Thanksgiving bread recipes

3 Easy Breads for your Thanksgiving Table

Director of Pastry Research & Development Jürgen David shares recipes to celebrate the holiday.

Chef Jürgen Davidloves Thanksgiving, but he didn’t grow up with the food and family-fueled holiday.

Hailing from the land of apfelstrudel and Sachertorte, Thanksgiving was a culture shock when he came to America from Austria in 1996.

More than 20 years later, he loves Thanksgiving and regards it as one of his favorite holidays because he gets to spend time with family and friends.

Earn a certificate in Artisan Bread Baking.

Years ago, Chef Jürgen told one of his family members that he wanted corn on the cob at the Thanksgiving table, but was swiftly reminded that corn isn’t in season during the month of November. So, as Chef Jürgen was developing these Thanksgiving bread recipes, he thought about the ingredients he showcases around his own holiday table.

To appease the Thanksgiving masses, he whips up a cornbread that's studded with jalapeño and bacon, a pumpkin pecan crumb cake, to combine two of everyone’s favorite holiday pies, and a batch of scones made with orange and cranberry to highlight fall fruit flavors.

More bread from Chef Jürgen: Buchteln Recipe

And remember, these breads can be made ahead to alleviate some stress in prepping for one of the biggest food holidays of the year.


Jalapeño and Bacon Cornbread

Yields 2 loaves



  • 225 grams granulated sugar
  • 335 grams all-purpose flour
  • 85 grams cornmeal
  • 20 grams baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 280 grams milk
  • 150 grams vegetable oil
  • 2 fresh jalapeños, diced
  • 100 grams browned bacon, cubed
  • 100 grams frozen corn kernels


  1. Butter and flour the pans and set aside.
  2. Mix the granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt together. Add the jalapeños, browned bacon and frozen corn kernels to the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the liquid ingredients and stir just to combine; mixing as little as possible to avoid working up the gluten.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  5. Bake the bread at 350 F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Unmold onto a cooling rack.

Special Instructions:

  • To make a savory cornbread, fresh corn kernels, red bell pepper, jalapeño peppers or sautéed bacon can be added for a savory loaf.
  • The batter can be refrigerated for several days.
  • Tightly wrapped, baked cornbread can be stored for a week in the refrigerator or frozen for longer storage.
  • The oil gives this bread a long shelf life.

America's Essential Connection to Cornbread

coffee cake

Pumpkin Pecan Crumb Cake

Yields 1 (9-inch) cake


For the crumb topping:

  • 50 grams butter
  • 130 grams pecans, chopped
  • 110 grams brown sugar
  • 65 grams all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the cake:

  • 330 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 150 grams butter, melted
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 110 grams sour cream
  • 110 grams pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


For the crumb topping:

  1. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
  2. Prepare the crumb topping by cutting the butter into the other ingredients until large crumbs form. Set aside until needed.

For the cake:

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger and salt.
  2. Mix together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, sour cream and pumpkin puree.
  3. Combine the two mixtures; do not overmix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, top with the crumb mixture, and bake the coffee cake in a 325 F oven for 35-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. The cake may be dusted lightly with powdered sugar before serving.

Special Instructions

  • The pecans should be coarsely chopped.
  • The crumbs may be made in advance and refrigerated for up to four days.
  • Do not combine the wet and dry mixtures until ready to bake. Chemical leaveners like baking soda react immediately when exposed to an acid such as sour cream. If the batter is not baked immediately after mixing, the leavener will be spent and the cake will be dense.

crandberry scones

Cranberry Scones

Yields 8-12 scones


For the scones:

  • 325 grams bread flour
  • 20 grams baking powder
  • 45 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 110 grams butter, cut in small cubes, chilled
  • 100 grams dried cranberries
  • 1 orange, grated zest
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100-140 milliliters heavy cream


  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the cold, cubed butter into the dry ingredients until it is the size of dried lentils. If the butter is cut up too much, the scones will not be as flaky.
  3. Add the dried fruit to the flour mixture.
  4. Put the whole egg and egg yolk in a measuring cup and add enough cream to measure 200 milliliters. Lightly beat the egg and egg yolk with the cream and add it to the dough.
  5. Add the egg/liquid mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until a dough forms, but do not overwork the dough — it should be soft and just come together.
  6. Pat or roll out the dough until approximately ¾ inch thick.
  7. Cut the scones into the desired shape and place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Brush the scones with additional cream.
  8. Bake the scones at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottoms and around the edges.

Special Instructions

  • The scones may be cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter, or into squares or wedges.
  • The dried cranberries should be soft. If dry, plump them before using by soaking in water. Drain before use.
  • The scraps of dough can be reused once but will lose some of their delicate texture.
  • The scones may be brushed with egg wash or heavy cream and sprinkled with sugar for color and flavor.
  • Baked scones should be served the day they are made.

This blog post was originally published by the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. Explore your culinary education where the legacy lives on.

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