The best ever healthy no added sugar pumpkin banana bread is bursting with fall flavors and is made with no refined sugar, just healthy, real food ingredients. Enjoy it plain, or add some mix-ins: walnuts, pecans, raisins, or my favorite, chocolate chips!
You guys. It’s pumpkin season — arguably my favorite season of the entire year. I mean, the holidays are great, but pumpkin season gives me all of the same warm and cozy feels without having to buy or wrap a single. solitary. gift. Not one! In fact, every bite of this healthy pumpkin bread feels like a gift alone lately.
I’ve been making No Added Sugar Banana Bread for a long time. In fact, I’ve been making it so long that my original recipe lives on a completely different blog that I sorta unintentionally abandoned after having our first baby. What can I say, #lifehappens.
But when I got my first whiff of fall a few weeks ago, my mind immediately went to pumpkin, and then to this No Added Sugar Banana Bread.
I thought: What if pumpkin bread and my favorite banana bread could have a baby of their own?
I knew I had to make it happen, so I did. And with only one bowl.
Behold, Healthy No Added Sugar Pumpkin Banana Bread.
Here it’s pictured with raisins —which are delicious in their own right— but if I’m being real those raisins are usually semi-sweet chocolate chips. Sure, that sort of negates the whole ‘no added sugar’ aspect, but chocolate chip mix-ins are just how we roll around here. Even with chocolate chips, this banana bread is still low in sugar compared to most other banana bread recipes out there.
Ingredients for Healthy No Added Sugar Pumpkin Banana Bread
- Pumpkin puree: Make sure it is 100% pure pumpkin puree. Do not use pumpkin pie filling. They are not the same!
- Mashed overripe bananas: Fresh or frozen and defrosted, both work! See the section on using frozen bananas below for tips and tricks.
- Eggs: Regular ol’ large eggs are best. I’ve not tried this recipe with flax “egg” or other egg alternatives, so let me know if you do!
- Oil: I prefer to use neutral- to light-flavored oil like avocado oil or melted coconut oil.
- Pumpkin spice blend: If you don’t have pumpkin spice blend on hand, you can make this bread with ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice or cloves. I recommend using 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice or cloves.
- Leaveners: A mix of baking powder and baking soda give this quickbread its rise. I used mostly baking powder since there is not a whole lot of acidity to counteract the alkalinity of baking soda.
- Flavor extract: I’ve only used vanilla extract, but if you want to elevate the pumpkin and/or banana flavor, you can substitute pumpkin and/or banana extract.
- Kosher salt: I use kosher salt in all of my recipes, but table salt or sea salt would also work. Since table salt is much finer than kosher salt or sea salt, I’d recommend reducing the amount of table salt just a smidge.
- Flour: This recipe calls for white whole wheat flour, but I’ve also made it using 1 cup all-purpose flour + ¾ cup whole wheat flour. It turned out great!
How to make low sugar pumpkin bread
The key to making this low-sugar pumpkin bread is sweetening it with overripe bananas rather than refined sugar. As bananas ripen, their fructose (sugar) content increases, making them sweeter and perfect for incorporating into baked goods in place of added sugar. Head to the recipe card for the step-by-step process!
How to make banana bread with frozen bananas
I rarely have enough overripe bananas to make this healthy pumpkin banana bread, so I typically use a mix of fresh and frozen.
- Freeze overripe bananas. Peel the bananas and place them in an airtight freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible when sealing the bag and place it in the freezer. Bananas can last up to 6 months in the freezer, maybe longer.
- Let frozen bananas come to room temperature. When defrosting, it’s important to let the bananas defrost completely and come to room temperature. Your banana bread will not cook completely if the batter is cold.
- Drain the excess liquid before mashing. Frozen bananas release a lot of liquid as they defrost. You’ll want to drain this and just use the bananas themselves. If you don’t, your banana bread will be too wet.
The best mix-ins for healthy pumpkin banana bread
Some of my favorite mix-ins for this bread include:
- Chocolate chips
Tips for the best healthy pumpkin banana bread
- Measure the mashed banana and pumpkin puree closely. The volume of these ingredients greatly impacts how this loaf turns out.
- If using frozen bananas, make sure the bananas are at room temperature and drain any excess liquid before mashing.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Stir the mixture just until the flour and mix-ins are incorporated.
- Place the cooked loaf on a cooling rack and let it cool for 15-20 minutes before removing it from the pan. If the loaf is too warm, the bottom may pull away from the rest of the loaf and stick to the pan.
Tools used to make this recipe
- Fork, potato masher, or immersion blender for mashing the bananas
- Large mixing bowl
- Mixing spoon
- Silicone spatula
- One 9”x5” loaf pan or three mini loaf pans
How to adjust the sweetness of this pumpkin banana bread
This no added sugar pumpkin bread is packed with banana and pumpkin flavor but is much less sweet (in a good way) than traditional, sugar-sweetened banana bread.
- If you prefer a slightly sweeter bread: Increase the banana by ¼ cup and reduce the pumpkin puree by an equal amount. You can also add chocolate chips to the batter to increase the sweetness, which is what I usually do!
