Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

When Bruce came home from work last week I saw him walking up the stairs from the garage with a large bright orange pumpkin in his arms.  He received it as a gift from a friend who has a large vegetable garden at her home.  I love pumpkin but the only time I ever bake or use pumpkin in a recipe it is always with the stuff that comes out of a can.  Shocking huh?  So, obviously, the only thing that came to mind was to carve it and place it on the front porch for Halloween.  Halloween was nearly a month away so I put it on my kitchen counter and there it sat…

Every time that I looked at that pumpkin, I would wonder if it would even make it until the end of October.  And then it happened…. I received an email update from Barbara Bamber from Just A Smidgen with a recipe on how to roast and puree a pumpkin.  Thanks to Barbara, I got a big chunk of my kitchen counter back and I even learned a new kitchen trick. Click here to get her beautifully detailed step by step instructions on how to do it. And as a bonus I made a couple of delicious loaves of Pumpkin Cranberry Bread with my puree!

This is the pumpkin that hogged all the real estate on my kitchen counter.  It would have carved nicely but I think it made an even better puree :D.

Making pumpkin puree is easy.  All I had to do was to cut the top off, scoop out the seeds and slice it in large pieces.  I put the pumpkin chunks on a baking sheet, covered it tightly with foil and baked it at 350 degrees for about an hour or until fork tender.  Once cool enough to handle, I peeled the skin off and tossed the pumpkin pieces in the food processor and pulsed it until well blended.  I measured the puree and popped what I did not need into the freezer for use at a later date.  The plan is to make a pie or two for Thanksgiving with the leftover puree.  Canned pumpkin is now officially banned from my kitchen!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread…. Moist and flavorful and made with sweet dried cranberries that I purchased from my last trip to the Oregon coast.  I made two loaves and I thought I’d share one with my coworkers at the office.  I sliced it up, put it in the break room and it was not long until it was gone.  Thank you Barbara for the easy pumpkin puree lesson!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Recipe adapted from here.


  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9″ by 5″ baking pans.  In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.  In another bowl mix together the white sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, eggs and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until moistened.  Fold in the cranberries and add mixture to the prepared baking pans.  Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 – 10 minutes.  Carefully, remove loaves from pans and place on baking racks until cool.  Makes 2 delicious loaves!

26 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

  1. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen

    What a lovely post!! Thanks so much for your kind words.. I’m just so glad someone else has discovered how easy this is. You’ve baked up a lovely, warm, comfort-food bread that I will have to try with all that pumpkin I still have in my fridge :D xxx Thanks again!! xxx Barb

    1. Tessa

      Thank you Katarina! I love pumpkin and cranberries too. This is the first time I have combined the two ingredients. It was delish!

  2. Roberta

    Great, never canned pumpkins again, yuppy!!!! :)
    I have a lot of recipes with fresh pumpkin, but I’ve never tried the bread…..looks so good!!
    Hugs from italy

    1. Tessa

      Hi Roberta! Thank you! I look forward to more of your pumpkin posts such as the pumpkin, goat cheese and phyllo crusts!

  3. Lasuch w kuchni

    What a lovely pumpkin:-D The colour is so vibrant:-D I’m glad that you shared link for a recipe for pumpkin puree.I have never prepared it before but always wanted to especially since it’s quite difficult to get canned pumpkin puree in the city I live in. And then when I will have this puree I will be able to do this lovely and delicious loaf of pumpkin and cranberry bread that looks soooo great:-D

      1. Lasuch w kuchni

        Now I know it Tessa. Yesterday in the evening I baked my pumpkins the way Barbara had suggested and they turned out really great. :-D So now I have lots of pumpkin puree and I guess it’s the time for some pumpkin cranberry bread :-)

    1. Tessa

      Thank you Mad Dog! It was so good that I am going to make it again but next time I want to add some pepitas for a bit of crunch!

  4. Sissi

    This bread looks like the quintessence of the autumn: both in ingredients and colours. It makes me think of falling red and yellow leaves… It’s a wonderful idea to combine sweet pumpkin with sour cranberries.

  5. mjskit

    What a gorgeous loaf of bread! The texture is perfect and I bet the flavor is absolutely delicious with the pumpkin and cranberries! Beautiful pictures Darlin!

    1. Tessa

      Good to see you back! It’s good bread! I’m now going to experiment with cutting back on the oil and adding apple sauce for moisture and then maybe a handful of pepitas for a nutty like crunch.

  6. Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings

    Wow! How did you make a perfectly domed-shaped loaf? And how did you manage to cut through that pumpkin? I always buy my pumpkin pre-cut conveniently into wedges :) I recently bought a huge wedge and pureed a big chunk of it for my 9-month-old. Hehe, my freezer is stocked with frozen pumpkin baby food! LOL. I think I will use some of it for this bread.

  7. Fran

    Be sure to buy pie pumpkins. They are smaller and sweeter and do not have the thick strands in the pulp that Halloween pumpkins have.

    1. Tessa

      Hi Fran! You are absolutely correct! I made my puree with a large pumpkin (I suspect that it was probably for carving) however once it made it into the food processor there were no strands. Thanks for stopping by!

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