Orange Cranberry Bread is one of my go-to quick breads that I make several times every year. I make it for myself, for my family, for gifts and for no good reason at all, just to share with friends. It is quick, easy and really outstanding as far as flavor goes.
I first started making it when I was little – very little – using a recipe that my mom liked. It was never my favorite bread, but since I liked to bake, I just kept on going with her recipe. Her recipe was not sweet enough and there was nothing to temper the tartness of the cranberries, so I rarely ate any. Over time, I realized that it was silly to keep baking this bread that I didn’t really care for and I began to tinker with the recipe, comparing it to recipes that I had seen elsewhere, and to alter the ingredients slightly to get a better flavor overall.
The result is this loaf. It is very moist and tender, but not too heavy or dense. It satisfies, like a good slice of coffee cake, when you eat it. The two tricks – in my opinion – to getting an excellent loaf here are using only freshly squeeze orange juice and adding in some dried cranberries in addition to fresh or frozen. Fresh oranges will give you the best orange flavor for your juice and allow you to get plenty of zest into your batter. The dried cranberries are a bit sweeter than undried, so they’ll punch up the flavor, as well.
Orange Cranberry Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in in orange juice, orange zest, oil and egg and mix until just combined. Stir in whole and dried cranberries. Spread evenly in loaf pan.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.