Okay, so much like the chocolate chip cookie recipe, this isn’t technically my “original” recipe. It originally came from a children’s book called “Cranberry Thanksgiving” that we read in school when I was in 3rd grade. My mom also owns the book because she owns every kid’s book.
It’s a really adorable book and there’s a recipe for cranberry bread at the end that my mom and I have been making ever since my 3rd grade class made it. I even made it myself the year I was in Austria on Thanksgiving. That recipe has been uploaded by several blogs, but when I cross-referenced those recipes and the one in the book with the one that my mom and I use, there are some key differences. Here’s the original recipe from the book:
The original recipe calls for cutting the butter into the dry ingredients, very similarly to how biscuits are made. But my family recipe involves creaming the butter with the egg and sugar, which seems more normal for a quick bread or cake. So you know what, this is kind of an original recipe, because I think our method is better!
You might be saying to yourself “Thanksgiving was like a whole month ago, Lara, it’s frickin Santa time” and yeah, you’re right! I would have uploaded this recipe sooner but a bitch has finals!! And this is not strictly a Thanksgiving bread. Make it for Christmas! Make it for New Years! Freeze it and eat the fuck out of some cranberry orange bread in July! Time is a social construct. So here’s the recipe for the MARTZ cranberry orange bread, Merry Thanksmas.
2 cups flour
1 & 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 beaten egg
1 tsp grated orange peel (those lil’ Cuties work really well)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan.
In a medium-sized bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate, larger bowl, cream butter until smooth and fluffy (the rules of baking say to cream butter with an electric mixer but quite honestly my mom and I just mash it with a spoon until it’s kind of like a smooth paste, but if you want to be safe just use a hand mixer). Combine butter and grated orange peel and stir to incorporate the peel evenly. Add egg to butter and stir to combine. (Mixture will look kind of separated and whack but don’t worry). Add sugar to butter mixture and stir until smooth.
Now you’re gonna alternate adding the sifted dry ingredients and the orange juice to the butter-sugar mixture. Start by adding about a 3rd of the dry ingredients to the bowl, mix until combined, then stir in about half of the orange juice. