Vegan Applesauce Pumpkin Bread 🎃 A simply delicious plant-based quick bread recipe made with pumpkin, spice, and everything nice. The addition of applesauce boosts the flavor and texture you love, while using less fat & sugar.
What is it about pumpkin bread that announces the arrival of fall? Just the thought of that amazing aroma of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves wafting from the oven creates such a warm and a cozy vibe.
This easy homemade vegan applesauce pumpkin bread is known as a quick bread, just like my recipes for vegan cranberry orange bread, Irish soda bread, zucchini bread, banana bread, and lemon blueberry bread. As the name suggests, quick bread is a leavened flour-based loaf that does not require yeast or additional time for rising (also known as 'proofing') in order for the bread to increase in volume. Quick breads rise while baking, much like cakes and muffins.
Why use applesauce in a pumpkin bread recipe?
This recipe was inspired by the smash-hit Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread, originally posted several years ago on Allrecipes. With close to eight thousand reviews and probably as many different versions of it posted all over the internet, I decided to put my own spin on it using entirely vegan ingredients and a whole lot less fat & sugar.
First, I cut the oil content in half by replacing it with my favorite homemade applesauce (see more in the FAQ's below). Applesauce adds moisture, sweetness and flavor to the bread, making it the perfect partner for pumpkin and spice. With the addition of applesauce, I was able to reduce the quantity of refined sugar by one-third. I also threw in a splash of vanilla to boost the fabulous fall flavors of this recipe.
After baking my very first batch of this vegan applesauce pumpkin bread, I knew I had a winner. It was amazing.
Why you should try this recipe
- It's simply scrumptious
- A perfect fall-inspired treat
- No electric mixer needed!
- Everyone will love it, vegan and non-vegans alike
- The aroma from your kitchen will smell wonderful!
- Less fat and sugar than the original recipe
- 100% vegan ingredients
🥕 See the printable recipe card below for quantities & details
- Pumpkin puree - I used canned organic pumpkin puree
- Vegan egg replacer - see FAQ's below for options
- Applesauce - smooth (not chunky), homemade or store-bought
- Vegetable oil - I used canola
- Granulated sugar - I use vegan organic sugar
- Brown sugar - I prefer vegan organic brown sugar
- Flour - I used unbleached all-purpose
- Baking powder - fresh is best
- Cinnamon - ground
- Nutmeg - ground (I love grating it fresh from whole nuts)
- Cloves - ground
- Ginger - ground powdered
- Vanilla extract
I love how this updated recipe turned out. It's super moist, just sweet enough, has everything you want in a vegan pumpkin bread, but versatile enough to enjoy just it as is or dressed up with add-ins such as:
I like to line my loaf pans with parchment. Simply cut and criss-cross two strips to fit the wide and narrow sides & bottom of your pans. It makes it super easy to lift the baked loaves out of the pans & clean up is quicker!
See FAQ's below for directions on baking muffins with this easy homemade vegan pumpkin bread recipe.
I opted to hand-mix my batter, using a large spoon and silicone spatula. I love my electric mixers, but with a quick bread like this, I found hand-mixing to be quite easy and less mess.
Preheat oven to 350ºF degrees (175º C)
Line loaf pans with parchment or spread a small amount of vegan butter around the inside of the pans & dust lightly with flour.
Pour pumpkin puree, egg replacer, oil, applesauce, vanilla, water and sugars into a mixing bowl.
Stir with a spoon or whisk until thoroughly combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. The batter will be thick. A few lumps are ok (don't over-stir or the texture of the bread may become tough).
Pour into the prepared pans and spread evenly.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack before serving. Enjoy!
Since this recipe makes enough for two loaves, you can have fun creating a variety of vegan applesauce pumpkin bread loaves. If you don't want to divide up the batter into separate bowls, just pour the plain batter into your loaf pans, then poke the add-in ingredients into the unbaked loaves using a bamboo skewer or toothpick, like I did with the loaves below.
The original (non-vegan) recipe calls for eggs, which I've substituted with vegan egg replacer. There are several packaged powder egg replacers available which work well. You can also make your own by combining one tablespoon ground flax meal with three tablespoons of water (per egg). Allow it to sit 5 - 15 minutes to thicken before using.
Here are many of the vegan egg substitutes you can use in baking:
The original non-vegan recipe specifies double the quantity of oil that is in this vegan version. I substituted half the oil with applesauce. While you could use entirely applesauce in lieu of oil, I think the texture of the bread will be dry in comparison and with a stronger flavor of apples.
Yes! This recipe yields enough batter for 2 loaves, one loaf & one dozen muffins, or two dozen muffins. For muffins, I suggest greasing the muffin tins with a small amount of vegan butter and lightly dust with flour. You can use paper cupcake liners, however, I have found the paper sometimes sticks to the muffins.
Bake muffins at 350℉ for 30 minutes. You'll know they're done if you press the top of a muffin lightly with your finger and it springs back up. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Cover the loaf in food safe plastic wrap or place it in a ziplock bag. For muffins, keep them in the baking tin and cover them with plastic wrap. Store refrigerated or at a cool room temperature for up to 3 days.
If you love this recipe ★★★★★ please be sure to rate it below! Sharing your experience lets me know that you enjoyed it and will help other readers decide if they should give the recipe a try too. Thanks a bunch!🥕
Vegan Applesauce Pumpkin Bread
- Two 8"x 4" bread loaf pans
- One large mixing bowl
- One medium mixing bowl
- Measuring cups
- One rubber or silicone spatula
- Wire whisk (optional)
- Wire cooling rack
- Parchment paper (optional)
- 1 15 oz Can pumpkin puree
- 4 vegan egg replacer* equivalent of 4 eggs, using vegan egg replacer (I use this one) See notes below for options
- ½ Cup applesauce
- ½ Cup canola oil or your choice
- ⅔ Cup water
- 1 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 Cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 3 ½ Cup flour all-purpose
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
Optional ingredients you can add:
- dried cranberries
- walnuts chopped
- pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- vegan chocolate chips (these are my favorite)
- orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350º degrees F (175º C)
- Grease and flour (or line with parchment) loaf pans
- In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, egg replacer, oil, applesauce, vanilla, water and sugars until well blended.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
- Using a large spoon or spatula, stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Don't over-stir. A few lumps are fine.
- Pour into the prepared pans.
- Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Loaves are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
🥕Baking Tips:Vegan egg replacer *Equivalent of 4 eggs, using your choice of packaged vegan egg replacer or you can make your own by combining one tablespoon ground flax meal with three tablespoons of water (per egg). Allow it to sit 5 - 15 minutes to thicken before using. I prefer lining my loaf pans with parchment paper. Simply cut and criss-cross two strips to fit the wide and narrow sides & bottom of your pans. It makes it super easy to lift the baked loaves out of the pans & clean up is quicker! I opted to hand-mix my batter, using a large spoon and silicone spatula. I love my electric mixers, but with a quick bread like this, I found hand-mixing to be quite easy and less mess.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended