Cranberry Pesto Swirled Pumpkin Bread

Well here you go, guys. I submit to you my dutiful pumpkin bread recipe.

And it is pretty darn great if I do say so myself.

The bread is everything you would expect — warm, spicy flavors with a moist, tender texture. But the pesto is what really make this special. It is slightly crunchy from the pumpkin seeds, and a little sweet and slightly tangy from the cranberries. Then there is the zip and kick of the orange juice and zest. You are just not going to believe what it all tastes like together.

I am so in love.

To begin, you need to blend cranberries, pepitas, the zest and juice of an orange, and a little bit of olive oil in a food processor.

If Bing Crosby’s Christmas music had a smell and taste, this would be it. I know that seems like a weird thing to say but I think you will agree once you make it. It’s something about the orange. It just gives the whole thing this warm flavor and smell that is totally amazing. I wouldn’t blame you at all if you decided to just eat all of the pesto by itself on some graham crackers (Dude and I definitely didn’t almost do that) and said to hell with the bread.

But if you do decide to set aside the pesto and go on with the bread, first you will want to stir together your dry ingredients.

My little sous chef may be getting a little full of herself. She kept asking me to taste it and then pointed toward the pantry, demanding that I bring her more “greadients.”

Blend together all of the wet greadients except for the eggs in a mixer until smooth. Once it is well blended, stir in the eggs. Then dump in all of the dry ingredients, and let it come together.

Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. I made the batter all uneven and higher in some places than others, just to enhance the swirled effect once it is sliced. Then dollop on half of the pesto mixture, and swirl it in with a knife.

Now spoon on the remaining bread batter and pesto using the same process.  When it was swirled to my liking, I sort of pressed it all down with the back of my knife just to make sure that the pesto was down in the bread.

I am so excited for this to perfume your whole house like it did mine while it is baking. Incredible. And I apologize if it gets you in a premature Christmas decorating kind of mood.

So check it out, even though it has a lot of flavor going on, it is still delicious to a three year old.

This would be a fantastic bread to serve up for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning (this bread + coffee = heaven). It would also be a great way to knock the socks off of your family on Thanksgiving evening for those who aren’t quite ready to step back up to the turkey and dressing leftovers. And if you can’t wait until Thanksgiving, I happen to know it tastes delicious whilst blog writing on a random weekday as well.

Cranberry Pesto Swirled Pumpkin Bread

For the pesto:

1/2 cup roasted, salted pepitas

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 tablespoon orange juice

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

For the bread:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ginger

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside

In a mixer blend together pumpkin, butter, honey, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth.

Stir in eggs.

Fold in dry ingredients.

Spoon half of bread batter into a well greased loaf pan. Swirl in half of pesto mixture.

Repeat the process with the remaining batter and pesto and bake for 1 hour.

2 responses »

  1. Absolutely trying this. I can’t wait for your cookbook. Seriously.


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