Gluten-Free and Vegan Pumpkin Bread

by Maggie on October 13, 2010

GF & Vegan Pumpkin Bread from She Let Them Eat Cake

Always look on the bright side.

In the past year I have learned so much about substitutions. I was actually forced to learn when my then 3 year old was diagnosed with gluten, dairy, and egg sensitivities. Holy moly that was a stressful week. Thankfully, my husband Pete was already gluten-free due to a celiac diagnosis in 2004.

While we were feeling a little bit stressed (can ya blame me), at the same time Pete and I were relieved. We finally had an answer for some of the difficulties plaguing my little man: tummy aches, difficulty sleeping, the sniffles, asthma, and mild eczema.

The other positive that came out of that week was the beginning of the end. Our journey to a whole food lifestyle was about to begin, thus ending our relationship with the majority of processed foods.

Unhealthy Ingredients

The amount of processed foods on the markets for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kids kind of drives me crazy. For instance, why is there a picture of a baby on the box of Arrowroot cookies? Should we really be giving our babies Arrowroots?

And what about Fruit by the Foot? Is that really fruit? Corn syrup and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. I have never even seen cottonseed oil on the grocery store shelves.

I am so thankful for the forced change to our diets. Callum’s sensitivities have forced us to pay attention to the food we eat. And our whole family is much healthier for it.

Today I want to share a gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free pumpkin bread recipe with you. It’s full of good ingredients. And it’s simple to whip up. Homemade snacks with ingredients you can pronounce aren’t hard to make!

Both Callum and Liv love this bread – and that’s saying something. Callum has been such a picky monkey when it comes to my baking. I was shocked when he asked for some pumpkin bread. Pleasantly shocked. And even more shocked when he asked for more.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Pumpkin Bread

  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
    (or sugar of your choosing), plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 cups my gluten-free flour mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9×4 inch loaf pan.
2. Combine the flax-water mixture in a large bowl, set aside for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the sugar and combine until the mixture is a little frothy.
4. Add all of the applesauce, pumpkin puree, vanilla and oil and stir until combined.
5. Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt in a medium sized bowl.
6. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until combined (now would be a good time to add 1 cup of chocolate chips or nuts if you like them in your pumpkin bread).
7. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top with a handful of sugar. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and brush with some melted coconut oil. Bake for another 15-18 minutes – or until tested with a knife.
9. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into slices and enjoy. Store in an air-tight container on the counter for 3 days, if it lasts that long!

Pete and I like to toast ours and drizzle it with coconut oil. So good.

Are you in the mood for pumpkin? Check out these great pumpkin recipes!

And as always, this recipe is linked to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Sophie October 13, 2010 at 6:40 am

Waw, Maggie!! What a festive egg free vegan & gf pumpkin bread!! I also love to bake with coconut sugar because it is low GI.

MMMMMMM,..Looks amazing,…!!!

Kisses from Brussels to you!


Martina October 13, 2010 at 7:15 am

Making this tonight! I might try it out as muffins. I’ll let ya know how they turn out!


Maggie October 13, 2010 at 7:27 am

Thanks Sophie! It’s always a pleasure to hear from you! You’re too good for my ego! I love coconut sugar too. So yummy.

Hey Martina! Have you used coconut sugar yet? Expensive but so delicious. Thanks for giving this a try – please do come back and let me know! Especially if you try it as muffins.


Brandon October 13, 2010 at 8:23 am

I feel for you! It’s incredibly hard at first to create substitutions for healthy, gluten free recipes, while at the same time making it taste good. I haven’t yet figured out how to make some gluten free items without eggs, because the structure of recipe needs eggs for leavening and support. We have a lot more frustration in the kitchen than most cooks. But, the reward is definitely worth it, in both taste and health.


gfe--gluten free easily October 13, 2010 at 9:26 am

Maggie, after you got over your shock about the new food intolerances, you just took that ball and ran with it, so to speak. And, so beautifully, I might add! This bread looks divine. Love both photos! I’m such a pumpkin lover, and pumpkin bread has long been on my list of favorites. I’m thinking this will get made very soon, maybe for my support group meeting on Tuesday. I like to have vegan options for folks. :-)

I love your comments on the non-food and questionable foods and ingredients we had been eating blindly. Being more aware and eating real food again is one of the biggest gifts of having food intolerances. I’m so glad that Callum (and Liv) loved this bread of yours. It makes a mommy feel so good when that happens!

