Pumpkin and Cranberry Tea Cake

What could make a well-spiced, perfectly moist, crunchily-topped pumpkin bread even better? Why cranberries, of course. If you happen to have an extra bag of fresh cranberries lying around after Thanksgiving, this recipe is for you. The addition of the cranberries balances the sweetness of the cake with little bursts of tart flavor, and they make the texture even richer and moister than before. A crunchy raw sugar and pumpkin seed topping rounds it all off.

Pumpkin and Cranberry Tea Cake

Spices used in this recipe

Cinnamon, Ground
Nutmeg, Ground
Nutmeg, Whole
Cloves, Ground
Salt, Kosher


  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (225 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 tsp. Vanns Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Vanns Ground Nutmeg or Vanns Whole Nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/4 tsp. Vanns Ground Cloves
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbs. pumpkin puree (9 oz.)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (270 grams)
  • 3/4 tsp. Vanns Kosher Salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 12-oz. bag fresh cranberries, frozen if thawed, rinsed and fully dried
  • 2 Tbs. raw cane sugar
  • 2 Tbs. shelled raw pumpkin seeds


  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Butter or oil and 9”x5” loaf pan and set aside. If you’ve had issues getting breads and cakes out of loaf pans in the past, you can also line it with parchment paper for extra help. 
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In a larger bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, kosher salt, and vegetable oil until well-combined and silky smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until the mixture is uniform. 
  3. Using a sifter or fine mesh strainer, sift the dry ingredients into the pumpkin puree mixture. The ground or grated nutmeg may not make it through the sifter — just pour the rougher bits into the mixture once everything else has been sifted through. Whisk the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just combined — over-mixing will make for a tough texture once baked. If you’ve sifted the flour and see what look like lumps in the final mixture, they are likely just air bubbles. Fold the cranberries into the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a silicone spatula. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the raw cane sugar evenly over the top of the entire loaf, then sprinkle 2 Tbs. pumpkin seeds evenly over the top of the entire load. Finish with the last Tbs. of raw cane sugar, again sprinkled evenly over the top of the entire loaf.
  5. Bake for around 65 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. To remove, gently run a knife around the perimeter of the pan and then carefully invert the cake onto a cutting board or large plate, being careful not to damage the beautifully crunchy crust on top. Tap the bottom of the pan until the cake comes out. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.
  6. The loaf will keep well-wrapped at room temperature for two or three days. It also freezes well — pre-slice the loaf and store in a freezer bag. Reheat slices at 350°F.

Makes 1 loaf. Adapted from Tartine.

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