Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread {Maple Caramel Icing}

This Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread is generously spiced and is made using applesauce and spelt flour, and then spread with an addicting Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Icing.

Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread with Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

This is the moistest quick bread that I have ever had. No contest. It has all the powerhouses of moistness: brown sugar, buttermilk, pumpkin and banana!

If you forget about the icing for a moment (which would be sad but not the end of the world), this bread is quite healthy! The only ingredient holding this pumpkin banana bread out of the Full-On-Healthy category is the sugar…because there is, um, a lot of sugar.

Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread with Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

What do you want from me? I heart brown sugar with my pumpkin. Is that so wrong?

Aaaannnd then there is obviously the Maple Caramel Icing to completely separate this bread from Healthy. A silky, decadent maple cream cheese frosting made with my Maple Caramel Sauce.

Pure pumpkin maple bliss.

Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread with Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

{Little sigh of pleasure}

Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread with Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

The bread is ridiculously addictive and delicious even unadorned with frosting. It is incredibly moist and bursting with pumpkin and spices! I ate an entire mini-loaf by myself the first night. BAD.

But oh so good.

Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread with Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

This pumpkin bread is packed full of Fall spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and, yes, mace. Don’t forget the mace! It’s my secret ingredient that I shared in my post about Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread with Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

I used mostly spelt flour in place of all-purpose flour in this recipe, but if you can’t find it, using 100% all-purpose flour will be just as wonderful.

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Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread with Maple Caramel Icing

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 2 Large Loaves

This healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread is the moistest quick bread I have ever had! Packed full of pumpkin and spices and topped with a silky maple cream cheese frosting made with salted Maple Caramel Sauce!


    For the Bread:
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 ½ teaspoons cinnamon {I use Saigon cinnamon}
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mace
  • 3 medium, very ripe bananas
  • 16 oz (1 can) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup applesauce (no sugar added)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 4 ounces cold cream cheese (no whipped, no low-fat, high-quality preferred)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold but still firm
  • pinch kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup Maple Caramel Sauce


    For the Pumpkin Banana Bread:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350° and butter and sugar (or flour) 2: 9 inch x 5 inch x 3 inch loaf pans or 6 mini pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, powder, salt and all the spices; set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl {if you are using an immersion blender like me} or in the pitcher of a blender, add the bananas and process until smooth. Next add the pumpkin, applesauce and oil; process until smooth. Add the buttermilk, and process to incorporate. Add the brown and granulated sugar and process until smooth. Last add the eggs and process until incorporated.
  4. If you are using a blender, pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Add half the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and gently fold to incorporate. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture. Fold until very few lumps remain.
  5. Pour into your prepared baking pans. The batter should fill about 2/3 of the pan. It will rise! If you find yourself with extra batter, pour into muffin tins or into another small loaf pan.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 40-75 minutes. The baking time varies greatly by the pan that you choose. Start peeking at 45 minutes. When the bread no longer jiggles in the center, test with a toothpick. It should come out clean or with very few crumbs clinging to it. Cool 20 minute in the pan and then turn them out to cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Make the Frosting:
  8. Using a handmixer, beat cream cheese, butter, salt and cinnamon on medium speed until smooth and creamy, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  9. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth and creamy. Slowly pour the caramel into the frosting in gradual increments until the frosting is a spreadable consistency and achieves the maple flavor you desire. My maple caramel was a bit runny so I added full amount but then added some more powdered sugar to thicken it back up. You can adjust to your liking.
  10. Frost cool loaves with an offset spatula. The frosting will keep best in the refrigerator but it will also keep for several days at room temperature.

You May Also Love these Fall Favorites:

 Brown Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesNutella Swirled Banana Bread

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

Traditional Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Chewy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

Easy, Foolproof Pumpkin Pie

Easy Foolproof Pumpkin Pie

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Maple Caramel Pecan Bars {These are soooooooo gooood!}

Maple Pecan Brown Butter Blondies


This recipe is linked to: Inspiration Monday, Merry Monday, Munching Monday, Monday Funday, Two Cup Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Party Time, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Gluten Free Wednesday, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Gluten Free Friday, Foodie Friday, Food on Friday, Flashback Friday, Saturday Night Fever


  1. says

    Saying that Maple Caramel Icing is addicting is putting it mildly! I think I could eat myself out of a tub of that stuff! Seriously!!! And loving all the spices in your pumpkin/banana bread – this must have smelt heavenly! If I changed the all-purpose flour to rice flour, this would be totally gluten free!!!

