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Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
November '04

I started craving Thanksgiving food back in September, so I’m glad the season has finally arrived! I found this recipe at (originally published in Bon Appétit, November 1995), and I have modified it quite a bit.

I used to make a Bisquick pumpkin bread when I was growing up that I loved, and I’ve been looking for a good recipe to make pumpkin bread from scratch, now that I’m a grown-up. This one fits the bill!

I reduced some of the sugar in this recipe and substituted apple sauce for part of the oil to make it a bit healthier. I also increased the amount of spices used, and now the flavor is perfect (in my humble opinion). If you like your pumpkin bread very sweet, you can add an additional cup of sugar. You can also substitute nuts or another dried fruit for the cranberries, or omit that ingredient altogether.

This recipe makes 2 loaves or 24 muffins, or a combination of the two. I’ll put the muffin instructions at the bottom.

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

1 c brown sugar
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
3 large eggs
16 oz canned solid pack pumpkin
3 c all-purpose flour
2 t ground cloves
2 t ground cinnamon
2 t ground nutmeg
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour two loaf pans (9x5x3). (I often line the bottom of the pan with a buttered piece of parchment paper for extra insurance against sticking.) Beat sugars, oil, and applesauce in a large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift the flour and the next 6 ingredients (through the baking powder) in another large bowl. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture in two additions. Stir in the cranberries.

Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans. Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean — about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.

Muffin Variation

Line 12 (for a half batch) or 24 (for a full batch) muffin tins with foil muffin liners. Prepare batter. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350° for 25 min. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Turn muffins out onto racks and cool completely.

Serve with softened butter or cream cheese, or just enjoy this yummy bread on its own!

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