Fresh cranberries can be a great ingredient to work with, and not just when you want to make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner. The berries have a vivid red color and a bright, tart flavor that goes well with all kinds of different flavors, from chocolate to toasted coconut. People don’t seem to reach for cranberries as often as blueberries, raspberries and other popular berries, but I definitely try to take advantage of fresh cranberries in the fall and winter when they’re widely available.
Double Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bread is a great recipe for fans of chocolate and cranberries. The bread has a good chocolate flavor, a soft and slightly cake-like crumb, and plenty of zesty cranberries scattered throughout to liven up each bite. There are also a generous number of chocolate chips in this bread, so you get a double dose of chocolate. This is a great bread to serve at a brunch with coffee, but it is so simple to put together that it is a good recipe to make without a special occasion just to enjoy at home.
This bread keeps well for several days when stored in an airtight container. It is very good served at room temperature, but becomes quite decadent when you warm up a slice slightly (10 seconds or so in the microwave is usually enough) because the chocolate chips become melted and the bread turns into a rich dessert! I prefer using fresh cranberries in this bread when I have them, but frozen berries will work too. Frozen berries should not be defrosted before adding them into the recipe and the bread may need an extra minute or two in the oven.
Double Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bread
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk (any kind)
1 cup whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Whisk cocoa powder into the butter while it is warm, making sure to fully dissolve it. Allow butter to cool for several minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the butter mixture and the sugar. Whisk in the egg and the vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the milk. Add in the remaining flour mixture and stir until just until all the dry ingredients are combined and no streaks of flour remain. Fold in cranberries and chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf; serves 12.