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Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf


Earlier this year, I tried a recipe for a fat free pumpkin pound cake from Fast Food Fix, a book that specializes in making low-fat or fat free versions of restaurant favorites. The pound cake was tasty, but had one major flaw: it tasted a bit rubbery after the first day. At the time, I covered this up by toasting it, but the problem is one that is common to recipes that rely on egg whites in place of regular eggs and are low in fat. I began to wonder if I could take out those egg whites, eliminate the texture problem and still be left with a relatively healthy (low fat, in this case) loaf.

In cases like these, sometimes I’ll experiment to find a variation that I really like and other times I’ll shelve the idea for a later time. I shelved this idea at the time, but after only a few weeks I came across a recipe at the PPK that sounded like exactly what I wanted. It was low in fat, contained no eggs (it’s vegan) and promised to be both moist and flavorful. And it lived up to its promise.

Moist and very tender, the loaf was more like one you would serve with coffee or tea than one that would stand-in for a dessert, but the flavor was great. It has cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves and it is sweetened with maple syrup instead of regular sugar. Best of all, the ingredients it calls for are probably things that you have in your kitchen right now.

Pumpkin might be associated with fall and winter more than spring, but I doubt you’ll hear any complaints if you bake up a loaf of this in the morning.

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 cups mashed pumpkin (canned)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, stir together pumpkin, maple syrup, apple sauce, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing only until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in dried cranberries, then pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the loaf springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool loaf in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 1 loaf.

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  • Sarah
    May 23, 2007

    Wow that looks amazing! I encountered the same problem with soggy/collapsing cakes when I first started experimenting with lowfat baking— I found the same solution as well. Just recently I made oatmeal cookies with a combination of mashed peas and navy beans! (and no one knew the difference!)

  • Claire
    May 23, 2007

    I’ve been looking for a recipe that uses 2 cups pumpkin, so that I can use the whole can and not worry about trying to use the other half. This looks great…very moist.

  • Cindy
    May 24, 2007

    Would it work to use one cup whole wheat flour and one cup regular flour?

  • Valerie Adams
    May 24, 2007

    That looks wonderful. I have the same problem since I cannot have eggyolks, I use egg whites and in some recipes it does tend to make it rubbery. The combination of pumpkin and cranberries sound great since I love both of those ingredients. I will try thing one out for sure!

  • Cathy
    May 24, 2007

    ohhh, I like the sounds of that. I love pumpkin breads and muffins, but they’re usually loaded with fat. I’m going to have to try this one.

  • elaine
    June 7, 2007

    This recipe is amazing! I tried it a few days ago. Its easy, moist, very flavourful, and best of all…low-fat. It will not disappoint. I topped with an orange glaze.

  • Hannah
    August 21, 2007

    I can’t wait to try this recipe, I was just wondering if it would work to use canned pumpkin pie mix-I have a huge can of it sitting around waiting to be used up.

  • Lisa
    October 18, 2007

    Hi! I made this with half whole wheat flour and it was great! My husband loves the combination of pumpkin and cranberries, and it has gotten better each day (we’ve kept it wraped in the fridge).

  • Cindy Lou
    October 28, 2010

    I’m sorry, but this bread has absolutely NO sweetness. I just assumed the syrup would be enough, but sadly, it wasn’t. This would have been a great loaf of bread if it had tasted the least bit sweet.

    I have made other recipes from this site and this is the first time I have been disappointed.

  • Katy
    April 3, 2012

    I absolutely LOVE this recipe. I have made is many time and each time it is an instant hit.

    October 8, 2017

    FYI- Canned pumpkin freezes great!

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