Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Bread

Created by Laura Wright
4.89 from 27 votes
Vegan spelt pumpkin bread is moist, lightly spiced, not too sweet, and loaded with chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds. Naturally nut-free!
An overhead shot shows a sliced vegan pumpkin bread loaf with chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds. A serrated knife is on the board nearby.
An up close, overhead shot shows a sliced of vegan pumpkin bread that is dotted with chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds

I unabashedly embrace pumpkin, pumpkin spices, and all of their inevitable unions. Starting in September, I see this impulse online to trash this completely harmless flavour combination because it is widely liked. I used to be like this! Now I just celebrate letting people love what they love. For me? It’s this vegan spelt pumpkin bread. Breakfast, snack, dessert, all day goodness! I also have a great marbled vegan pumpkin chocolate muffins option that is so fun to make.

It’s a simple loaf directly inspired by my spelt banana bread and my spelt zucchini bread. 2020 is the year of the loaf cake for me apparently. I wonder why that could be! Those everyday, simple-to-make indulgences seem to come in handy on a frequent basis.

This vegan spelt pumpkin bread isn’t too sweet. Of course the chocolate brings things up a bit, but the loaf itself is naturally sweetened with maple syrup and the indulgence level isn’t overbearing or anything. Any liquid sweetener will work in its place. I used pumpkin seeds as an add-in to stay on theme, but toasted pecans or walnuts would be incredible.

I cannot believe tomorrow is October first. This year has had its extreme ups and downs, but it’s also going by so quickly if that makes sense? Sending you a lot of love from here to keep going, to keep nourishing yourselves (in whatever form that takes!), and to keep looking after each other. All we have and all we need is each other. Whatever you’re working through, I believe in you. A slice of pumpkin bread is almost guaranteed to help.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Bread
Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Bread

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Bread

Vegan spelt pumpkin bread is moist, lightly spiced, not too sweet, and loaded with chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds. Naturally nut-free!
4.89 from 27 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 1 9×5 loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups light spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup shelled pumpkin seeds or chopped walnuts
  • cups pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil, at room temperature (sunflower or avocado oil is also great)
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Notes

  • You could easily substitute the following flours 1-to-1 for the spelt: whole wheat pastry flour, whole kamut flour, whole wheat flour or whole grain spelt flour (being mindful of the fact that whole grain flours will make the loaf more dense), and all purpose flour. I tried this pumpkin bread with a gluten-free all purpose flour mix (Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1) and it fell apart! Proceed with caution with any flour substitutions.
  • Any add-ins you like are great! Use up to 1 ½ cups total of whatever you like.
  • You can definitely just whisk together all of the wet ingredients in a bowl. I just like to get them SUPER smooth.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan and then line it with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment as well and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, chocolate chips, and pumpkin seeds. Stir with a spatula to evenly mix.
  • In an upright blender, combine the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut oil, orange juice, and vanilla. Blend on high until totally smooth and creamy.
  • Pour the pureed pumpkin mixture into the large bowl with the spelt flour mixture. Use your spatula to get all of the pumpkin mixture you can out of the blender. Gently stir and fold everything together until JUST combined.
  • Scrape the vegan spelt pumpkin bread batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with your spatula. You can garnish the top with extra pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips if you like. Bang the filled loaf pan on the counter a couple times to evenly distribute the batter and to fill all spaces of the loaf pan.
  • Bake the vegan spelt pumpkin bread for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester/paring knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the pumpkin bread to cool thoroughly before slicing and enjoying.
30/09/2020 (Last Updated 01/11/2023)
Posted in: autumn, breakfast, dessert, holidays, nut free, snack, sweet, vegan, winter

50 comments

4.89 from 27 votes (14 ratings without comment)

Recipe Rating




  • Carol

    5 stars
    Hi Laura!
    Great recipe! I used 1 1/2 c toasted pecans and added almost all tge zest of the orange. I may have over baked a tad but flavor is delicious. Texture best so far for a vegan bread. Thx so much
    Will definately make it again.
    Carol

  • Frances

    4 stars
    Hi! I made this today (so delicious!), using whole spelt flour as it was all I had on hand. I found the cooled loaf to be quite crumbly when cutting. Do you think the whole spelt might be the culprit? Otherwise, I made it as per the recipe, so any other troubleshooting tips would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Frances,
      Whole grain flour tends to suck up more moisture from quick breads than their sifted/refined counterparts. My guess is that going all whole spelt flour may have contributed to the crumbling.
      -L

      • Frances

        Thanks so much for getting back to me! That makes sense, I haven’t baked much with spelt flour before so good to learn! Going to try it again today :)

