This delicious pumpkin and banana bread is the perfect dessert or side dish during cooler seasons, such as in the fall or during winter holiday meals. It is made with simple ingredients, but its aromatic smell envelops us so much!
The combination with the banana reduces the dose of sugar and therefore, makes it healthier. But this is only a detail. The moment you cut a slice while that quick bread is still warm and take a bite…
Oh! It's so divine.
Why this Recipe Rocks
It was a matter of time. The pumpkin was going to be quickly housed in a quick bread one day. I mean, that's what happened with the zucchini in my zucchini bread, so why not this one?
When I baked my banana bread, I discovered that the key to achieving the perfect texture wasn't adding oil, as most tout. In fact, adding applesauce was hands down what worked best. Blasphemy? Look, don't blame me, vegan baking is another animal.
It is true that oil increases tenderness, but for an eggless pastry, you need something special to help the dough rise while containing the moisture. Come to think of it, the applesauce pectins were definitely the heroes.
It’s used in baking to facilitate the absorption of water, increase the volume of bread and give a soft and appetizing texture (source, source). And here I was going was going to cross this ingredient off the list by relying on the recipes spread across the web 🤦 ♀️ 😮 💨. Thankfully my intuition guided me.
In short, this recipe contains healthy ingredients and is easy to make. While cooking, the aromatic smells kept me in on my toes. And let's talk about the result: sublime.
When I tasted it, my face was filled with bliss: the enveloping texture, the bewitching scents, the penetrating flavors.
I am very happy to have concocted two batches. The second one will soon be gone, too.
What Goes in it?
Notes on some ingredients
- Whole wheat flour. It can be pastry or spelt flour. Or even purpose flour, but know it's devoid of nutrients.
- Pumpkin puree. I got canned pumpkin puree. Make sure it's nothing but pumpkin. If you want to make your own homemade pumpkin puree, you can cook some pumpkin until soft, mix it up, and use a cup and a half to replace this one. Be careful not to buy pumpkin pie filling.
- Bananas. The more black spots you see on the skin of bananas, the better. Overripe bananas are sweeter. And they are of course easier to mash. Oh, and while we're at it, let's talk about frozen bananas. I strongly recommend that you always reserve some in the freezer. All you have to do is peel them, place them in a resealable plastic bag and slip them inside. And when you want to use a few, just take them out. Put them in a bowl and let them defrost at room temperature for a few hours. It doesn't take long. The only downside is that they look pretty naughty. Think wet, slimy and slug-like.
- Coconut sugar. It is the direct substitute for granulated white sugar, which normally makes the crust color lighter, a hue which people are accustomed to. It is made from the sap present in the flower buds of the coconut palm. Considered a natural sugar, it involves minimal processing and no chemicals are used. If you don't have any, brown sugar or maple syrup will do.
- Egg substitute. I used ground flax seeds soaked in water to make flax eggs, but you can use something else like Ener-G Egg Replacer brand. It should be the equivalent of three eggs.
- Pumpkin spice. You can buy this spice assortment premixed for convenience. I preferred to make mine pumpkin spice. It includes cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (1 teaspoon each).
Simple substitutions and additions
- Increase tenderness. Put only a banana and add a neutral oil, such as canola oil (rapeseed), ½ cup.
- Increase your pleasure. Incorporate at the end of the mixture 1 cup of chocolate chips to have pumpkin and banana bread with chocolate chips.
- Add some crunch. Stir in 1 cup chopped walnuts or crushed peanuts. This can be 1⁄3 cup each of a mixture of nuts: chopped hazelnuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, pecans, slivered almonds… Pan-roast them for 10 minutes over low heat to give them more flavor. The options are limitless.
- Fill this quick bread with fruit. Add to the dough 1 apple cut into cubes, 1 cup of berries, or 1 cup of pineapple pieces.
- Give it panache. Place a banana cut in half lengthwise on the dough before putting it in the oven.
- Make a hybrid version, half bread, half cake. Cover pumpkin banana bread with glaze.
- Garnish the top. Sprinkle with other nuts as desired (almonds, pistachios, pecans, or dried fruits [including coconut flakes] and leave to cool for 1 to 2 hours before eating.
Special Diets Corner
If you have food intolerances, here are some ideas to make this dish…
- Low-FODMAP Vegan : 1) Use gluten-free flour, gluten-free oat flour, or almond flour. 2) Replace coconut palm sugar with xylitol or erythritol; 3) Remove the bananas and compensate for its portion with the pumpkin purée; everything should work.
