Oh HEY December! To be honest, I’m so unprepared. I have no Christmas list, I havn’t even thought about decorations, and definitely don’t have a Christmas tree yet. In fact, I’ve been informed we won’t be getting a tree until next weekend ????????????. Apparently, it needs to last through my husband’s birthday the day after new years ????. Honestly, waiting until next week is fine by me! I still have to get rid of the pumpkins from November and the random Halloween decoration odds and ends I keep finding *pulls step ladder out from between the fridge and the oven* “Oh THAT’s where the witch hand towels went!”.
Speaking of leftovers, does anyone else ever seem to have a couple bags of fresh cranberries still hanging around after Thanksgiving? No? Just me? Ah well, if you do, or if you’re a fan of cranberries all the way through the new year (most definitely me) one of my favorite ways to use them up is in some Holiday Orange Cranberry Bread!
This is one of my favorite fruit breads ever (seriously ever). The sweetness of the orange flavored bread is tempered by the tartness of the fresh cranberries softened by the baking process. Since this bread has such a “wet” dough due to the orange juice, it takes about an hour to cook, causing the crust to get a very toasty brown. A chef of mine back at culinary school always said “Don’t fear the brown!” Brown means flavor, and in this case, a wonderfully crunchy, sweet crust on the outside and a soft, moist, absolutely delicious inside.
I’m not gunna lie. As much as I love this orange cranberry bread, it’s sometimes a toss up between this orange and a festive cranberry pomegranate prosecco sparkler. Having said that, the weather lately has been absolutely perfect for baking! All blustery; windy, rainy, and cold. That wonderful pacific northwest breeze is cutting right through my sweater weather attire. It might finally be time to bust out the winter coat ????. And definitely time to turn on that oven and get baking!
To make this holiday orange cranberry bread even more holiday-ish, add your own citrus glaze! Or even a cream cheese frosting ????. It is December after all ????!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract (optional – gives the bread even more orange flavor!
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9X5 inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in orange zest, and cranberries. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, cream together butter, sugar and egg, until smooth. Whisk in orange juice, vanilla extract and orange extract until completely combined.
- Add the wet sugar mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 1 hour in oven, or until bread springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry. Let stand 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool..