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One Bowl Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

October 14, 2020
At a Glance

Summary

This gluten free pumpkin bread, topped with a crunchy layer of cinnamon sugar, is moist and tender, and packed with pumpkin flavor. Perfect for gifting this time of year!

Prep / Cook Time

10 minutes / 50 minutes

Rating

 5/5 (10 votes)
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One Bowl Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

Classic gluten free pumpkin bread, made simply with just the right spices in one bowl. A moist, tender celebration of fall!

Pumpkin bread slices on a white plate with cinnamon sugar in a small brown bowl and a spoon

The brilliant color of the loaf comes from the pumpkin (of course), and the pumpkin pie spice. That’s just a simple, fall-like blend of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg.

This pumpkin bread recipe is only lightly sweet, and very satisfying. The spices make it smell like fall, and the pumpkin butter make for the perfect rich, fall taste and tender texture.

Serve it for breakfast, instead of those fake pumpkin “flavored” cereals in the grocery store. I don’t even want to know what is in those!

Classic gluten free pumpkin bread, made simply with just the right spices. A moist, tender celebration of fall!

What’s the batter like for this quick bread?

Even though the word “bread” is in the name of the recipe, this is a quick bread, not a sandwich bread. A quick bread is like a muffin or cake, but baked in a loaf pan.

It tends to be less sweet than a full-blown cake, which is what makes it more like a muffin. But the crumb is cake-like.

I don’t want to over-explain things that might seem obvious. But then I get a comment on a quick bread saying that someone was “very disappointed” in the recipe and their inability to make a sandwich on it…

The batter for this pumpkin bread is really very thick. It should be smooth and uniform in color before you transfer it to the loaf pan and bake it, but that can be a bit challenging since it’s so thick.

If you have a stand mixer, that’s the easiest way to get a uniform batter. Just use the paddle attachment and beat just until smooth.

I usually start out thinking I’ll be able to mix the batter with a spoon, get a bit frustrated and take out the hand mixer. The batter tends to climb up the beaters, but it’s easy to scrape off. And by that point, you’re really don’t mixing.

Whole baked pumpkin bread with cinnamon sugar on top sitting on white paper

Dusting the top with cinnamon sugar is a good idea

Dusting the top of the bread with cinnamon sugar before baking adds some extra sweetness to a bread that doesn’t begin with a ton of sugar. Plus, it creates a thin, crackly layer that adds visual and textural interest.

I do have a recipe for gluten free cinnamon swirl pumpkin bread, too. That’s a much dressier version of this pumpkin loaf.

Adding a simple dusting of cinnamon sugar on this simpler recipe is an even simpler way to add texture, fragrance, and flavor. As a testament to how optional the topping is, though, I’ve made this recipe every year since 2013 without the dusting. But I doubt I’ll go back!

Pumpkin bread slices on white paper

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

Replacing the dairy in this recipe means replacing the butter and the buttermilk. In place of butter, I recommend using vegan butter, and my favorite brands are Melt and Miyoko’s Kitchen.

If you can’t find one of those, or you can’t have coconut (both of those brands of vegan butter are coconut oil-based), maybe try one of the newer Country Crock brand “plant butter” sticks. They have one derived from avocado oil and one from olive oil. I haven’t tried them myself, though, so please report back if you do try them!

Eggs

There are two eggs in this recipe. You can try replacing each of them with one “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).

Cornstarch

If you can’t have corn, try using arrowroot. Even potato starch should work fine.

Pumpkin butter

“Pumpkin butter” isn’t a nut butter. It’s a reduced, spiced, and sweetened version of pumpkin puree. You can buy it during the fall and winter seasons (I like Trader Joe’s brand), or make your own homemade pumpkin butter with my recipe (<—-linked).

Since it’s been cooked down, it has more pumpkin flavor than pumpkin puree—which you’ll find has little pumpkin flavor. Plus, it has much less liquid. You cannot use pumpkin puree in its place in this recipe, or any other that calls for pumpkin butter.

I make a big batch toward the beginning of the fall season, and bake from it for weeks if not months. When I see it on the shelves, I also buy a couple jars. Remember, though, I’m doing a lot of recipe testing, so I need a lot ingredients so I can fail fail fail and live to try again another day!

 

Two slices of pumpkin bread alone on a white plate

Pumpkin Bread sliced and whole on white paper

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 loaf pumpkin bread

Ingredients

2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (See Recipe Notes)

2/3 cup (133 g) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons (28 g) packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature (See Recipe Notes)

5 ounces pumpkin butter, homemade or store bought, at room temperature (See Recipe Notes)

Cinnamon-sugar, for dusting (optional) (See Recipe Notes)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and line a standard 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and sugars, and whisk to combine well, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter, eggs, buttermilk and pumpkin butter, and mix until smooth and uniform in color. The batter will be very thick. You can try using a handheld mixer to ensure a smooth, even batter. It will climb up the beater blades, so just keep scraping it down and carry on.

