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This pumpkin cranberry bread is warmly spiced, studded with tart, juicy cranberries and crunchy nuts, and finished with a cinnamon sugar topping. Best of all, it comes together with one bowl in about 10 minutes!

Stack of slices of cranberry pumpkin bread on a wooden cutting board.
Table of Contents
  1. Why You’ll Love This Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
  2. How to Prepare Fresh Cranberries for Baking
  3. The Ingredients that You’ll Need for this Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
  4. How to Make Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
  5. Serving Suggestions
  6. Preparation and Storage Tips
  7. Recipe Variations
  8. Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Recipe
  9. One-Bowl Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Recipe

A perfect cross between our favorite easy pumpkin bread recipe and my mom’s homemade cranberry bread, this pumpkin cranberry bread is the essence of fall! If you enjoy quick bread as much as we do, be sure to try the best ever banana nut bread recipe, Aunt Mary’s blueberry bread, and a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread, too!

Why You’ll Love This Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

  • The easy, one-bowl recipe comes together in about 10 minutes. There’s no need to pull out an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar, no need to separately combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients, and you’ll have fewer dishes to wash at the end.
  • It’s moist, but not gummy. The key to a nicely-balanced, moist loaf of pumpkin bread with a light, tender crumb is just the right amount of pumpkin puree paired with just the right amount of oil. Too much oil, butter, or pumpkin and the bread turns out dense, heavy, gummy, and wet. Too little oil, butter, or pumpkin and the bread turns out dry, crumbly, and flavorless. It’s a delicate balance!
  • With just the right amount of warm spices, this zesty loaf offers tons of fall flavor. No bland pumpkin bread allowed!
  • The tart, juicy cranberries are a perfect contrast to the sweet bread, while nuts provide a satisfying crunch in every bite.
Loaf of pumpkin cranberry bread on a wooden table.

How to Prepare Fresh Cranberries for Baking

There’s not really anything special that you need to do here. Just cut the larger cranberries in half and then gently fold them into the batter. If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw them before cutting them and adding them to the batter.

You do not have to soak cranberries before baking. As with any produce, it’s always a good idea to give it a good rinse with cool water before using, but soaking is not necessary. If you’re using dried cranberries, soaking them can help them reconstitute a bit before baking. For added flavor, try soaking the cranberries in a fruit juice (like orange juice).

Process shot showing how to make pumpkin cranberry bread.

Can you use dried cranberries instead of fresh?

Yes, you can! I prefer the tartness that you get from the fresh or frozen cranberries, as well as the extra moisture that they add to the loaf. That said, sweetened dried cranberries (like Ocean Spray Craisins) will also work fine. If using dried cranberries, you might like to soak them in warm water or orange juice before adding them to the bread. This will soften them up and give them a plump texture.

Hands serving a platter of easy pumpkin cranberry bread.

The Ingredients that You’ll Need for this Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for our favorite cranberry pumpkin bread recipe. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Sugar: for a loaf that’s perfectly sweet.
  • Oil: I use vegetable oil, but another neutral oil, such as canola oil, will work.
  • Eggs: give the bread structure.
  • Pumpkin puree: make sure to purchase a can of 100% pure pumpkin puree, not a can of “pumpkin pie filling” or “pumpkin pie mix.”
  • Pure vanilla extract: for extra flavor.
  • Baking soda: the leavening agent that helps the bread rise.
  • All-purpose flour: the base of the bread.
  • Salt: to enhance the other flavors in the recipe. I use regular table salt here, not kosher salt.
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger: warm spices that give the bread its classic fall taste. You can substitute with about 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Cranberries: fresh or frozen work best for their tart flavor and added moisture. If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw them before adding them to the batter. Fresh cranberries can be stored in the freezer so that you always have them available when you need them for this recipe!
  • Nuts: these are optional, but recommended. We prefer pecans or walnuts, but pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, or just about any other chopped nuts will also work.
Wooden farm table with a loaf of sliced pumpkin cranberry bread.

Is pumpkin puree the same as canned pumpkin?

Yes! Canned pumpkin and pumpkin puree are the same thing. These terms are often used interchangeably in recipes. You can use 1 cup of fresh pumpkin puree if you prefer that instead of the canned product. Just make sure that you don’t pick up a can of “pumpkin pie filling” or “pumpkin pie mix,” which includes sugar and spices that you don’t find in the pure pumpkin.

