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RECIPE: Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Carrot cake and carrot bread seem to be on the menu year-round; but fall means pumpkin bread. This recipe incorporates that other favorite fall ingredient, cranberries.

Thanks to Cheryl Indelicato, proprietor of HandCraft Wines in California, for sharing this recipe:


Ingredients For One Loaf

  • 1 cup solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

    Enjoy pumpkin bread plain as a snack cake, or pair it with ice cream or whipped cream for dessert. Photo courtesy Cheryl Indelicato | HandCraft Winery.



    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    2. COMBINE. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together pumpkin, sugar, water, eggs and oil. Sift in flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices; stir just until batter is smooth.

    3. ADD. Stir in cranberries and spoon batter into loaf pan that has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray.

    4. BAKE. Bake bread in middle of oven 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack ten minutes.Turn bread out onto rack and cool completely.

    Bread may be made 4 days ahead refrigerated, wrapped tightly; or it can be frozen for future enjoyment.

    Let slices come to room temperature or warm in the microwave. Serve plain or with butter as a snack; or with ice cream (pumpkin spice, rum raisin, vanilla), mascarpone, or whipped cream for dessert.


    While the origin of the “bread” style of cake is unknown, food historians believe that it was originated in the 18th century with housewives experimenting with pearl ash. Banana bread became common in American cookbooks in the 1930s, with the popularization of baking soda and baking powder, and very popular in the 1960s, when variations with simple inclusions (nuts, chocolate morsels) created simple but delicious snack cakes.

    While some recipes use the terms interchangeably, a cake is a bit different than a bread-style cake, which is a sweetened version of a quickbread. The term loaf cake is often used. A sweet bread is similar to a muffin, except for the shape.

    Here are the key differentiators, which also differentiate a muffin from a cupcake:

    Density. A bread is leavened with baking soda instead of yeast, and is more dense than a cake. (This is not necessarily true for conventional breads, which can be as airy as cakes). In general, loaf cakes or “breads” have a denser crumb, a rougher texture and often less sugar than their cake counterparts. A cake is airy and eaten with a fork. A bread is dense like a brownie, and can be eaten with a fork or with the fingers.

    Frosting. Cakes are often frosted or otherwise garnished, for example, with confectioners sugar; the layers are filled. Loaf cakes may or may not be frosted.

    Moistness. A cake has more fat, and thus is moister.

    Sweetness. Cakes are sweeter.

    Shape. Cakes are baked in round or rectangular pans. A bread is typically baked in a loaf pan. Cakes can be single layers (like bundt cakes) or multiple layers; loaf breads are single layer.

    Find more of our favorite cake recipes.


    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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