When I am baking there’s usually someone I’m baking for. Friends, family, a dinner, work, etc. Not so this time; this one’s for me. Just like Kesha and her ice cream, I have a little confession of my own. I am obsessed with cranberries. In fact, I can eat them raw by the handfuls—for which my husband thinks I’m a freak show. Although, he could have it much worse.
Sadly, he’s not the only one that looks at me strange. I was checking out at the grocery store the other day and the clerks snickered and laughed at my 6 bags of cranberries. What they didn’t know is I had 4 more bags at home in the freezer, and that won’t be my last trip. Last year I ran out of cranberries, so I’m determined to be more prepared this year.
The first thing I decided to do to with my glorious tart, red friends was to make cranberry pumpkin bread. I first saw this recipe last year on design*sponge’s lovely In The Kitchen With series and have been making it ever since. I love the pumpkin spices mixed with the tart cranberries. They really give the traditional pumpkin flavors an unexpected surprise. I’ve been through multiple recipe alterations using yogurt (bad idea), less sugar, switching out butter for oil (hooray for moisture), etc. etc. over the months. This combination is what I’ve found to work best.
Also, a note on the original submitter of this recipe on design*sponge, Lena Corwin. She’s a very talented designer and illustrator and also has an inspiring lifestyle/design blog. Definitely worth checking out.
cranberry pumpkin bread
- adapted from Lena Corwin
makes 2 loaves
- 2 to 2-1/2 cups pumpkin puree*
- 2/3 cup water**
- 2/3 cup oil
- 4 eggs
- 2-1/2 cup sugar
- 3-1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen (not dried) cranberries
*I like to make my own puree. But, you can easily buy the canned kind, just make sure it’s not the kind for pies that already has spices.
**If you have made your own puree and it’s watery (hasn’t been strained with cheesecloth) you may not need all of this additional water.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, water, oil and eggs until just combined. In another bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
If using frozen cranberries, place them in a strainer and run them under water for a few minutes until mostly thawed. Also, if you prefer a more subtle cranberry taste, roughly chop the cranberries, although I prefer mine whole in this recipe.
Then, add cranberries and walnuts to the dry ingredient mixture. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix with a wooden spoon by hand. Mix until the batter is combined, but don’t over mix. Distribute the batter equally in the pans, which should fill each about half way. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Cool on a wire rack. It works well to eat one loaf and wrap the second loaf up and freeze it for later.