Thanks so much for linking to my crustless pumpkin pie, too! Much appreciated, as is this great recipe. :-)



Kim - Cook It Allergy Free October 13, 2010 at 11:28 am

Maggie, this bread looks awesome! I think I will use this recipe this weekend. My son has his first flag football game and we are supposed to bring allergen-free snacks for the kids. This one would be perfect!!
THanks so much for sharing my pumpkin pancakes, my friend!!
And I think it is awesome how you embraced the diet restrictions and really turned it into something so wonderful!!


Andrea October 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm

WOW. Something I can eat! And ingredients I have to make it with!

I don’t have coconut oil, though. Would flax oil be a good substitute?


Chelsey October 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Hey Maggie!

The pumpkin loaf looks DE-lish. I’ve got all of the ingredients right now, so I’m thinking if your kids like it so much so will mine for snack! Do chia seeds make a good substitute for flax? All these thinks I never took into consideration…eggs, they are in everything! Dairy and gluten I have wrapped my head around. You are the best Mom going to bat for your kids and loving it.


Chelsey October 13, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Made it! Kids loved it…Especially good with a thin swipe of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It could be the new and nutritionally improved cinnamon toast (with pumpkin spice attitude!). Very satisfying :)


Zoe October 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Maggie, well done! Seeing all these pumpkin recipes remind me of my own – the ones that I’ve yet to make, that is, whether they’re old favourites or new ones I haven’t debuted yet on my blog. (So far the only two pumpkin things on mine are the pumpkin pie and muffins.) I hope to have that amended soon, over the years! ;)


Beth October 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Um, Yum!!!! Pumpkin is feeling the love these days, for sure. This looks great!


Iris October 13, 2010 at 10:01 pm

This looks wonderful! I haven’t tried anything with coconut sugar yet. How do you find the flavor compares to sugar? Do you notice a difference in how you feel with coconut versus regular sugar?


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats October 14, 2010 at 9:06 am

Oh my this looks amazing.

I just realized I never answered your question about making mustard seeds pop. Huge apologies. I started to do it because I saw it in many indian recipes (ie make the mustard seeds pop, then add other spices etc) but now I do it automatically because it makes the mustard seeds get a little puffier and gives them a nice bite. Plus I find it flavors the oil nicely. Hope this helps.


Andrea October 14, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Maggie – I didn’t have any pumpkin puree on hand (I make my own when there is time), but I will try this recipe as soon as I can! Instead, I’m making your banana flax bread with your suggestion of olive oil (and with honey, too! I don’t have raw sugar.) Will comment there when I’ve had a taste. :)


Chelsey October 15, 2010 at 12:09 am

So I did use chia and failed to read your response until later. Chia needs WAY more liquid! So I just added water…enough until I thought it looked right (double or quadruple?). I used the exact amounts of all your other ingredients an added a dash of nutmeg. All in all it turned out just like your pics except maybe a little higher because of the extra bulk of the chia. Tasty! It lasted all of two hours and people were fighting for more when it magcally disappeared.


Martina October 15, 2010 at 7:31 am

So I made this recipe into muffins, and they were a hit! I added about a 1/2 cup of almond milk to the batter, and upped the spices…some allspice, some nutmeg… and used sucanat, because I didn’t have any coconut sugar, but it’s on my to-buy list. The muffins were light and fluffy, and I loved that they were low-fat. Thanks for the recipe!

Also, I should let you know that I made your mushroom gravy for Thanksgiving, and I turned the leftovers into a soup this week! Yum!


