My Mom made this incredibly moist pumpkin bread every fall and always gave many loaves away to appreciative friends. It truly is the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever tasted, and over the years, I’ve added crystallized ginger and fresh cranberries to make it really festive. The ginger and cranberries also offer a nice zingy contrast to the sweetness.

The recipe makes enough batter to fill two large loaf pans or three medium loaf pans. The larger loaves will take almost 75 minutes to bake, so if you find smaller loaf pans (closer to 8 x4 inches rather than 9 x 5 inches), go with those. You can also make two bigger loaves and a couple of mini loaves. The recipe will even work in muffin tins. You will just have to play around with volumes (and times) to see what works best for you. Don’t fill any loaf pan more than three-quarters full if you can help it. This pumpkin bread freezes well, too.

Makes two large or three medium loaves

  • Baking spray or butter, for the pan
  • 3 1/3 cups (15 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for pan if needed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup (packed) finely chopped crystallized ginger


1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Spray three medium loaf pans (each about 8 x 4 inches, or a 5- to 6-cup capacity) or two larger loaf pans with baking spray (or lightly coat with butter and flour).

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Whisk well.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until creamy and somewhat lightened in color, a full 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer, add the cranberries and crystallized ginger, and stir by hand to incorporate. Transfer the mixture to the loaf pans, dividing evenly.

Susie Middleton

4. Bake until a pick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it, 55 to 75 minutes, depending on the size of your loaf pans and how full they are.

5. Let the loaves cool completely on racks and then unmold them. Keep them well wrapped at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.