Now that Thanksgiving is over, who else is ready to never cook again?! Okay, okay, I would miss being in the kitchen if I never set foot in it again, but I could certainly use a few days off right about now. To accommodate various schedules, we had Thanksgiving dinner with two different groups on two separate days this past weekend; with contributing several dishes to each dinner, whipping up cookies for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, baking this cranberry orange nut bread for the blog, and throwing together some miniature pumpkin turkey meatloaves for Phoebe (more on that in a minute), I spent what felt like approximately 90% of my waking hours over the last four days in the kitchen.
You may be wondering: why did I bother making meatloaf for my dog when there was so much else going on? Understandably so. Well, Phoebe’s third birthday is coming up in a few days and I was already planning to make her something special, but on Saturday morning, an encounter with another dog went awry and Phoebe emerged with a bite wound under her eye that required a couple of stitches. I felt so bad for her—she was a real trooper at the vet’s office, which, incidentally, was where I spent the other 10% of my waking hours—walking around with a cone and a big swollen lump on her face that I decided she needed a little something to brighten her day, so meatloaf it was. The only problem is that now I feel like I ought to make something in addition on her actual birthday. Any suggestions? #dogownerproblems
So anyway, let’s talk about this cranberry orange nut bread. This is a recipe my mom has been making for several years, but it wasn’t until I made it myself that I realized that not only is it delicious, it’s also pretty healthy! Packed with both dried and fresh cranberries (antioxidants, woohoo!) and flecked with chopped walnuts, this bread has only two tablespoons of shortening (or butter, if you so choose) and no oil whatsoever! I even called my mom to make sure that she hadn’t made an omission when she typed up the recipe, because I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’ve always loved this bread, but now that I know what’s in it, I think I may love it even more! I’ve labeled this as a breakfast food since that’s what it feels like to me, but there’s no reason you couldn’t also offer it up as a healthier dessert option this holiday season.
Speaking of holidays…have you begun decking the halls and making merry? I haven’t yet put up many decorations, but I did start playing Christmas music as soon as I woke up on the day after Thanksgiving, as I do every year. What are your favorite holiday albums? I’d love to hear!
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons shortening, at room temperature (butter or margarine will also work)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (from about 1 whole orange)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 mini loaf pans.
- Soak the dried cranberries in the orange juice and set aside.
- Place the fresh/frozen cranberries and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped (about 10 quick pulses should do it). Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the shortening into the mixture with a fork. Strain the dried cranberries from the orange juice and add the orange juice to the flour mixture (the cranberries will be added afterwards). Add the beaten egg and orange zest, then mix until just moistened. Fold in the dried cranberries and the cranberry/walnut mixture from the food processor.
- Divide the batter into the 3 prepared mini loaf pans and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for 15 minutes before removing and transferring them to a wire rack. Serve warm.
- Makes 3 mini loaves.
This sounds heavenly! I think I’ll try making it when I’m in Michigan for Christmas!
Let me know what you think if you do! And what a cute little sleepy pup in your photo 🙂
HomeSweetJones (@HomeSweetJones) says
This looks amazing. I’m not a huge baker but I love quickbreads around the holidays. This is on our table for sure!
Quick breads are the only breads I do 😉 I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
This looks delicious and so moist! I can’t believe what a little amount of fat is in it. Such a great flavor combination! I start listening to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving, too, and always look forward to it. I think my favorite one right now is Sarah Maclaughlin’s Christmas album. What is yours? Thanks for the recipe!
I’ll have to check out that album – I have other music by her but I haven’t heard the Christmas one! Thanks for the suggestion. My all-time favorite is the Hampton String Quartet’s “What if Mozart wrote ‘I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus'” but I’ve also got a soft spot for Charlotte Church’s “Dream a Dream.”
Jasmine S. says
This looks incredible and so moist! Will have to add this to my baking list this month 🙂 Perfect for the holidays.
I’m glad this caught your eye! I hope you get a chance to make it.
Lu | Super Nummy says
I love how OJ is used instead of a lot of butter in this recipe! And of course, orange zest in everything 😛
Yesss…orange zest in everything! Orange zest is one of those smells that makes me think of the holidays 🙂
Kari Guastella says
I’m in love with how colorful this bread is! Also, gorgeous photos!
Me too – it kind of reminds me of confetti! Thanks so much!
Rachel | Razzling Dazzling says
I love the photography! How creative! 🙂
I’m so glad to hear that – thank you!
Tracy | Baking Mischief says
These look delish! I’ve always wanted to try baking with cranberries but have never gotten around to it. I think I’ll have to give these a try.
I hope your dog is feeling better! Have you ever tried making oven chicken jerky? I made some for my lab mix, Ella, last year and she loved it.
I love baking with cranberries, but last year I went a little overboard and bought too many…I *just* finished using up the ones I stuck in the freezer! I haven’t tried making chicken jerky for Phoebe but that’s a great idea! Do you have a recipe that you’d recommend?
Tracy | Baking Mischief says
The recipe is literally just chicken + heat + time. (My kind of recipe 😉 ) This was the video I watched to see how to cut everything. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4byxMDTWEJE
oh my oh my oh myyy.
why haven’t they invented some kind of food download yet?? ^^ i sooo need this in my life *.* looks really amazing. will definitely try this out!
