Vegan Pumpkin Bread

November 3, 2022

Bread

By: Jasmine Briones 

This Vegan Pumpkin Bread is fluffy, moist, and perfectly spiced. It’s made with simple pantry-friendly ingredients and then topped with a rich vegan cream cheese icing. Indulge in a slice of this classic fall treat the whole family will love.

sliced vegan pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing and pumpkin seeds on white board

This time of year, we absolutely love using pumpkin in both sweet and savory recipes. If you’re looking for new vegan pumpkin recipes to make this fall, check out our extensive pumpkin recipe archives. Some of our personal favorites include Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Gnocchi, and Pumpkin Cream Horns

When we realized we didn’t have a classic pumpkin bread recipe on the blog, we knew we needed to add one asap! This bread was adapted from our Easy Vegan Banana Bread and didn’t disappoint.

ingredients for vegan pumpkin bread on white board

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Pumpkin puree: Make sure to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. The only ingredient should be pumpkin. We opted for store-bought, but if preferred or necessary, make your own homemade pumpkin puree
  • Oil: In order to not overpower the pumpkin, we recommend using a neutral oil. We’ve had success using sunflower oil and refined coconut oil, but other neutral oils like vegetable oil or canola oil will work well too.  
  • Apple cider vinegar & lemon juice: As an acid, the vinegar reacts with the baking soda and helps it rise as it bakes. Lemon juice is also used to balance the sweetness in the vegan cream cheese icing.
  • Vegan milk: We used our homemade almond milk, but any unsweetened plant-based milk will do. 
  • Vanilla: Optional, but a splash of vanilla extract enhances the flavor and adds depth of flavor.
  • Ground flax: In order to make eggless pumpkin bread, using a vegan egg replacer helps to bind the loaf together and give it structure. Adding two tablespoons of ground flax or chia seeds to the batter does the trick!
  • Flour: All-purpose flour makes for the lightest, fluffiest loaf bread. If you’d like a boost of nutrition, opt for using 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour.
  • Sugar: Brown sugar is our go-to sweetener in this loaf because it is deep in flavor and the perfect pair for rich fall flavors like pumpkin. Readers have had success substituting some of the brown sugar with white sugar. 
  • Baking powder & baking soda: Essential to making the vegan pumpkin bread rise, it’s important to use leavening agents. Please use a combination of both baking powder and baking soda. 
  • Pumpkin spice: We used a store-bought pumpkin pie spice mix, but feel free to make your own using cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. You can also substitute the pumpkin spice with just cinnamon.

Icing Ingredients 

In addition to the above ingredients, you’ll need vegan butter and vegan cream cheese to make the homemade cream cheese icing. We also highly recommend sprinkling it with pumpkin seeds or pepitas. 

Use the leftover pumpkin seeds to make White Bean Pumpkin Seed Pesto or No Bake Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars.   

Equipment Needed

vegan pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing and pumpkin seeds

How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Bread

  1. Whisk together wet ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, apple cider vinegar, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Form a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Using a spatula, gently mix everything until combined into a uniform batter.
  4. Transfer to a loaf pan. Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan and spread it out evenly. 
  5. Bake. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick runs clean. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Make the cream cheese icing. While the bread cools, make the icing. Mix together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, vegan butter, vanilla, and lemon juice. Add a tablespoon or two of almond milk to thin the icing as needed. 
  7. Drizzle and serve. Drizzle the cooled vegan pumpkin bread with icing, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, and slice. Enjoy!

Storage Instructions

This vegan pumpkin bread will store best at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The bread can be refrigerated to extend its shelf life, but doing so will make the bread dense. 

If you’d like to freeze your pumpkin bread, wait to prepare the icing until after the bread has been defrosted and is ready to eat. To freeze, completely cool the loaf on a wire rack until room temperature. Tightly wrap the bread in plastic wrap, then store it in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost the bread on the counter at room temperature for about 4 hours, then top with the icing as usual.

vegan pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing and pumpkin seeds

Recipe FAQs

Is this pumpkin bread gluten-free?

No, this vegan pumpkin bread is made with wheat flour. We have not tested this recipe using a gluten-free flour blend, but it may work with a 1 to 1 GF all-purpose flour blend. Let us know in the comments if you have good results! 

Why is my pumpkin bread so dense?

If your pumpkin bread turned out dense, chances are the bread is undercooked or the batter was too wet. Measure carefully and insert a toothpick into the center of the bread in a couple of places before removing it from the oven. 

Does Starbucks’ pumpkin bread have dairy?

Surprisingly, Starbucks’ Pumpkin and Pepita Loaf does not contain dairy. Unfortunately, it does contain eggs and is, therefore not vegan. 

