When I attempted this bread recipe for the first time I made a happy little mistake. The instructions called for chopped cranberries, and I just threw them in the batter whole. Well, those cranberries did what cranberries do – they bobbed to the top of the batter and floated on the surface.
I thought I’d really messed things up, but I baked the loaves anyway. They turned out tasting absolutely fantastic, and the burst red berries on top made the bread vibrant and beautiful. I ended up making this recipe twice more. It’s dense and sweet and so citrusy. Every bite is packed with something to savor; tart cranberries, walnuts, and candied orange peel.
The recipe makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf, or three mini loaves 5.75 x 3. I prefer the mini loaves because the reduced bake time yields a less dense crust. You can find the Wilton loaf pans I used here. The pans have a nonstick surface already, but I needed some extra insurance. A spray of cooking oil made the loaves pop right out without a snag.
I’ve enjoyed this bread many times for breakfast with coffee. It has a triple dose of orange flavor with the candied orange peel and orange zest in the batter, and the glaze on top is made with freshly squeezed orange juice. It’s a good time to take advantage of all the beautiful winter citrus available now in grocery stores!
Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
- loaf pan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 4 ounces candied orange peel
- Zest of 1 orange about 1 tablespoon
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup whole cranberries
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- Enough freshly squeezed OJ to reach glaze consistency
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a nonstick loaf pan (8×4 inch) or three mini loaf pans (5.75 x 3 inch) with cooking spray.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add butter and mix until crumbly. Add the candied orange peel and orange zest. Add the buttermilk and egg; stir until moistened. Add the cranberries and nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- For an 8-inch loaf pan, bake for about 70 minutes; for mini loaves bake for 30-35 minutes (check at 30 minutes).
- Loosen the loaf (or loaves) from the sides of the pan and transfer to a wire cooling rack. When cool, prepare the glaze by combining the OJ, powdered sugar, and enough extra OJ to create a thick drizzle. Drizzle the glaze over the loaf and let set, about 1 hour.
- A large loaf can be gifted in a large gusseted bread bag. Smaller loaves can be gifted in small gusseted candy bags (available at craft stores).