Cranberries are one of those versatile foods you can find in almost any kind of dish, especially the weeks before Thanksgiving or Christmas. Lately I’ve seen recipes for cranberry sauce, cranberry vinaigrette, Asian green beans with cranberries, cranberry muffins, salads topped with dried cranberries, cranberry smoothies, and cranberry sauces for pork.
One of my family favorites is a cranberry bread my sister always brought to our family gatherings over the holidays. She found it years ago in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, cut it out, and has kept it ever since. When we decided to showcase some of our favorite family recipes here on Not Quite Amish I knew this was the one I wanted to share.
This bread has a lot going for it. It’s chock full of nutritious ingredients like cranberries, whole wheat flour, orange juice, and walnuts; and calls for a moderate amount of butter with just a ¼ cup per loaf. The red cranberries give it a festive look that entices people to try it. And it’s delicious with the sweet, yet tart, taste of cranberries paired with a background of citrus. You end up with a bread that’s moist, high in flavor, and visually appealing.
Though I tried to stay true to the recipe, I did change a couple things. I ran out of regular whole wheat flour, so I made up the difference with white whole wheat flour, which worked fine. I also reduced the amount of added sugar by ¼ cup, which didn’t seem to affect the flavor or crumb of the bread. I’ll try decreasing it a little further next time.
Cranberry bread is a perfect bread to take for a hostess gift or a dish to share at family gatherings or dinner with friends. The flavor is even better, more intense, the second day. Enjoy it this Christmas season!
Make 2 loaves
Adapted from a recipe my sister cut out of the Minneapolis-Star Tribune years ago.
2 c. whole wheat flour (I used 1 c. white whole wheat flour and 1 c. regular whole wheat flour)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 c. brown sugar
¾ c. white sugar
½ c. butter
1 Tbsp. grated orange rind (use fresh)
1 ½ c. orange juice
2 c. fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 c. walnuts, chopped
2/3 c. dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray two bread pans with non-stick pan spray and lightly flour the bottoms and sides of the pans.
2. In a large bowl mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. Add butter to dry ingredients with a pastry cutter, cutting it in until pea-sized or smaller.
4. Prep the cranberries by chopping coarsely by hand. A chef’s knife worked well for this task as I could leave some pieces a little larger to enhance the appearance of the bread.
5. In a large liquid measuring cup combine grated orange rind, orange juice, and eggs, whisking it all together.
6. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just till moistened.
7. Fold in chopped cranberries, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
8. Pour evenly into the two prepared bread pans. Bake at 350° F for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool 5-10 in the pan before turning the bread out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
21 Days of Favorite Family Recipes
Day 1: Sunbonnet Cake with Vannetta Chapman
Day 2: Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Casserole with Amy Clipston
Day 3: Sugar Cookies with Lisa Bogart
Day 4: Cheesecake with Carey Bailey
Day 5: Instant Russian Tea with Marty Walden