Food & Drinkrecipes

Lena Corwin’s Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

by Grace Bonney

textile designer and illustrator, lena corwin, is certainly not new to design*sponge, but her pumpkin cranberry bread is! in addition to creating patterns for fashion and home, lena also creates wonderful dishes in the kitchen. when we asked lena for her favorite recipe, she shared a family ‘heirloom’. just click here (or click “read more” below) for the full recipe and more photos. WARNING: This pumpkin cranberry bread is addictive!!



Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

This recipe uses either two standard loaf pans, or three aluminum foil loaf pans. The foil pans make it easy to give the bread as gifts.

• 1- 3 / 4 cup canned pumpkin (one small can-425g)
• 2/3 cup butter, melted (150g)
• 3 cups sugar (600g)
• 4 eggs
• 3-1/2 cups flour (455g)
• 1 tsp cinnamon (5g)
• 1 tsp nutmeg (5g)
• 1 / 2 tsp cloves (2.5g)
• 2 tsp baking soda (10g)
• 2 tsp baking powder (10g)
• 1 / 2 tsp salt (2.5g)
• 2/3 cup water (160ml)
• 1 / 2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (60g)
• 1 cup chopped fresh or dried cranberries (120g)

Preheat oven to 350F/180C degrees. Combine the eggs, pumpkin, butter, and water in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, plus the nuts and cranberries. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix with a wooden spoon by hand. Mix until the batter is combined, but don’t over mix. Grease the pans, and distribute the batter equally in the pans (should fill each about half way up). Bake for 1 hour.

Why Lena chose this recipe: “My mom is a cook and I got this recipe from her. It’s so good! To give the loaves as gifts, I like to wrap each loaf in plastic wrap, and then wrap again with a cloth napkin tied in a knot.”

Compiled by Kristina of Three Layer Cake








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  • YUM!! I absolutely love cranberries and pumpkin bread – what a perfect combination. This will be such a great addition to this Thanksgiving!!!!

  • I could almost smell the bread from those photos! D*S, please have more guest bloggers post more delicious recipes. :)

  • As with most of these recipes, I try them first before posting. I prepared this, but forgot to put in the butter because I had set it aside for it to cool some so it wouldn’t cook the eggs. As I was cleaning up I found the butter, but the cakes had already been in the oven for 5 or 10 minutes. I took them out, divided the butter and stirred it into the pans. The cakes still came out, and I have already sent Lena hate mail because I just CAN’T STOP EATING the pumpkin bread, it’s SO GOOD! even with the butter mistake!!!! If you have no will power, this isn’t the right recipe for you!!

  • I love giving food as a holiday gift, and this looks perfect. A great way to combine something edible and a pretty napkin or tea towel.

  • I couldn’t resist this recipe and whipped it up Friday evening. WOW. It is even better than it looks/sounds. Rich spicy pumpkin flavor, and the cranberries are the perfect tart touch. A definite winner! Lena, thank you so much for sharing this!

  • This recipe sounds perfect for the coming holiday season, think I’ll just have to try it on my relatives next week! thanks for sharing!

  • Wow, I made this earlier today and was super pleased with the results. This one will be made again soon!

  • The recipe made three loaves…so delicious!!! Tried it Monday and adding it to the long term cookbook faves.

    I saw this post, then immediately went to the store for ingredients.

    Thank you again.

  • I just finished making this as a gift for friends. I filled my pans halfway up and had leftover batter that I threw into 6 baking cups. I just ate one of my muffins and it’s fantastic! Thank you Lena, I now have a new holiday tradition!
    (P.S. You need a big mixing bowl to make this.)

  • Lena, I’m so glad you shared this recipe! Everyone loves the bread and I can’t keep up–my second and third batches just came out of the oven!

    I had a lot of batter too–I used three 8″ x 3 7/8″ x 2 15/32″ aluminum foil pans per batch and had enough to fill each pan more than 3/4s of the way up. The loaves spill onto the lips of the pan a bit but they’re otherwise just fine. Love the muffin idea though–I’ll try that next time!

  • The bread was easy and delicious, I doubled the cinnamon and nutmeg and soaked the fresh picked (from Cape Cod) cranberries in cognac for 1/2 hour, it was great, thanks for sharing.

  • Hello Lena, here a reaction from the other side of the world. Your recipe is really great. I used fresh pumpkin instead canned because its hard to get canned pumpkin here. The result was really yummie. I also used less sugar (400gr) still sweet enough. Thanks for this great delight!

  • Could I use natural pumpkin? In Germany there isn’t any canned pumkin :o( Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Just clicked on this recipe today. I live in France. If you ever get to the UK, you can find canned pumpkin at Tesco. Also, if you are near any US military bases you might wrangle someone who has BX privileges to pick some up for you. (Even thought they are not supposed to….so beware). But I suspect fresh pumpkin might be even better. I find the pumpkin here in France to be rather bland compared to that which we have in the US. It is just a different variety. Love the pumpkin soup here in France!

  • Beautiful pictures as usual! and perfectly layed out. Love it. And I am excited to make your bread for my restaurant in Santa Cruz. Sounds delicious!

  • I just made threee loaves of this – it is fantastic! Thanks so much for a new favourite recipe.

  • I have to say that this pumpkin bread has been nothing but a delightful hit with my family. It makes a wonderful hostess gift or a sweet “thinking of you” present. No one has been (or will ever be) let down with this winner recipe. Thanks

  • Your web-site designer teally screwed up by not having a print button for easy printing. I am NOT going through the time and expense to print all the color pictures just to get a recipe

    • ted

      it’s called cut and paste. if we can go to the trouble to provide free recipes for you i think it’s not a lot to ask that you cut the text and paste it into a doc to print, assuming you don’t want the images, which most of our readers love.

      you could have easily cut and paste that text in the time it took to write a complaint.


  • DELICIOUS recipe. I had planned on making small loaves of bread from the recipe but ended up having enough batter for 5 small loaves AND 2 dozen mini muffins. It was perfect because I gave the loaves as gifts and got to keep the muffins for myself, yum!

  • I was in the mood for a quick, good pumpkin bread to celebrate the season last evening. This bread turned out perfectly moist and delicious! I cut back the sugar to a scant 2 cups, and added chocolate chips to one of my loaves. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!
    In reference to the previous comments, I prefer not to waste paper and print recipes. I usually keep my lap top on a stool in the kitchen whilst I bake for an easy reference.
    Thank you Grace, for continuing to feature such beautiful recipes!

  • I loved the comment to Ted.
    And I can’t wait to try this. It has all my favorites in it and looks like it will freeze well. I bet it will be fabulous with a schmeer of cream cheese on it.

  • It’s the season of pumpkins so why not use fresh pumpkin… i wonder. Sure it must be more time consuming but can one substitute the canned one for fresh one?

  • Forgot to say- the recipe sounds and looks delicious and i can’t wait to make it. I will mix whole wheat and all purpose flour and hope it comes out OK! Thanks for the pumpkin bread inspiration!

  • Looks like a great recipe and I can’t wait to try it out! I also wanted to say “kudos” to Grace for calling out Ted on his ridiculous comment. Thank you!

  • I made this recipe tonight! Loved it. I used fresh pumpkin from a “pink” pumpkin. Don’t know if it makes a difference compared to canned pumpkin but this is a keeper. I love the base and I can see myself making zucchini and carrot bread with this as well. Thank you so much for sharing.