This Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread recipe starts with fresh pumpkin puree, so it bakes up moist. Easy to make and tastes even better than the original Starbucks pumpkin loaf!
Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf (And it’s Gluten Free!)
Who doesn’t love that glorious Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf? Just like the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, pumpkin pound cake is one of those special treats that I look forward to every Fall.
However, it really is one of those special occasion treats, just like any other dessert made with wheat. No matter how much I love it, there’s no getting around the bloat that comes with it.
That’s why I was ecstatic when my husband created a gluten free version. And you know what? It’s freakin’ awesome!! So awesome I’ve dubbed it the “Better than Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf.” It really is the BEST gluten-free pumpkin bread I’ve ever tasted! Actually, it’s the best pumpkin bread period!
Out-of-this-world delicious, impossibly moist and decadent, AND you can eat it anytime without feeling crappy afterwards! Yep, I’d say it’s definitely earned it’s name!
Bonus: this recipe is easy! Simply mix the batter, pour into your loaf pan, and bake! You can frost or not frost…totally up to you! Though I love with a white chocolate glaze (which is a bit less rich than traditional cream cheese icing).
So let’s get to it!
For your convenience, I’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the supplies used to make our gluten free pumpkin pound cake; disclosure policy available here.
Shopping List for Pumpkin Bread Ingredients
- Pumpkin Puree
- Brown Sugar
- Vegetable Oil
- Sour Cream
- White or Brown rice flour
- Tapioca starch
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Vanilla Extract
A free printable copy of the recipe with exact amounts and step-by-step instructions is available at the end of the post.
Handy Kitchen Tools
- 9×5 loaf pan
- Non-stick baking spray — This spray is designed specifically for baking. It is a combination of oil and flour and makes cakes much easier to get out of the pan without sticking. I prefer it to regular cooking spray for baked goods.
- Cooling rack
- Non-slip mixing bowls
- Electric hand mixer
What is the Best Gluten-Free Flour?
My husband (the baker in our family) has played around with just about every type of gluten free baking flour, from almond flour to sweet potato starch. However, for this recipe, he used a combination of brown rice flour and tapioca starch to create the perfect pound cake texture.
Brown rice flour gives our copycat Starbucks pumpkin loaf a fine, fluffy texture, with moist crumbs. The tapioca starch binds it all together, while maintaining that light fluffy feel.
If you’ve ever tried gluten free bread and it kind of crumbled apart, that is what our gluten free baking mix will prevent. It feels and tastes just like “real” bread! And it is so moist…never dry!
Can I Use All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Instead?
If you already have a store-bought gluten-free flour blend on hand at home, you can substitute 2 cups of that baking mix for the brown rice flour and tapioca starch in our gluten free pumpkin bread recipe. (Many gluten free baking mixes will contain tapioca starch).
However, if you really want the perfect gluten free pumpkin bread, I want to encourage you to try our exact recipe. If you’re unsure where to purchase brown rice flour or tapioca starch, I’ve included links to purchase them on Amazon:
Can This Recipe Be Made Dairy-Free?
To make our copycat Starbucks pumpkin pound cake a dairy free recipe, substitute mayonnaise for the sour cream in the recipe. There is no butter or milk used in this recipe, so with this one simple swap, it would truly be a dairy and lactose free dessert!
Why is There No Pumpkin Pie Spice?
You might notice that we do not have any spices in the ingredients list. Many pumpkin bread recipes use a combination of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, ginger, etc.
However, this pumpkin bread is made with lots of real pumpkin, so it already has lots of flavor. We didn’t want to go too far with it!
If you want a little extra something, feel free to mix in a dash of either pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. I wouldn’t add more than a 1/4 teaspoon. But this is totally optional!
How to Make Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
First, preheat your oven to 350°F. Prep your loaf pan by coating with non-stick baking spray or greasing thoroughly with butter. You can also line with parchment paper to help the loaf pop right out of the pan when finished baking.
- Add sugar, oil, sour cream, and eggs to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until combined.
- Add rice flour and tapioca starch and continue mixing until dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Mix the pureed pumpkin into the batter. Finally, add baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla, and mix until combined.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 28-30 minutes.
TIP: You’ll know the bread is finished when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Top with White Chocolate Glaze:
Allow bread to cool to room temperature before frosting. Once the bread has cooled enough to handle, you can transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
If you used parchment paper, gently pull on both sides at the same time to lift the loaf out of the pan. If you used baking spray, give the pan a couple good shakes to make sure that the bread does not stick, and if it did, this will help detach it.
When you’re ready to frost, whisk together:
TIP: We used this amazing 2-ingredient “magic” coconut oil frosting recipe!
TIP: Place a baking sheet underneath the wire cooling rack to catch any excess glaze as it drips.
Spoon glaze slowly over the top of the loaf, so that it drips down to coat the sides too. The glaze will start to set as it dries, creating a luscious white chocolate layer.
Just a note that this glaze is not dairy free, as most white chocolate contains milk based ingredients. You are welcome to skip the glaze or make it with a vegan white chocolate instead (I haven’t tried this, so can’t vouch for the texture…would love to know how it works out if you try it!)
How Long Does Pumpkin Bread Last?
At room temperature, this bread will stay fresh for 1-2 days.
Since this is a very moist bread, I recommend keeping in the fridge to extend its life. When covered and refrigerated, fresh baked pumpkin bread can last up to a week. I like to pop a slice in the microwave for a few seconds to gently warm it up before I enjoy the leftovers.
Another storage tip my Granny taught me: place a lightly dampened sheet of paper towel on top of the end you’ve sliced. This helps keep it from drying out.
Be sure to check out our Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bread too!
Want More Yumminess? — Click here to see our 50 favorite gluten free dessert recipes!
Printable Gluten-Free Pumpkin Loaf Recipe
If you love this recipe, rate it! We’d also love hear what you think in the comments below.
BEST Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- Loaf Pan
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream or mayonnaise
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Add sugar, oil, sour cream (or mayo), and eggs to mixer and beat until well combined.
- Add rice flour and tapioca starch and continue mixing until those ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Add pumpkin puree and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated into the batter.
- Add baking powder and baking soda and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
- Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350°F for 28-30 minutes.
Be sure to pin our Easy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread on Pinterest: