Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chai Bread with Cranberries

A vegan pumpkin chai bread recipe.

Thank you, Dear Readers for all your pre-Thanksgiving comment love. I'm paying attention. I am. In fact, I've had so many requests for a gluten-free pumpkin bread recipe that I'm sharing another baking success this week. Yup. Two goodies in one week. I usually balance my baking (sweet) and cooking (savory) posts a tad more fifty-fifty- especially when I am trying to lose those last five (stubborn!) pounds and all- but I couldn't ignore your requests for a Thanksgiving pumpkin bread, now could I?

See how I sacrifice for you, my Darlings? Developing, baking and taste testing Cinnamon Apple Muffins, Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pecan Cookies, Pumpkin Raisin Cake, Pumpkin Waffles... Oy, the sacrifice. The pressure!

The 2008 Winter Holiday Frenzy has begun. Maybe for the sake of my sanity (now don't laugh about my alleged sanity, please) I'll put off trying to lose these last five pounds till 2009.

It'll be here before you know it.

Pumpkin Chai Bread with Cranberries Recipe

Reader Maya gave me the idea to chai it up- with chai inspired spices (thanks, Maya!). If you're not a fan of ginger and cloves, sub your favorite pumpkin or apple pie spice combo or keep it simple and use only cinnamon. Other options include nuts or no nuts, chocolate chips or golden raisins- or both.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil the bottom of a standard bread loaf pan or 8x10 baking pan and dust with gluten-free flour.


1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup light olive oil
1 cup packed organic light brown sugar- or 1/2 to 2/3 cup raw agave nectar, to taste
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
2 organic free-range eggs, beaten, or Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/3 to 1/2 cup apple juice, cider, or orange juice (start with less, add more as needed)
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used GF buckwheat/sorghum/tapioca starch)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice or cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or more ginger

Add-In Options:

3/4 cup chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup golden or dark raisins (I used dark but wished I'd had golden)
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips- if you like pumpkin + chocolate


In a mixing bowl beat together the pumpkin, oil, brown sugar, egg, and apple juice. Add the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and stir until smooth. If the batter looks too thin and wet, add more gluten-free flour, a tablespoon at a time, to thicken the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf or baking pan and bake in the center of a preheated oven for 50 minutes to an hour, until the loaf is firm to the touch, and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean.

Cool the loaf on a wire rack.

Slice and wrap each slice in foil; bag and freeze for easy future yumminess. Thaw at room temperature or zap in a microwave till warm.

Makes 8 or 9 slices.

This vegan recipe is blissfully gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and easily egg-free and nut-free.

Karina's Notes:

No Ener-G Egg Replacer? Use 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and increase liquid by three tablespoons.


  1. Hi Karina! Do you think it would work to sub out brewed chai tea for the fruit juice? I might try that later today... and an extra squirt of Agave for sweetness? Hmmm...

  2. Askthesky- Sure! Why not? Make it strong. Let us know how it works out. Thanks!


  3. Although I have a batch of pumpkin scones in the oven right now (which you can try if you like:, I think I'm going to have to try this bread later today!
    Looks delicious! I hope you are over that nasty cold by now!

  4. You are an absolute darling for posting a link my pumpkin butter. I think you are right, your bread and the butter will make a perfect pear. I recently was given Williams Sonoma pumpkin harvest pan which I now plan to bake your recipe in! Thank you!! :)

    P.S I think I speak for most all other readers in saying THANK YOU for putting off trying to shed those last 5 until after the holiday season! Your recipes are nothing short of divine!!

  5. Oh yum! I love this time of year- everything is pumpkin flavored.

  6. Oh how I live for your recipes :) This looks divine! Speaking from the perspective of someone newly gluten free, you are a Godsend! Thanks so much :)

  7. Wow - that looks delicious!

  8. I've been promising my students I'd make them something with pumpkin - and this it! :)

  9. I LOVE chai, I LOVE pumpkin, so...this sounds like a match made in heaven to me :)

    I made thai sticky rice last night, so I am in an "asian" flavor mode right now anyway!

  10. Oh, yum! This looks sooo good. I've got about a million tons of homemade pumpkin puree that needs to be used...can't wait to try it!

