Paleo Pumpkin Swirl Bread

Pumpkin Desserts & Baked Goods

This paleo pumpkin swirl bread screams fall– it’s full of flavor, easy to make and sweetened naturally. It’s a great gluten and dairy free pumpkin bread recipe!

Pumpkin season is not complete without a warm slice of pumpkin bread full of fall spices! This paleo pumpkin bread recipe is great if you are gluten free, dairy free, paleo, or simply prefer a pumpkin bread that is low in sugar but high in fall flavor!

If you’re like me you bake up a storm the moment fall hits. Actually lets be honest the moment it feels right in mid August! I’m all for a nice fall treat but when I want one that’s lower in sugar and gluten or dairy free I always make this pumpkin recipe.

It’s fluffy, moist and delicious and is sweetened naturally with maple syrup, another flavor that screams fall! The almond flour gives it a really nice texture and perfectly complements all of the the pumpkin puree that’s in there.

I never feel bad eating anything that contains real pumpkin (Ahem! Not all pumpkin flavored foods do!) because pumpkin is a super nutritious vegetable! It’s packed with vitamin A, C, and E, plus fiber, potassium.

This paleo pumpkin cacao swirl bread is the perfect excuse to whip out the can of pumpkin in your pantry (or make your own pumpkin puree!) and get to work baking up this bread! I highly recommend slathering some almond butter on it for breakfast!

gluten and dairy free pumpkin swirl bread

Ingredients for Paleo Pumpkin Swirl Bread

  • blanched almond flour
  • pumpkin puree
  • eggs
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • maple syrup
  • coconut oil
  • cacao or cocoa powder
  • almond butter
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon

Cacao vs. Cocoa Powder

When I was buying ingredients at the store to make this bread I found myself perplexed in the baking aisle. What’s the different between cacao powder and cocoa powder? Both are found right next to each other on the shelf, so I was like which is best and or healthiest for baking?

I know cacao nibs are full of nutrition, so I wondered if that applied to the powder too.

The terms cacao and cocoa are often used interchangeably, but they are not technically the same thing. While both are made from cacao beans (also called cocoa beans) that grow within fruits of the tropical cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), cacao is usually referring to the raw and minimally processed form of the cacao bean, whereas cocoa is the processed form of cacao.

Cacao products are excellent sources of several minerals, including selenium, magnesium, chromium and manganese and the darker the chocolate — meaning the higher the cacao content — the higher the mineral content.

Raw cacao powder and cacao nibs are considered Paleo because they contain only one ingredient: raw, pulverized cacao beans. If that doesn’t matter to you, feel free to use either cocoa power or cacao powder in the recipe. Both will work!


Paleo Pumpkin Swirl Bread

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Pumpkin bread is a quintessential fall food, and if you’re looking for a paleo version that doesn’t skimp on fall flavor, this ones for you! It’s lightly sweetened with a hint of chocolate! 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 1 loaf


  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond butter I love this one from Target!
  • 3 eggs lightly whisked
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and powder and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, pumpkin puree and almond butter.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together until there are no clumps.
  • Reserve a little less of the bread mix and add it to another bowl. Mix the cacao powder into this bowl, until it is well combined with the pumpkin bread mixture.
  • In a greased loaf pan (9X5) add a little bit of the just the pumpkin mixture and then the cacao mixture, alternating until you have a checkerboard looking base ( the more imperfect looking, the better!). Use the rest of the plain pumpkin mixture for another layer on top of that. 
  • Spoon remaining cacao mixture on top and use a knife to swirl it in with the pumpkin layer. Pull the pumpkin later on top of the cacao parts and vice versa to achieve the look. 
  • Bake for 45- 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 


** Breads made with almond flour will not rise as much as breads made with a gluten containing flour. Don’t fret if you feel it didn’t rise that much, you’ll still get nice slices! 

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