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Makeover Pumpkin Spice Bread

With less than half the fat and just one-fourth the calories of the original recipe, more people can feel good about eating this fall favorite. Heidi Figiel - Bridgeport, W. Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 loaves (16 slices each)


  • 2-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup canola oil


  • In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, buttermilk, applesauce and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  • Transfer to two 9x5-in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 143 calories, 3g fat (0 saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 183mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fat.

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  • Shea
    Sep 27, 2017

    This is by far the best pumpkin bread I have ever had. At first reading the recipe I was freaked out by the amount of sugar, but then realized it is for two loaves! I made the following tweaks:Only used all purpose flourSwitched half the white sugar for brown sugarUsed two teaspoons of Trader Joes pumpkin pie spice instead of the various spicesI had to bake it for 55 minutes. It is amazing. I stuck one loaf in the freezer, so we will see how well that one does. All in all, the best recipe, you don't miss the extra fat at all!

  • nicoleg
    Nov 28, 2014

    This has been my go to recipe for pumpkin bread since this issue came out! It is fantastic, why bother with more fattening recipes? I spray my pan with cooking spray and dust with sugar. Works very well.

  • momofmayhem
    Jan 23, 2013

    I blindfolded my family and made two different pumpkin breads. They tasted each one to see if they could figure out the healthier one. Convinced they would be able to taste the difference they each misguessed thinking the tastiest one couldn't possibly be the healthiest. Joke is on them.This is a moist and delicious recipe. My go-to pumpkin bread recipe.

  • cbergan
    Oct 4, 2012

    I use 1 1/3 whole wheat flour for the cake flour and use ground flaxseed for two of the eggs. I also only use 2 cups sugar. Very good recipe.

  • annie1992
    Dec 8, 2011

    I'll admit, this is a delicious pumpkin bread, I love it. I'll also agree that the fat has been significantly reduced, so it's more heart healthy. I am concerned, however, about the "diabetic friendly" designation, though. With two cups of sugar and all white refined flour, I can't see how a diabetic could safely eat it, in spite of the pumpkin.I reduced the sugar to 1 1/2 cups and used dark brown for the additional sweetness/flavor. I swapped the all purpose flour for white whole wheat and kept the cake flour.l It was still really good and much healthier for my diabetic BIL.

  • queensharon00
    Nov 2, 2011

    Very moist. Family loved it. Great sliced with a little cream cheese spread on it too :)

  • lisamaria728
    Oct 10, 2011

    I was excited to see this recipe until I read the ingredients! I have to agree with Annie. How is this a healthy recipe? Over 2 cups of sugar, all white flour, and 4 eggs?? There is nothing low fat or healthy about this recipe. I will stick to my current recipe that is in fact low fat and healthy.

  • AnnieDrews
    Oct 10, 2011

    I'll be honest. This recipe is not that much, if any, lighter than the "un- light" recipe I use at home. Mine uses less flour, less sugar and only 3 eggs. Mine does call for more oil, but no buttermilk or applesauce. I would think cutting any recipe into 32 servings would slash calories no matter what the ingredients. I think it is misleading to call this recipe a makeover when it really is just the serving size that has been cut.

  • Blcan
    Jun 4, 2011

    This is one of my favorite fall recipes! I made it so many times last fall and winter and was bummed when the season was over. I always keep a loaf and give one to a friend!

  • kcsqrd
    Dec 20, 2009

    Absolutely delicious! I add raisins and pecans. It freezes well, too. It's really good warmed up in the microwave with a pat of butter! Yummmmmmmmmm........