Cranberry Orange Bread is a easy, festive quick bread that is a great addition to any holiday table.
Baking is one of those things that I love to do, but don’t actually practice very often. Much like baking cookies and pies, bread in general is not something I need to have lying around the house.
But this is the holiday season where the gloves are off on the stretchy pants are on and I for one am making some dang bread.
In the huge spectrum of quick breads I’m a sucker for banana bread, but I really wanted something a little more festive this time around. So, this delicious cranberry orange bread came out of the kitchen to fulfill all of my dreams.
I love this because it’s got little pops of twangy cranberries alongside the rich sweetness of banana bread. The orange and nuts add a little more depth of flavor to this Christmas-y bread.
The apple pie spice here is a great addition. If you don’t have apple pie spice, pumpkin spice or even a simple teaspoon of cinnamon will be just fine.
The perfect loaf pan
Now, when it comes to loaf pans I am going to let you in on a little secret…dark nonstick loaf pans (or any size pan) are the devil. The color attracts more heat than most dishes need and what you end up with is a hard crust on what should be a soft, moist quick bread.
What you want is an aluminum pan that is light in color. And plenty of cooking spray, or if you want to really insure that nothing sticks, line your pan with parchment paper.
How long does it take to cook?
This cranberry orange banana bread is a cinch to put together, but does take a little while to bake so give yourself plenty of time. It could take 30-45 minutes depending upon your oven. You’ll know it’s done when a wooden skewer comes out clean (what does that mean? it means it’s not covered in raw batter when it’s pulled out of the center.).
It’ll last for 3-4 days on the counter, covered with a cloth. Unless your kids find it. Then it’ll only last a few hours.
What about Muffins?
Can you turn this in to muffins? Absolutely!Line a muffin pan with those cute little liners and separate your batter into those. Baking temperature will be the same, but the time will be drastically different – probably more like 20 minutes or so.
You can freeze this cranberry bread, too. Cool it completely first, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and pop it in a ziploc bag. It should keep in the freezer for a couple of months.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup mashed banana about 2 large bananas
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts optional
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- IN a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.Beat the eggs in, one at a time, until well incorporated.
- Stir in the mashed banana, orange juice and zest.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and apple pie spice. With the mixer on LOW, gradually add the flour to the batter until well combined.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir the cranberries and nuts in y hand with a wooden spoon. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and place in the oven.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing.