It was five years ago, and I was still living in England. I had fallen in love with baking and was just getting into food blogs when my friend Steph sent me the link to this vegan pumpkin bread recipe. I knew what it meant to be vegan, but I had yet to embrace the lifestyle. At that point Julie Potter’s Blue Ribbon Pumpkin Bread was my go-to recipe, and I would never have made this dairy-free version had my friend (also non-vegan) not insisted I try it. With Steph’s endorsement and coconut milk in the ingredient list, I was intrigued.
I’m glad I gave it a try because I found this loaf was as rich, moist, and flavorful as my regular recipe, and yet it was achieved without butter and eggs. It got me thinking, “Might other dishes be equally good without dairy?” Five years later and this recipe has stuck with me because it was the first to spark a subtle paradigm shift within me.
It’s been just over two months since I completely scratched meat and dairy, and with pumpkin season here I wanted to make sure we got this bread right. Mom and I experimented over the weekend, making tweaks to the original recipe and incorporating elements of our own simple pumpkin bread recipe, a lighter version of Julie Potter’s recipe.
What stands out about the original pumpkin bread recipe is the very clever use of coconut milk. You’d think the coconut would distinctly flavor the bread, but it only manifests itself in the moist, velvety texture. The bread tastes distinctly of pumpkin and spice. We added oats, switched out coconut oil for vegetable, bumped up the spice, and used white whole wheat. The result–at least to me–is vegan perfection.
- 3½ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons each: ground ginger and cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon each: baking soda and salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
- 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin
- ¾ cup coconut oil
- 2 cups brown sugar
- Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Adjust over rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, oats, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cloves in a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, whisk coconut milk, pumpkin, coconut oil, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Beat wet ingredients into dry ingredients until smooth; divide evenly between prepared pans and sprinkle with extra oats.
- Bake until golden brown and a cake taster comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes. Run a knife around the pan to loosen the bread and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Even if you’re not vegan, give this pumpkin bread a try. See how it measures up to your own classic recipe. Who knows? This bread could spark the same subtle paradigm shift within you.