Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

Friends, last week I had every intention of posting one or two recipes, but a bad throat prevented that. I traveled to Cleveland for four days with my laptop, but I tried to get some rest every chance I got. When I collect my thoughts and get my life back in order later this week, I’ll try to talk more about my trip. Cleveland is a delicious city, I’ll say that much!

This pumpkin bread, which I tweaked from my best banana bread recipe, has already been produced in two batches. It’s my secret weapon, and I’ve been holding off on revealing it until the proper moment. I’m giving it to you right now as a form of atonement for my sporadic blogging schedule.

honey and coconut oil pumpkin bread

This quick pumpkin bread is everything pumpkin bread should be: moist but not too oily, with a delectable spiced crumb that rises high in the oven. It’s made with 100% whole wheat flour, unrefined coconut oil and sweetened with honey, but you don’t have to tell anyone it’s healthy—they’ll just think it’s the best pumpkin bread they’ve ever had. Topped with a smear of peanut butter or a drizzle of coconut butter, it’ll stick with you from breakfast to lunch time.

Also read:  Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles

And, bonus! This bread is easy to make and only requires one bowl, hence its title as the “ultimate” pumpkin bread recipe.


I’m sure some pumpkin purists would argue that I should have used homemade pumpkin purée for this recipe. I’ve heard mixed results on homemade pumpkin purée, though, and I justified my decision to use canned, organic purée by assuming that most of you would use it, too.

If you’re interested in learning how to make your own, here’s a post that shows you three ways to make pumpkin purée. But hey, if you get a craving and crank open a can of pumpkin in an off season, I won’t judge!



See all those pale yellow, round dots in the bread below? It’s millet, which you may recognize as bird seed, but people can eat it, too! It took a couple of slices for me to warm up to the crunchy element, but now I really like it.

If you’re feeling adventurous, mix some millet into your batter. It’s an idea I got from Joy the Baker’s whole wheat and millet banana bread recipe.



  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice or cloves
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • Optional- ⅓ to ½ cup rinsed millet
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda*
  • ¼ cup hot water*
  • Optional- turbinado (raw) sugar for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat oil and honey together. Add eggs, and beat well.
  3. Stir in pumpkin purée and vanilla, then the salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Stir in flour, just until combined. If you’re adding millet, stir that in as well.
  4. Add baking soda to hot water, stir to mix, and then mix briefly into batter until it is evenly distributed. Spread batter into the greased loaf pan.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and swirl with the tip of a table knife for a pretty marbled effect. Sprinkle a big pinch of turbinado sugar on top for a light, sweet crunch.
  6. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes. Be sure to check that the bread is done baking by inserting a toothpick in the top. It should come out clean. If the top of the bread jiggles when you pull it out of the oven, it’s NOT done! Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.


  • Adapted from my Ultimate Banana Bread.
  • If you need a great loaf pan, I love my Le Creuset stoneware loaf pan. It’s non-toxic, heats evenly and cleans easily.
  • *Update 10/13/14: After several years of being baffled by the hot water/baking soda trick, I can now definitively report that it’s an unnecessary step. If you prefer, you can just stir in ¼ cup water or milk (any kind) into the oil/honey/eggs and whisk the baking soda in with the spices.