This soft and tender applesauce pumpkin bread is full of comforting fall spices. You won't believe that it has less fat and calories than your traditional pumpkin quick bread because it tastes so delicious! They are also fantastic as pumpkin muffins, and can even be frozen for an easy make-ahead breakfast!
Applesauce pumpkin bread is my favorite thing for a crisp fall morning! There is something spectacular about the tender, moist bread, with warm spices in every bite. It is the perfect fall treat!
My original pumpkin bread recipe had an entire cup of oil. That is a lot! So I replaced half of the oil with applesauce. Making that substitution, we cut out almost half of the fat and a lot of unnecessary calories. The result was incredible and now this version is our favorite recipe!
If you are like me and love easy recipes and muffins with warm fall spices, check out these Buttermilk Spice Muffins as well! They are delicious!
- Pumpkin - This recipe uses canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. The difference is that pie filling has sugar and spices already added to it. We just want plain pumpkin for this recipe.
- Oil - Canola, vegetable, or coconut oil can be used with equal success. I do not recommend olive oil as it will impact the flavor of the bread.
- Applesauce - Unsweetened applesauce add moisture to the bread, and is used in place of some of the oil, making this a healthier pumpkin bread with fewer fat and calories in the recipe.
- Flour - Using all-purpose flour results in a tender loaf. You can substitute half of the flour with whole wheat. The bread will be a little denser but is still delicious.
- Spices - Adding the spices individually allows us to customize the proportions to get just the right warm spice flavors. Though you could also use 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove.
Step One: Mix Dry Ingredients
For the right amount of flour, you can either weigh your flour or spoon the flour into your measuring cup. Do not scoop the flour out of the bag with your measuring cup or you will end up with too much flour, making your bread dry.
Add the spices and salt to the flour, and mix well. Then set aside until it is time to add the flour into the wet ingredients.
Step Two: In a Separate Bowl, Beat Eggs and Sugar
One of the secrets to soft and tender pumpkin bread is beating the eggs extra long. They would be really fluffy and pale yellow in color.
Next, add the sugar and beat the mixture for an additional minute, to allow the sugar to dissolve into the eggs.
Step Three: Mix in Pumpkin & Wet Ingredients
The pumpkin is added along with the oil, applesauce, and water.
Step Four: Stir in Dry Ingredients
Once the dry ingredients are added, you want to be careful not to overmix. Mix on low speed or you can even mix the flour in by hand.
You just want to stir until you no longer see the flour.
Step Five Bake
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared loaf pans and bake for 50-60 minutes.
To check doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the bread. When you remove the toothpick it should be clean.
Pro Tip: If the outside of the pumpkin bread is brown before the inside is fully cooked then you can cover the loaf pan with aluminum foil for the remainder of the bake time. This will help prevent burning.
Reader Review: "I made these today and they are fantastic. I am cutting out Starbucks and therefore the pumpkin bread that my son and daughter are obsessed with so I was desperate to find a substitute. This more than fit the bill and I think it is actually better." - Sam
- Mini-Muffins: My favorite breakfast hack is to bake this recipe in mini-muffin pans then freeze them! When it is time for breakfast just take a few out of the freezer and put them in the microwave for about 30 seconds and breakfast is ready!
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread: Before pouring the batter into loaf pans, stir in 1 ½ cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Bake according to recipe directions.
- Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread: In a small bowl, beat together 8 ounces of cream cheese, ¼ cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup granulated sugar, and 2 eggs. Pour half of the pumpkin batter into the loaf pans. Top with dollops of the cream cheese mixture, then pour the remaining batter over the cream cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
Store in an airtight container or wrapped in aluminum foil and store at room temperature for 3-4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. The bread will stay freshest if you wait to cut it until you are ready to serve.
Wrap the whole loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap and then wrap in aluminum foil or place inside a freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the counter before serving. The bread will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
We enjoy pumpkin bread with eggs and sausage. If you are serving this to guests then it would be a delicious accompaniment to a sausage and egg breakfast casserole! Though sometimes I love to keep it simple and serve it by itself, warmed, and topped with some butter or cream cheese.
If you prefer an even lower fat recipe then all of the oil can be replaced with applesauce. However, the bread will have a much spongier texture.
Some readers have reported success with using Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Flour, though I have not personally tested this flour in the pumpkin bread.
Let me know how you like this recipe by leaving a review! And follow along on Instagram @stateofdinner for behind the scenes and to be among the first to know when new recipes post!
Applesauce Pumpkin BreadRecipe by:
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour (455 grams)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon clove
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 ½ cups sugar (500 grams)
- ½ cup canola or vegetable oil (118 ml)
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (118 ml)
- ⅔ cup water (156 ml)
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree (425 grams)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray two 9x5-inch loaf pans with nonstick spray.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Beat eggs on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes, until light-colored and fluffy. Add sugar and beat on high an additional minute.
- Add oil, applesauce, water, and pumpkin to the egg mixture and stir on low speed until combined. Stir in dry ingredients on low speed until just combined and no flour is visible.
- Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow bread to cool completely before removing and slicing.
For miniature muffins bake for 12-15 minutes. Yield: 60 mini-muffins How to Store: Store in an airtight container or wrapped in aluminum foil and store at room temperature for 3-4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. The bread will stay freshest if you wait to cut it until you are ready to serve. How to Freeze: Wrap the whole loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap and then wrap in aluminum foil or place inside a freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the counter before serving. The bread will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.