  • June

    5 stars
    Hi Laura, this recipe is excellent – a go to in our household. Do you know if it’s possible to use the recipe as is but bake in a 9” round tin? Thanks for any help!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi June!
      You definitely can bake this in a 9″ round tin, but the cooking time will go down quite a bit. I would start checking it at the 25 minute mark to see if a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let me know how it goes for you if you can!
      -L

  • Renee

    4 stars
    I made this today and really enjoyed it! Because I’m not vegan, I subbed the oil for some grass fed butter and it tasted fantastic. I used full spelt flour & didn’t add the orange juice because I didn’t have any, but next time I plan to. My only concern is the texture. While the flavor is so balanced and delicious, I prefer my quick breads a bit more dense. Mine turned out quite tender and borderline crumbly. Any suggestions? Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Laura

      Hi Renee,
      Butter has a higher water content and when subbed for oil in a quick bread like this, it will generally yield a more dry and slightly crumbly result. Because oil is 100% fat (butter is approximately 80% by comparison), it does a better job of coating the flour and making the crumb more even and dense. Also, while the orange juice here is primarily for flavour, I’ve read that Vitamin C in baked goods can be used to “strengthen” gluten and yield a stronger crumb. My guess is the butter substitution is the main reason for the texture not being to your liking–may be better to go half butter, half oil next time? But there’s always lots of factors with baking unfortunately–everyone’s oven is a bit different, the material of the loaf pan, the moisture content of your pumpkin purée etc.
      -L

  • aimee

    5 stars
    ooo yes. i had some flourist spelt that i wanted to do something special with and this was the ticket. i baked it up into muffins (i used the timing/heat instructions in your vegan sweet potato muffins recipe) and the house smells so cozy. thank you!

  • Nikki

    4 stars
    I made this today and I loved so much about it! After reading that it was crumbly,  I added an egg(I’m not trying to achieve vegan) in hopes it would bind, but it was still pretty crumbly.  I think I’ll make it again and add 2-3 eggs and maybe a little more oil to see what happens because I loved this ‘no sugar’ recipe otherwise except the crumbly feature. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Pepper

    How do you think this would work if I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9 X 13 pan?

    • Laura

      Hi Pepper,
      I haven’t tried this myself so can’t confirm. I think it would work fine! But you would have to be mindful of the baking time. I would start checking it at 30 minutes and go from there.
      -L

  • Tanya

    5 stars
    So good. I followed the recipe except used dates instead of chocolate chips. Very moist, perfect balance of spices. Thanks Laura!

  • Caroline

    5 stars
    Yum, this is so delicious and easy to whip up! It makes the house smell heavenly while it’s baking, and tastes even better. The texture is also perfect: stays in slice form but is still light and fluffy. Definitely will be making this again!

  • Rachel

    5 stars
    I adore this recipe! I make it all the time – it’s so wonderfully pumpkin-y!

  • naila

    This recipe looks SOOOOOO delicious! Looking forward to trying it out.Its really nice to find recipes with spelt flour. Discovered it not too long ago & absolutely fell in love. Its really delicious!  Thanks again for sharing! 

  • Krista

    5 stars
    I made this last weekend and oh my gosh I’ve found my favorite fall bread! This is so delicious! I did a combo of pumpkin seeds and chopped pecans and used the mini Enjoy Life chocolate chips and I love the combo. Does this bread freeze well by any chance? 

    • Laura

      Hi Krista! I haven’t frozen this loaf myself, but I have a feeling that it would hold up fine since it is so moist.
      -L

  • Nancy

    5 stars
    delish and hearty

  • Marilyn

    5 stars
    Delicious! Subbed out the oil for applesauce. Moist and very chocolatey. Got the cookbook for my birthday and looking forward to trying outmore recipes.

  • Ines

    Thanks, Laura :) I baked this today and it turned out great! Only thing I substituted was a cake and cookie spice to replace nutmeg, cloves and ginger (personal preference from this morning). Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

  • Melissa

    5 stars
    Made this as muffins and they were amazing!! Will definitely be making them again. 

  • Laura T

    Hi,

    Would this recipe work well for muffins

    Thanks,

    • Laura

      Hi there,
      Someone on Instagram tagged me when they made this loaf as muffins and they said they were great! Just reduce your cooking time. I’d start checking them at 20 minutes.
      -L

  • Nanda

    I made this last night and have 1 comment and 1 question. Comment—I realized after I’d began that i only had 1/4 cup of light spelt left, so i did a grab bag of gluten flours—1/4 cup spelt, 3/4 cup whole wheat, 3/4 cup kamut, 1/4 cup barley. Worked fine! Question—sadly this is just not sweet enough for me (which is surprising since i normally like less sweet desserts), but i’m thinking that adding more liquid wouldn’t work well. What if i added brown sugar? Would that potentially work?

