Celebrating Modern Jewish Living Through Food, Tradition, and Family
Cranberry Orange Bread
Cranberry orange bread isn’t a Jewish recipe per se, but it has been on my Thanksgiving table for as long as I can remember. The deliciously tart cranberries and sweet orange combination baked into a vanilla-infused loaf is perfect for dessert or serving along side the main course.
The Backstory: This is one of those recipes that started off on the back of the bag of fresh cranberries and then got tweaked along the way with a hint of vanilla and the addition of grated orange zest. I’ve also made it over the years with frozen blueberries (in addition to the cranberries) and lemon (in place of the orange zest), as well as with chopped pecans or walnuts, whenever I’ve wanted a crunchy bite to add into the citrus-y mix. This is a very versatile recipe that’s perfect for fall holidays, gift giving (it’s a sturdy loaf that looks gorgeous wrapped up in cellophane or wax paper with a beautiful autumn-colored ribbon), or sliced on a buffet table with other holiday cakes and cookies. It’s one of my favorite go-to loaves to prepare because I can always count on it to turn out perfectly. More of the Backstory after the recipe…
Cranberry Orange Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp, Kosher salt
- 3/4 cup orange juice (without pulp)
- 1-2 tbsp. orange zest (use more or less, depending on how tart you want it to be)
- 2 tbsp. shortening
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- Confectioner's sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degree and grease at 9 x 5 or 8 x 4 loaf pan. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electrix mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in the orange juice, shortening, vanilla, and orange zest and mix until well combined. Add in the cranberries and blend until just combined.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until cake tester inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes before removing from pan and allow to cool completely (another 30 minutes or so). Dust with Confectioner's sugar and and slice/serve!
…The Backstory continues: I make cranberry orange bread at least a half-dozen times every fall. Often times, I pair it with my spiced pumpkin bread and ginger snap cookies (there are days when a girl simply needs to bake) and literally go all out, and have a dessert bonanza, and start giving gift baskets to friends and family (seriously, I can really throw it down in my kitchen when I’m on a roll!) or I serve all three for a special fall dinner or Shabbat with extended family. The smells that come from my kitchen when all that pumpkin, ginger, and cranberry magic is happening!
I hope you give this delicious bread (really more like a cake, but ok) a try. Stash a slice in your child’s lunch box or take a piece to work during the day for a little pick me up. I make two loaves and freeze one (wrapped in plastic and then foil) for later use when I need to pull something out in a hurry. I promise–it never goes to waste.