Both times I posted this, I debated for weeks, WEEKS I say, as to whether it should be called pumpkin cranberry bread or cranberry pumpkin bread. I walked the floors, I lost weight from not being able to eat, I didn’t sleep for days at a time! Why, you ask!? (Pretend you asked) All for YOU! Yes, YOU, dear and faithful reader! All two of you. For this show of love, I believe I should have multiple boxes of Godiva truffles sent to me, along with large cars, house and land deeds and cold, hard cash.
I am redoing this recipe for two reasons- 1) because the original photo I took sucked donkey toes. I mean, we’re talking really really bad. Then, there is 2) which is that as good as the bread was back then, it could still be better. Now however? It’s awesome. It can’t be better. It is pumpkin cranberry (cranberry pumpkin?) nirvana. You eat this and angels weep, but only because they don’t have any. It has the perfect blend of squashy pumpkin flavor and tart sweet cranberry flavor, all mixed up in a perfectly moist bread redolent of warm Autumn spices and a touch of orange for zing.
This is a very easy bread to make. No chopping of this ingredient, dicing of this one. It uses canned pumpkin and canned cranberry sauce. Both of which also add incredible moistness as well as flavor to this.
You know the drill… git to cooking.
Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce (use a good quality brand; I have found over the years that the cheap store brand ones use more sugar then fruit and it shows in the taste. I prefer Ocean Spray )
- 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling; just pureed pumpkin)
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg yolk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or use cooking spray on one 8 inch and one 9 inch loaf pan. You can use both 9 inch pans if that is all you have, but you will have much flatter loaves and you’ll need to adjust your cooking time. Over the years, I have found this to be the best combination.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk well. Set aside for now.
- In another bowl, combine the vanilla extract, orange zest and juice, cranberry sauce, pumpkin puree, oil and egg yolk. Mix well until it is relative smooth. You’ll have lumps from the cranberries of course.
- Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ones all at once. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine them together JUST until mixed. You don’t want a bunch of flour of the bottom of the bowl, but don’t over mix it. That causes tough bread.
- Divide between the two prepared pans. Smooth the tops and bake at 350 until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs, no loose batter, about 45 to 60 minutes. The 8 inch pan will probably finish before the 9 inch.
- Let cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes, then carefully invert it into your protected hand and then re-invert it onto the rack. Let cool for about an hour before attempting to cut.
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