    • Nanda

      oops, I meant 1/4 light spelt. i so wish comments were editable! LOL

  • Michelle Hache

    Can I substitute Spelt flour for Oat flour instead? I’m Gluten Free.

    • Laura

      Hi Michelle,
      I would not recommend all oat flour here! The bread is already delicate and I worry that the oat flour would make it even more so. As I mention in the notes, my attempt with a gluten-free all-purpose flour was not successful with this recipe unfortunately. If you want to take the risk, my go-to for GF would be a blend of brown rice flour and buckwheat flour with about a teaspoon of ground flax added in for binding.
      -L

  • Jessica

    I baked this bread, it was absolutely delicious! However, I found the texture to be crumbly, which made it difficult to slice. There isn’t any ingredient to serve as a binder – no flax egg or chia egg – which would probably do the trick. Any thoughts?

  • Jessica

    very excited to make this! If I wanted to make it in muffin form about how long do you think it would need to bake for?

    • Laura

      Hi Jessica,
      I would start checking them at the 18-20 minute mark. Bake them until a toothpick or paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
      -L

  • Kate

    Hi!  Made it as written- FANTASTIC!

  • Tania

    Delicious! I subbed a teaspoon of ACV (apple cider vinegar) for the orange juice and it turned out great. Thanks for sharing another great plant-based recipe ✨

  • Julie

    Could it sub fresh lemon juice for orange juice do you think? Thanks!

    • Laura

      I would substitute just a teaspoon of lemon juice!
      -L

  • Val

    Will be making this ASAP! What brand of chips and chunks do you recommend? Thank You:)

    • Laura

      Hi Val,
      The Enjoy Life brand is my favourite for dairy-free chocolate chips and chunks.
      -L

  • Jeanne

    Laura,  is it possible to sub applesauce for the oil in this recipe?  Trying to keep things low fat.

    • Laura

      Hi Jeanne,
      One of my Instagram followers commented that they substituted 1 cup of applesauce for the oil in this recipe and that it worked out great! They also mentioned that it was homemade applesauce and that it was super thick. Hope this is helpful!
      -L

      • Jeanne

        Thanks so much for your reply, Laura.  I’m trying this tomorrow!

  • Rachel

    Delightful! I unabashed love pumpkins and warming spices all year but especially this time of year. Too bad my local market has been all out of canned pumpkin for the past week or so. May have to get crazy with cooking down a whole squash. Anyway I can’t wait to try this one. Looks like a winner.

  • Fritz Walker

    Can you use canned pumpkin, same as for pumpkin pie, in this recipe?

    • Laura

      Hi Fritz!
      Yes, canned pumpkin is great. Just make sure it’s not the “Pumpkin Pie Filling” option that has sugar and spices added. You want basic, pure, unsweetened canned pumpkin purée here.
      -L

      • Fritz Walker

        Thank you Laura. This recipe looks yummy!

        • Fritz Walker

          Update: I just made this. I used whole vs. light Spelt flour. Also, I didn’t have an orange so subbed 1 1/2 tsp of fresh lime juice. I skipped the parchment paper and just went with an oiled teflon bread pan. Being lazy and not having room to store a mixer on our counter, I skipped dragging it out and just hand whisked the liquid portion. It took a bit of effort to get the ingredients mixed so they wouldn’t separate, but it worked fine. Anyway, it was delicious! Very light, moist, and not too sweet. My wife said it’s the best Vegan baked good I’ve ever made! I make your oatmeal/peanut butter/chocolate chip breakfast cookies all the time, but this has probably now become my favorite First Mess recipe.

  • Nanda

    What does the orange juice provide in this recipe? Is it for flavor, or does the acid have a function? I don’t usually have oranges around so if i leave it out, would that have a noticeable effect? Thanks!

    • Laura

      Hi Nanda,
      Sometimes with alternative flour baked goods, I like to include a splash of orange juice because the acidity mellows out the nutty flavour a bit. I also just like the acidity with the pumpkin. It is honestly optional, but in my testing I preferred the versions that included it. I am really fussy though ;)
      -L

  • Blake

    So excited to make this! I made your banana bread and it was one of the best vegan banana breads I’ve made.
    What is the purpose of the orange juice in the pumpkin loaf? Thank you!

    • Laura

      Hi Blake,
      I like to add orange juice to certain baked goods with alternative grain flours because the acidity helps to mellow out the flavour a bit. It is honestly optional, but with my testing, I preferred versions that included it.
      -L

  • Ellie

    I cannot wait to make this! It looks like a magnificent loaf, and perfect for the beginnings of autumn