Laced with cranberries and orange zest, this moist cranberry bread is delicious buttered and toasted on a cold winter morning. Keep some cranberries in your freezer and make this bread all-year round.
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins
One of my husband’s favorite childhood memories about Christmas is his grandmother making loaves and loaves of this cranberry bread. Whether he celebrated Christmas at home in Oklahoma or at his grandparent’s house in Texas, he would wake up to trays of this bread coming out of the oven all buttery and toasty on Christmas morning.
We have continued the tradition by making several dozen loaves each year as soon as cranberries come into season.
Is it bread or cake?
I would say this quick bread recipe yields a loaf that is more bread-like than cake-like.
It is not as sweet as your typical morning breakfast quick breads. The sugar and orange juice are just sweet enough to tame the tartness of the cranberries without making you feel like you are eating a slice of cake for breakfast (not that there is anything wrong with that).
Although there are plenty of orange cranberry bread recipes baked in a loaf pan that are meant to be served as a dessert, this particular recipe is meant to be served for breakfast.
Can I use frozen cranberries?
Yes! We often buy extra fresh cranberries when they are in season and then put them in the freezer so we can use them in this recipe and other favorite cranberry recipes like Cranberry Pudding Cake and Cranberry Crumble Bars all-year long.
Let the cranberries thaw overnight in the refrigerator so they can be chopped more easily.
Are the nuts optional?
Yes! Although my husband is decidedly on the side of cranberry nut bread, my youngest child is not. So, I usually make a quadruple recipe in a big bowl without adding any nuts, pour about half the batter into loaf pans and then add nuts to the remaining batter.
How to serve
This cranberry bread is best when it’s sliced, generously buttered, toasted and served warm.
Can I freeze cranberry bread?
Yes! This bread freezes beautifully. We make a couple of quadruple batches each year and freeze them so we can enjoy cranberry bread throughout the year.
To freeze, first let the bread cool completely. Then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, then wrap it in aluminum foil. The double layer of wrapping will minimize any freezer burn.
If the bread was baked in a glass or metal loaf pan, remove the bread from the pan before wrapping it. If it was baked in a paper loaf pan, you can leave it in the loaf pan to wrap it.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator for an easy breakfast in the morning.
So, if you are still searching for something festive to serve on Christmas morning, look no further. This cranberry bread comes together very quickly thanks to the help of a food processor for slicing the cranberries.
You can make a couple of loaves now and freeze them until you need them. Then, just slice, butter, and toast.
Happy holiday memories will soon follow.
Laced with cranberries and orange zest, this cranberry bread is delicious buttered and toasted on a cold winter morning. Keep some cranberries in your freezer and make this bread all-year round.
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup orange juice
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 cup raw cranberries, chopped or sliced (see Notes)
- 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
- Softened butter, for serving
- Prep oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, flour, baking powder, and baking soda together until evenly mixed.
- Add wet ingredients. Stir in egg, oil, orange juice, and orange zest. Add cranberries and nuts and mix to combine.
- Divide batter. Pour batter into two (8 by 2 1/2-inch) paper loaf pans or one greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
- Bake. Bake loaves for 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool loaves before slicing.
- Serve. To serve, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Slice the bread into 1/2-inch thick slices and spread softened butter on to one side of each slice. Lay slices buttered side up in a single layer on a baking sheet then bake in oven until lightly browned, 10-15 minutes.
- I find using the slicing blade on my food processor is the easiest way to slice the cranberries.
- This bread freezes very well. Once the bread has cooled, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, then wrap it in aluminum foil. If the bread was baked in a glass or metal loaf pan, remove the bread from the pan before wrapping it. If it was baked in a paper loaf pan, you can leave it in the loaf pan to wrap it.
Keywords: holiday baking, cranberry bread recipe, fresh cranberry recipe, easy cranberry bread