Be sure to buy unsweetened canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, which is preseasoned and sweetened. This is a fairly stiff batter that takes a bit of stirring to incorporate the liquid ingredients into the dry. Stop mixing as soon as the batter comes together.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1 cup sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse
1 cup dried cranberries (optional)
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ginger together in a large bowl. Whisk the pumpkin, sugar, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a separate bowl until frothy.
3. Gently fold the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the nuts and cranberries (if using). The batter will be very thick.
4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 45 to 55 minutes.
5. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unmolding onto a wire rack to cool for 1 hour.
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