Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Low-Fat Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries and Pecans

My love affair with pumpkin bread began in college. I remember the first time I saw a gorgeous, orange loaf on the "Sweet Treats" bar at breakfast. Spicy, sweet, and a little bit savory from the pumpkin puree. One taste, and I was hooked. Every time pumpkin bread appeared at the dining hall, I eagerly snatched at least two slices. I think it was a significant contributor to my freshman 15. Well, that and the Seven Layer Bars, ice cream machine, Peanut Butter Bars, unlimited bagels... I have a weakness for carbs and sweets.

The pumpkin bread I'm sharing with you today is low fat. That's so I can feel guilt-free when I eat at least two slices. Which I will, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, until it's gone. Inspired by the pumpkin muffins at my  local coffee shop, I stirred in ruby red cranberries for a beautiful burst of color and flavor. Sprinkling pecans on top lends a hearty and satisfying crunch. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!

Low-Fat Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries and Pecans
Adapted From: Cooking Light
Serves: Theoretically, this makes two loaves with 12 servings per loaf. 12 servings. Riiiiiight.

3 1/3 cups flour, plus 2 tablespoons for tossing with cranberries
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 whole eggs
4 egg whites (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2/3 cup water
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup cranberries* (optional)
1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9"x5" loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.

Whisk together 3 1/3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

In a separate bowl, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, whole eggs, egg whites, oil, and yogurt. Mix together until thoroughly blended. Stir water and pumpkin into the wet ingredients until just combined.

Toss cranberries with remaining 2 tablespoons flour. (This will help them stay suspended in the bread.) Stir cranberries into batter.

Evenly divide batter between two prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle pecans over batter. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

A few notes: Check the bread after about 45 minutes of cooking. If the nuts are starting to get too brown, tent the loaves with aluminum foil. If you'd like pumpkin muffins instead of pumpkin bread, I think you'd need to bake them for about 20-22 minutes. (Although, full disclosure, that's just a guesstimate.)

*Using cranberries is optional, but it's a highly recommended option in my book. Also, if you're using frozen cranberries, don't thaw them first.


  1. I love pumpkin! This looks amazing,and something I will bookmark to try very soon. Thanks!

  2. Pumpkin bread is probably one of my favorite quick breads. And with these cranberries and pecans I dont know how I could stop myself from devouring the whole loaf

  3. Looks tasty! My wife is a pumpkin bread love like no other, I bet she'd love this!

  4. Haha thank goodness my dining hall didn't have pumpkin bread, though blast those unlimited bagels, ice cream machine, and oh yea... the waffle maker. Now that I don't have those other temptations, I can try your delicious pumpkin bread!

  5. Steph, the cranberries and pecans are crazy good. I think you'll love it! Kels, I forgot about the waffle maker!! Oh, sweet mercy.