Healthy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe with Rice Flour, Pumpkin Puree & Walnuts
This fluffy, moist gluten free pumpkin bread with rice flour satisfies like a sweet treat—but is healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast! It’s low on sugar but still just sweet enough, loaded with fall-time flavor, and perfect for taking on the go.
Made with a rice flour 1-to-1 baking blend, this healthy pumpkin bread has the comforting bread-y texture that you know and love, but without the pesky gluten. And, it’s got the crunchy goodness I crave in every bite, thanks to the baked-in walnuts and pumpkin seeds on top!
Making this gluten free pumpkin bread recipe with canned pumpkin gives it that REAL pumpkin flavor, as well as some natural sweetness. And, although there’s also some coconut sugar in this recipe, it’s far less than classic pumpkin bread recipes. Cut into 8 pieces, this pumpkin breakfast bread has just 2 tsp (8g) added sugar per slice!
A quick and easy breakfast idea that’s great for busy mornings during the holiday season, or as a grab-and-go option on the way to work or school. It’s a surprisingly substantial breakfast bread, without being overly heavy or indulgent. Best of all, this GF pumpkin bread recipe is so dang SIMPLE to make—using just one bowl and a loaf pan!
The Secret to Making a Moist Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
What’s the problem with a typical gluten free breakfast bread or GF baked goods in general? They often turn out dry, crumbly, and not very bread-like! The glutinous breads we know and love are perfectly fluffy, chewy, and moist—thanks to the amazing elasticity of gluten.
So, how to make a moist gluten free pumpkin bread that satisfies?
It starts with a finely textured, quality gluten free flour. That’s why I decided to make this a rice flour pumpkin bread recipe, using a gluten free 1-to-1 baking blend! It’s a blend of white and brown rice flours, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum.
That fine texture helps to keep the bread fluffy, while the tapioca and xanthan add some chewiness in lieu of gluten. But, we also need to bring some moisture to this gluten free pumpkin bread recipe—which is where the canned pumpkin puree and yogurt come into play.
Both pumpkin puree and yogurt are fantastic baking ingredients because they’re so versatile. Not only do they add flavor and some rich moisture, but they also act as fat substitutes in this GF pumpkin bread by replacing the traditional butter!
Pumpkin Bread Ingredients & Substitutions
If you’d like to change this gluten free pumpkin bread recipe in any way, there are a few ingredient substitutions that are very simple to make. Not every ingredient may be substitutable, and there may be more possible substitutions than those listed here—you may just have to experiment a bit to find what works.
Rice Flour Gluten Free Baking Blend
If you don’t want to make this gluten free pumpkin bread with rice flour there are plenty of other options. The 1-to-1 baking blend I used is basically a gluten free all purpose flour, and it’s easy to replace at a 1:1 ratio with many other flours.
So, if you want to keep this a GF pumpkin bread recipe, you can really use any gluten free all purpose flour that you like, or try oat flour! If you didn’t need the recipe to be gluten free, this recipe will also work with regular all purpose or whole wheat flour.
Eggs are a tricky baking ingredient, and not always easy to substitute. I haven’t personally tried making this gluten free pumpkin bread recipe using a vegan egg substitute (like flax egg), so I can’t say for sure how it would work. It might, but you’d have to experiment to find out!
Canned Pumpkin Puree
Naturally, this healthy pumpkin bread needs some pumpkin in it… Of course, if you aren’t able to make this pumpkin bread recipe with canned pumpkin, you can absolutely use fresh pumpkin and make your own homemade pumpkin puree! Simply cook your pumpkin until tender and puree the flesh.
If you can’t access canned pumpkin OR fresh pumpkin, you could try swapping out the pumpkin puree for applesauce, or another fruit puree. Granted, it wouldn’t quite be a pumpkin bread recipe anymore… But, you could try increasing the pumpkin pie spice for flavor, or even make an apple flavored breakfast bread instead!
Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
For this recipe, I highly recommend using a plain, unsweetened, whole milk yogurt. Since it’s acting as a fat substitute and standing in for butter, that extra bit of fat is helpful for the texture of the bread!
You’re welcome to try the recipe with a lower fat yogurt option, or even a non dairy yogurt option like coconut milk yogurt if you wanted a dairy free pumpkin bread. Again, these substitutions might require some experimenting and I can’t say for sure how they would turn out!
Since it’s a natural, unrefined sugar option, I used coconut sugar in this recipe. But, you could really use any granulated sweetener you like, whether it’s regular sugar or even a low carb option like stevia. Maple syrup, honey, and agave might also work, although I haven’t tried using a sticky sweetener in this recipe myself.
If you use a natural sugar free sweetener like stevia, just know that the amount you need might vary slightly. Be sure to add the sweetener slowly and sweeten to taste!
Pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla are a classic combo for a healthy pumpkin bread like this, but you’re welcome to adjust the seasonings however you like!
Walnuts & Pumpkin Seeds
Personally, a pumpkin walnut bread is the ultimate comforting combo for me. But, this recipe will work just as well with any nuts or seeds you like! (Or, for a more indulgent pumpkin bread, why not add some chocolate chips?)
Feel free to swap out the walnuts for pecans or your favorite nuts, or stir in pumpkin seeds instead for a nut free option. You can totally skip the nuts altogether, as well as the pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top. I just love the added crunch and how gorgeous those seeds look on top of my pumpkin loaf!
How to Make Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread with Rice Flour
I’ve made gluten free pumpkin bread with oat flour before and even a pumpkin cornbread recipe, but this is honestly the easiest and BEST gluten free pumpkin bread recipe I’ve made yet.
(Although, if you’re looking for a grain free and paleo option, I’d say my low carb pumpkin bread with almond flour is tied as my favorite…)
To start, grab one large mixing bowl and a loaf pan—and that’s literally all of the dishes you’ll need! Add all of your wet ingredients to the bowl and whisk well. Once combined, stir in your gluten free flour (or the flour of your choosing) until integrated.
Finally, fold in your chopped walnuts and, quick as that, your batter is ready! Simply pour batter into a lined 8x4-inch loaf pan and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds on top, if desired.
Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before slicing and enjoying, or storing! Transfer gluten free pumpkin bread slices to an airtight container and store at room temperature for 4-5 days.