Monday, October 8, 2012

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

As mentioned in a previous post, I had promised my family pumpkin bread. Even they know it doesn't taste any better when baked in a $30 Williams-Sonoma pumpkin motif pan (which I don't own), but I wouldn't have blamed them for thinking that the $16.95 pumpkin-spice bread mix (which I also didn't buy) might have been just a little bit tastier than anything I could whip up on my own. But, as I mentioned, I have a few tried-and-true recipes in the "Fall bread/cake" category, so I pulled one out (changed it a little, embellished it a little), and out came a loaf of Cranberry Pumpkin Bread. Added bonus: Mabz came down the stairs exclaiming how delicious the kitchen smelled!

The original recipe called for two cups of sugar, and that's the way I've made it in the past, which was certainly delicious, but one cup of sugar is 774 calories! So I reduced the sugar to one cup this time, and added some chopped walnuts. We all thought the bread was delicious, but I should have known better than to mention my little sugar experiment... So today I made another full-sugar loaf, and at dinner we had a taste test. My husband chose the lower-sugar version as the better one, and my daughter admitted that she couldn't tell the difference. Ha!

Here's the recipe if you want to try it:

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
(adapted from Libby's canned pumpkin)
Makes 1 loaf.
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 cups sugar
1/2 vegetable oil
1 cup solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)**
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped cranberries*
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Combine eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix well (with fork or whisk).  
Combine flour, spice, soda and salt in a larger mixing bowl. Make a well in the center.
Pour pumpkin mixture into well and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Stir in cranberries and nuts.
Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9"x5" loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for approximately one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

It's best to let it cool in the pan, then wrap the loaf in plastic wrap. It tastes even better the next day. This bread also freezes well, either the whole loaf or slices stored in baggies- great for lunchboxes!

*Cranberries may not be available in your area yet. My family likes cranberry sauce all year 'round, so I buy bags of them in-season to keep in my freezer. They'll last in good condition until the next holiday season.
** I also stock up on canned pumpkin beginning around Halloween, since it's often hard to find throughout the year.


  1. You've read my mind. I love anything pumpkin and just picked up a couple of sugar pumpkins so I can have fresh pumpkin. I've added it to Spaghetti Sauce and Oatmeal. I'll have to try your recipe - I like that you've reduced the sugar. I may add some Craisins instead of fresh cranberries.

  2. I thought about trying Craisins. I think they would work just as well as fresh cranberries, plus you can get them anytime of year. Please let us know how it turns out.

    And you get extra credit for using fresh pumpkin! I did that last year, only because NO GROCERY STORE WITHIN 20 MILES OF ME had canned pumpkin in stock!


Thanks so much for reading! Your thoughts are important to me because I am writing for you.