Spiced Honey Pumpkin Bread

Spiced Honey Pumpkin Bread

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If you’re looking for a decadent, sugary pumpkin bread for dessert, this isn’t it.

If you’re looking for a gently spiced, not-too-sweet pumpkin bread for breakfast or a snack that warms you up from the inside out, you’ve found it. I like this bread but given the abundance of sugar in most pumpkin-based baked goods, you do have to know before your first bite that this is going to be a little different.  On its second or third day it hits a beautiful peak of flavor, when the honey and the spices and the pumpkin coalesce into smooth perfection.

This is a simple bread to make. Dry ingredients first: whole wheat pastry flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

dry ingredients in a bowl

dry ingredients, whisked

A note about the photographs: I am baking more in the daytime now and I’ve been trying to avoid using the flash. Unfortunately what my kitchen has in counter space it lacks in natural light. It’s time to go back to the flash, which gives me a truer color. I’ve been working with the “aperture priority” setting but I feel like many of these photos look a little sickly, and playing with them in Photoshop doesn’t really yield the results I’m after. Plus I find the lighting and color varies so much from one computer monitor to another that it’s almost impossible to tell what’s working and what isn’t. and the safest bet is to try as much as possible to get it right in the camera.  So I apologize for the color in these, and we’ll move on into a brighter world together, with the next thing  I bake.


Pumpkin, coconut oil, yogurt.  Next up was honey. Our house is overstocked with honey at the moment, and since this recipe was going to really feature it, I chose a really nice local honey that I picked up at the apple orchard a few weeks ago.


pouring honey

To that I added the eggs. They were supposed to be room temperature, but they were more like not-that-long-out-of-the-fridge temperature.

eggs added to liquid ingredients

I whisked until well combined.

liquid ingredients, whisked, close-up

See how well combined that is?

I retrieved the bowl with the dry ingredients, and poured it in.

adding flour

I folded just until the last bit of flour disappeared. Then I put my spatula down the way those Chopped chefs release their plates and raisef my hands in the air to signify that I was done. It gives my kitchen a little flourish and makes me feel like I’ve just done something very exciting.


After getting the batter into a loaf pan, on a whim, I sprinkled a light layer of turbinado sugar across the top.

batter in pan with turbinado sugar

The directions said to bake for 40-45 minutes, so I started checking mine at 35. It took 13 more minutes until I felt right about taking it out of the oven, so that brings us to almost 50. I gave it another 15 minutes in the pan, then let it finish cooling on a wire rack.

cooling on rack

See all those holes? That’s me testing it at 35 minutes, 40 minutes, 43 minutes, and then finally 48. This must be why so many bakers use frosting, but somehow a frosted spiced honey pumpkin bread just didn’t seem like a good idea.

Anyway, all that waiting paid off. The texture was absolutely perfect, a nice soft crumb, cooked just right, and still fluffy. The honey and spices hit perfection on the bread’s third day of existence, and then, its existence ended. That’s what you get for being delicious.

spiced honey bread, sliced


My version of Spiced Honey Pumpkin Bread (adapted from The Flour Sack)


1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/4 cups pumpkin
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup (scant) low fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling


Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray or grease a 9 x 5″ loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Whisk thoroughly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, coconut oil, yogurt, honey, and eggs, with vigor, until well blended.

Pour the dry ingredients into the liquid and stir just until combined. Pour into a loaf pan and sprinkle a thin layer of turbinado sugar across the top.

Bake for 35-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it sit in the pan for another 10-15 minutes, then move to a wire rack.

spiced honey bread, sliced

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