Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Tea Bread


This bread would be PERFECT for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; I love the preparation, decorating the tables, and cooking a undeniably plentiful holiday meal. I may actually look forward to the leftover turkey/cranberry sauce/stuffing sandwiches more than the actual meal itself. Cooking on Thanksgiving can be an all day event; at my house there is a ~20 lb. turkey to be seasoned and roasted, pies to be made, cranberry sauce to simmer, and casseroles to assemble. For years I cooked the menu solo and, being the perfectionist that I am, would stress over every single detail of the menu. Last year I solicited help from my fellow diners and found the experience to be much more relaxing and enjoyable. Everyone brings a dish or a contribution to the meal and we all benefit; love it!

Among the day-of dishes and preparations I often forget about breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. Instead of scrambling to cook yet another dish at the last minute, bake a loaf or two of this super simple pumpkin bread the day before to serve with coffee in the morning. While delicious on its own, this tea bread would also be great with a smear of cream cheese, butter, or pumpkin butter. Like most pumpkin baked goods the pumpkin flavor is more pronounced on the second day making this recipe even more low maintenance! 


While I have made and posted many, many pumpkin recipes so far this season, I am loving the cranberry/walnut addition to this quick bread recipe. Highlighting seasonal ingredients in the kitchen is what I love to do; this recipe proves fresh cranberries are for more than just cranberry sauce! Fresh cranberries are packed with antioxidants and taste both sweet and tart making them the perfect compliment to creamy pumpkin and warm pumpkin pie spices. Walnuts are a wonderful last minute add-in contributing a crunchy texture to contrast the bursting cranberries. There is a lot going on in this bread and I can’t wait for you to try it! 

Ingredients (makes 1 loaf)

  • 1/4 c. canola oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (generous) tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 c. fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


In a mixing bowl whisk the canola oil, brown sugar, and pumpkin puree until well combined. Pumpkin adds a lot of moisture to baked goods allowing the amount of oil/fat to be cut dramatically; just another reason why pumpkin is my favorite!


Add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice; mix well.


Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; stir with a spatula until just combined. Do not over-mix!


Gently stir in the cranberries and walnuts until evenly distributed. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and add the batter.


Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the loaf.


When fully cooked the cranberries will begin to burst and the top will be golden brown. Cool, then transfer to a plate and cut into slices.


This recipe can be easily doubled if you have a lot of Thanksgiving guests for breakfast and would freeze well also. Enjoy! :)

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