- For more pumpkin flavor: Increase the pumpkin puree by ¼ cup and decrease the amount of mashed banana by an equal amount.
How to serve this low sugar pumpkin bread
This bread is great with a little honey butter or a smear of cream cheese with a drizzle of maple syrup on top. To make honey butter, just whisk together 4 tablespoons softened (room temperature) butter + 1 ½ tablespoons honey with a pinch or two of sea salt.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is banana bread without added sugar still sweet?
It is! The key is using enough overly-ripe bananas. Overripe bananas actually have more fructose (sugar) than the lesser ripe ones we all love to eat, but this makes them perfect for baking.
Yes, absolutely! In fact, I rarely have enough overripe bananas at the same time so I typically use ones that I’ve frozen over the course of several weeks.
To freeze bananas, place peeled bananas in an airtight freezer bag and remove as much air as possible before freezing. Frozen bananas can last up to 6 months, maybe longer.
To bake banana bread using frozen bananas, let them defrost completely in a freezer bag or bowl and come to room temperature. This is important because the banana bread will not cook through if the batter is cold. Then, mash or puree the bananas with the liquid using a fork, potato masher, or immersion blender.
Some of my favorite mix-ins include nuts (especially walnuts or pecans), raisins, or chocolate chips — which are well worth the bump in sugar, in my opinion.
One slice of classic pumpkin bread sweetened with refined sugar typically has around 20-25 grams of sugar. One slice of this low-sugar pumpkin bread has just 5 grams of sugar. (*Based on a 3-ounce slice)
Other reader-favorite recipes with no added sugar:
- My classic Healthy No Added Sugar Banana Bread recipe
- A delicious Healthy No Added Sugar Zucchini Banana Bread
- Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Updates to this recipe
After receiving some comments that the loaf was too wet and never fully cooked through, I retested and updated this recipe on 11/16/22. The revised recipe contains ½ cup less banana, ¼ cup less pumpkin puree, ¼ cup more flour, ½ teaspoon more baking powder, and ½ teaspoon more pumpkin spice than the original recipe and has yielded a more evenly cooked loaf in testing. The nutrition information below has also been updated to reflect these changes.
Healthy No-Added-Sugar Pumpkin Banana Bread
The best ever healthy, low sugar pumpkin banana bread is bursting with fall flavors and is made with no added sugar, just healthy, real food ingredients. Enjoy it plain or add some mix-ins!
- Prep Time:
- Total Time:
1 hour 20 minutes
12, 3-ounce slices 1x
1 hour 20 minutes
12, 3-ounce slices 1x
- ¾ cup pure pumpkin purée
- 1 ½ cups mashed overripe bananas (from about 2–3 medium, very overripe bananas)
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil or avocado oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla, pumpkin, or banana extract
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice blend (see notes to make your own)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Optional: ½ cup mix-ins such as chopped walnuts, pecans, raisins, or chocolate chips (see notes)
- Preheat the oven & prepare the pan(s). Preheat your oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans. Note: You will reduce the temperature of the oven to 350°F when baking.
- Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, mash your bananas if you haven’t already. Then, add the pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, and extract. Whisk together until fully incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients. To the same bowl, add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix with a whisk until just combined. Stir in any mix-ins, if desired and pour batter into your prepared loaf pan.
- Bake and cool. Place the pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60-65 minutes for a 9”x5” pan, 70-75 minutes for an 8 ½”x4 ½” pan, or 35-40 minutes for mini loaves. Allow the bread to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15-20 minutes, then transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let it cool for another 10-15 minutes before slicing.
- Pumpkin spice blend: If you don’t have pumpkin spice blend on hand, you can make this bread with ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice or cloves. I recommend using 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice or cloves.
- Flour: If you don’t have white whole wheat flour, you can also use a combination of 1 ¼ cup all-purpose + ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- Mix-ins: Chocolate chips contain added sugar, so if you choose to add them, your bread will have some added sugar, but still far less than the average loaf.
Nutrition was calculated using avocado oil and kosher salt and without mix-ins.
- Measure your dry ingredients; okay to combine pumpkin spice blend, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
Involving little ones can decrease picky eating and increase appetite and willingness to try new foods. Here are a few ways they can help:
- Toddlers: Help with peeling and mashing the bananas, grease bread pan with a paper towel and a dollop of oil; whisk ingredients together, stir in flour and mix-ins
- Little Kids: Peel and mash the bananas, open the canned pumpkin, measure ingredients, pour batter into the pan
- Big Kids: All of the above!
Make a double batch and freeze one for later! Once the loaf has completely cooled, tightly wrap it in foil and place it in an airtight freezer bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Defrost overnight on the counter.
- Serving Size: 3-ounce slice
- Calories: 143
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 193 mg
- Fat: 5 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 20 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 4 g
- Cholesterol: 31 mg
Can I ask a quick favor? If you make this healthy pumpkin banana bread, please leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating. Ratings and comments help other busy parents and families discover this recipe. Plus, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment.
Oh and don’t forget to share a photo and tag me on Instagram!