The season of Pumpkin Spice is basically over, and it’s time to kick off the holidays fresh: Cranberry Orange.
Tart cranberries and citrusy sweet oranges. ❤️ 🍊 Classic. I’ve paired the two together before in my homemade Orange Chia Cranberry Sauce, but this time, it’s about to get baked. 😎
I looove this Cranberry Orange Bread. Actually, love isn’t even enough to describe how much I’m obsessed with it. 😍 Tart cranberries and crunchy walnuts baked into a sweet fluffy bread permeated with citrusy flavors. SO DELICIOUS and SO holidays.
If you could eat perfume, it’d taste like this. This is literally the best-smelling bread ever.
I’ve been making this bread since 2010 (wow time flies), and today, it’s still my go-to bread for the holidays. Cranberries and oranges are also in season this time of year, so this bread is perfect in capturing that festive flavor. It’s great for holiday brunches or bringing to holiday parties, where it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Like all my recipes, this one is also obviously healthy: sugar-free, whole-grain, high fiber, and much lower in fat & high in protein than the typical recipe.
Also, cranberries are naturally high in antioxidants ❤️, orange juice is high in vitamin C, and walnuts are high in omega-3s! So a really nutritious bread as well. 💪
When making Cranberry Orange Bread, I think the number one thing to look for in a recipe is whether the recipe creator uses orange juice. Recipes that uses milk or yogurt instead of OJ misses out on the chance to flavor the bread with that sweet citrusy flavor that I just love. Also, when using orange juice, you don’t need to add a lot of additional fats because the OJ not only makes the bread taste awesome, but its acidity also tenderizes the bread.
One of my other “secrets” to great Cranberry Orange Bread is using almond flour. Also known as almond meal, it’s basically ground-up almonds, so the flour is rich in nutritious fats and gives baked goods a fluffy moist crumb.
I also like using a combination of both dried and fresh cranberries to get different flavors and textures of cranberry.
Breakfast, tea, dessert. This bread is great anytime. Case in point, a breakfast spread. Fried egg + egg white. Cranberry bread + almond butter. Yogurt + gojis. Grapefruit. A bigger breakfast than usual after some morning yoga. 😉
Another case in point, I’m snacking on some Cranberry Orange Bread right now while I’m writing this up. 😉 Below is actually a vegan version of this Cranberry Orange bread that I had made a couple days ago. Follow me on Instagram and this blog to know when this particular vegan recipe will be up!
Anyways, I just love this bread so much, and I hope you do too! Don’t forget to snap a pic and share your creation with me on Instagram! // @vivanttang
When it comes to baking, I love mixing together different flours just for fun and to get an array of nutrients. In this bread, the bulk of the flour comes from whole wheat pastry flour, then sorghum flour, spelt flour, oat flour. If you don’t want to bother with mixing different flours, you can definitely simply use whole wheat pastry flour. Or, you can make your own flour mix, as long as the bulk of it comes from whole wheat pastry flour, and that the total amount is two cups of flour. Another combination I like is 1.75 cups whole wheat pastry and .25 cups oat flour.
Either way, the bulk of the flour comes from whole wheat pastry flour, so make sure you definitely use the pastry variety and not regular whole wheat flour. The whole wheat pastry has a finer texture.
If you do not use almond flour, you can just replace the amount with more whole wheat pastry flour (or oat flour), and add in 2-3 tsp of coconut oil or melted organic butter.
In addition to vanilla, I love love love flavoring this bread with pure almond extract. If you don’t have almond extract, you can leave it out, but it is so wonderful with the cranberries and orange!
Like many of my baking recipes, I sweetened the bread with stevia. You can use 1/4 cup sugar or honey if you don’t use stevia. You also may or may not want to use up to 1/2 cup sugar depending on how sweet you like your baked goods. I’ve said this so many times, but I do not like my sweets very sugary, so if it were me, I would just use 1/4 cup, especially since you get some natural sweetness from the orange juice! 🙂
Lastly, you can either use fresh or store-bought orange juice. Because when it comes to fresh squeezed orange juice, I’d rather drink it than cook with it, I just use store-bought.
Whole Grain Cranberry Orange Bread // healthy, sugar-free
Makes 1 loaf.
Whole wheat pastry flour: 120 g (1 cup)
Sorghum flour: 64 g (1/2 c)
Spelt flour: 30 g (1/4 cup)
Oat flour: 20 g (2 tbsp)
Almond meal: 18 g (~2.5 tbs) (See notes above if you don’t have almond meal)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Orange zest of two or more oranges: 3-4 tbsp (the more the merrier!)
1 cage-free egg
Orange juice: 6 to 8 oz (3/4 to 1 cup, it’s rather flexible)
1/4 tsp pure stevia extract (or 1/3 sugar, see notes above)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract (See notes)
Sweetened dried cranberries: 40 g (1/4 cup)
Cranberries, raw and fresh (rinsed): 100 g (~1 cup)
Toasted walnuts, chopped: 30-50 g (2-6 tbsp, depending on how much crunch you like)
This is optional, but I first like to plump up the dried cranberries by putting them in a bowl and pouring hot boiling water over them and letting them sit until I’m ready to use them. This not only removes some of the sugar on them but also plumps them up and makes them even more delicious.
So, once you’ve done that, preheat the oven to 350*F and get mixing!
Mix the dry ingredients (whatever flours you want to use), almond flour, orange zest, baking powder, soda, and salt. Whisk well.
To prevent the cranberries and nuts from sinking to the bottom while the cake bakes, I like to mix them into the dry ingredients. This isn’t typical of most recipes, which usually adds them at the end of mixing the wet and dry ingredients, but I think this way ensures that the cake is evenly distributed with the goodies. So, add your whole raw cranberries. Drain out the water from your soaked dried cranberries and add them in. Then add your chopped walnuts. Coat them in the flour mixture.
Then, I don’t even bother with getting another bowl, I just crack an egg and pour the orange juice, stevia, extracts into the dry ingredient. Then fold the batter together, being careful not to overmix! The batter should be thick but pourable and just smell amazing. Pour the batter into a loaf pan greased with coconut oil or butter.
Bake at 350*F for an hour or so. Be prepared for the whole house to smell like cranberry orange awesomeness. 😍
Take it out when it passes the toothpick test.
For 1/12 of the loaf (big slice): 118 kcal; 3.5 F, 18.7 C (3g fiber, 3g sugar), 4P