- Gluten free. Use gluten-free flour.
- Low-fat. It already is!
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How to Make Pumpkin Banana Bread Step by Step
This recipe starts with making my flax eggs ①. I follow with the mixture of wet ingredients including the sugar ② and then I move on to the dry ingredients ③. I combine the mixtures ④ and finish by transferring the dough into the loaf pans.
After that, I put everything in the oven and bake for about an hour. When the bread is ready, I let it cool, until it coalesces (makes bubbles).
Keys to Success: My Top Tips
For a good crumb, consider a sieve
Sifting flour promotes uniform crumb results by removing larger particles that could potentially result in a dense or even runny texture in the middle.
There are three ways to sift flour:
- With a flour sieve: it is a mesh screen fixed inside a large stainless steel cylinder with a crank on the side.
- With a fine mesh sieve: it is a sieve with a long handle. You put the flour in and you tap the edge so that the flour falls out.
- With a whisk: it is easier to clean than the two above-mentioned objects.
- With a fork: yes! What could be simpler when you don't have any of the above?
Take a closer look at your pans
Dark-colored loaf pans absorb more heat and may increase the baking process. Check for doneness 10 minutes before the suggested time. Light-colored pans reflect heat and may require the full baking time indicated (or even a little longer). But it's worth inspecting your confection a bit beforehand anyway.
Perfect the finish of your baking
Place your loaf pans in the center of the oven, where the heat circulates more evenly. Your baking goods will be the same on all sides. Make sure the temperature is right.
To see if it’s ready, insert a toothpick in the center after 50 minutes. It should come out clean and dry or just have a few crusts clinging to it.
If the dough sticks to the toothpick, consider baking it longer.
Also, the top, sides, and bottom should be golden brown and have a hollow sound when you tap it.
- Loaf pan. Two standard 20 cm (8 in) loaf pans or four mini loaf pans of 15 x 7.5 x 5 cm (6 x 3 x 2 in).
- Electric hand blender or food processor.
- Mixing bowls.
- Spoons and measuring cups.
- Rubber spatula.
- Flour sifter, fine-mesh sieve or whisk.
What to Serve this Dish with
You can serve this Vegan Pumpkin Banana Bread cold or warm. You can eat it well on its own, but the following things make a great side dish:
- Fresh fruit with a plant-based drink;
- A chocolate drink;
- A cup of tea. It's simple, but it makes for a hell of a breakfast;
- A spread of jam or peanut butter;
- A spread of vegetable butter.
Answers to your Burning Questions
Pumpkin can replace oil or butter in baking. For oil, the ratio is one to one. One cup of oil is simply replaced by one cup of pumpkin puree. To replace pumpkin puree with butter, multiply the amount of butter by ¾. If a recipe calls for 1 cup, use ¾ cup puree instead.
Ripe banana generally tastes sweeter than pumpkin. So if you want to completely replace the pumpkin with bananas, add a tablespoon or two of sugar (don't add too much or you risk losing the consistency of the batter).
The main reasons are: there are more wet ingredients than expected, you let the dough rest too long, you didn’t put enough baking soda or baking powder. Or, you didn't bake it long enough.
This can be easily done with kabocha squash, butternut squash, or sweet potatoes. These ingredients are interchangeable in most recipes to achieve the same texture and the most similar flavor. Replace 1 cup canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree with 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato or squash.
In fact, it's quite possible to replace pumpkin in any recipe with butternut squash. You just need to puree it.
Kabocha squash. It's basically a Japanese pumpkin. This squash caught the eye of food and health brands last year. The flesh is very sweet, similar to a pumpkin or sweet potato, and the texture is velvety and creamy.
Absolutely. Applesauce is an excellent possible substitute for pumpkin in baked goods. If you don't have a pumpkin, put some applesauce in a jar. It won’t be pumpkin bread anymore, but the baking will be similar.
How to Store This Dish
Pumpkin Banana Bread will keep for at least two or maybe three days at room temperature. After three days on the counter, it's best to refrigerate it. It will keep there for at least a week, maybe a few days longer.
To maximize its shelf life, cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap or place it in a plastic bag to prevent drying out.
Make this Dish Now
When you read the reviews of certain recipes on the web, you find that having a moist crumb is the biggest desire of many. Sometimes it is too dense; sometimes it is too dry.
