Cranberry-Orange Nut Bread

January 6, 2012

Quickbreads are awesomely delicious but so simple to make – they’re my go-to recipes when I have to bring a small snack or dessert to a luncheon or other casual function. So far I’ve never run into a recipe I thought was too “fussy”; normally you just mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, mix them together, bake, and you’re done! For our Christmas party this year, in keeping with the season, I decided to try a new (to me) quickbread recipe from my ATK Family Baking Book: Cranberry-orange nut bread. It turned out wonderfully moist, and the tartness of the cranberries offsets the sweetness of the orange. And of course, I love the texture that nuts add to pretty much any food. (It’s a very good thing that I don’t have any allergies, haha!) This bread would make a great holiday hostess gift or an easier alternative to Christmas cookies. I will definitely be adding this recipe to my repertoire of regular quickbreads, especially around the holidays!

Cranberry-orange nut bread

Makes one 8-inch loaf


  • 2  cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1  cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 1  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3  cup buttermilk
  • 6  tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/3  cup orange juice
  • 1  large egg
  • 1  tablespoon grated fresh orange zest
  • 1 1/2  cups (6 ounces) fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, chopped coarse
  • 1/2  cup (2 ounces) pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8.5-by-4.5-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, orange juice, egg, and orange zest together until smooth. Gently fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Gently fold in the cranberries and nuts.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 1 hour, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
  4. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour before serving.


  1. I just made this last night. It seems like it needs a little more sweetness, but perhaps that is because I got my juice out of the rather dull oranges I zested. Maybe next time I will substitute half of the white sugar with brown sugar to compensate.

    This is still delicious, even with my mediocre oranges. We look forward to finishing up the bread over the next couple days. Thanks, Adrienne!

    • Hi Lynn! Not sure how I missed this comment back in January! The bread is fairly tart even if you use fresh orange juice, but I also tend to prefer less sweetness and more tartness in my citrus-flavored foods (such as lemonade). So you could increase the sugar a little and cut down on the amount of cranberries, since that’s where most of the tartness comes from.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: