Pumpkin Honey Spice Bread

Is there anything more quintessentially Fall than pumpkins?  You know that the seasons have officially changed when you start to see pumpkin-flavored-everything popping up everywhere you look.  I’ve already let you in on my favorite pumpkin scones and pumpkin pie bites, so it’s about time that I hook you up with a go-to pumpkin bread recipe.

baked pumpkin bread

Unlike most mass produced pumpkin breads, this one isn’t overly sweet.  Instead of tasting like orange-colored-sugar-bread, this one actually tastes like pumpkin.  Only lightly sweetened with honey, this allows the pumpkin and spice flavors to really shine through.  Made with whole wheat flour this quick bread is lightly flecked with chopped pecans.  Moist and tender, this pumpkin spice bread is the perfect recipe to welcome back the Fall.

pumpkin bread batter

I whipped up this recipe a few weeks back and have been meaning to share it with you sooner, but unfortunately sometimes the Real World impedes with my ability to indulge in my favorite past time: blogging.  While I may not be able to spend my days just cooking, photographing and blogging, its reassuring to know that no matter how insane my day in the Real World might be, I am fortunate enough to be able to come home, to a well-stocked kitchen and whip up something as tasty as this bread.  That cures most of whatever ails you.

pumpkin bread from above

Like my other favorite quick breads, this one is made with olive oil, sweetened with honey or agave nectar and uses 100% whole wheat flour.  The entire thing can be whipped up in no time at all and the flavor is fantastic!  I used a combination of spices, including ground cardamon, cinnamon and nutmeg.  If you are in a pinch, you could always substitute those with pumpkin pie spice mix.  I used canned pumpkin (gasp!) and it was delicious.  Of course, if you are so inclined, I’m sure that freshly roasted pumpkin puree would be wonderful as well.

pumpkin bread up close

I used chopped pecans sprinkled through out the bread for this batch, but I think that using toasted pumpkin seeds or dried cranberries would be fantastic.  How gorgeous would this bread be if it was sprinkled with bright red cranberries?  Feel free to experiment with mix-ins or leave it plain.  The pumpkin spice flavor is delightful on its own.

pumpkin bread slices on plate

While I made only one large loaf (using a 9 inch pan), this recipe would be perfectly adaptable to mini-loaves.  With the holidays coming up, I love to have quick, easy recipes around that can be whipped up for a quick, last minute gift.  You never know when you are going to get a last minute invite to a holiday party and don’t want to show up empty handed.  This party-friendly pumpkin bread would be a welcome addition to any holiday party!

crumbs on plate


Pumpkin Honey Spice Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 70-75 minutes


1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 cup honey or agave nectar (or combination of both)
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans, plus extra for sprinkling on the top
1/2 cup chopped pumpkin seeds or dried cranberries (optional)


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 9 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving 1 inch of parchment paper hanging over two sides of the pan. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir to combine.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together oil, honey or agave, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add pumpkin puree and lemon juice. Whisk to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Add chopped pecans. Stir until fully combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with chopped pecans.
- Bake 70-75 minutes or until slightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Err on the side of under-baking the bread to ensure that it stays moist.
- Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Use the parchment overhangs to remove loaf from the pan. Serve in big slices and enjoy!

  Pin It

16 Responses to “Pumpkin Honey Spice Bread”

  1. 1
    natalie (the sweets life) — October 17, 2011 1:27 pm

    this looks heavenly! we love pumpkin bread and I like that this is slightly less indulgent…meaning acceptable for bfast, right? ;)

  2. 2
    Matt — October 19, 2011 10:07 pm

    Yum! I could eat half a loaf!

  3. 3
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — October 23, 2011 5:28 pm

    This looks perfect! I love pumpkin bread and this looks like a great version :)

  4. 4
    Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen — October 23, 2011 6:00 pm

    “orange colored sugar bread!” LOL!

  5. 5
    Anna — October 24, 2011 3:05 am

    This is so healthy and delicious to the same degree. I love the use of olive oil, the loaf becomes creamy even without butter…I will have to try this!

  6. 6

    What a beautiful loaf of bread! I hear ya about the “orange colored sugar bread”… This look awesome.

  7. 7
    Shailyn — October 25, 2011 9:55 pm

    I made this with gluten-free flour stand-in and holds up beautifully!

  8. 8
    Sara — October 26, 2011 2:24 pm

    Do you use sugar-free honey?

    • kate replied: — November 5th, 2011 2:52 pm

      Shailyn — Glad to know that this recipe works as a gluten-free version! Thanks for letting us know!

      Sara — I used a mix of regular honey and agave nectar for this loaf (can’t say I’ve ever seen sugar-free honey before). If you are looking for a low-glycemic option, try using all agave nectar.

  9. 9
    Laura — October 12, 2012 2:32 am

    I made this loaf today for a play date. Made with Organic All Purpose Whole Wheat flour and local unfiltered honey and organic large eggs. I reduced my honey by a quarter cup and may even reduce it a little more on next time a make this bread ( most likely will bake again this weekend!:) Kate, thanks for this recipe. Never baked with olive oil until today and am very pleased with the outcome. Keep the natural sweetened recipes coming! There are not enough out there!!!

    • kate replied: — October 18th, 2012 6:47 pm

      Laura – I’m so glad you liked the recipe! It’s one of my favorites for this time of year. I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only one craving naturally sweetened recipes!

  10. 10
    Risa — October 31, 2012 2:12 am

    I’m not a very good baker, but I like to keep trying and I want to make this bread tomorrow. One question though: the ingredient list doesn’t have a measurement for salt but the directions indicate that it’s in the recipe. How much should I use? Also, any hints for not burning the edges of the bread while the center bakes thoroughly? It’s the main problem I have with baking breads, but like I said, I keep trying. Looking forward to this seasonal bread.

  11. 11
    Kyla — November 2, 2012 2:59 am

    We made this bread tonight and it’s lovely. I would reduce the honey to 1/2 cup when making again as we still found it a bit sweet, or maybe even omit the honey all together and add a ripe banana or two. However we are a very low sugar household, so I’m sure it would be perfect for most people with the honey at 1 cup.

    A suggestion for RISA above, it sounds like your oven might be too hot. Buy a thermometer to hang inside your oven so you can know the true temperature. You may find you have to set your oven temp to 325 to achieve a true temp of 350. Also using a thick pyrex (glass) loaf pan always works for me.

  12. 12
    Helen — November 14, 2012 10:31 pm

    Wow, sugar free recipe that tastes nice! What a great recipe and a good use of the glut of pumpkins we got from the garden. It did burn in my oven and take too long to cook so I’ll make two small ones next time. I’m going to check out your other recipes now and see what other gems you’ve got. Thanks!

  13. 13
    Jeanne — February 20, 2013 3:45 am

    Wonderful recipe! I’ve made it twice, just a few alterations — double the pumpkin, and half maple syrup, half molasses instead of the honey. Delicious. Thanks!

  14. 14
    Chantal Despres — May 19, 2014 10:20 am

    This recipe is a staple in my household……love…..love….love it! Although the recipe does not list salt in it’s ingredients…..it is however noted in the directions. Could you please let me know if there is in fact a measurement for salt…..it might just make the bread taste a whole lot better (lol).

    Thanking you in advance,

Leave a Comment