Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cranberry Orange Bread

For the last few weeks I have been having house guests off and on, and while it has been a lot of fun, having many people at home is also quite an exercise in coordination.

The differences start early in the day and continue on till next day. There are early risers and late risers, coffee drinkers, tea drinkers, bournvita drinkers, and lactose intolerant soymilk drinkers. Cereal eaters, toast eaters, egg eaters, rice eaters, roti eaters, spice haters, spice needers, short nappers, long nappers, non nappers, slow walkers, fast walkers, early sleepers, late sleepers, and so on it goes. They are all excused though, they are family.

Cranberry Orange Bread/Cake: loaf

The gang was supposed to arrive in the late afternoon, too late for lunch and too early for dinner. So I baked this cranberry orange bread earlier in the day so they could have it as a quick snack. I skipped the glaze, since there is enough sugar in it already, and also because there were children in the party. This is yet another of those 'is this a bread or cake' conundrums, but whatever you call it, it is a moist, sweet, slice-able, delicious loaf that is easy to make, and disappears almost as soon as it is put out for consumption. Yes, it is darned rich too, which is why I usually bake it when sharing it with several other people.

Here is the recipe, nearly verbatim, but halved for one loaf.

Cranberry Orange Bread (with Grand Marnier Glaze)


3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for buttering pan
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups dried cranberries

For the glaze, if making

1 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur


1. Preheat oven to 330°. Butter a 6-cup-capacity loaf pan.

2. With an electric or standing mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add orange juice, sour cream, orange zest, and vanilla; mix until blended.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture and cranberries to wet ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are absorbed; do not overmix.

4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of bread comes out clean.

5. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a cooling rack set over a large baking sheet.

6. For the optional glaze: in a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 3 tablespoon Grand Marnier. Glaze should have consistency of thick maple syrup or corn syrup. If it is too thick, thin with an additional liqueur by the teaspoon.

With a thin skewer or long toothpick, poke deep holes in the top of the loaf. Drizzle with Grand Marnier glaze so that it coats the top, runs down the sides, and seeps through the holes.

7. Let the loaf cool completely before slicing.

Cranberry Orange Bread/Cake: sliced


TheCooker said...

So true about the cake/bread categorisation.
What do you call it?
For a lot of us, a bread is savoury; specifically not sweet.
Not matter what the name; the loaf looks vanishable-in-minutes good.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Oh this looks and sounds amazing!

Rachel said...

That is too many differences to handle..Like you said..being from the family it is all excused..

love the perfect core of the bread...

Arundathi said...

Oh that looks absolutely perfect. Whatever the differences, I'm sure the family loved it!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I baked a cranberry orange thingy too, but it was a cake, not bread :) Eggless, too. One of these years I must put it up on my blog...

BTW, your "brake" (bread+cake, heheh) looks GORGEOUS!

Swati Raman Garg said...

wow.. this looks perfect..

delhibelle said...

enjoyed reading about your family's visit-always chaotic and fun!
The colour and texture of your bread is perfect. I need to get over my fear of Baking !

Unknown said...

looks nice..maybe i will make this today..

Miri said...

What a gorgeous loaf - must have been polished off in minutes!And in this age of nuclear families, you are a generous host to accomodate so many preferences! :)

FoodieFriend said...

looks delicious!
Happy blogging!

Asha said...

So many preferences! I would be very unhappy! You are a great host!:)
Orange bread looks yum, bet they loved it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that looks yummy! I would like that on my breakfast platter. :)

evolvingtastes said...

TheCooker, I called it a cake nevertheless. I like that 'not sweet' tagging. That, and the amount of 'fat' added.

Meeta, thanks! Nice to see you here. :-)

Rachel, thanks and welcome to my blog.

Arundathi, thanks. I assume they liked it. It literally vanished within minutes.

shyam, look forward to your eggless 'thingy'! 'brake' is a brill way of putting it. :-)

Swati, thanks.

evolvingtastes said...

delhibelle, this could be a good start. It is pretty easy, and does not need any fancy equipment.

sowmya, wow, did you make it then? Welcome to my blog too.

Miri, thanks. If one has to host one might as well be a nice one, no?

FoodieFriend, thanks.

Asha, it can be tiresome, but I try to enjoy the ride.

Shantanu, thanks!

Unknown said...

Simply gorgeous, Evolvingtastes. It's perfect, and I love the color.

sra said...

Hi ET, you sound like you had an army of guests over! Your bread looks superb!

Laavanya said...

Hey that looks so great and those slices are just perfect. I'm a huge fan of cranberry. Must give this a shot sometime..

Thank you so much for giving he mung dhal a shot and for the feedback. A dash of ghee and lime must've definitely kicked it up a notch :) will try that next time.

evolvingtastes said...

Vaishali, thanks.

sra, yes, a little shy of a cricket team.

Laavanya, my pleasure. Let me know if you try this.

Anonymous said...

The loaf looks superb ofcourse a desert bread :)


evolvingtastes said...

Thanks for the compliments, Anjali. Dessert bread is a good way of putting it!

Pragyan said...

oh wow...this sounds and looks so delectable..wish I could grab a slice! :) Am blogrolling it to try sometime..presently TRYing to diet :(

evolvingtastes said...

Pragyan, thanks, and welcome here! Good luck with your diet.

Anonymous said...

Tried this recipe yesterday. I used whole milk non-fat yogurt for sour cream. It turned out yummy. Thanks a lot for the recipe.

evolvingtastes said...

"Anonymous", thanks for your response. I am glad it turned out well. Thanks also for letting me know that yogurt can be used instead of sour cream. Generally I have yogurt on hand, but not sour cream, so this might be easier to whip up now without a trip to the grocery store!

Anonymous said...

Hey, the pictures of all your preparations are fabulous and that's what attracted me to your blog. I tried this recipe yesterday and this was my first baking experience. I am very happy with my results as a first time baker. Thanks to you.

Shilpa said...

Hi ET,
I tried this cake last week and it was a huge hit with everyone who tasted it...simply amazing..
I replaced the butter with oil though,but the result was good...

Thanks for posting a wonderful recipe.


evolvingtastes said...

Hi Shilpa, thanks for letting me know! Glad it worked out for you. This cake is always a hit when I make it.

Sudha said...

Hey Evolving Tastes,
You have a great cake/bread recipe here!It looks lovely and must have tasted yummy.Thanks for sharing.I have been a follower of your blog for quite some time now and love to take a peek now and then:)You have a lovely space out here.Do drop in by my blog would really be nice to see you there!Take care!

evolvingtastes said...

Wit,wok and wisdom! :)
Right back at you about the lovely blog. Thanks for your kind words, and see you around.

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