpkin patch, followed by roasting pumpkins for a from-scratch puree, you are probably on the wrong website.
I may love fall activities, but I have my limits — most of them having to do with time. And in my humble opinion, the best gluten free recipes are always the ones that aren’t overly complicated.
How to Make Paleo Pumpkin Bread
In an effort to keep things as simple as possible, this recipe uses very basic ingredients, many of which are already found in your (gluten free) pantry. As far as kitchen tools, all you need is an 8.5″ bread loaf pan, a mixing bowl or two, and either a hand mixer or a whisk.
To start, you’ll preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray your loaf pan with avocado oil or light olive oil (you can use coconut oil, but it will leave a faint coconut flavor!) or line with parchment paper, then set aside.
In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients, consisting of your gluten free flour blend (almond and arrowroot flours), coconut sugar, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt. In a second bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients. Finally, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then mix until well combined.
Pour your batter into the prepared loaf pan, then place into the oven to bake for 30 minutes. After that, tent your pumpkin bread carefully with aluminum foil to prevent the crust from burning, and bake for an additional 10–20 minutes. Once it’s done, your pumpkin loaf should be nicely risen, like a dome. If you’re unsure, try the toothpick trick: insert a toothpick into the top center of the bread, remove, and check for raw batter. If all you see are crumbs, or it’s completely clean, your bread is perfect!
Once it’s done, allow to cool on a wire rack before finishing with maple glaze or melting a slab of butter or ghee on a warm slice.
(Pro tip: This glaze needs to sit out overnight in order to set! It will not harden as quickly as one made with powdered cane sugar would.)
Recipe FAQs: Tips for Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread Success
Hopefully, you’ll find this gluten free pumpkin bread recipe fairly straightforward. That being said, if it’s your first time trying this recipe, you may have a few questions.
Hopefully these suggestions on substitutions, baking tips, and other tricks help set you up for success:
- Can you substitute coconut flour or rice flour for almond flour? Unfortunately, no. Substituting gluten free flours is not the same as substituting wheat flour for all-purpose flour. Most grain-free flours behave completely differently from one another in baking, and cannot be interchanged.
- Ok, what about the arrowroot flour? Yes! You can substitute tapioca starch (aka tapioca flour) for the arrowroot, if you wish.
- Can you substitute the coconut sugar? If you don’t have coconut sugar on hand, use another granulated sugar, like maple sugar or brown sugar, if this is something you use in your kitchen. Do not substitute for a liquid-based sweetener, such as honey, applesauce, or pure maple syrup.
- Can this recipe be made vegan? This recipe is already vegetarian and dairy-free, but you could theoretically swap out the two eggs for two flax eggs to make this recipe vegan. However, I have not tried it and can’t guarantee success. If you do this, be aware that it may substantially increase the baking time for your pumpkin bread.
- Can you swap out the avocado oil? Absolutely, but use another light oil, such as light olive oil or organic canola oil. Do not use coconut oil.
- Is there anything that can be used besides pumpkin spice? Absolutely! You could just use cinnamon, or make your own blend from one and one-half teaspoons ground cinnamon, one teaspoon ground nutmeg, one teaspoon ground ginger, just under one teaspoon ground cloves, and a little less than one teaspoon allspice.
- Where can you buy gluten free flours? You can find most gluten free baking flours online, on Amazon, or in most chain grocers. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill brand for most gluten free flours.
- Is there any way to dress this up? Of course! Feel free to add your favorite toppings, such as crushed walnuts, dried cranberries, pecans, or chocolate chips.
- Can this paleo bread be made low carb or sugar-free? I don’t recommend it, as the sweetness pairs really well with pumpkin and real coconut sugar (or other sugar) is hydroscopic, which means it holds and distributes moisture throughout the loaf in a way that zero-glycemic-impact sweeteners do not. If you choose to try it, I recommend using a granulated, low-carb sweetener, (Lakanto, Stevia in the Raw, Swerve, etc). Do not use liquid stevia or liquid monk fruit. Know that your bread might be a little bit more dry if you use low carb sweeteners.
Last – but certainly not least — make sure you use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Be sure to double-check the ingredients and nutrition information. The only ingredient should be real pumpkin puree.
Enjoy This Paleo Pumpkin Bread Recipe!
This quickbread recipe will satisfy all your fall cravings. Made with pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and a blend of almond flour and arrowroot, it’s a light, delicious slice almost as sweet as pie.
For the Loaf:
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 3/4 cup arrowroot flour
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
For the Glaze:
- 1/2 cup maple sugar
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
- 4-5 teaspoons milk of choice
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly grease an 8.5" loaf pan, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot flour, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the oil, vanilla, and vinegar.
- Stir the pumpkin puree into the egg mixture. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes thick and reaches a uniform consistency (no clumps of pumpkin puree).
- Pour the wet (eggs, etc.) mixture into the dry (flours, etc.) and stir to thoroughly combine. Use a spatula to ensure all of the ingredients on the sides and especially bottom of the bowl are well-combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then tent with a piece of aluminum foil (this prevents over-browning) and bake 10-20 minutes more, until the loaf is domed, and springs back when you press gently.
- Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan before turning on to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While the loaf is cooling, prepare the glaze. In the bowl of a small blender or food processor, process the maple sugar and arrowroot flour until fine.
- Transfer the powdered maple sugar to a small bowl and whisk in the milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, just until the glaze reaches a thick liquid consistency.
- Allow the loaf to full cool before glazing, at least 4-6 hours.
- When the loaf is completely cool, pour the glaze over the top and use a rubber spatula to gently spread It to cover the entire top. It will gradually drop down the sides as it sits. Allow it to set partially (4-6 hours) or fully (it can take up to 12) before slicing and serving.
- If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, you can either sub cinnamon, or make your own.
- You can sub another neutral oil for avocado oil. Organic canola oil or light olive oil would be fine. Do not use coconut oil.
- Make sure you're using pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling. Check the ingredients to be sure; the only ingredient should be pumpkin.
- Your batter should be thick when it goes into the pan. It will pour, but slowly, and will need some encouragement from a spatula. If your batter is too liquid-y, stir it a little more, then let it sit for 10 minutes. It should thicken as the arrowroot absorbs excess liquid.
- This glaze needs to sit out overnight in order to set! It will not harden as quickly as one made with powdered cane sugar would.