It's pretty exciting when you can eat dessert for breakfast... and not feel bad about it. Which is what this cranberry bread is all about. We set out with the flavors of those famous Cranberry Bliss Bars in mind- the ones that are super dense, delicious, expensive, and fattening. All expected things during the holidays, but around here, we try to maximize the delicious while minimizing the rest.
The fattening part was the natural part to ax, and the expensive part followed right along since all these ingredients are already in your kitchen. Bread instead of bars allows more versatility in the recipe, and the ability to cut out a lot of the butter and sugar.
The flavors are still all there- deep sweetness from a touch of brown sugar, pops of tart cranberry, and just a hint of orange to brighten things up.
This bread is easily made gluten free and/or vegan as well (but I take every opportunity to use eggs- our ducks are mass-producing right now!). Double the recipe and you've got a loaf for yourself, and one to gift- going to a holiday party or dinner? Perfect!
Our Cranberry Bliss Bread can also be frozen, with or without the icing. The trick we use is to slice the bread, put it in the freezer, and then take a piece or two out at a time out for breakfast. Although the last loaf we made didn't last that long... My husband has this habit of taking the entire loaf of whatever bread we've just made to the fire station with him.
Aaaaaand none of it makes it back home.
Since this bread comes together so quickly, it's no big deal to make another loaf- I can sneak in some other kitchen project while it bakes!
Every year I buy a bag of fresh cranberries, not quite sure what I'm going to do with them, but because it seems festive and right. If you're at all like me then you've got cranberries too- and this bread is the recipe you've been waiting for!
Cranberry Bliss Bread – serves 16
1 1/4 cups white flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour (or 2 cups gluten free flour + 1 teaspoon xanthan gum)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ginger
½ cup milk (your choice)
¼ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, well beaten (or 1 flax egg)
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 350ºF and lightly oil a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
Mix together flours, sugars, baking powder, salt, baking soda and ginger in a mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, zest, coconut oil, vanilla and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and then spread evenly in loaf pan.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely.
Nutrition Info (without icing):
137 calories, 2g fat, 27g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 2g protein
Cream Cheese Icing
Vegan Cream Cheese Icing
¼ cup cashews, soaked in hot water
2-4 tablespoons soy milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 – 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
Combine icing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Mix until completely smooth and thin enough to drizzle onto your bread.
*Thank you to Wild Hare Organic Farm for many of the local & seasonal produce we are able to use in our recipes.