So Dorie calls this the all-in-one holiday Bundt but seeing as the holidays are well over, I used mainly seasonal leftovers and cooked it in a loaf tin, I’m calling it the Holiday Hangover Loaf. Got a nice ring to it doesn’t it. It’s not the type of recipe I would normally go for, especially out of the amazing 300 recipes crammed into Greenspan’s BAKING From my home to yours but my mother has been hankering after it for weeks now so I thought I best keep her sweet.
I had a few cups of fresh cranberries stashed in the freezer from when I realised on Christmas Eve that I didn’t need two bucket loads of Nigella’s Redder than Red Cranberry Sauce (just one). The can of pumpkin was surplus from Halloween (!) when I insisted I would make another one of those velvety pumpkin pies and well… never did. And the mixed nuts were still hanging around in a Ziploc bag, confined to their shells, tipped out of the nut bowl on Twelfth Night (who can ever be bothered to crack those things) never to be thought of again.
Well all I can say is, what a pleasant surprise! Seems like the old adage still holds true and mother does know best. This cake is delicious! It’s hearty and rustic and smells divine. Moist spiced pumpkin bread, studded with sweet apple and tart cranberries (the fresh cranberries are seriously amazing) all balanced out with the abundant crunch and indulgence of the assorted nuts. Slice it in thick tawny wedges and the bright ruby red cranberries and sizeable chunks of nut sell themselves! Serve it on its own or if you’re feeling particularly extravagant (in that farm house kind of way), lashings of butter.
I think this loaf actually gets better with age as I found that with the high fruit content, it was quite moist and almost fragile on the day I baked it. After a night in the fridge however, it firmed up nicely and I can imagine you could even toast it too as is popular with banana and coconut ‘breads’ in Australia. Apparently it freezes beautifully, although it didn’t last long enough in mother’s house to try that – maybe next time!
Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Nut Loaf
adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s BAKING From my home to yoursThe recipe below makes 1 Bundt cake. I ‘one and a halved’ the recipe to make 2 hefty loaves.
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, halved
- 1 cup mixed nuts, roughly chopped – I used walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds and a few brazil nuts!
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F – Prepare 2 x loaf tins w/ grease proof paper.
- In a bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and salt.
- In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low and stir in the pumpkin and the apple. Mixture may separate slightly but don’t worry.
- Stir in dry ingredients and mix only until just combined.
- Finally, fold in the cranberries and nuts with a spatula.
- Fill the pans with the mixture and smooth down.
- Bake for 60 to 70 minutes.
- Cakes should be well risen and a cake tester should come out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes in pans and then carefully transfer to cooling rack. Leave at room temperature to cool completely.