Top Tips

  • Don’t bake in a glass bread pan. Glass is an insulator, not a conductor of heat, making it slow to heat up and slow to cool down. This can cause the bread to bake unevenly by overbaking on the outer edges and underbaking in the center. 
  • Gently fold the dry and wet ingredients together. Vigorously mixing the ingredients together can whip excessive air into the batter, causing the gluten to become overactivated. This will result in the batter being tough and stretchy and make the bread chewy and gummy.  
  • Use the right loaf pan. This bread is baked in an 8×4 pan. A lot of baked recipes call for a 9×5 pan, but the most popular pan sold in stores is an 8×4 pan. If you do have a 9×5 pan, your loaf will require a shorter bake time so please adjust accordingly!
  • Make sure your baking powder is fresh. Baking powder should be used within 6 months of opening for optimal results. If your baking powder is older, it won’t have the same leavening power and your bread may sink. 

More Vegan Pumpkin Recipes You May Enjoy:

overhead photo of stacked slices of vegan pumpkin bread on white board

This post is sponsored by Samsung.

Our New Samsung Smart Range

This recipe was brought to life in our new Samsung Range! We recently upgraded our range in our kitchen as we were seeking a sleek and more modern design, and we are so happy with how it turned out.

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Not only does it have the typical functions of a range, but it also includes:

  • A Smart Dial with learned behavior capabilities – all of the oven settings as simplified into a single dial that intuitively learns based on your cooking preferences
  • An Air Fryer + Custom air fryer tray
  • W-Fi Connectivity: We can monitor and modify our oven temperature right from our phones. It’s extra useful because sometimes I forget if I turned off the oven if I leave the house and this way, I can check remotely!
  • Flexible Cooktop: It has a 5-burner cooktop with edge-to-edge grates to easily slide our pots and pans across!

We are big fans of Samsung Home Appliances and we definitely recommend you check them out if you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen!

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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sliced vegan pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing and pumpkin seeds on white board

Vegan Pumpkin Bread


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 1 hour 12 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Get ready to make the best vegan pumpkin bread recipe! It’s fluffy, moist, and perfectly spiced, plus it requires simple ingredients and is easy to make! It’s a classic fall treat that the whole family will love. 


Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup (248g) pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup (68g) sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon (13g) apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • ⅔ cup (154g) warm unsweetened almond milk (or plant-based milk of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (15g) flaxseed meal (or chia seeds)

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups (280g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cup (260g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (9g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (5g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4g) sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (5g) pumpkin spice* (see notes)

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 3/4 cup organic powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons softened vegan butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Almond milk, as needed to thin

Equipment


Instructions

  1. Prepare an 8×4-inch bread pan with parchment paper or oil, and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients until smooth. Form a well in the middle and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix everything together until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the lined bread pan, being sure to smooth out the top of the batter.
  5. If you would like, you can lightly sprinkle the pecans or walnuts over top before baking the bread. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick runs clean.
  6. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes.
  7. As it cools, prepare the cream cheese icing by mixing everything together in a bowl until smooth.
  8. Drizzle the bread with the cream cheese icing and slice as desired (we cut ours into 12). Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can replace pumpkin pie spice with cinnamon or make your own by combining 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp allspice and a pinch of cloves.
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Breakfast, Dessert
  • Method: Baked

Keywords: baked goods, dessert, bread, pumpkin, spices, cinnamon, easy, fall, breakfast

Disclaimer: This page is sponsored by Samsung, but all opinions remain our own. This post may also contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. Tammy says:

    This is hands down the best pumpkin bread recipe! Even people who don’t like pumpkin bread will like this. I put in chocolate chips and walnuts!

  2. Melissa says:

    So tasty and simple to make. I only had about half the needed brown sugar but was able to fill in the rest with white sugar just fine. I did take it out at 50 minutes as it was already cooked through so I would recommend checking prior to the recommended 55-60 minutes. Also, the recipe doesn’t specify to but I would recommend sifting your powdered sugar before adding to make your life easier. Thanks to both of you for a wonderful recipe! I’ve been watching for a year now and this is the first one I’ve actually gotten around to making but will definitely be making more now!

  3. Abbie says:

    Jasmine and Chris, your recipes are so consistently amazing!!! You are one of the only vegan cooking blogs where I can hands down say the recipes come out 100% guaranteed perfect every time. Thank you for all your hard work and effort you put into your recipe development!!! This pumpkin bread is the best I have ever come across, and it’s in such HIGH DEMAND in my home!!! So much that I have to protect one piece, so my boyfriend doesn’t eat the entire loaf in one sitting haha! <3 Thank you again. x

  4. jasmine lam says:

    absolutely delicious, i brought this to a holiday party (without the cream cheese because this was my first time making it) and it was was well loved. thank you for a lovely recipe!!

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