Look no further for the best gluten-free pumpkin bread! Ultra moist pumpkin bread recipe with streusel topping uses an easy hack to make a light, fluffy crumb and includes a simple adaptation for a gluten-free, dairy-free recipe.
Gluten-free pumpkin bread recipe
Although pumpkin bread gains popularity in the fall months, just like gluten-free banana bread, this recipe is a hit year-round! In fact, not do I keep it stocked in my freezer for busy weekday mornings, but it’s a welcoming gift for neighbors or house guests.
No matter who is enjoying, the taste, texture, and flavor is so spot on, no one will know this pumpkin bread is gluten-free! Where other recipes have a tendency to be dense and heavy, this version maintains a moist crumb, while the texture is light and fluffy. As an added bonus, it’s easy to throw together, so no excuses!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Loaf has an ultra moist texture from the cream cheese, with a pure cinnamon pumpkin flavor that shines through. Other than the canned pumpkin and cream cheese, the remaining ingredients should be ready to go in your kitchen!
- Canned Pumpkin Puree – If you would rather use homemade pumpkin puree, you will need just under 2 cups
- Spices – Cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg
- Sugar – Combination of granulated and brown sugar
- Oil – Canola or vegetable oil gives a neutral flavor while maintaining moistness, but coconut oil may also be used
- Milk – Regular, dairy-free, or for an added tang use buttermilk
- Cream Cheese – Regular, light, or dairy-free
- Gluten-Free Flour – I use and recommend Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. See my best gluten-free flour article for how gf flours compare.
How To Make gluten-free pumpkin bread
This pumpkin bread is a little unconventional compared to other gluten-free pumpkin bread recipes. Similar to gluten-free pumpkin muffins, the canned pumpkin puree is cooked down on the stove before adding to the other ingredients.
The reason for doing this evaporates some of the moisture from the pumpkin, which has a harder time being absorbed in gluten free flour starches. It also concentrates the pumpkin flavor while yielding a light, fluffy crumb instead of dense and heavy, like traditional pumpkin bread.
(Below shows step-by-step photos and modified instructions. For the complete recipe, along with ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.)
- Begin by making the streusel topping. In a small bowl place place butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Use fingers to rub butter into the dry ingredients or use a fork to combine thoroughly.
- Use a large saucepan to cook canned pumpkin, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Cook and stir over medium heat for 7 minutes. The mixture will reduce as the liquid from the pumpkin evaporates.
- Remove the pumpkin mixture from the heat and add sugar, brown sugar, and cream cheese. Whisk vigorously until cream cheese melts and smoothly combines in mixture.
- Add eggs, vanilla, milk and oil. Whisk to combine.
- To the pumpkin mixture add flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir until well combined. Divide batter between the two prepared loaf pans and smooth tops. Sprinkle streusel topping on. Bake for 50-54 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
What is the best gluten-free flour to use?
There are many popular gluten free all-purpose flour blends on the market to substitute in a one-to-one ratio. King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill are the most widely available, along with Cup4-Cup gluten-free flour. So, how do you know which one is the best to use?
I’ve also been partial to Cup4Cup because the taste mimics traditional flour the most. However, I really wanted to know if it truly won out over King Arthur, Bob’s Red Mill, and other popular brands.
Therefore, I did blind taste tests and baking experiments using unbiased participants. You check out the results on my Best Gluten-Free Flour guide.
canned pumpkin puree
Canned pumpkin is a naturally gluten-free way to add flavor and moist texture to baked goods. Whether making a no bake pumpkin lush dessert, pumpkin cake, or adding to savory dishes, like pork chili, you’ll want to use a quality brand for the best tasting dish!
There are organic brands, like Trader Joe’s, or ones you grew up on, like Libby’s. I tested this gluten-free pumpkin bread with a variety of brands, and luckily they all perform well in this recipe!
Cooking down the canned pumpkin first concentrates the flavor and gives a more pure, authentic taste regardless of what brand is being used.
Baking in mini loaf pans
Each 8X4 bread pan equals 4 mini loaves, and will bake for a reduced time of 35-38 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the middle to make sure the bread is cooked through.
This recipe makes two loaves. However, it may easily be halved to make a single loaf. The remaining canned pumpkin may be refrigerated for a week or frozen up to 3 months.
Best PAN TO USE
The recipe calls for two 8 1/2 X 4″ pans. If you only have 9X5 loaf pans available, they may also be used. However, the baking time will reduce by 5-10 minutes and it might not be as domed shaped on top.
Since the batter uses oil instead of butter, it’s easily transformable into a gluten-free and dairy-free recipe. For the milk and cream cheese, simply swap out with your favorite non-dairy substitutes.
For the streusel topping, either use a cinnamon sugar mixture, like the topping on Zucchini Blueberry Bread, or omit it entirely. Alternatively use one tablespoon solid coconut oil or vegan butter stick in place of the butter for the streusel.
Make the best pumpkin bread your own by adding your favorite mix-ins! Enjoy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, Pumpkin Nut Bread, and many more varieties with this recipe!
Add up to 1 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, or almonds), chocolate chips, coconut, dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped dates.
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How to Make Fluffy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread (Not Dense!)
Listen to Recipe Audio
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
- 15 ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened and chopped into pieces
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup milk or non-dairy milk
- 2 ½ cups gluten-free all purpose flour (I use and recommend Cup 4 Cup)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- In a small bowl place all the streusel topping ingredients. Use fingers to rub the butter into the dry ingredients or use a fork to combine thoroughly. Set aside.1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter,⅓ cup brown sugar,1 tablespoon gluten-free all purpose flour,1 teaspoon cinnamon,⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8 ½" X 4 ½" loaf pans. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan (all the ingredients will be added to the saucepan, so make sure it is big enough) combine the canned pumpkin, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Cook and stir over medium heat for 7 minutes. The mixture will reduce as the liquid from the pumpkin evaporates.15 ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree,1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon,1 teaspoon salt,¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg,⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- Remove from heat and add sugar, brown sugar, and cream cheese. Whisk vigorously until cream cheese melts and smoothly combines in the mixture.1 cup granulated sugar,1 cup brown sugar,4 ounces cream cheese
- Add eggs, vanilla, milk, and oil. Whisk to combine.4 large eggs,2 teaspoons vanilla extract,½ cup vegetable oil,¼ cup milk or non-dairy milk
- To the pumpkin mixture add flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir until well combined and no flour pockets remain. The batter will be very thick.2 ½ cups gluten-free all purpose flour,1 ½ teaspoons baking powder,½ teaspoon baking soda
- Divide batter between the two prepared loaf pans and smooth tops. Sprinkle streusel topping on. Bake for 50-54 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes before turning out of pans to cool completely on rack.
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Dairy-free modificationSince the batter uses oil instead of butter, it’s easily transformable into a gluten free and dairy free recipe. For the milk and cream cheese, simply swap out with your favorite non-dairy substitutes. For the streusel topping, either use a cinnamon sugar mixture, like the topping on Zucchini Blueberry Bread, or omit it entirely. Alternatively use one tablespoon solid coconut oil or vegan butter stick in place of the butter for the streusel.
Using a different size panIf you only have 9X5 loaf pans available they may also be used. However, the baking time will reduce by 5-10 minutes and it might not be as domed shaped on top. Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
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