Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Healthier" Downeast Pumpkin Bread

Unfortunately it's fall now (or at least it was until is was 90º yesterday). So it's cold and I can't wear most of my Lilly shifts but every cloud has a silver lining. Now, it's time for pumpkin everything. My favorite thing to make this time of year (and any time when I have a can of pumpkin) is Downeast Pumpkin Bread. This is the reduced fat, reduced sugar version, more whole wheat version. The original recipe can be found at

Downeast Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 36 muffins


1-15 oz can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 c. unsweetened applesauce (instead of vegetable oil or melted butter)
2/3 & 1 oz water
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar*

2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t grond cloves
1/4 t ground ginger


Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease three muffin pans. Mix the first group of ingredients (the wet ingredients and the sugar) in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into the muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This recipe can also be used to make loafs. Bake loafs for 55 min.

*I prefer dark brown sugar since it has more molasses in it and molasses makes me think of New England

Details of the Changes to the Recipe
This recipe had more of what I want and less of what I usually don't want. I usually want less fat and less sugar (for fewer calories over all) and I want more protein and fiber. Here I got fewer calories from sugar and fat and more fiber.

Nutrient Original
Calories 175 95
fat (g) 6.9 1
protein (g) 2 2
fiber (g) 0.7 2
sugar (g) 17.1 12

I accomplished this improved nutrient profile by reducing the sugar by a third, replacing half the flour with whole wheat flour (more fiber), and by using apple sauce instead of the liquid fat. When you're baking quick breads, these are always things you can do reduce the calorie count. Whole wheat flour is heavier that white flour so you may want to add in extra baking soda or powder to ensure that the bread rises.


  1. Oh, I might try this as a loaf! I love pumpkin bread. Thanks for the recipe! :)

    1. When I make it--I have a loaf pan and two muffin pans so I always make a loaf. The loaves stay moist much longer than the muffins but the muffins are so much more convenient to grab and eat.

  2. sounds delish! did you already adjust the baking soda in the recipe you posted or do i need to add more?

    1. The recipe has already been adjusted. I would be sure that it's a heaping tablespoon of baking soda though. Let me know how it turns out!


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