  11. This sounds like the perfect recipe to bake up this weekend. Another awesome GF treat from my favorite goddess.

  12. hi, i'm MArilena, i would say you that there is a kitchen's blog, where there is a gluten free diary with many gluten free blog. i hope that you associated it

  13. Lauren- I am so curious about pumpkin scones- I've never had one! And thanks- feeling much better; I fought it off with vegan "chicken" soup, hot magnesium baths and Irish whiskey. ;)

    Jennifer- Your pumpkin butter looks so delicious!

    Hey VeggieGirl- YAY.

    Cassidy- True. Are we sick of pumpkin yet?

    Bunny Trails- Why, thank you. Back atcha.

    Hannesofie- Thank you, Babycakes.

    Rach- Oh NOW I feel the pressure. Oy. Must pass students' test. ;)

    Milhan- Asian flavors = tasty.

    Rissaroo- Dude. A million tons? Awesome.

    Rachel- Greetings! Aw. You're so sweet.

    Marilena- Thanks for stopping by!


  14. Yum is all I have to say. Perfect for the holiday season and I too am a great fan of chai spices, especially cardamom. Love it on vanilla ice cream (though I now eat dairy free and miss the real thing), added to curry or spiced dishes or in baked goods. thanks so much for this delicious treat!

  15. Anonymous08:40

    Would it be okay to use Pamela's UBM here as a sub? Thanks Katrina!

  16. Sarah- Yum- cardamom on ice cream! You'll just have to find a dairy-free one that agrees with you!

    Anon- Yes, you can sub the flour and xanthan gum with Pamela's Baking Mix. And cut back 1/2 teaspoon on the baking powder and soda.

    It will be delicious! :)


  17. Can't ever go wrong with those combinations! Good luck on the last 5 pounds!

  18. Do you think melted unsalted butter would work in place of the oil, or would it alter the texture? Looks like a great way to use up some pumpkin!

  19. Bake your cake and... Thanks!

    Lauren- Yes, butter will work- tasty!


  20. Hi Karina! So excited to try these! Do you think Bob's Red Mill GF Baking Flour could work the same way as the Pamela's? I don't have any xantham gum. Or is there a substitute for the xantham gum? Thanks


  21. portsmouthliz16:08

    Thanks so much for this recipe! It was my first foray into GF baking and it was stellar. The texture is especially appealing. I used one commenter's idea and used chai instead of apple juice - delicious! These also got the non-GF seal of approval from my friends.

  22. Kiona- The pancake mix would be closer to the texture and flavor of Pamela's Ultimate Baking Mix. And an added bonus: If you use a pancake mix, the xanthan gum is already in the mix. :)

    Portsmouthliz- Excellent. I love to hear this! Thanks for stopping back to fill me in. Appreciated.


  23. Kris21:42

    Hi Karina,

    I made this bread the other day and the flavour was great, but it didn't cook all the way through despite being in the oven over 1 1/2 hours. I would like to try it again - the only change I made was to use real eggs. Should I reduce the pumpkin or juice? Thanks! Love your site. I makde your quinoa cake as muffins several times a month!

  24. I baked this pumpkin bread using Pamela's baking mix and it came out great- yes, reduce the baking powder! I went and bought molasses to make Indian Pudding-- now I can't find the recipe for it-- thought it was on this site. If it is, will someone please hit me over the head? I've got more pumpkin to use, those scones sound wonderful! email me at

  25. this is in the oven RIGHT NOW, my friend!

  26. I have to tell you I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and brought it to two friends' houses. It was SO GOOD - no one had any idea it was gluten-free. I loved the recipe so much that I posted it on my own blog (linking to yours, of course) and am making for my family at Christmas.

  27. I made this using a different flour mixture (sweet rice, potato starch, & tapioca starch), egg whites, and 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup extra pumpkin in place of the olive oil. It didn't cook through even after two hours in the oven. Is there something I should do differently? Thank you!

  28. Kris- Changing it by adding eggs is going to make a difference, for sure. I developed the recipe without eggs, so any experimenting with real eggs might require compensation- less liquid or less agave.

    Charissa- First, sweet rice flour is a starch- so you've got three starches, no protein. I used buckwheat in the original recipe- a better replacement for this high protein flour would be brown rice flour, millet, bean or quinoa flour.

    Starches get gummy with too much liquid, as well. Adding pumpkin puree instead of fat mixes with the starch to make it gooey.

    Also- I have found that agave (or honey) attracts moisture. So I'd use less agave if you're having trouble with gumminess- or add more higher protein flour.

    Substitutions are tough with vegan GF recipes. Experiment with flour mixes- try at least one higher protein flour in your basic mix.

