Spicy Pumpkin Loaf

Fluffy, moist and filled with spicy pumpkin flavours, this humble loaf is delicious. It tastes great as is —au naturel — or with a cream cheese or cashew frosting.

I made it plant-based and low in granulated sugar. Thanks to the apple sauce and maple syrup, it is sweet enough!

This pumpkin loaf is as decadent and tasty as the pumpkin bread slices that you buy at a coffee shop except, it is not overloaded with sugar or preservatives. A generous slice can be enjoyed at breakfast, for dessert or as a mid-day snack with coffee or tea.

For the flour, I used a type of whole spelt flour known as Farine de Petit Epautre. The cereal Petit Epautre— or Small Spelt— is to be distinguished from large spelt. It is mainly cultivated in the Haute-Provence region of France.

Petit Epautre is rich in protein, minerals, vitamins and fibre. It also contains the eight amino acids that your body needs. Farine de Petit Epautre has a low glycemic index and a lower gluten content than wheat flour. It can be a great option if you are sensitive to gluten.

Easier to digest than wheat, Farine de Petit Epautre can be part of a healthy balanced diet. It can be used for making wholesome cakes, breads, cookies, muffins or pancakes. However, it is not recommended if you have have Celiac disease.

If you cannot find this type of flour, healthy options are (1) Organic Sprouted Spelt Flour or (2) Finely Milled or Finely Ground Whole Spelt Flour.

The recipe for the loaf is below. Enjoy!

Spicy Pumpkin Loaf

One loaf pan approx. 24 X10cm/10 X 4 inches

Line pan with parchment baking paper if not using a silicone pan.


Dry ingredients

  • 2 cups (258 gr) farine de petit épautre ( or organic sprouted spelt flour or finely milled/ finely ground whole spelt flour)
  • 2 tablespoons (tbsp) Mascobado granulated sugar cane or brown /coconut sugar
  • 11/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • Pumpkin spices (see notes for the spice blend) *

Wet ingredients

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce, natural & unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup full coconut cream (see notes) *
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée, using 400 grams cubed Butternut or Kuri pumpkin flesh. Can use store-bought fresh pumpkin that’s already been cubed (see notes) *

* Notes:  

  • For the pumpkin spices : I used 11/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp clove, 1/4 tsp cardamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg.
  • For the coconut cream: You will not taste the coconut at all. Do not substitute with another plant milk or cream. For this recipe, you need the thickness and fat content of the coconut cream. 
  • For the pumpkin purée, use 400 grams of fresh cubed pumpkin flesh. DO NOT use canned pumpkin pie filling found in stores. Transfer the cubed pumpkin into a pot and add a few tablespoons of water. Heat up on stove-top and reduce to medium-low. Cover and stir occasionally. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork tender. When done, use a sieve to drain all of the water. Transfer the softened pumpkin into a small blender or NutriBullet. Blend to purée.


Oven: Pre-heat at 180°C / 350°F

  1. Start by making the pumpkin purée as explained above in notes. This can be quick, especially if you buy fresh pumpkin that’s already been cubed. You can find cubed pumpkin in the refrigerated sections in most supermarkets.

2. In a big bowl, hand mix or whisk the dry ingredients, making sure that they are evenly mixed throughout. 

3. In a separate medium-size bowl, hand whisk the wet ingredients until blended and creamy. 

4. Pour the wet into the dry and hand whisk until completely incorporated.

5. Transfer the mixture into a silicone loaf pan or a regular loaf pan lined with parchment. Bake on middle rack in pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out dry and clean. With my oven, 50 minutes is perfect.

6. Let cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Loosen the edges and transfer onto the rack and allow to cool completely.

7. Enjoy natural or with a cream cheese or cashew frosting. Make sure it cools completely before frosting.

For storing the unfrosted loaf, wrap it it in foil and store it in the refrigerator. For storing the frosted loaf, place it in a deep dish or pan that fits the loaf, cover with foil and stored it in the refrigerator. 

Cashew Frosting

You can make a cream cheese frosting or a cashew frosting. Both are good. For a less processed version, cashew frosting is the better choice. This is how you can make it:


  • 11/4 cup raw cashews (185 gr)
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons (tbsp) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tbsp cold water


Soften the cashews in a bowl filled with boiled water for a few hours. They need to be super soft. Using a sieve, drain and discard the boiled water. Rinse the cashews directly in the sieve under cold tap water so that they cool off. Transfer them into a small blender or Nutribullet bowl. Add all of the other ingredients and blend until creamy smooth, stopping in between and mixing or shaking the blender bowl once or twice. Transfer the frosting into a container, cover and allow the mixture to set in freezer for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Spread on the cake or loaf that has completely cooled.

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

3 thoughts on “Spicy Pumpkin Loaf

  1. Dear Julie, what a lovely delicious loaf! I always enjoy your blogs and for some reason I have tried to comment before but when I go to send it rejects me!! Anyway this time I hope it will go through so I can tell you how much I love your style, informative, beautiful, always guiding us gently through the recipe. BRAVO! I love!

    1. Hi Catherine! Rejection — Oh No, Never!! But you did reach me this time! Thank you for the lovely comment. So nice to hear from you and I hope that you and family are well. So funny but so true: I thought of you when I wrote this post because of the Farine de Petit Epautre from France !! Our vibes must have connected today, that’s for sure. Merci encore et mes salutations à David!

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