This cranberry orange bread is easy to make, it’s rich flavors perfectly blend sweet and tangy. It makes a lovely autumn treat and is the perfect addition to the Thanksgiving menu.
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“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” –J.R.R. Tolkien
Cranberry bread is a recipe that has been around forever, and not just in general, but also in our home. I can’t remember who we first got this recipe from, I know it was a friend of my mum’s and we first made it at their house when I was very young yet. And though I can’t remember the exact year, I know we’ve been making for at least the past ten.
Cranberries are lovely beautiful berries that don’t get used nearly enough. But I’ve always had a soft spot for them. And seem to be the perfect thanksgiving addition, whether in the form of a sauce, bread, or sometimes even a story. (My mum used to read Cranberry Thanksgiving to us every Thanksgiving.) Whatever form they come in, they are wonderful, having just the right amount of tang that means that pair beautifully with both sweet and savory. They also seem to be the link between fall and winter, typically cranberries are thought of as a winter fruit, but they always first come out at thanksgiving, perfectly ending one season and introducing another.
Over the years this bread became my bread. In my house we all have a different part of the thanksgiving menu we are in charge of making, I’m not sure if my mum gave me this recipe simply because I was young and it was easy, or what, but either way I’m glad she did. Now it isn’t just a cranberry bread recipe, now it’s my cranberry bread recipe. A recipe I love, and I’m always proud of it, even though it’s beyond easy to make.
It’s sweet and tangy, and it doesn’t just have to be served at Thanksgiving. It also makes a great breakfast, and a great side for autumn soups and stews, plus it’s fun to mix things up once and a while and make this in place of regular bread. You can even make sandwiches with it!
What kind of cranberries should I use?
I’ve almost always made this recipe with fresh cranberries, as they are easy to find around thanksgiving and are usually quite cheap. Not to mention I can get two loaves out of a single bag. If you can’t find fresh cranberries, I would recommend looking for frozen cranberries. Cranberries thaw very nicely, so nicely you won’t even notice they were frozen. They thaw quickly and hold their shape, without getting liquidy. I’ve frozen leftover cranberries and used them again at a later date, and the bread turned out perfectly.
And since fresh cranberries freeze and thaw so easily, you can stock up on them when they are on sale near or shortly after the holiday season. And freeze them for later use.
If you notice that the berries seem very liquidy, you put them in a contender and set them over a bowl to drain before making the bread. It might turn out a little pinker, but it will bake normally and taste great.
I’ve never used dried cranberries, but I’m sure you could. I would suggest cutting down on the amount though since a lot more dried berries fit in a cup than fresh ones. You might also want to add more orange juice since you won’t get any added liquid from the berries. You might have to play around with it a little, but it should still turn out perfectly fine.
How to make cranberry orange bread
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup orange juice
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups fresh cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Grease and flour a loaf pan. (I used a 9×5 glass loaf pan)
Mix the first five ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the egg, butter, and orange juice and mix well. (the batter will be very thick.)
Add the chopped walnuts and stir until combined. Then gently fold in the cranberries.
Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan, and place in the oven. Bake for 50-60min or until the top is golden and a knife stuck in the center of the bread comes out clean.
Allow the bread to cool for roughly 15min before slicing.
The bread batter will be very, very thick, but is how it is supposed to be so don’t worry!
Be sure to fold the cranberries in very gently, you don’t want to break or crush them. You also don’t want to color the bread batter.
You can use frozen or even dried cranberries in place of fresh ones. For more details please see the section above.
Cranberry orange bread can be stored on the counter for up to 5-days. It can also be made ahead of time, as well as easily reheated in the oven.
Cranberry Orange Bread
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 cups whole cranberries fresh or frozen(if using frozen be sure to thaw the berries before use)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Grease and flour a loaf pan. (I used a 9×5 glass loaf pan
- Mix the first five ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the egg, butter, and orange juice and mix well. (the batter will be very thick.)
- Add the chopped walnuts and stir until combined. Then gently fold in the cranberries.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan, and place in the oven. Bake for 50-60min or until the top is golden and a knife stuck in the center of the bread comes out clean.
- Allow the bread to cool for roughly 15min before slicing.