This weekend I saw a recipe over at Two Peas & Their Pod for Orange Cranberry Bread. It looked so lovely and the flavor of cranberries and oranges is very holiday to me. I had been looking for a good recipe to gift and this was definitely it.
This bread recipe is so amazing and uses lots of orange zest and fresh juice along with FRESH cranberries (no dried or canned cranberries here!). The method also had you zesting the orange into the sugar and rub it together with your fingers as to bring out the fragrance of the orange. This was new to me and I had no idea how much it would add batter. I will surely be using this again in the future. The recipe is great on it’s own for sure, but I wanted to add a few things to really make it my own. I decided to fold in some semi-sweet chocolate chips and then, once the batter was in the pan, I sprinkled the top with some sliced almonds. Almonds, oranges, cranberries, and chocolate? How can you go wrong?
The recipe makes one loaf, so I decided to split it into several smaller loaves that would be baked in a individual paper pans. One batch of sweet batter makes four mini loaves that are perfect for gifting.
The loaves smell so amazing baking in the oven. Our home is filled with the sweet tangy scent of oranges and cranberries. So very festive!
To dress the loaves up, I just used clear bags, jute, a cute gift tag, and a teeny-tiny clothes pin.
The clear bags fit the small paper pans perfectly and they come with a twist tie so you can secure the bag before tying a bow with some jute. The tag simply gets attached to the jute with a tiny, decorative clothes pin. All of these items were purchased at Michael’s but could easily be found in any other craft store or big-box store (like Target).
Once the whole thing comes together it’s pretty enough to put under the tree. But not for too long. You’ll want to save one for yourself and dig in right away. The fresh cranberries burst in the batter while baking and marble the bread with their lovely pink juice. And the sweet orange glaze on top counters the tartness perfectly. Trust me, you’ll want to keep one for yourself.
If you want to make the recipe as created by Two Peas & Their Pod click through here. Otherwise the recipe is listed below with modifications.
Happy baking my friends!
The Blushing Baker
Orange Holiday Bread
Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod
Ingredients for Bread:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 large orange
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Ingredients for Almond Orange Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (don’t over do it!!)
Preheat oven to 350° F and place four paper baking pans on a large sheet pan – no spraying or greasing needed.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. Add sugar to to the flour mixture and whisk.
In a separate smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the cranberries and chocolate chips. Pour batter evenly into paper loaf pans only filling about halfway full.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. All ovens vary so watch your loaves to ensure they are not browning too quickly. If they are, you may need to cover them with foil for the remainder of the baking time. I also needed to rotate my pan halfway through baking.
Remove bread from oven and place on the counter or cooling rack until cool.
Prepare the almond orange glaze while the break is cooling. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and almond extract. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the bread.
Wait until loaves are completely cool before wrapping to give.