Gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin bread and cream cheese frosting

Adapted from Laurie Bennett’s Down East Maine Pumpkin Bread

Original recipe says it makes 3 loaves. My recipe makes about 18 muffins and 1 loaf of bread.

Pumpkin bread isn’t just for Thanksgiving! Sure, it’s a great on a cold, blustery day, but I’d prefer to enjoy it all year long. And we do, since my family requests it on a regular basis. Lucky for me, it’s SO easy to make gluten-free.

Our favorite pre-celiac recipe for pumpkin bread was the Down East Maine Pumpkin bread posted on It’s full of sugar and spice and everything nice. Although I love the full-fat, full-calorie version, I knew that if we were going to eat it this often, I’d have to lighten it up a bit. So, the recipe below has several alterations: fewer eggs, less sugar and oil, and the addition of ground flax meal to boost the nutritional value, if even only slightly. For the full-blown version, click the link above and substitute GF flour mix for the all-purpose flour.

I always prefer to make muffins AND bread with the same recipe. Muffins are great because they are portable snacks for school or when you’re out and about and not sure about your GF options.

For muffins, try topping them with my dairy-free cream cheese frosting (recipe below).

Delicious gluten-free pumpkin bread/muffin recipe
This recipe is also naturally dairy-free!

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
¼ cup ground flax meal
2 eggs + 2 egg whites
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose GF flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray muffin tins and bread pans with GF non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, sugars, and flax meal until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.
  • Pour into the muffin and bread pans.
  • Bake muffins for about 30 minutes; bread loaves for about 50 minutes. Insert a toothpick or knife to check that it comes out clean.

Let muffins and bread rest. Although it’s hard to resist eating one right away, and quite frankly, my family never succeeds in holding off, you’ll find that pumpkin bread always tastes better the next day. The flavors intensify after the bread has had a chance to rest.

They’ll never know it’s dairy-free, gluten-free cream cheese frosting

Since this is a muffin, and not a cupcake by my standards, I like the frosting to lean more toward the cream cheese taste. If you like yours sweeter, try making the frosting with equal parts cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar or upping the vanilla a bit.

Also, to stay on the healthier side, I only put a very small dollop on the top of each muffin, but you can adjust this recipe to your liking, or midnight craving.

Note: You may want to double the recipe below if you like a lot of frosting.

½ tub of Tofutti® cream cheese
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
¼ tsp vanilla


  • Combine ingredients in bowl or mixer. Beat until smooth and well-blended.

Try adding in other flavors such as cinnamon, lemon juice, orange juice, or apple cider for variations on the standard cream cheese recipe.

Share the love: What’s your favorite bread recipe? We love all kinds: pumpkin, banana, zucchini, cheese. Send your favorite recipe to, and if it gets a thumbs up from our family, I’ll post it on my blog!

And don’t forget to Like, Comment, and Follow!


Gluten-free all-purpose flour

Bake, if you dare
Gluten-free baking is not for those that get easily discouraged. I’m surprised I have stuck it out this far, quite frankly. After several failed attempts, I have come to view GF baking as a teetering cheerleader pyramid, whose success I imagine depends on the teamwork of many and a solid, strong base.

In my mind, the components of a successful gluten-free baking recipe are much the same. If you want to bake gluten-free goodies from scratch, you’ll need multiple gluten-free flours and starches in order to replace a simple regular all-purpose flour. I find this incredibly annoying. But, without a solid gluten-free flour as your base, your recipe will topple and end up in the trash, due to less-than-appetizing taste and texture.

Can’t I just use a box?
There are several gluten-free all-purpose box mixes out there, and I encourage you to try them. But we haven’t found many that we like better than the Celiac Flour Mix recipe published on Karen Robertson’s blog, Cooking Gluten-Free! For you box-lovers, this very flour mixture is now being sold through Authentic Foods as Multi Blend Gluten Free Flour Mix.

Celiac Flour Mix
Originally from Wendy Wark’s book Living Healthy with Celiac Disease (AnAffect, 1998).

celiac flour mixture

Yes, that’s my gluten-free only toaster in the background.

2 1/4 cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum

As cumbersome as it is to use so many flours, once you have your solid base recipe, everything becomes much simpler. You know which flours to buy and which you can skip.

To make my life easier, I just dump each flour into a ziplock bag, shake it up, and I’m done. I always date it, but it never stays around long enough for me to worry about it going bad. If you don’t bake often, store your flour mixture in the refrigerator or freezer to help it keep longer.

I have tried replacing sweet rice flour with sweet sorghum flour. It’s ok in a pinch, but the taste of the sweet rice flour is definitely preferred in our home.

  • Other variations are also possible.
    Adding ground flax meal gives the flour a nice nutty taste and amps up the nutritional value with omega 3s and fiber.
  • Or try adding whey protein powder to recipes for gluten-free granola or power bars.
  • Coconut flour is also high in fiber and protein and has a smooth sweet taste.

There are many other flours out there that could be added to the base recipe above. These are just the ones I’ve tried so far.

But what if I make something gross?
We’ve all done it. Actually, I did it today, in an attempt to make gluten-free gnocchi from leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes. It ended up in the trashcan, after our girls were nice enough to comment on how good the butter sauce was. LOL.

Gluten-free flour is expensive and can be hard to find, so you might be reluctant to experiment with new recipes or variations. If you are trying something new, try a half-batch of the recipe first. That way, if it turns out like a hockey puck (or a nasty dense gnocchi nugget), you’re only out half the cost.

And I will try GF gnocchi again…

Share the love
Do you have a flour recipe you love? Email your favorite recipe to, and if it gets a thumbs up from our family, I’ll feature it as a post on the site!

Happy baking!