Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries

I've really fallen in love with the combination of cranberries and pumpkin. You may have noticed that I add muddled cranberries to my pumpkin martini recipe. I just can't help it. The two go so beautifully together, and are both such quintessential fall flavors. They belong together!

This pumpkin bread recipe is no exception. The addition of chopped cranberries gives the bread some much welcomed tartness and brightness. To be honest, it feels silly calling this "bread," given that there's a whopping 3 cups of sugar in the batter, so it's really more of a "pumpkin dessert." The good news is that the recipe makes a TON, so at least the sugar is well spread out across many, many servings.

This is a great recipe for times when you really need to satisfy your pumpkin sweet tooth. But, if you're like me, and don't want to feel guilty about eating it all, it's also perfect for giving away to your loved ones (and total strangers). It's wonderful. Your cravings are satiated, and you get to be the Pumpkin Bread Fairy! That's what I do, anyway. I love being the Pumpkin Bread Fairy.

Pumpkin Bread without Cranberries. (Also delicious!)

Yield: 2-3 large (9in x 5in x 3in) loaf pans, or 6-7 mini loaf pans (seriously, it makes so much!)

Ingredients

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease baking pans.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In a standing mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
  5. To the butter mixture, add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
  6. Slowly add in dry ingredients. Stir into creamed mixture until just combined.
  7. Stir in pumpkin.
  8. Fold in cranberries.
  9. Pour into prepared pans, filling pans about ⅔ of the way.
  10. Sprinkle an even, thin layer of brown sugar over the top of the batter in each pan.
  11. Bake for about 1 hour, or until bread tests done. (Mini loaf pans will take about 40-50 minutes, and muffins will take about 25-35 minutes.)
  12. Allow to cool for 30-45 minutes before serving.

Once it is baked and cooled it should either be eaten within a few days or stored in the freezer, as the juices in the cranberries will begin to soak into the bread. Luckily, this bread freezes very well. You can easily slice it fresh from the freezer, and then lightly toast it under a low broiler. (Serve with ice cream and you have a delightful fall dessert!)

You can of course omit the cranberries, in which case you need not worry about any extra moisture. For this post, I split the batter in half, and baked one half with cranberries and the other without. I'll tell you right now, after devouring all of the loaves with cranberries, I wish I had added them to the whole batch.

While I've never tried, I'm sure this would be fantastic as cupcakes. Just be sure to monitor the baking time closely. Usually, if a full cake takes 1 hour to bake, then cupcakes will require at least 30-40 minutes. Cakes and breads are "done" when a fork or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

That brown sugar on top... so good.