Nutty Pumpkin Cranberry Bread with Yeast

Yeast pumpkin bread with nuts and cranberries.

Here’s a deliciously different Pumpkin Cranberry Bread. Instead of a quick bread, this yeast pumpkin bread is leavened with yeast and studded with dried and fresh cranberries plus crunchy nuts. This pumpkin walnut bread is a delicious fall bread treat and great for morning toast with a smear of butter.

dry ingredients

You are probably all pumpkin bread-ed out by this point, right?  I understand.  There’s only so much holiday spice one person can take.  So actually, this recipe is well-timed for two reasons.  First, we just finished the last of Aunt Lynne’s Famous Pumpkin Bread.  Second, this isn’t your typical sweet-pumpkin-bomb.  This Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (not to be confused with my cranberry nut pumpkin loaves) is a pumpkin yeast bread – more like your favorite raisin bread than the typical sugary bites offered during the holidays.  

This bread is definitely less sweet, but with a homey childhood aroma, that I can’t quite put my finger on.  They say that the sense of smell is closely linked with memory — more so than any of our other senses.  All I know is that as these pumpkin walnut loaves were baking, I was transported to my 8-year-old self.

blooming yeast
mixing dough.

The yeast pumpkin dough rises overnight

After the dough has rested overnight, prep it on the counter by divvying it up into 3 sections.  Form each section of pumpkin cranberry bread dough into a rectangle with the long side measuring the length of your baking pan and roll them into a log. (See photo below).

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raisins, walnuts and golden raisins.

3 Fruits For Pumpkin Walnut Bread

This bread has the advantage of fresh cranberries, which pop and ooze their puckery goodness into pockets of the bread as well as dried cranberries and sweet golden raisins.  The walnuts add that little bit of crunch – which for me is a must (but if you’re not inclined, you can certainly skip).

risen Pumpkin Walnut Cranberry Bread dough

Yeast Pumpkin Bread Dough Rises Overnight

After the dough has rested overnight, prep it on the counter by divvying it up into 3 sections.  Form each section of pumpkin cranberry bread dough into a rectangle with the long side measuring the length of your baking pan and roll them into a log. (See photo below).

rolling Pumpkin Walnut Cranberry Bread dough into a cylinder.

Then plunk them in the pans and bake!  The chewy bread, dotted with tart, sweet and crunchy is sublime.  Great right from the oven but I like mine toasted.  

Baked Pumpkin Walnut Bread in the pan.

More Pumpkin Bread Recipes:

More Yeast Bread Recipes:

Sliced Yeast Pumpkin Bread.

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5 from 6 votes

Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Bread

Begin making this bread the day before as it requires overnight resting before the second rise and bake the next day.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberries, pumpkin, walnuts, yeast bread
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 day
Servings 12


  • 2 ⅔ to 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tepid water 80-90 degrees
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree homemade or canned (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • ¾ cup walnuts toasted, chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • cup fresh cranberries


  • Whisk 2 2/3 cup of flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and set aside.
  • Pour the water into a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top of it. Whisk with a fork and set aside until creamy – about 5 minutes.
  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed. Add the pumpkin and egg and beat until blended. Mixture will look curdled.
  • Set the mixer to low and add the yeast, then add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time until it starts to form a dough and comes together. Scrape the dough off the paddle and switch it out for the dough hook. (If your dough doesn’t come together, add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour).
  • Mix /kneed on a medium low speed for 10-15 minutes, scraping the sides and hook occasionally with a rubber spatula. Dough will be soft and sticky. Add the walnuts, raisins and dried cranberries and mix on low to combine it with the dough, about 1 minute. Add the fresh cranberries and mix gently just to incorporate.
  • Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  • When the dough has doubled, fold it over on itself a few times to deflate, wrap it tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  • At least 6 hours before you want to begin baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to 64 degrees on an instant read thermometer (about 3-4 hours). Dough will be a little cool and spongy.
  • Lightly butter three 5 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 2 inch loaf pans.
  • Working on a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into three equal pieces and pat each into a 5×7 rectangle. Starting at the short end, roll the dough toward you and seal the seam by pressing it with your fingertips. Place each roll, seam side down into the pans.
  • Cover the pans lightly with a kitchen towel and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until nearly doubled in size.
  • Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaves for about 35 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 5 minutes before turning the breads out of the pans to cool completely.


Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 3345IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.7mg

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  1. Pat Stoddard says:

    5 stars
    This bread would be great for breakfast but I’m afraid it will be all gone by tonight. I made 2 loaves slightly smaller and one loaf slightly larger than the recipe called for because that’s what I had. I sent one of the smaller loaves over to my neighbors and have almost finished the other loaf all by myself. It’s so good that it doesn’t even need butter. It would make a great Christmas gift. And by the way Lisa, I used fresh pumpkin purée.

    1. That’s awesome! Glad it worked for you and the pumpkin puree sounds like a great addition.

  2. 5 stars
    Haha I don’t think I will ever be over pumpkin flavored things! This looks delicious I definitely must try to make it over the holidays

  3. Pumpkin walnuts and cranberries? Sounds like a dream dessert! I also really love the colour of this cake/bread!

  4. 5 stars
    I would love to have a few slices of this! I love this combo of ingredients!

  5. I love the combination of pumpkin and cranberry! It’s one of my absolute favorites this time of the year! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Oh wow, perfect holiday season bread with the cranberries and pumpkin! I want this for breakfast!