Mom (Gretchen) at The Gluten-Free Edge October 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm

I made this into muffins for my taste testers subbing in agave nectar, stevia and King Arthur GF flour. It was a big hit and now I will attempt the trickier sub of chia for flax since one of my best testers has tummy trouble with flax. Rita and I had a family favorite pumpkin bread and I have been trying for months to get it even close to what we fondly remember. Thank you for a big step along the way.


Ricki October 16, 2010 at 9:08 am

Looks so good! I think I’d try it as muffins, too, so I can pack them easily for the hubs’ breakfast. I love all these pumpkin recipes that abound lately! And so glad the changes in diet worked for you and Callum and the rest of your family. I feel the same way at our house (even the dogs get gluten-free stuff now!). And I cringe when I think of how many of those “fruit rolls” I used to eat back in the day!! ;)


Alta October 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm

It seems to be a common thing among a lot of us that were forced to deal with food intolerances – that you find out how much JUNK is in the food we were eating. Lovely that you made such a healthy, delicious-sounding bread! I can’t wait to make a pumpkin bread – I’ve been craving it.


Michelle October 18, 2010 at 9:13 am

I am so happy to see someone post something positive about their diagnosis! Everyone always looks at me funny when I say that my celiac diagnosis was the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s for the exact reasons that you discussed in your post. Thank you for sharing your recipes!!! I am looking forward to trying out your squash dip this week and have it on my menu. All the best!


Medifast Discount October 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Thanks for all the pumpkin recipes. One of the best things about fall is all the pumpkins and the pumpkin recipes.


Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli October 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Many families dealing with food allergies and sensitivities are thankful for the need to eat more healthy.
Very excited about this bread recipe! I’ll maybe try it tomorrow. Though I’m sensitive to flax so I’ll use eggs.


Cindy Drozda October 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm

According to Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions, Arrowroot might just be good for babies. Google it up and maybe you’ll change your mind. It is the only “starch” that I’m willing to use in baking or cooking.


Lucy October 24, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Mmm! Looks great. I love pumpkin bread. Where do you get coconut sugar?


Lexie October 25, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Those little pumpkins sitting out in the snow are calling me and whispering “make us into Maggie’s Pumpkin Bread.” I better heed to their call! Yummo!!


kerri October 26, 2010 at 3:33 am

Thanks for the great looks incredibly moist and delicious!! It is so good to see an egg-free baked good without the POWDERED egg-replacer. I find that it leaves a funny “off” taste and so many vegan recipes call for it. Can’t wait to try this and will take it to Thanks giving dinner at my friend’s house. (I don’t have family, so I am grateful to have a place to go and enjoy sharing it with her and her family..however, I usually bring my own dish and forego dessert!!).


Marty October 29, 2010 at 3:40 am

Thank you for the GFV (gluten-free vegan) recipe! They are few and far between – I can’t wait to try it. Your GFV website is my fav!


personal fitness trainer November 12, 2010 at 2:06 am

Superb blog post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!


Andrea December 11, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Hello, Maggie and readers:

I just made this! However, I didn’t have coconut oil – so I used EVOO. The olive-oil flavor did come out a little bit in the bread, but it wasn’t bad.
Also, I didn’t have applesauce, so I used 1/3 cup tapioca pudding, and 3 Tbs apple cider. Interesting, I know.

Some comments: The bread didn’t taste pumpkin-y. It tasted very good, just not like pumpkin.
Also, the consistency was more like pudding than bread. But it’s most likely due to the changes I made.

Thanks for the recipe, and the blog, Maggie! I would never have been able to make delicious things like this if it wasn’t for your research and experimenting and sharing!


registered nurse December 20, 2010 at 10:56 pm

nice post. thanks.


suzanne January 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm

“We finally had an answer for some of the difficulties plaguing my little man: tummy aches, difficulty sleeping, the sniffles, asthma, and mild eczema.” EXACTLY US, but my 3.5 yr old (at the time) was itching herself so bad on top of it all she’d bleed, and then it spread to her beautiful little face :( Even our hot Paediatric Allergist doc finally humbled himself and admitted “Yep, I think the dietary change is what cleared it!” (after years of slapping on hydrocortisone) When we took her in (after testing at the naturopath), she was the 3rd worst case he’s seen, even when he was at Sick Kids. I feel like barfing when I look at photos of her back then- she has such happier lively eyes now :)
ANYHOO- going to try this today, googled for my other favourites but realised I’m out of sorghum, what a pain. Also, I don’t have any pumpkin, so trying sweet potato….Could be catastrophic, will let you know. Thanks for the recipe, found your site through Anne-Marie’s momstown blog!


