Black Walnut and Cranberry Pumpkin Bread w/ Cream Cheese Glaze

black walnut hulls

Pumpkin Bread with a twist

I realize I am jumping on the Pumpkin Bread bandwagon late. Pumpkin recipes have dominated Pinterest for over a month now. Now that the weather has finally cooled in our area, I can start thinking about all the wonderful baked goods I love to eat in the fall. Unfortunately, during this time of year my diet has to take a back seat until New Years.

This year I decided to add black walnuts to my famous (well, famous in my family) pumpkin bread recipe. I’ll admit I was not an immediate fan of black walnuts. Its flavor is almost unidentifiable. If you have ever tasted one, you know what I mean. Unlike its mild English brethren, black walnuts have a robust, earthy, coffee/maple syrup taste. Its flavor is complex. I find you either like it or not.

Although I do not prefer to eat them straight up, I do like to add them to breads, cakes and cookies. I think they particularly pair well with cranberries. Normally I add pecans to my pumpkin bread…I do live in the deep south (we love our pecans). This time I thought I’d honor my husband’s wild West Virginian roots and add some earthiness to bread.

Black Walnut and Cranberry Pumpkin Bread w/ Cream Cheese Glaze

How to harvest black walnuts

If you have a black walnut tree in your yard and want to harvest your own, I will warn you that it is not a task for the for the weak. You have to wait until the bright green walnuts fall to the ground naturally. Once you collect them, you need to let them ripen a yellowish green and the hulls will begin to recede. Then you can strip away the hulls and crack the nut to get the fruit. I suggest you wear gloves before you strip away the hulls unless you want your hands stained a deep rich brown. If you are into natural dyeing, save the hulls and boil them to create a dye bath. Black walnut hulls make a beautiful dark brown. Alternatively, you can buy black walnuts at the store 😉

Once the bread is cooled, drizzle the cream cheese on top. I like to put the glaze in a gallon zip lock bag and snip an opening at one end. This makes an inexpensive piping bag. I then drizzle/pipe the glaze onto the bread. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee (it goes very well with the black walnut flavor). Happy eating!


Author Debbie

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