Holiday Baking Week 2017 is in full swing over here at our place, and once again I found myself with two bags of fresh cranberries in my fridge. Why do I always do that? I buy them with big plans, usually for a fresh, boozy cranberry sauce with lots of fresh orange zest, and then I don’t end up making it. This year, I couldn’t bear the shame of letting those beautiful crimson gems go unused, especially after I made 2 batches of candied orange peel and had tons of fresh oranges left over. Who could let that go to waste? Since the only combination better than fresh cranberry and orange is the same with a bit of white chocolate thrown in (for festivity’s sake, of course) we’ve now got a new addition to our collection of fave Christmas recipes: White Chocolate Orange Cranberry Bread.
Cranberry Quick Bread
This cranberry bread recipe is our riff on the Cranberry Nut Bread recipe you’ll find on the Ocean Spray cranberry bags. We made a few changes to personalize it a bit, but that’s where our inspiration came from. It’s a quick bread, so it’s super easy. One bowl, even. Double that batch and send a loaf to the neighbors, especially if they’re the ones who help you with your driveway in the snow. It’s the least you can do. (Hi, neighbors!)
White Chocolate Orange Cranberry Bread
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice with pulp
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 egg
- 1½ cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350º. Generously grease or spray a 9x5" loaf pan. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice (including pulp pieces), orange peel and egg. Blend well at low speed until combined. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips. Spread evenly in loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes on a rack, then remove from pan to finish cooling.
The texture of this bread is absolutely heavenly, especially when it’s warm. Think of the middle of the most decadent muffin you’ve ever had, and that’s what this whole loaf is like. Dare I use the word “moist” to describe it, for fear of driving you all away? Let’s just say it’s got a most exquisite crumb, and leave it at that. I think it comes down to the white chocolate chips that get all warm and melty, tempering the tang of the fresh cranberries.
And don’t hesitate to let lots of pulp fall into the batter when you’re squeezing those oranges. In fact, I used a knife to help it along. I could really tell those pieces of orange were in every slice – they add such a huge pop of bright flavor!
Make it a Merry Christmas Breakfast!
We put a simple drizzle of confectioner’s sugar and milk on top to dress it up for the holidays, but you don’t really even need it. In fact, once you smell your cranberry bread coming out of the oven, you may not have time for drizzle. Our first loaf was gone in minutes (another reason to double the batch.)
I’m going to pop this batter into some muffin tins for Christmas morning, since we’ve got company coming and I can’t think of an easier way to make the morning special.
Muffins and mimosas? Merry Christmas to me!