My friend Jeni and I have been good friends for three years since she and her family moved here from Northern California. We met when she joined a moms group I attend weekly, and she and I have always had a special connection through our love of good food and hospitality.

Jeni is an excellent baker – a woman after my own heart. When she hosts special holiday brunches for our moms group, we enjoy her baked treats. What makes her baked goods stand out is how deliciously yet healthy they are. She tells me she works really hard to get sugar out of her recipes despite how counterculture that is. Another way she adapts her baking recipes to make them healthier is by adding psyllium, bran, and other fibrous, wheat substitutes.

A couple weeks ago, she baked our moms group wholesome pumpkin bread cut in wedges and served with cinnamon and maple butter. With every bite I couldn’t help thinking about the simplicity, flavor, and texture of the bread. Made without sugar, this bread has a hint of sweetness from the natural sugars in the bananas and pureed raisins. Apple sauce is used instead of butter or oil, and whole wheat flour compliments the pumpkin puree. No need to slather large amounts of butter or frosting. Instead, a light spread of Maple Cinnamon Butter makes each bite even more enjoyable.

This healthy pumpkin bread can be served as a snack, for breakfast, or a nice accompaniment with dinner. With Thanksgiving approaching, this recipe would also be a great addition to your holiday meal.

Recipe: Jeni's Whole Wheat Healthy Pumpkin Bread

  • Prep Time: 5 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 30 min(s)

A healthy pumpkin bread recipe.


  • ½ cup raisins soaked in 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 ripe and soft bananas
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a blender, puree the raisins and boiling water on high speed.
  3. Add the bananas and apple sauce and blend on medium speed until well mixed.
  4. Reduce the blender speed to low and add the eggs until combined.
  5. Add the pumpkin and eggs, and blend on low to combine.
  6. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients
  7. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is well mixed.
  8. Spray a pie pan with non-stick spray.
  9. Pour the batter into the pie pan and spread the batter evenly.
  10. Bake the bread for 30 minutes or until the center of the bread bounces back with a light tough.
  11. To make the Cinnamon Maple Butter, mix 1 stick of butter (room temperature) with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons maple syrup. Whip the butter with a hand mixer until combined. Transfer the butter to a small bowl and store in the refridgerator.

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17 Responses to “Healthy Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread”

  1. amber

    This looks amazing and I love that it’s made with whole wheat flour! Is there any way to bake it in a normal bread pan or does it have to be baked in a pie pan?

    • Jeni

      This is actually a muffin recipe that is baked in pie plates for ease in doubling batches, wrapping to freeze, etc.
      It could easily be adapted to muffin tins or other baking containers!

  2. kat

    can you leave out the bananas or does it change the way the bread comes out. I have all of the ingredients except bananas!

    • Alice Currah Alice Currah

      Hi Kat,
      Bananas help do two things. The first thing they do is add sweetness from the natural sugars ripe bananas add to the bread. The second thing bananas do is to help keep the bread moist. If you omit the bananas, you can try substituting with more apple sauce.

  3. Connie

    This recipe is wonderful. I see recipes all the time that say they have no sugar and then when I look at them they have honey or maple syrup or agave nectar or something like that in them. Thank you for a truly healthy recipe!

  4. Jacqueline

    More Jeni Recipes Please!!

    This is the way I cook – I use absolutely no sugar (or other sweeteners), instead I use bananas, applesauce, mangoes or other fruits to add sweetness, or sometimes raisins or dates.

    Great recipe, very easy, comes out moist and perfect.

    Two notes on the above:
    be sure you oil the pie dish, coconut oil works great 🙂
    I added more cinnamon, some nutmeg and vanilla (with seeds)

    Thank you, and please add a category here for Jeni – no sugar truly healthy recipes!!

  5. jeff

    Recipe looks great, anyone try this with whole wheat pastry flour for a lighter finish. It looks like a good diabetic 2 recipe as well.

  6. Danielle Keister

    This sounds really great, but as a calorie counter, I need to know how many calories I’m putting in my mouth. Any chance we can get that information for this recipe?

  7. Danielle Keister

    Oh, I just tried this recipe and noticed that it’s missing where/when to add the pumpkin puree.

    Also, I know ovens vary, but my bread was far from done in only 30 minutes. I kept giving it another 5 minutes until I had actually baked it 50 minutes and even then I don’t feel like it was as fully baked as it should have been. This was in a fully preheated oven at 350 degrees.

    • Alice Currah Alice Currah

      Hi Danielle,
      Thanks for your comment. I fixed the recipe to include when to add the puree. As far as the timing, did you bake this in a pie plate? I’ved tested Jeni’s recipe using a pie plate and the baking time was 30 minutes. I’m not sure why the baking time was way off when you made this. 🙁

  8. Rebecca

    Just made this and I’ve got to say it smelt terrible when I was preparing it and tasted equally as terrible. I followed the recipe by the letter. Blegh!

  9. Laura Thomas

    I just tried it, but didn’t have bananas, so I substituted more pumpkin. It needed more sweetener though. My 2yr olds both gagged.