Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vegan Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

I'm not a vegan. I'm not opposed to veganism, or vegetarianism, but neither do I see anything morally wrong with eating an animal. I am opposed to the mistreatment of food animals - I always buy free-range eggs, meat from small, local farms, and support humane food labeling. But I do like my bbq ribs, my grilled Cajun chicken, my bison steaks, and devilled eggs.

But that is not the point of this post, and I digress. The reason why I ventured into vegan cooking is because I was asked to contribute a couple of items to an on-campus craft fair and bake sale held by Engineers Without Borders back in November. Because McGill's School of Environment is on our campus, there are a lot of vegans and vegetarians (which is ironic, because the farm is also on this campus...) To be vegan-friendly, I looked up a recipe without eggs, butter, or other animal products. I was very happily surprised by how this turned out! It was moist, and flavourful, and Davis has been harassing me to make more ever since.

Vegan Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

2 cups whole raw cranberries (I used frozen, but if available I imagine fresh ones would be lovely!)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
3/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
5 tbsp canola oil
2-3 tsp orange zest (I think I might have actually used way more than this... but I'm zesty)
3 tbsp water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using a food processor or a sharp knife and lots of patients, roughly chop the cranberries until they are about quartered and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

In a larger bowl, mix the wet ingredients - pumpkin puree, oil, orange zest, and water. In small portions, start adding the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing as little as possible until just combined. Pour the batter into a cake pan - I know the recipe title says loaf, but the recipe calls for a 9-inch round or square cake pan. I used a springform cheesecake pan, and it seemed to work. Someone who reviewed the recipe used a muffin tray. I'm curious to see what would happen if you used a normal loaf pan... an experiment for the future. Oh, and because there's no butter, it might be a good idea to grease your pan. I might have unthinkingly used butter, something I only realized now, two months after the fact. I really hope I didn't.

This should be baked for 45-55 minutes. The recipe suggests removing the cake from the pan relatively soon after taking it out of the oven, or the bottom may get soggy.

Ta da! It was quite a dense loaf, but that could be due to my overstirring. But it was quite good - which I think others agreed with, as they sold out of it!

I also made traditional chocolate and vanilla icing cupcakes, for the non-vegan junk food addicts like myself:


  1. This looks like a great recipe and since i have both cranberries and pumpkin i think i'll try it!

  2. Wow, great photos! Now I'm hungry... LOL. :)

  3. That looks yummy! How I wish I was your neighbor so that I can smell these lovely scents. I can't cook :(

    By the way, I see that you manage to get the columns up and change the background! Great job! Love it.

    God Bless

  4. Mmm.. the bread and cupcakes look really yummy! Pass a cupcake over here! ;)

  5. Hihi,
    Thanks for sharing the Canada link! I didn't know it's the most depressing day of the year! :) So coincidental is that :)

    Hope your Tuesday is alot better!

    God Bless


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