Most quick bread recipes include ingredients that add moisture, such as bananas or applesauce. Some recipes omit applesauce, but trust me, it makes all the difference between a dry prep and a moist one.
My vegan pumpkin banana bread recipe is very healthy, no milk, no egg, no fat. And that doesn't stop it from being bewitching.
It’s almost impossible to mess up this recipe. Follow my tips below for best results and you're all set.
The variations are unlimited, so have fun, create simple or super gourmet versions, you will be very satisfied.
It makes a perfect breakfast to munch on on a chilly day.
Watch How it's Done
Watch the recap thanks to the Pumpkin Banana Bread Web Story. It's done in the blink of an eye!
Or take the time to make it your own with the video below.
[Video Coming Soon]
More Vegan Quick Bread Recipes
More Pumpkin Recipes
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Pumpkin Banana Bread
- Loaf pan.
- Two standard 20 cm (8 in) loaf pans or four mini loaf pans of 15 x 7.5 x 5 cm (6 x 3 x 2 in).
- Electric hand blender or food processor.
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Rubber spatula
- Flour sifter, fine-mesh sieve or whisk
- 3 tablespoon ground flaxseed or 4 ½ teaspoon Ener-G Replacer
- ½ cup water or 6 tbsp/90 ml with Ener-G Replacer
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce or ½ cup + ½ cup oil
- 2 cups ripe bananas mashed (about 4-6 bananas)
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin purée 1-14 oz/392 g can
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F or gas mark 4). Or line with parchment paper.
- Lightly oil two 20 cm-(8 in-) loaf pans or four 15 x 7.5 x 5 cm (6 x 3 x 2 in) mini loaf pans.
- In a food processor or in a bowl using a hand-held electric mixer, whip the flax and water until thick and creamy.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, mashed bananas, pumpkin puree and flax mixture (flax eggs).
- In a separate bowl, combine whole wheat flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir until just combined.
- Spoon batter into two standard loaf pans or four mini loaf pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes or a longer time, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If using mini loaf pans, check for readiness after 30 minutes.
- Let cool on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes. This is important because the bread is still baking and needs time to coalesce in the hot pan.
- Placed in an airtight container, this pumpkin and banana bread will keep for up to 6-7 days.
- Sifting flour promotes uniform crumb results by removing larger particles that could potentially result in a dense or even runny texture in the middle. Use a flour sifter, fine mesh sieve, whisk or fork.
- If you choose to add oil, it can be olive oil or a neutral-tasting oil, like canola oil or sunflower oil.
- Do not overmix the batter to avoid having a gummy, dense or hard texture. Combine the ingredients gently without over-stirring or whipping. Make gentle movements with a rubber spatula in one hand, while rotating the bowl with the other hand.
- Dark colored loaf pans absorb more heat and may increase the baking process. Check for doneness 10 minutes before the suggested time. Light-colored pans reflect heat and may require the full cooking time indicated (or even a little longer). But it's worth inspecting your confection a bit beforehand anyway.
- Place the load pans in the center of the oven, where the heat circulates more evenly. The baking goods will be the same on all sides.
- If the dough sticks to the toothpick, consider baking the bread longer.
- Garnish the top. Sprinkle with other nuts as desired (almonds, pistachios, pecans, or dried fruits [coconut flakes] and leave to cool for 1 to 2 hours before serving.
- Give it some panache. Place a cut banana in half lengthwise on the dough before baking
- Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Bread. Stir in at the end of the mixture 1 cup of chocolate chips to make pumpkin bread and with chocolate chips .
- Pumpkin Banana Walnut Bread. Stir in 1 cup chopped walnuts or ground peanuts. This can be 1⁄3 cup each of a mixture of nuts: Chopped hazelnuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, pecans, slivered almonds… Pan-roast them for 10 minutes over low heat to give them more flavor. The options are endless
- Pumpkin Banana Fruitcake. Add 1 apple cut into cubes, 1 cup small s fruits, such as blueberries or raspberries, or 1 cup pineapple chunks.
- Pumpkin Banana Bread with Salted Caramel Glaze. In a food processor, blend ½ cup dates or dried apricots, ¼ to ½ cup macadamia nuts, ½ cup maple syrup with 1 teaspoon maca and a pinch of salt. Coat the banana bread with it.
- Or simply mix 4 tablespoons of almond butter, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and 2 to 3 tablespoons of soy beverage.
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