Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
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This recipe is part of my cookbook adaption series, where I adapt one recipe from a cookbook each month to be gluten free. This month’s recipe is for Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread, adapted from the Joy of Cooking.


I’ve been sulking over our weather lately. We had Fall for maybe one week, and next thing I know it snows three times in the next week! Winter may be on it’s way already, but that won’t stop me from continuing to enjoy those lovely Fall flavors. You know what I’m talking about… pumpkin, cinnamon, and maple syrup. All of which I threw into this lovely loaf of gluten free pumpkin bread. Yum.

This recipe is my monthly cookbook adaption recipe for November. If you haven’t read about it yet, you can learn more details on my page for Baked Apple Donuts. To quickly review, I’m adapting a new gluten free recipe every month from a cookbook I find in my kitchen. Some are classics, some are not, and most will be baking recipes. For this recipe, I adapted from the “Quick Pumpkin Bread” recipe in the Joy Of Cooking cookbook. This book is such a classic, one of which I think many people have in their own kitchen, and I was so excited to turn one of these quick bread recipes into something gluten free. However, let’s just say this one threw me for a loop and was not the easiest one to turn gluten free.

gluten free pumpkin bread

I’ve come to learn that some of the better recipes to adapt to be gluten free, at least when it comes to quick breads and some cakes, are ones that already have a good amount of moisture or ones that use oil over butter. These tend to be easier to adapt, and you may even be able to simply switch out the flour for a gluten free blend. So, naturally, I chose to adapt a recipe that called for creaming butter and sugar and did not have a lot of room for subbing in extra ingredients. Yeah, I have no idea what I was thinking, but I was up for the challenge.

Well, 6 loaves later… yes, I said 6 LOAVES! It took forever to get it right and was sheer madness for a few weeks, but it finally came around. One of the things I’ve learned about learning to bake gluten free is to have a light sense of humor. It’s not always going to turn out right the first time, and that’s ok. You can’t get yourself down about it, and you just need to power forward and learn from your mistakes. Don’t worry though! Most of those extra loaves are in the freezer waiting for our big Thanksgiving dinner.

Since no one else in my family eats gluten free (expect for when we cook or bake together), It’s nice to have at least one option that everyone can enjoy together. I do have some family that bring gluten free treats or food over every now and then, and always have my Nima Sensor handy just in case (you can read more about my portable gluten sensor here), but to be honest… I’ll probably just stick with this pumpkin bread!

The problem I had with creating this recipe is that there wasn’t much room for adding additional moisture. When I did, as for most of the loaves, they turned out quite gummy on the inside and very dark brown on the outside. It was so frustrating! The bread would appear to be done and I would patiently wait a few hours for it to cool, only to cut into a loaf that was chewy and fell apart. Or one that was too savory. So many mishaps, but all that work paid off. Actually, this recipe has been modified so much it doesn’t really resemble the original anymore.

gluten free pumpkin bread

Along the lines of adapting the recipe, here are a few things that I did… and you can always refer to the original recipe in the cookbook to see my adaptions in greater detail:

  • Subbing Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour
  • Cutting down the amount of sugar, and using brown sugar and maple syrup instead of granulated
  • Using oil instead of butter, and adding a little yogurt
  • Using more baking powder over baking soda (as a result of trial and error)
  • Increasing the flavors and spices
  • Lowering the oven temperature and baking for a longer time.


gluten free pumpkin bread

This final loaf was just what I was looking for: full of pumpkin flavor and delightfully moist, but not gummy or too dense. You MUST patiently wait for the bread to cool completely before cutting into it, or it you may find it hard to slice and slightly too moist. It tastes even better the next day after all the flavors have had a chance to merry together, or try putting the leftovers in the fridge for an even better result. Happy baking!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Author: Zest and Lemons

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

This gluten free pumpkin bread is a Fall favorite! Packed with loads of pumpkin flavor, cinnamon, and even maple syrup, this recipe makes one moist loaf of bread.


  • 1 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour (*see notes)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/8 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp gluten free vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 325℉. Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until everything is evenly distributed.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, maple syrup, oil, yogurt, and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the pumpkin, milk, and vanilla extract and mix well until everything is combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, gently mixing together with a rubber spatula just until combined. Batter will be thick but pourable.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes on the center rack, placing the loaf sideways in the oven so that the long sides are facing the front and back of the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few small crumbs at the bottom of the toothpick (just nothing gooey or sticky). Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove onto a parchment lined wire cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing!


- I only use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour, which already contains xanthan gum, so I cannot guarantee that your bread will turn out the same if using a different flour mixture. If using a gluten free all purpose flour mix, you will need to add some xanthan gum to your dry ingredients (I feel the bread will be too moist without any type of gum to help bind it).

- Because this recipe has so many modifications from the original, I do not recommend making any further adaptions or substitutions or you may not get the same result.

Gluten free pumpkin bread - Zest and Lemons

Adapted from “Quick Pumpkin Bread” in the Joy of Cooking.

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