Gluten-free Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

It's that time of year, isn't it :-) Pumpkin this and pumpkin that. One of my favorite recipes is a Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries. No chocolate (although I'll bet that would be a great addition) and no nuts (because I don't like nuts in breads..what can I say?).

I like using fresh cranberries when they're in season, but frozen work just fine too.

I have a basic go-to Pumpkin Cranberry bread that I make every year - but this year I decided to convert it to Gluten-free. It worked like a charm (first try!). I also replaced some of the sugar with Splenda - with no noticeable difference. Next time I might try replacing even more.

I love the combination of the sweet pumpkin bread with the slight tartness of the cranberries. It's a wonderful explosion of flavor.

This recipe makes 2 full size loaves or 6 mini-loaves (which is what I made). Like most quick breads, they freeze great, and they make great little gifts!.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Cranberry Bread


  • 2 cups Gluten-free flour blend (or your favorite GF blend)
  • 1 cup Sweet Rice Flour
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon (you can also replace the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves with 4-5 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice)
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Splenda
  • 2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 - 15oz can of Pumpkin Puree (I use Organic)
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups Fresh or Frozen Cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 X 5 loaf pans, or six mini-loaf pans.
  1. Mix the flours, baking soda, spices, salt, and xanthan gum together with a whisk and set aside.
  2. In separate bowl, combine the sugar/Splenda, pumpkin, eggs, canola oil, and orange juice and beat to blend.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just blended.
  4. Fold in the cranberries.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pans.

If you're making 2 loaves, bake for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake the mini loaves for about 35 minutes.

Cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, and then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!

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  1. Hi Bonnie,

    I came across your blog on Tastespotting. Your cranberry bread looks wonderful and the pics are really pretty. I don't use splenda but I can always substitute. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Alexa - Thanks for dropping by. FYI - the original recipe I use calls for 3 cups of Sugar. You can use that as your starting point if you want to try other sugar substitutes, or just use sugar :-)

  3. Yes, the recipe looks great except for the Splenda. Artificial sweeteners are UNHEALTHY. You are better off eating the white sugar!

  4. I will be replacing the sugar with a little Agave and and pure cane sugar...definitely will not be using Splenda. Read up on fake sugars...Not good! The recipe looks good!

  5. Thanks for your comments! I've read extensively on both fake sugars and natural sugars - and have concluded that none of them are without issues or controversy, including Agave. So I tend to mix and match and use combinations of this and that.

    Also, you might look into Erythritol, which despite it's chemical-sounding name, is a natural sugar alcohol. It's not as sweet as sugar, and has an interesting 'cooling' quality on the mouth, but I find it works well when I use it in combination with either regular sugar or splenda or Nustevia. Not so good by itself though.

    Enhoy the recipe - I'm sure it will be great with whatever you use!

  6. Hi Bonnie, I'm new to gluten free baking and have a problem with bread either not rising or falling during cooling. This one fell (still tastes fine, but a bit moist in the center). It tested done at about 60 min. Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?

  7. Hi Tennie -- a few things come to mind. First - how old is your baking soda. If the bread is not rising it might be because the soda is too old? The other thing that comes to mind is how accurate is your oven. You might consider getting an oven thermometer to compare it to what your oven says.

    Here's a tip as well - when you preheat your oven and it beeps to tell you it's at the right temperature - it's probably not. Most ovens need to preheat a good 10 or 15 minutes longer than the beep indicates - especially older ovens. Putting the bread in an oven that wasn't fully preheated can cause problems that you describe.

    Hope that helps a little?

  8. Thanks, Bonnie! As I read your reply I immediately saw the problem...I used baking powder instead of soda. Will bake this again soon.