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Healthy Moist Pumpkin Bread

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Welcome to Pumpkin “season” or everything pumpkin spice season at least and this healthy moist pumpkin bread recipe is lower in sugar and definitely! This tender and easy quick bread is perfect for fall baking, with rich pumpkin spices that makes it great to gift neighbors and friends.

Are you a pumpkin fan? If so, try my Chocolate Pumpkin Graham Crisp, Easy Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake or these Maple Pumpkin Scones.

Loaf of moist pumpkin bread with a brown butter maple frosting drizzled on top.

I am however; a HUGE fan of pumpkin and all of the wonderful spices that go into all things pumpkin! There are so many marvelous nutrients in pumpkin, I love to put it in my chili, it adds a lovely thickness and creaminess and I buy it by the case all year long as I put it in our dog’s food daily, for low-calorie bulk, antioxidants and nutrients.

I love pumpkin bread, but my old recipe had 3 cups of sugar in it, yikes! This recipe is inspired by The Domestic Rebel. It’s a denser quick bread than normal, with hints of ginger, mixed with the lovely earthy spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.


  • BUTTER | use the real stuff, not soft out of the fridge, cause that’s not real butter, it’s a blend.
  • DARK BROWN SUGAR | if using light brown sugar add 1 TBL molasses)
  • EGGS | I always use large eggs in my baking
  • CINNAMON, NUTMEG, GINGER, CLOVES | give it all the wonderful Pumpkin Spice taste, or try substituting Pumpkin Pie Spice mix.
  • ALL PURPOSE FLOUR | I use Organic Unbleached AP flour in my baking, but regular flour is fine

Let’s Make Moist Pumpkin Bread (A bit healthier)

Start by creaming the butter and dark brown sugar for a couple of minutes, until it’s light and fluffy.

TIP: If you don’t have dark brown sugar, you may replace it with light brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of molasses, of course the likelihood of having molasses might also be slim! I haven’t tried it with light brown sugar, but give it a try and let me know what you think.

Stand mixer bowl with dark brown sugar and butter in mixer for Moist Pumpkin Bread.

Next add your pumpkin, a generous, heaping cupful. Then add your eggs…and your spices.

Moist Pumpkin Bread in mixing bowl after creaming sugar and butter with added pumpkin puree and spices.

Mix well, it will look a bit “curdled” because of the pumpkin, but it will combine once you add the flour and leavening. Place flour, leavening and salt in a small bowl and whisking to combine.

Slowly add the all-purpose flour to the mixture, mixing on low until combined, scraping down the sides occasionally.

Thick pumpkin bread batter ready for loaf pan.

Spread dough into one large prepared (spray with oil) loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans, the dough will be thick.

Moist Pumpkin Bread batter in loaf pan ready for the oven.

Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes for large loaf or 25-30 minutes for 4 mini loaf pans

Remove from oven, set on a cooling rack and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes

Oven mitt holding just out of the oven moist pumpkin bread in loaf pan.

Invert onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting. If you don’t want hash marks on the top of your loaf, carefully turn it over back onto the bottom. Careful, as it will be hot.

Moist pumpkin bread loaf on cooling rack.

If desired, once cooled, drizzle on this AMAZING Browned Butter Maple Glaze.

Brown Butter Glaze

In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, melt your butter over medium-low heat, watching very carefully as it will burn. It will foam up after it’s melted, that’s when it’ll begin browning, gently stir or swirl over heat another minute or two until lightly browned and a wonderful “nutty” aroma starts wafting up to your nose.

Stir in your maple syrup and your powdered sugar, it might “seize” a bit, but keep adding liquid and whisking until you achieve a pourable consistency.

Adding powdered sugar to browned butter for topping moist pumpkin bread.

Whisk until blended, then add a bit of cream, milk or half and half, a few teaspoons at a time while whisking until smooth.

Adding half and half to the brown butter maple glaze for the moist pumpkin bread.

Add enough cream until it’s easily pourable, it will harden slightly once you pour it onto the pumpkin bread.

This recipe for reduced sugar Pumpkin Bread with Maple Browned Butter Glaze is amazing, click through to see the simple steps for baking. #pumpkinbread #pumpkin #thefreshcooky #fallbaking #foodgifts

With or without the brown butter glaze it is delicious. Toast it and slather a little butter on it, don’t try putting a slice with frosting in the toaster, it’ll melt, and make a mess of your toaster. Don’t ask me why I know this…oh, all right, yes, I did it, duh! Not one of my finer moments.


  • Add ½ cup chocolate chips
  • Or ½ cup chopped nuts, your favorites, walnuts, pecans, almonds, mmmm!
  • Try adding 1 teaspoon chia seeds for a bit of protein
  • Or maybe add ¼ cup shredded coconut


Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating and comment below the recipe!

Square image for Moist Pumpkin Bread recipe topped with a brown butter maple glaze.

Pumpkin Bread with Browned Butter Maple Frosting

Author: Kathleen | The Fresh Cooky
5 from 3 votes
It's PUMPKIN season!!  This tender, moist pumpkin bread with maple browned butter glaze is delightful! Healthier with reduced sugar, full of aromatic spices, it'll become a family favorite
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Quick Breads
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 263 kcal


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, if using light brown sugar add 1 TBL molasses
  • 1 cup heaping canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon* See notes to replace with pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, to taste, reduce if necessary
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Brown Butter Maple Glaze

  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-3 teaspoons cream, sub. half and half or milk

Optional Add-Ins

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut


  • Preheat the oven to 350° and liberally grease (or spray) a 9" loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans. In a mixer, on medium, cream together the butter and dark brown sugar until fluffy and combined. Add pumpkin, eggs, spices and mix on low until combined. *It might look curdled, but don’t worry it will play well with the other ingredients.
  • Using a whisk, mix your flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly pour flour mixture into wet ingredients and mix just until combined, scrape down sides if needed.
  • Scoop the dough into prepared pan(s), it will be thick, using a spatula spread evenly. Bake at 350 for 40-55 minutes for large loaf or 25-30 minutes for mini loaves. Remove from oven when the top springs back slightly and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Place on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Invert loaf onto cooling rack, then carefully (it’ll be hot) turn it back to right side up so you don’t get the cooling rack marks on your bread. Cool completely before glazing.

Making the Glaze (Pumpkin Bread is also delicious without the glaze)

  • Heat butter over medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan until melted. While browning the butter will foam up, continue to occasionally stir through this stage. Once it starts getting little brown flecks in it and the foaming subsides it will have a "nutty" aroma. Remove from heat.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes while you measure out the rest of the glaze ingredients. Add the powdered sugar and maple syrup and whisk well to combine, might "seize" up a bit. Pour in your milk or cream and continue whisking and adding a little cream until it’s a pourable consistency. Pour or spread glaze/frosting over pumpkin bread.
  • Store in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days. Pumpkin bread may be frozen if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap (does better if frozen before frosting).

✱ Kathleen’s Tips

Substitute Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves with 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute.


Serving: 1 Calories: 263 kcal Carbohydrates: 36 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 13 g Saturated Fat: 7 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g Cholesterol: 43 mg Sodium: 298 mg Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 24 g

Nutrition Disclaimer

The Fresh Cooky is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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