Christine September 17, 2011 at 8:29 am

Hi! I was recently introduced to your blog and am I ever happy for it! I found out I was allergic to dairy and eggs a while ago, and am gluten sensitive but not celiac, though I find since I have to substitute 2 major ingredients in baking I may as well go all out and do the flours as well. Truth be told I think the last time I had a slice of “real” bread was in Mexico 2 years ago so I don’t know what it would do to my stomach now anyway. To get to the point, fall is in the air and I have been craving pumpkin like crazy so I found this recipe and made it a few days ago and it is amazing! I substituted quinoa flour for millet because that’s all I had and it still turned out great. My 8 year old stepdaughter even likes it – not knowing what’s “not” in it. Thanks! I look forward to making more recipes, welcome to my bookmarks bar :)


Brooke October 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I was completely looking forward to making this today, but no loaf pans where we are staying!! :(no there are muffin pan s, however. How long would the baking time be for muffins vs. Loaves? Thank you, in advance. :)


anne October 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Is the flax supposed to be ground or is it whole seeds? Also, what does the flax do? Does it help bind it together?


Virginia October 21, 2011 at 8:03 am

Hi – has anybody tried this pumpkin bread recipe as cupcakes?


Emily August 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Any ideas on a good substitution for applesauce? Would an oil work do you think?


Allison Denomme October 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Wow, Maggie!! This recipe was not only easy to follow, but tasted great! I made two batches yesterday (one for the kids with the chocolate chips). Both loaves are gone today. This is the first wheat, egg and dairy free baking dessert I’ve made and am finally coming to the realization that there are good finds. I’ll be sure to try out more of your recipes. Thanks :D


Nicole October 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your story. My son is also allergic to dairy, gluten, eggs and sugar. It makes life extremely difficult, but the good news is that he doesn’t have asthma anymore. I still struggle to get my daughter’s teacher to stop rewarding the class with every type of toxic candy known to man, but at least she is not my son so the ramifications are not as extreme. I hope to begin the conversation so that when my son enters Kindergarten next year, a health policy has been put in place.
I’m making this recipe tonight. Thank you again.
In solidarity,


Tanya November 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I finally tried this recipe last night and it was a HUGE hit!! LOVE THIS RECIPE!! Thank you for sharing it! I’m just sorry I waited so long to make it! ;)


carolyn March 12, 2013 at 9:52 am

So excited, that my search for “clean gluten free, banana pumpkin” yielded such a pheonomenal result!

Looking so forward to making this in two nights time, halving the recipe, popping it in mini cupcake tins,

to utilise the mushy bananas, new gifted butternut pumpkin from a neighbour, last cup of my gluten free flours, and fresh apples! Only thing I have to sweeten is stevia though. (Oh, and castor sugar though Id rather leave it out! ) Good luck to me!



Shanel July 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Made this yesterday. The very first time I have had a gluten free, vegan recipe actually come out great. Thank you so much. My sister was t my house as I was putting the recipe together and made a ace when she saw the flax eggs and ane sugar. She ate the sample I brought her and said how great it was.


Mary Beth September 21, 2013 at 9:19 pm

I just made this tonight but had to add water just to make it stirable. I’m wondering if the water/flax amount is right because when I added the coconut sugar, frothy did not happen, gluey paste did. Anyway, it’s in the oven…we’ll see how it turns out!
Thanks for the recipe! I also have a daughter with allergies and a million food sensitivities (so I had to leave out cinnamon and vanilla) and it is so wonderful to find sites like yours!


Karen January 27, 2015 at 8:58 am

If you make without vanilla extract are they nut free?


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