Less is More

I love everything pumpkin.  So, as you can imagine, I love baking this time of year.  I bring out my good Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon and stock up on Libby’s pumpkin. 

I’ve been experimenting with different recipes for pumpkin bread this season.  I still believe that when it comes to quick breads and muffins, less heavy ingredients and more wholesome ingredients makes for a better treat. 

This recipe does not use eggs or butter, and very little oil compared to other recipes.  You can choose to leave the oil out altogether and use more applesauce, and I’m sure it would turn out just fine.  This recipe is also great for those who are sensitive to refined sugars, as agave works really well in place of the sugar.  If you substitute agave for sugar, just use 1 cup agave.  The texture of the bread might be a little bit more dense than if you use regular sugar, but it’s still quite delicious!


Lower-fat More Flavor Pumpkin Bread

Adapted from: The Joy of Vegan Baking by Collen Patrick-Goudreau

3 tablespoons ground flax seed*

1/2 cup water

2 cups granulated sugar (or use 1 cup agave**)

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup canola oil

1 15oz can pumpkin puree

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 cup nondairy chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350.  Prepare 2 standard size loaf pans with non-stick spray. 

Using a hand mixer and a small bowl or blender, mix the flax seed with the water until thick and creamy.  In a large bowl, combine the sugar, applesauce, oil, pumpkin, and flax seed mixture.  Set aside.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly between the loaf pans.  Place the loaf pans on a cookie sheet and bake for 55 – 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  To allow even baking, rotate the loaf pans half way through baking (which is why I use a cookie sheet, just turn the cookie sheet around in the oven).

Let the loaf pans cool on a wire rack.  You can store the loaves at room temperature for a few days in an air tight container.  The bread is excellent when sliced and warmed or toasted and topped with Earth Balance.

* You can find ground flax seed in most major grocery stores.  Look in the cereal aisle near the oatmeal or on the baking aisle.  Make sure it is ground flax seed, as whole flax seed will not work the same way in this recipe.  Store flax seed in the fridge.  It’s a great substitute for eggs in baked goods and also delicious when added to oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, etc.  For an extra boost of fiber, you can even add it to smoothies.

** Agave is also available in most major grocery stores now.  Look in the baking aisle near the sugars or where the syrups are located.  Agave is sweeter than regular sugar, so you don’t need to use as much.  It’s also great in tea, coffee, and other instances where you would use sugar.


  1. Rex says:

    Try using FlaxPro Ready to eat flax seeds. They taste nutty and seeds are brittle.


  2. Ann says:

    Looks great Chelsea! I made MamaPea’s vegan Cookie Dough Balls this week and they turned out really well…definitely recommend them. Thanks for the recipe :)

  3. Sean says:

    Made this for Cambridge Welcoming last night – YUMMY!
    Thanks for the recipe! Also sparked a nice conversation about flax seed, eggs, nutrition, and vegan tasty treats. We miss & love you!