Winter Cranberry Bread

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Wonderful Winter Cranberry Bread

I know, I know…  I posted a previous Cranberry Bread recipe that I used to think was the bee’s knees and I was content. Then the other weekend, my daughter was at my home and showed me the Smitten Kitchen recipe for cranberry bread.  We were both intrigued and that same night, I made this recipe.  

It blew my sox off people.  It is loaded with cranberries and is a bit of a pain to make because one has to slice those little fresh round berries in half.  Let me tell you, it is worth it.  Totally.  I pretty much stuck to the original Smitten recipe other than using less salt, subbing in regular salted butter (it’s all I had) and topping it with sparkling sugar.  

I am making this over and over and if anyone moves in next door (they will) or has a baby or retires, this is what I am bringing.

Quick tip: I slice the cranberries in half the night before and toast/chop my pecans too.  That way it isn’t so daunting to actually make this.  

Winter Cranberry Bread

Makes One Loaf




¾ cup (85 grams) raw pecans (put in a preheated to 350 degree toaster oven or regular oven for five minutes.  Cool and coarsely chop)

2 cups (8 ounces or 225 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries, halved

6 tablespoons (85 grams) salted butter, melted and cooled to body temperature 

1 cup minus 2 Tbsp (180 grams) granulated sugar

2 medium-to-large oranges, any variety

½ to ⅔ cup (120 to 160 grams) plain unflavored yogurt (mine is always whole milk

1 large egg

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

Sparkling sugar (about 2 tablespoons), to finish.  I found this with the colorful sugars and such in the baking aisle

*I always weigh my baking ingredients when possible


Heat oven to 350°F. 

Coat a loaf pan (8½ by 4½ or 6-cup volume) with my homemade Pam or nonstick spray. For easier removal, you can line the bottom and two long sides with a sling of parchment paper. Note – I shmeared the entire inside of the bottom and sides and corners liberally with my nonstick mixture and it came out of the pan like a dream. No parchment needed.

Toss the halved cranberries and the chopped roasted pecans together.

Place sugar in a large bowl and zest oranges into it. Use your fingertips to massage the zest into the sugar, breaking it up a bit and releasing more fragrance.

Cut these same oranges in half and juice them into a 1-cup measure; you should end up with between 1/3 and 1/2 cup. Spoon in the plain yogurt until the juice reaches the 1-cup line; whisk to combine.

Whisk cooled, melted butter and egg into zest-sugar mixture. Whisk in the orange juice-yogurt mixture. Sprinkle salt, baking powder, and baking soda on top of this batter and and whisk thoroughly into the batter. Scrape the bowl down. Stir in cranberries and pecans. Stir in flour until it is barely mixed in. 

With a rubber spatula, place batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top with a knife.   Sprinkle the top with sparkly sugar.

Ready for the oven!

Bake mid oven for  60 minutes or longer until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out batter-free. Leave it in the pan on a cooling rack until lukewarm, or at room temperature. Gently shake the pan to release the sides and remove the bread to the rack.  Slice into ½ inch pieces to serve.

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