How to Make Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

This recipe for cranberry pumpkin bread is about as easy as it gets! Stir together the batter in a single bowl, then pop it in the oven. I’ve included detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version.

  • Whisk together the batter.
  • Fold in the cranberries and nuts.
  • Transfer the batter to a greased loaf pan.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over top.
  • Bake, cool, slice, and serve!
Close overhead image of a platter of cranberry pumpkin bread.

Serving Suggestions

Offer the bread for a quick grab-and-go breakfast on busy mornings; pile the slices in a basket as a part of a special brunch buffet at Thanksgiving or Christmas; set out a plate of bread with a glass of milk for an afternoon snack; or even enjoy the pumpkin cranberry bread as a side dish with dinner (it’s great alongside a roasted chicken or a bowl of pumpkin chili).

The easy pumpkin cranberry bread is delicious at room temperature, or even better when served warm. It’s best with a smear of soft butter or cream cheese, a dollop of jamapple butterhomemade honey butter, or even spread with almond butter or peanut butter. Don’t forget a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk!

Front shot of slices of pumpkin cranberry bread on a table.

Preparation and Storage Tips

Storage: Allow the bread to cool completely on a wire rack before serving or packaging. Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from drying out. The quick bread will stay fresh at room temperature on the counter for 1-2 days, and it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

How to Freeze: Allow the bread to cool completely, and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a Ziploc freezer bag or wrap again with foil. The bread will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw pumpkin cranberry bread on the counter overnight or for a few hours, then slice and serve.

Close up front shot of the best pumpkin cranberry bread recipe.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of nuts, add chocolate chips to the batter. The chocolate is a great companion for the cranberries.
  • Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins or Mini Loaves: Bake the batter in muffin tins in a 375°F oven for 20-22 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). You can also use the batter to make mini loaves of pumpkin bread. The mini loaves will bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes.
  • Omit the cinnamon-sugar topping, or replace it with a cinnamon glaze or cream cheese frosting instead.
  • Like Starbucks, you can sprinkle pepitas (pumpkin seeds) on the top of your bread before baking.
  • Add fresh orange zest for a bright citrus flavor.
  • Any neutral flavored oil works well (such as vegetable oil or canola oil). You can also use melted coconut oil, but it might change the taste of the bread slightly.
  • Double all of the ingredients to make two loaves instead of one. Share a loaf as a gift and keep the second for yourself!
Square side shot of a blue and white serving tray full of slices of pumpkin cranberry bread.

Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Recipe

  • I use canned Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin, but you can substitute with 1 cup of fresh homemade pumpkin puree.
  • Make sure that you use 100% pure pumpkin puree, which is different from canned pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin pie mix. The pure pumpkin puree is unsweetened and doesn’t include any spices or other seasonings.
  • Do not over-mix the batter. It should come together so that everything is combined, but then stop stirring! Mixing too much will result in a dry, dense loaf.
  • The total baking time will vary depending on the type of loaf pan that you use. A dark metal, nonstick pan cooks the bread faster, so it may be done within 50-60 minutes. By contrast, a lighter metal pan, a glass pan, or a ceramic pan can easily require up to 70 minutes of baking in a 350°F oven. You can tell that your loaf is cooked through when you insert a toothpick or long stick deep into the center of the loaf and it comes out clean.
  • If using frozen cranberries, you will likely need to extend the baking time by a few extra minutes.
Overhead image of a tray of slices of the best pumpkin cranberry bread recipe.

More Easy Pumpkin Recipes to Try

For even more inspiration, check out our convenient collection of more than 20 pumpkin recipes!

Square side shot of a blue and white serving tray full of slices of pumpkin cranberry bread.

One-Bowl Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 312 kcal
Sweet, tart, moist, and warmly-spiced, this easy pumpkin cranberry bread is the perfect fall treat!