  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, pressing it into all corners of the pan so there aren’t any gaps in the baked bread. With wet fingers and/or a wet spatula, smooth the top of the batter into an even layer and score it about 3/4-inch deep along the length, down the center of the bread using a sharp knife at a 45° angle. Dust the top generously with a layer of the (optional) cinnamon sugar mixture, and score again down the center if necessary to reestablish the scoring.

  • Place the loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the top is domed and lightly golden brown in color, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached (nothing gooey at all!) (45 to 55 minutes). Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve once cool.

  • First published on the blog in 2013. Photos and video all new, recipe tweaked to include . 

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • Dana
    November 22, 2020 at 8:45 PM

    I’ve just made my third batch of this recipe! It’s wonderful! I’ve made it plain, with mini chocolate chips and pecans and with fresh cranberries and walnuts. I made it in my stand mixer starting with the butter and eggs. I just beat the heck out of it til the butter was in tiny lumps floating in the egg. Then I added the rest of the wet ingredients and added the dry ingredients at the end and ran the mixer on low just til it was all barely incorporated. It’s a really nice loaf and exactly what I’m after this time of year. Thanks Nicole

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 23, 2020 at 7:59 AM

      I’m so glad, Dana, that it hits the spot for you and your family! Your additions sound delicious. :)

  • Lina
    October 30, 2020 at 7:46 PM

    Can I prep the batter and put it in the fridge overnight, then bake it in the morning? Thank you!

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 31, 2020 at 8:20 AM

      I would not recommend that, no, Lina. You never want to let something with chemical leaveners like baking powder and baking soda sit for a long time before baking.

  • Susan Bergin
    October 20, 2020 at 7:39 PM

    Just made this pumpkin loaf today and all I can say is….I am making a 2nd one tomorrow! This is a beautifully easy and moist loaf and yes for sure use cinnamon/sugar over the top. I used the milk/plain yogurt combo in lieu of buttermilk. Thanks for this wonderful and so tasty loaf….even my somewhat picky son said “this is a keeper”

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 21, 2020 at 9:21 AM

      So glad you agree about the cinnamon-sugar on top, Susan! Once you know, you know. And that’s amazing that it was a win with your son. As much as I try to take the pickiest family member’s tastes in stride, if I’m being honest—I’m always playing to that person, hoping to impress. ?

  • Dana
    October 19, 2020 at 11:53 AM

    Looks gorgeous Nicole. As soon as our weather drops below 90 I’m making it! I love baking with pumpkin butter and buttermilk!

  • Kim
    October 14, 2020 at 10:01 PM

    What could I use to substitute white sugar?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 15, 2020 at 7:42 AM

      This is a sweet recipe, Kim, made with refined sugar. I think you might need a Paleo recipe, instead?

  • Bonnie Norton
    October 14, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    I used homemade vanilla kefir instead of buttermilk. I also added a little Rum extract and baked in muffin tins. My whole family couldn’t believe they were GF! I spread a little pumpkin-spice honey butter on mine and was in heaven!

  • Stefanie Hale
    October 10, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    I made this last night and both of kids had it for snack and breakfast this morning! Absolutely delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe :)

  • Nicki Schroder ツ
    October 9, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    I made this tonight and it’s awesome!

  • October 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Yet another clue that you have spies… This morning as my daughter ate the last slice of banana bread, she says, mom why don’t we make pumpkin bread next? And now your recipe arrives, so thank you, Nicole, and your ability to read the minds of Gfers like us :) Can’t wait to make this!
    -Dana

  • Doreen J
    October 9, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Nicole, I can’t wait to try this! I made your pumpkin butter this morning while baking a batch of your cheesecake cookies. As soon as I tasted those cookies I ordered two of your cookbooks! I am trying to limit the amount of gluten in my diet and your site and recipes are just what I need to help me get started! Thanks so much.

  • Anneke
    October 9, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Haven’t even had time to read the blog post, but am so excited!! Love, love, love pumpkin bread and will try to find time to whip this up later today! After I actually read the recipe and directions, of course . . .

  • Jennifer Sasse
    October 9, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Love pumpkin!!! love bread!!! love pumpkin bread!!! thank you so much!

  • WTFPinterest.com
    October 9, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    I have been very sick in bed with a nasty flu. This morning I am feeling decidedly more human, saw this recipe, and now my house smells like Autumn instead of Hospital, due to the pumpkin butter cooking on the stove in anticipation of baking this pumpkin bread. Thanks, Nicole!
    OXO
    Allison

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