Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread

 

I love baking in Fall & Winter with all the seasonal spices, nuts, and fruits, and this Cranberry Bread checks all the boxes.  It’s lightly sweet, full of bright pops of tart cranberries and crunchy pecans, with just a hint of warming spices.  There’s something delightful about sitting down for an afternoon break with a homemade treat and a cup of coffee or hot tea.  If you happen to be joined by some girlfriends, as I was when I served this, all the better!   Spiced Cranberry-Orange Pecan Bread comes together in just a few minutes and freezes beautifully so you can have a few slices on hand when the need for a treat arises.  I especially appreciate that the amount of sugar and butter isn’t off the charts so I can enjoy a slice without feeling like I had a dessert!

Enjoy!

Here’s What You Need:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 drops orange oil (or 1 Tbsp. grated orange zest)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen cranberries, each cut in half & thawed if frozen
  • ½ cup chopped toasted pecans

Here’s What to Do:

Preheat oven to 350; grease and flour one 9” x 5” loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar 3 minutes on medium speed. Beat in vanilla and orange oil/zest; beat in eggs, one at a time.

Combine flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk and mix on low till almost combined. Using a spatula, fold in pecans and cranberries. Bake loaf 55 mins or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan 15 minutes, then tip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread

 

I hope you enjoy my Spiced Cranberry-Orange Pecan Bread as much as my friends and I did!

Scroll down for the Printable Version and for my Apple Pie Spice Blend recipe

 

Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread Slices

Baking Tips

Freezing Cranberries

Cranberries are usually in the stores only in November and December, but they couldn’t be easier to keep on hand for year-round baking.  Just open the bag, sort out any mucky cranberries, lightly rinse the keepers and spread them out on tea towels to dry.  When the berries are dry, pour them into 1 Qt. freezer bags and toss them in the freezer.  True confession – I have found bags of cranberries in my freezer that were more than 2 years old and they were just fine.  Don’t hate.  I was raised to be frugal!

Cooking with Essential Oils

I used pure, therapeutic grade Orange Essential Oil in this recipe.  I encourage you to add pure citrus oils to your pantry (actually, your fridge).  I use them all the time to flavor drinking water, tea and coffee (a drop of orange oil in a cup of coffee is magical), salad dressings, desserts, breads, etc.  Just be sure you are buying from a reputable company, and what you are buying are pure essential oils – not “flavorings” or essential oils diluted with other oils.  Plant Therapy is my favorite brand.

DIY Spice Blends

Don’t even think about buying a pre-made Apple Pie Spice Blend.  Making your own is a snap, and it’s wonderful in all kinds of baked goods – any time cinnamon is called for in a recipe I often add this blend.

Apple Pie Spice Blend

  • 4 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice

 

Spiced Cranberry-Orange Pecan Bread

Everything wonderful about the cooler months in one sweet loaf - warm spices, bright citrus, crunchy pecans and sweet-tart cranberries!  
Keyword Cranberries, Pecans, Quick Bread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 Slices
Author Elizabeth - The Wild Olive

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 drops orange oil OR 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice See recipe below
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries each cut in half, then thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350; grease and flour 9” x 5” loaf pan.  In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar 3 minutes on medium speed.  Beat in vanilla, orange oil/zest; beat in eggs, one at a time.  Combine flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk and mix on low till almost combined.  Fold in pecans and cranberries.  Bake loaf 55 mins or until tests done.  Cool loaf in pan 15 minutes, then tip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Apple Pie Spice Blend:

  • 4 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground cardamom, 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. allspice