Ingredients
  

CINNAMON SUGAR TOPPING

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, and eggs. Add pumpkin and vanilla; whisk to combine. Sprinkle baking soda and salt over top; whisk until well blended. Stir in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger; be careful not to over-mix. Gently fold in cranberries and nuts.
    Process shot showing how to make pumpkin cranberry bread.
  • Transfer batter to the prepared pan. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Sprinkle on top of the batter.
    Overhead shot of a loaf pan full of pumpkin cranberry bread before baking.
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes for dark or nonstick pans or about 60-70 minutes for glass, ceramic, or light pans. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Tent the loaf with foil during the final 15-20 minutes of baking if the top starts to get too dark. Remove the bread from the pan and cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
    Stack of slices of cranberry pumpkin bread on a wooden cutting board.

Notes

  • Do not over-mix the batter. It should come together so that everything is combined, but then stop stirring! Mixing too much will result in a dry, dense loaf.
  • The total baking time will vary depending on the type of loaf pan that you use. A dark metal, nonstick pan cooks the bread faster, so it may be done within 50-60 minutes. By contrast, a lighter metal pan, a glass pan, or a ceramic pan can easily require up to 70 minutes of baking in a 350°F oven. You can tell that your loaf is cooked through when you insert a toothpick or long stick deep into the center of the loaf and it comes out clean.
  • If using frozen cranberries, you will likely need to extend the baking time by a few extra minutes.
  • I use canned Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin, but you can substitute with 1 cup of fresh homemade pumpkin puree.
  • Make sure that you use 100% pure pumpkin puree, which is different from canned pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin pie mix. The pure pumpkin puree is unsweetened and doesn’t include any spices or other seasonings.
  •  
  •  

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 276mgPotassium: 123mgFiber: 2gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 3229IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: cranberry pumpkin bread, pumpkin cranberry, pumpkin cranberry bread, pumpkin cranberry bread recipe
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. In the recipe is says, “1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not the whole can)”. However, in your notes you say you use a whole can of Libby’s pumpkin puree. Which is it? Additionally, I do not use white sugar or flour. Would this work well with whole wheat flour and coconut sugar?

    1. Hi, Katrina! It’s just 1 cup of pumpkin. Sorry if the note was confusing —- I wasn’t saying that I use a whole can, just that I use the canned pumpkin instead of homemade purée. I’ll fix that wording to make it more clear.

      I haven’t tested the recipe with the alternate ingredients that you mention, so I can’t speak to the final quality and texture. Let me know if you give it a try!

    1. The mini loaves will bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes! Keep a close eye on them, and adjust the baking time as needed as every oven bakes differently. Hope this helps!

      1. Hi, can I substitute pumpkin pie spice for the spices? And how much?
        Can you leave the cranberries whole even if they are on the larger size?

        1. Hi Marci,
          The flavor will be slightly different, but you can substitute 1.5-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice. We don’t recommend using whole cranberries unsliced as they’re likely to burst as they bake, and you won’t get cranberry pieces in each slice. Hope this helps!

  2. I made your cranberry loaf this afternoon, and me and my offspring wolfed it down, it’s that tasty. Your recipe is exceptional. The only thing I changed was to substitute some coconut sugar for a portion of the white sugar, about one-third. Also, instead of pumpkin, I used winter squash from my garden, but that is basically the same as a pie pumpkin (the stuff that comes in a can & which you recommended). Your recipe produces a not gummy, not slimy, not dry, result. Perfectissimo. I thank you.

    1. Thank you, Bettie! We’re so glad you enjoyed it and were able to make it work for you. We appreciate you trying it out and taking the time to leave a review.

      1. You’re welcome. While I’m here, what size would a container have to be to be considered mini – you refer to baking this mixture in mini loaf size. Tk. You.

        And another question. If I were to use egg replacer instead of 2 eggs, do you think this would turn out okay?

        1. A mini loaf pan is typically 5¾” x 3¼”. We haven’t tested this recipe with an egg substitute and can’t guarantee the results, but it would likely turn out fairly dense. Hope that helps!

  3. Delicious!! and super quick. I love one-bowl recipes 🙂
    I did make a few adjustments based on what I had on hand, and made them into muffins.
    Swapped AP flour for Spelt.
    Decreased sugar to 1 cup instead of 1.5c.
    Swapped oil for butter.
    Baked regular muffins for about 20 minutes; mini muffins were done around 12 minutes.
    They are so yummy! Thank you for this recipe.