    And if using egg whites, I might also cut back on the liquid. Start with 1/4 cup less.


  29. This is beaut-i-mous. I was looking for a good GF pumpkin bread recipe. Love the chai spices idea. Sadly I have no cranberries but I might use raisins instead, though I doubt it'll pack the feisty, tangy punch of the cranberries.

  30. Sooooooooo nice... Can't help to imagine eating it...

  31. ashleykells19:23

    I made mini muffins. My one and a half year old is allergic to everything, and so am I, so we need little snacks to go everywhere with us.

    They came out so beautiful!!! They rose over the top of the pan better than anything I have made gluten free so far. Gotta love fake wheat :)

  32. I just wanted to let you know how much my family LOVED this bread! I baked three mini-loaves instead of one big one, and I used a little molasses along with some agave nectar. And I used up some pear nectar from my fridge for the juice... WOW WOW WOW. No need to freeze for future yumminess.
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every single one of your recipes that I've tried is so yummy!
    I knew I would be better for this gluten-intolerance thing...

    PS If you ever feel like developing a recipe for Gingerbread People, I would be forever grateful (but actually I already am, so hopefully you'd do it just because you would have fun with it).

  33. I just read the other comments, and thought I'd share:
    I used real eggs, a bit less oil, and 1/3 cup pear nectar for the juice.
    I used 1/2 cup sugar and 1/8 c molasses and 1/8 cup agave nectar.
    I used 1 cup Bobs GF flour plus 1/4 cup buckwheat flour plus 1/4 cup coconut flour (this absorbs extra liquid, which I learned from your site!). I also added 1-2 TBSP ground flax.
    I baked the three mini-loaves for about 50 minutes.
    I happen to live at about 5000 feet elevation, which could make a difference.
    My little breads were OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious. The non-GF residents around here could not keep away from them, which is rarely a problem for me with my GF stash.

  34. Anonymous15:54

    Could you please consider taking all these great recipes from your website and putting them into a cookbook?


  35. Anonymous19:30

    would it be ok to use a flour blend of white rice flour, potato starch, corn starch, guar gum, granulated honey and salt.

  36. Anonymous20:03

    Hey there! This is the second time I've made something from your website (the first was the Coconut Apple Cake which was awesome).... I loved this! I used Dark Raisins with Walnuts.... I used eggs and orange juice... and followed your recommendation for the flour mixture. It came out around 50 mins in a loaf pan. It is a really light bread, with wonderful spice (I used Allspice, Cloves, Ginger and Cinnamon). The walnut and raisin addition gave it texture.... I could hardly tell that it was gluten free.... although I can tell the difference in texture of the flours, but only if I really pay attention for it. Thank you so much for you recipes! They help me grow as a baker and a cooker!

  37. Tilly17:19

    You are a saviour for allergy-dieters like me!!! I tried this recipe today, and my whole family loved it. I put in dates instead of cranberries, and they added a nice sweetness. I look forward to trying more of your delicious recipes :)

  38. Did you use equal parts buckwheat/sorghum/tapioca starch in your gf mix?


  39. I would love to try this bread but I'm really new at GF baking and have no idea what ratio off buckwheat/sorghum/tapioca starch to use. Help?

  40. Rachel- I have other pumpkin recipes with precise flour ratios. Maybe best for you? Check out my Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Corn Muffins and Pumpkin Pie Bread. If you like the idea of chai spices, add them to those recipes...

  41. I tried this recipe twice. The first time the bread fell. The second time it looked and smelled amazing. However, when I tried to cut it... It had to comsistancy of a soggy sponge. We baked it for an hour when we first tried to cut it. We thre it back into the oven and tested it at five minute intervals. It ended up that we gave up on it after we were a half hour over the back time and the bread was not getting any better or worse. It tasted amazing, just a weird comsistancy.
    Why was the comsistancy so off?

  42. I suspect the pan was too small perhaps (didn't bake through the center?) or your oven temp runs low so the bread doesn't bake. As always- humidity and storage (damp flour?) affect the liquid to dry ratio (was the batter too wet, perhaps?). Was the batter cold? Use room temp ingredients. If the batter is too wet add a tablespoon or two of GF flour.

  43. I used clementines instead of oranges - a yummy substitution :-)

  44. I've tried your carrot chai bread too. I like the spicing in this loaf better. I think the cranberries are a great addition!