  2. says

    It really does look fabulously moist and that maple icing is making me drool!
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  3. says

    Gahhh! I think I just screamed a little bit there with excitement! This bread looks so SO soft and moist inside and wowzers that maple icing just looks spoon-worthy. Also, as you and I both know by now: Pumpkin and banana belong together. The end. Pinned! 🙂
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  4. says

    Did I read that correctly? It wouldn’t be the end of the world if you left out the maple frosting? Lindsey!! Seriously, though, this bread is impressive. Spelt flour pumpkin bread…two thumbs up for you on that one! Just make sure to give me extra frosting on my slice.
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    • AmericanCooking22 says

      If one were trying to be healthy, one could theoretically leave out the maple frosting. Totally hypothetical! Definitely didn’t happen, and you can definitely have double the frosting! Many a spoon dipped into the bowl…just sayin’!

  5. Joan says

    I’m confused, how is this healthier? I understand it has spelt flour, but it also has white flour. It also calls for applesauce but it still contains oil and buttermilk. Plus, it has THREE cups of sugar, not including the frosting. Sounds like you are just trying to get Google to rank you for “healthier pumpkin bread” – which can get you a penalty later. Good luck with that. This was my first time on your blog and it will be my last if your recipes are this misleading.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks for your opinion, Joan. I called it healthier because it is relatively healthier than my other pumpkin bread which uses all white flour and 100% canola oil. I make mention at the very beginning that there is a lot of sugar. You could probably take out half but I didn’t want to. The name is to differentiate it from my other recipe when I do post that one, which is basically cake disguised as quick bread. Healthier is a relative term, which I am sure you can appreciate. I think you will find that the recipes that I call healthy really do their best to eliminate or substitute for unhealthy fats, refined sugar and unnecessary calories. If you are substituting applesauce for oil you still should add some back in, like the 2 tablespoons in this recipe, or it will completely alter the texture. The texture as written is still different than one you get with 1 cup of oil.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      And I would totally not judge you if you just ate the icing…because once the bread was gone (and frozen), that is exactly what I did!!1

  6. Jacqui says

    Wow! This looks so yummy!!! I can’t wait to try it this year. Thank you for linking up to Party Time and we hope to see you again next week!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi Heather, I have not experimented with making this particular recipe gluten free. You would need to substitute for the white flour and also the spelt flour, because neither is gluten free. You can try coconut flour or white rice flour. I don’t suggest quinoa flour because it has a strong taste. Good luck and let me know what you try!

  7. Yvonne Camp says

    I just made this delicious bread! It was so ridiculously moist. I used coconut oil instead of canola oil. I also used half the amount of sugar and it was still overly sweet. Next time I will cutback even more. I also added 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste. I have made hundreds of pumpkin breads however, I have to say this one is one of the moistest. I bet this would be delicious as petite fours, if baked in a jelly pan and cut in squares for the holidays.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Such a great sub! I should have used coconut oil as well! There is a LOT of sugar in it. It is absolutely the moistest quick bread that I have ever had. I am glad you enjoyed it! I think it would be good as petite fours or even cake pops 🙂

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I’m glad you found it Lisa! I’m not 100% positive what would happen if you made those substitutions because I haven’t tried them, but these are my best guesses. Substituting anything for the buttermilk will compromise the texture but I am sure you could do it. I use low fat buttermilk (2%), so it’s really not the worst offender in this recipe. I always worry that soy milk will alter the flavor but it might work here because there are a lot of spices going on. You can definitely reduce the sugar…there is a lot of sugar. You could probably safely halve it. I would taste it before you bake it just to make sure it doesn’t need more. If you can tolerate it, try only substituting half the flour for whole wheat flour OR use whole wheat pastry flour to avoid a completely dense bread.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi Michelle, I’ve never tried it with almond flour so I am not sure. Almond flour is a lot coarser and heavier than all-purpose, which will impact the texture of your bread.


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