Primal Pumpkin Coconut Bread

give thanks #thanksgiving bread
Last week we returned from a Holistic Health Cruise where a variety of presenters discussed a diversity of topics. But when asked, all seemed to agree on one thing: With all the popular diets these days, Paleo, Vegan, Atkins, South Beach, Raw, one’s head could really spin. So what do they all have in common? Avoid processed, refined, packaged, and focus on organic, seasonal, whole, “you could have gathered it yourself” foods. Once again, we return to Ayurveda, where individual differences are appreciated and the only absolute is to source from nature.

#pumpkin bread

So, along comes the divine Drisana Carey with this Primal Pumpkin Bread that had us all begging for the recipe. Before I could even ask,  she was generous enough to drop the book containing the recipe at my doorstep.

It is called “primal” because the recipe aligns with the principles of Mark Sisson’s  Primal Diet, a mature approach to eating like our ancestors, yet thoughtfully considering the stresses and environmental toxins of our modern lifestyles. On his website, where he touts the immense health benefits of pumpkin, Sisson offers an alternative recipe for Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie which actually looks like a great improvement on the usual in terms of both health and taste. 

#thanksgiving pumpkin bread

Speaking of Thanksgiving, this Primal Pumpkin Bread, with all its protein and clean energy, would be a great meal to begin the holiday. After all, it is so real, so whole, so natural, so delicious, you could say it’s the very taste of thanks-giving!

It would also make a great holiday dessert ~ with all the potassium, magnesium, healthy fats and antioxidants to help balance the season’s excesses.


The creamy frosting makes it especially moist, creamy and teasingly wonderful. You could make it Vegan like the one topping these Lemon Cupcakes, or replace it with something like this Vegan Cinnamon Frosting. And while I love baking up pumpkins, you can also make it quick and easy with a box of pumpkin puree. 

#pumpkin puree

Primal Pumpkin Coconut Cake

1/4 cup ghee or coconut oil, melted
6 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup maple syrup (Drisana substitutes half the maple syrup for molasses “to add iron and potassium”)
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon clove powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup pecans
3/4 cup dark chocoloate chips

Melt the ghee/coconut oil in a small saucepan and set aside. Grease a bread pan, or muffin tins. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Crack the eggs into the bowl of an electric mixer or into a large mixing bowl. Beat with your mixer or wire whisk. Add in vanilla, maple syrup, pumpkin, and mix until thoroughly combined. Sift coconut flour, ghee or oil, spices, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat, or whisk, until there are no lumps. Stir in the coconut flakes, chopped apple, pecans and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into your baking dish or muffin tins. Bake for about 30 minutes for bread, or 15 minutes for muffins – in any case it is done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove it form the oven and turn onto a wire rack to cool, then generously cover with the Cream Cheese Frosting.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup organic whipped cream cheese (Tofutti for Vegans, or make it yourself)
2 tablespoons cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese, honey and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Spread on cooled cake.

also best

Drisana brought this delicious cake over to join in celebrating Haunani, who is having a baby in December. Remember Haunani from this post? She is a divine, light-filled, love-drenched soul. We are grateful for her presence in our lives and wish her, husband Tad and their soon-to-emerge baby, perfect health, every happiness, infinite love. We are also grateful to Drisana and Mark Sisson for this gluten-free, nutrient-rich, potent pumpkin pleasure.

What are you grateful for this holiday harvest season?



14 thoughts on “Primal Pumpkin Coconut Bread

  1. This looks wonderful, Laura! I love when treats can double as breakfast because they’re that sustaining and nourishing. This is going on my to-make list! I could not agree more that although one’s diet is personal, we should all prioritize whole, unprocessed, seasonal food. Thanks for bringing this to light!

  2. BRILLIANT! Photos are beyond amazing!

    Brad Willis

    757 C Ave Coronado, CA 92118 619 435-5067

  3. Oh, I love Drisana. I’ve taken her classes at Pilgrimage. What a spirit she has. This looks scrumptious. I wonder if there is a way I can veganize it with egg replacers? Will have to research – & I just received a sugar pumpkin from my CSA & plan to make a fresh puree. Mmmm…

  4. I love this recipe and have already made it 3 times for various potlucks and friends! But I DID modify it some and it came out great.

    I did replace 4 of the eggs with 1 cup of chia gel. (1/4c of dry seeds plus 3/4c water, let it set for 30 minutes, shaking or stirring occasionally). This seemed to extend the baking time by about 20%. It also adds fiber, protein, magnesium, omega-3’s etc.

    Instead of putting the pecans and coconut inside the cake I chopped them fine and sprinkled them on top of the frosting at the end. THIS way you REALLY experience those 2 delish ingredients and you get a nice crunch on top. (Also the parchment paper I cover it with does not stick to the frosting!)

    I also replaced the maple syrup with raw honey, which for me feels like a healthier option.

    Next I am going to try the vegan lemon frosting mentioned above to eliminate the dairy.

    I love playing with this recipe! I may try to “decontstruct” it a little and create a 5 or 6 layer bar somehow, with a coconut layer, a nut layer, a dark chocolate layer, a cakey layer, etc.

    Laura I so loved meeting you and Bhava on the cruise. Can’t wait to come out and see you!

    With peace and love
    Liz C

    1. Thanks, Liz! I am so glad you tried with chia instead of eggs and that it came out well. I will try all your modifications. Except one: When honey is heated above 120, it becomes denatured – it might as well be white sugar, and there goes your health benefits. Sending you love and looking forward to seeing you on this side. XO

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