Hahaha yes, a food download option would be fantastic!! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do 🙂
Kaila (GF Life 24/7) says
I had Thanksgiving off, so I’m still ready to cook. This bread looks amazing. Our family makes a cranberry orange bread (without the nuts) that the whole family loves too. I’ll have to share this recipe with them. Happy FF, and have a fabulous weekend! 😀
That’s nice that you didn’t have to cook for Thanksgiving this year! We had takeout two nights this week, so that little break seems to have re-kindled my desire to cook (thankfully!). I hope you have a great weekend, too!
Johanne Lamarche says
Welcome to FF Mara! Thank you for bringing this delicious and very festive cranberry orange quick bread to the Fiesta! Your photography is gorgeous and makes me want to grab a slice! Hope Phoebe is recovering nicely. The meatloaf surely must have helped her feel much better😄
Thanks so much, Johanne, and thank you for being a host this week! Phoebe is doing better, but I bet she’s looking forward to getting the stitches out. She’s been getting lots of goodies this week 🙂
I’ve made this loaf before too, aren’t the flavors just amazing? Love cranberries and orange together, it looks so festive too. I will pin your recipe to try as well.
I love cranberries and oranges together…the smell reminds me of the holidays, so it always makes me feel more cheerful. Thanks for stopping by!
Oh no, poor Phoebe! I hope she is doing better. But I know I would feel special with personalized meatloaf. Your Cranberry Orange Nut Bread looks scrumptious! I can hardly wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!
Phoebe is doing better – she’s in great spirits and should be getting her stitches out early next week! I hope you get a chance to try this, and that you enjoy it as much as we do!
Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons says
I love these tried and true recipes that are handed down, this one looks delicious. I’ve pinned it under desserts but can absolutely see it for breakfast or with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Sorry about your puppy, hope she is feeling better with all the spoiling. And, happy birthday to her. Please post the meatloaf recipe.
The pup is definitely on the mend, and I’m hoping to post the meatloaf recipe soon! Thanks for the birthday wishes – she got a ton of special treats!
Wow, just 2 tbsp of shortening for these delicious and moist looking loaves?! Love the cranberry and orange flavor combination too. Pinned for later:)
It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?! I hope you get a chance to try it 🙂
I have some cranberries leftover from Thanksgiving–I would love to try this! Thank you for sharing!
I wish I could say that I shared this with leftover Thanksgiving ingredients in mind, but in reality I’m not that organized. A happy coincidence, though!
This looks tasty! Thanks for bringing it to Fiesta Friday! 🙂
Thanks, Linda! I’m glad it caught your eye!
This looks so delicious! My cranberry bread recipe was slightly different! I am going to try your version. Thanks for sharing. Have a good weekend.
Thanks, Suchitra! Let me know what you think if you try it!
The missus made this recipe for us to enjoy – it was very tasty. We found that putting a slice in the toaster gave it a bit of extra crunch. Yum!
I was thinking about trying it toasted but wasn’t sure if it would end up dry. I’m glad to hear that’s not the case!
Christine | Mid-Life Croissant says
Poor little pup. You’re such a good doggie mama. This bread sounds fantastic and now I’m imagining french toast made out of it! With just a little butter on top. Oh, man!
Aw, thanks – Phoebe is still healing but is looking much better. I hadn’t considered making French toast with this bread, but that sure does sound good!
David Dial (@SpicedBlog) says
Oh no…poor Phoebe! You are awesome for baking your dog some mini-meatloaf. That takes dedication to a whole new level right there! And this cranberry orange nut bread? Sounds delicious! I could go for a slice right now with my morning cup of coffee!
The meatloaf was actually super simple (shhh…don’t tell Phoebe!) but even so, we were lazy that night and ordered a pizza for ourselves, haha.
Love the fruit combination and how festive it is for the holidays! I’d bet they’d make great homemade gifts too!
Yes, they make great gifts! I’m pretty sure my mom keeps a few loaves in the freezer for last-minute gifts, in fact. If only I were so organized and well-prepared!
Sounds like a wonderful combination! Love the plate too, very festive!
It really is – I hope you get a chance to try it sometime! I got the plate at Sur La Table last holiday season. They always have such festive things!
This sounds delicious! I love the pairing of cranberry and orange–a wonderful flavor combination for the holidays.
Sorry to hear about your puppy’s mishap, hope she’s feeling back to 100% soon!
One of my favorite holiday flavor combos, for sure! And thanks for the well-wishes – Phoebe got her stitches out and is doing well 🙂
Cake Lover says
My mom made your blog recipe and also a similar recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. She said she prefers your cranberry bread recipe because it is simpler (and has less fat).
I love America’s Test Kitchen, but sometimes the recipes are more complicated or involved than the average home cook has time/patience for. I can’t take credit for this recipe, but I’m glad to hear that your mom likes it!
Oh Gosh! Such bread can be made not only for winter holidays, it looks very inviting and tasty! 🙂
Definitely! I’d happily eat this bread any month of the year. Thanks, Mila!