This is my grandma’s prized cranberry bread recipe! Lightly flavored with orange, super-soft inside and chock-full of tart cranberries and crunchy walnuts, it’s been deemed “perfect” by everyone who tastes it!
Happy (almost!) Thanksgiving guys! Are we all ready for the big feast tomorrow?
Things are already in full crazy-mode here today since we’re kinda hosting Thanksgiving for 20-ish people tomorrow. So I’ll try to keep today’s post short and sweet. Those napkins aren’t gonna iron themselves.
I do kinda wish that those 10 lbs of potatoes would peel themselves, though…
Ha-ha. Wishful thinking…
SO. Let’s talk about a recipe that is kinda near and dear to my heart.
My grandma’s famed cranberry bread. One of the #1 things I look forward to tasting (read: face-shoving) every Thanksgiving. With these this apple pie coming in close second, obv.
See, as far back as I can remember, my grandma has ALWAYS been the one in charge of bringing the cranberry bread to the Thanksgiving feast.
In fact, I’m pretty sure there would be uprisings and riots among my family if she didn’t make this bread every year. Everyone is more than a little cray ’bout the cranberry bread. 😉
So every Thanksgiving, while the turkey is baking happily away in the oven, all of us will snack on mixed nuts, sip away on hot spiced apple cider, and ravenously dig into Grandma’s thick slices of cranberry bread.
Nostalgic holiday traditions with family, you guys. They’re the best. ♥
Guys, I’m not even joking either: Oh my gosh, sinking your teeth into one of those soft slices of cranberry bread pretty much just makes Thanksgiving complete…..totally melt-in-your-mouth…dotted all over with tart cranberries, and crunchy walnuts…
This is without a doubt, the hallmark of all quick breads. Step aside, brownie banana bread! 🙂
Let’s talk about the leading factors behind what makes this bread so perfect, shall we?
BIG moistness boosts: We’ve got plain yogurt to contribute a nice softness, buttermilk for an even bigger moist boost, softened butter (not too much but it adds an unreal subtle buttery taste to this bread) then just an egg to hold everything together.
Flavor: We’ve got both freshly-squeezed orange juice and orange marmalade to add a light refreshing (you guessed it) orange flavor to this bread that pairs perfectly with the tart fresh cranberries and toasty walnuts.
*Food nerd science alert*
One of the secrets my grandma taught me when making this cranberry bread is always always before baking the bread is to let the batter sit in the pans for 20 minutes. This little rest-time for the batter will activate the leaveners and will encourage the bread to rise nice and high, ultimately resulting in a super-moist and fluffy loaf.
Don’t skip this step, guys! It really makes this bread all that it is —>
Cranberry-heaven in a loaf. 😀
Although, my bread always turns out pretty amazing, try as hard as I might, there’s no way that I could ever make this bread as perfectly as Grandma does. ♥
I mean, what is it about grandmas that just makes their cooking so unmatchable?! It definitely beats me, and all I can do is hope that someday I can cook like that.
P.S.–When I first started blogging, my grandma was one of the few people who faithfully read my blog and I know she still does to this day!
I can’t take credit for this recipe because it comes straight from Grandma’s recipe-box. But I will say that she was MORE than happy to share the recipe with a certain grand-daughter of hers who is crazy about her cranberry bread. 🙂
Start a new tradition this Thanksgiving and give my Grandma’s cranberry bread recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup sugar (or xylitol)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, halved
- Lightly grease two 9-in loaf pans. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric beater, beat butter, marmalade, orange juice, egg, yogurt, buttermilk, and orange zest until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk flour, sugar (or xylitol) baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold flour mixture into liquid mixture until just combined. Fold in chopped walnuts and cranberries.
- Scrape batter into prepared pans. Let sit at room temperature 20 minutes.
- Bake cranberry bread at 350F 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool bread completely in pans on a wire cooling rack before removing.
Q: What are your plans for the holiday tomorrow? Hosting dinner? Bringing a dish to a gathering?
Q2: What are you cooking up for the big feast?