Sourdough Pumpkin Bread

Sourdough Pumpkin Bread is super moist, easy to make bread and has a wonderful flavor & texture thanks to sourdough discard. Fresh cranberries add another tangy pop of flavor.

pumpkin cranberry quick bread made with sourdough discard

If you’re a sourdough-bread baker, you know how painful it is to throw away a whole cup of hard-earned yeasty goodness every time you need to replenish your starter.

If you don’t have one, check out my post to learn How to Make a Sourdough Starter. Then check out my system to Feed and Maintain Sourdough Starter.

This recipe is a great way to use that discard to add moisture, texture and flavor to Pumpkin Cranberry Quick Bread.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know, a quick bread is a bread made with baking powder and/or baking soda instead of yeast. Since you don’t have to wait for it to proof before baking, the recipe is, you know, quick.

Why this is THE BEST Sourdough Pumpkin Bread

In this recipe, the baking soda does the heavy lifting to raise the batter in the heat of the oven. Since the yeast in the sourdough starter is not the main leavening for the bread, why is it in there?

The sourdough discard does give the bread a little extra lift in the oven and it imparts a slightly chewy texture and lovely complex flavor. The starter also keeps the bread fresh longer so you can enjoy it for the better part of a week.

This recipe is great not only for using discarded sourdough starter, but also to use that bit of pumpkin puree you have left from your pumpkin pie, and that last cup of fresh cranberries you’ve got hanging out in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. 

I love the crackly, rugged top that forms when the bread splits as it bakes. Sprinkling the top with a little sugar accentuates those crackles on the crust. 

This Pumpkin Quick Bread is not super sweet and would make a great breakfast bread.


ingredients for sourdough pumpkin bread with text overlay

How to make Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

a glass bowl with dry ingredients. A metal bowl with wet ingredients.
  • Add the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Whisk to combine and evenly disperse the dry ingredients.
  • Combine the wet ingredients and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  • Mix to emulsify the ingredients.
Pumpkin bread batter in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the pumpkin to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  • Fold in the cranberries.
sourdough Pumpkin bread before and after baking.
  • Spread the batter into a loaf pan lined with a parchment sling.
  • Sprinkle the loaf with sugar and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before slicing.

How to adapt this recipe

In the spirit of this being a “use up the leftovers” recipe you can certainly switch out the fresh cranberries for dried cranberries or raisins and adjust the mix of spices to suit your own taste. 

This recipe can be made one of two ways; use maple syrup for a lighter flavor that allows the pumpkin flavor to shine through or, if you love gingerbread, use molasses for a more assertive gingerbread flavor that puts the pumpkin flavor in the background. Both versions are delicious. 

In fact, even if you don’t have pumpkin puree, any puree of winter squash will do. Got butternut? Roast and puree it and you can make Sourdough Butternut Cranberry Quick Bread.


Sourdough Pumpkin Bread will keep at room temperature for 4-5 days. Slices or the entire loaf can be frozen.

More Pumpkin Recipes

sourdough pumpkin cranberry quick bread
sourdough pumpkin cranberry quick bread

I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.

If you love this recipe, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review!

a loaf of sourdough pumpkin bread
Print Recipe
4.48 from 73 reviews

Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Quick Bread

Super moist pumpkin bread has a wonderful background tang from “discard” sourdough starter. Fresh cranberries add another tangy pop to the flavor of the bread.
Prep Time15 minutes
Bake Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
16 slices
Save Recipe


  • 9 oz all purpose flour (1 ⅔ cups, see note)
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz Sourdough discard (1 cup, 100% hydration)
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 5 oz vegetable oil (⅔ cup)
  • 6 oz granulated sugar (⅔ cup)
  • 4 oz maple syrup (⅓ cup, OR molasses)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 oz canned pumpkin puree (1 cup)
  • 4 oz fresh cranberries (1 heaping cup)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar ( for topping)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Butter a 9×5 loaf pan and line the pan with parchment paper (or butter and flour the pan).
  • Combine 9 oz all purpose flour, 1 teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon cloves, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¾ teaspoon baking soda¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine the ingredients and set aside. In a mixer bowl combine 8 oz Sourdough discard, 3 large eggs, 5 oz vegetable oil, 6 oz granulated sugar ,4 oz maple syrup and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until the ingredients are emulsified. Add 8 oz canned pumpkin puree and mix until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in 4 oz fresh cranberries.
  • Pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over the surface of the batter.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few wet crumbs but no raw dough, about 1 hour. Cool in the pan 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature before cutting.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
Use only pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. I find canned pumpkin more consistent for baking. If using fresh pumpkin puree make sure it’s not excessively wet.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2255IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I really enjoyed this! Thanks for the great recipe. The next time I make it, I’m going to chop the cranberries so there are smaller pieces more evenly distributed rather than scattered whole berries in the bread.

  2. BEST Pumpkin Bread recipe EVER – and I’ve made many! Outstanding! Made exactly as recipe reads. Bread rose high over top of pan. I added walnuts to top of loaf. First time I’ve baked one with fresh cranberries and not craisins. Fresh tasting like a bakery. LOVE all your recipes to use my sourdough discard!

  3. An amazing recipe! A delight to the palate in texture and taste. Made these a second time, adding a touch of almond essence (1/8 tsp.) and chopped Medjool dates. Made 4 mini loaves since I’m bound to share this this one, for sure!
    Your recipe for Soft Pretzel dough is rising… Another baking day tomorrow.