A Quick Pumpkin Bread Recipe with Tons of Flavor
I have developed a true and lasting love for bread, a love that has weathered cross-country moves, raising a child, getting married and later divorced, changing jobs, and every other stage of adulthood you can list. The bread that has survived it all and become my rock-solid foundation in the kitchen isn’t sourdough, baguettes, rye, or pumpernickel, but the simple, dependable, and adaptable quick bread.
My first introduction to this realm was my mom’s banana bread, which was always just slightly sweet but not sugary, soft inside with a hint of pecans, and surprisingly filling. There are endless possibilities for flavor combinations, texture, even shape and size, and there are many types of quick bread I enjoy, but pumpkin bread is definitely at the top of my list.
Long before Starbucks and the marketing gurus of recent years anointed October as the month for pumpkin spice, I discovered this pumpkin bread recipe and like to make it throughout the year. I do make it more frequently in the fall and winter, since the aroma of this bread baking on a chilly day is absolutely divine. Pumpkin always has an earthy, soothing aroma, but the addition of cranberries, ginger, and nutmeg are the trifecta that really set this pumpkin bread apart.
One perk to baking this in fall is the ready abundance of fresh cranberries, which add a tart yet bright flavor to the bread. It also works very well with dried cranberries or raisins, both of which are easily available year-round. If you opt for fresh cranberries, remember to chop them, but dried cranberries or raisins are fine as purchased.
This pumpkin bread easily adapts to smaller pan sizes, including muffin tins, which really helps to shorten the baking time when you’re in a hurry. I enjoy making this pumpkin bread in some of the smaller loaf pan sizes I’ve acquired over the years, but muffins are perfect for sharing with a crowd because no one has to be in charge of cutting slices and the wrappers make individual servings easy to grab and go.
How to Make Pumpkin Bread
By Marie Powell
Yields: 12 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: approximately 1 hour
A traditional 9x5x3 loaf pan will hold one batch of batter and bakes in approximately 1 hour, though some time variations exist for different types of pans. The pans I really enjoy are roughly one-half and one-third the volume of those standard pans, which is perfect to share small loaves with some of my neighbors or make a variety of small baked goodies to give as gifts. The recipe and oven temperature stay the same for smaller pans, but the baking time will decrease to 30-45 minutes for most small loaves and to 20-25 minutes for muffins. You’ll know your pumpkin bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
This recipe doubles very easily, as most standard canned pumpkin containers yield more than 1 cup of pumpkin. Double your ingredients, choose a variety of pan sizes, and plan to share this delicious pumpkin bread recipe!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄3 cup shortening
- 3⁄4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 3⁄4 cup cranberries (fresh or dried)
- In a large mixer bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour with remaining dry ingredients.
- Add pumpkin, milk, eggs, and shortening.
- Beat with a mixer on low until blended, then on high speed for 2 minutes.
- Add remaining flour, beat well. Stir in nuts and cranberries.
- Pour batter into a greased 9x5x3 pan (or smaller options as you like).
- Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes until done. Adjust baking time for smaller loaves.
- Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes, then turn out of pans onto cooling rack until completely cool.
- Wrap pumpkin bread tightly overnight before serving.