Spicy Pumpkin Loaf

This loaf is perfect when the pumpkins start to appear in late autumn. Although they don't grow in Iceland, they are imported so we do get to experience them (although I have a guilty conscience because of the fuel expenditure). Pumpkin meat is very high in carotenoids (the same substance found in carrots and gives them this amazing colour). Carotenoids are excellent in neutralising free radicals, which are "bad" molecules that attack cell membranes, leaving the cells vulnerable to damage. These free radicals also have a part to play in cancer. Pumpkins can reduce the risk of macular degeneration and are packed with antioxidants. They also include iron, zinc, fibre and more. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Iceland but I always envy the people in American TV series when they are enjoying a pumpkin pie with maple syrup and pecans. It sounds delicious. Although this is not a pumpkin pie, it still includes pumpkin, pecan nuts, maple syrup and lots of my favourite spices.

This loaf is lactose free and easy to make nut free (just omit the nuts). You will need a basic loaf tin to make this loaf (I prefer to use the ones made from silicon). You will also need a food processor or a blender to blend the pumpkin meat although you can buy tinned pumpkin puree in some shops.


Perfect in late autumn when pumpkins are in season!

This recipe is:

  • Lactose (dairy) free

This recipe is easy to make:

  • Nut free

Spicy Pumpkin Loaf

Makes 1 loaf


  • 400 grams (14 oz) pumpkin or butternut squash (you will need 250 grams cooked pumpkin)
  • 185 grams (6½ oz) spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons aluminium free and gluten free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt (Himalaya or sea salt)
  • 100 grams (3½ oz) Rapadura (or other raw cane sugar)
  • 2 eggs (pleae use free range eggs)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 50 grams (1¾ oz) walnuts or pecan nuts, chopped fairly finely (optional)


  1. First, slice open the pumpkin. Clean out the seeds and membrane and slice off the outer skin. Cut 250 grams pumpkin in pieces; cover with water in a small saucepan and cook until tender or for approximately 20 minutes. Then drain and let cool. Place pumpkin in a food processor or blender and mix for 10 seconds or until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together 185 grams spelt flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, ½ teaspoon ground ginger and ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. In medium bowl, mix together 250 grams pumpkin puree, 100 grams raw cane sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1 tablespoon maple syrup.
  4. Chop the 50 grams walnuts or pecan nuts (if used).
  5. With a large wooden spoon, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do this swiftly and do not stir, only fold approximately 8-10 times.
  6. The batter will look fairly ugly but this is fine since it will ensure that the loaf will be light.
  7. Add the chopped nuts.
  8. Lightly grease a silicon loaf tin with a few drops of coconut oil.  
  9. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and make sure that the corners have batter as well.
  10. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius/350 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 4, for 60 minutes.
  11. You can tell if the loaf is ready when sticking a sharp knife into the middle. If it comes out clean, it is ready. It will also sound hollow when tapped underneath with your knuckles when ready. I prefer the loaf a little sticky however so it might not be completely ready in 40 minutes, bake for longer if you prefer.


  • You can use tinned pumpkin if you prefer, just make sure it is organic (without added sugar or any preservatives/additives).
  • You can use agave nectar instead of maple syrup.         
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.
  • You can use whole wheat flour instead of the spelt flour.
  • You can use regular baking powder instead of the aluminium and gluten free one.
  • If you don't have a silicon loaf tin, you can use regular loaf tin and line it with baking parchment.
  • If the loaf is not ready after 40 minutes, cover the top with tin foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
  • The loaf freezes well.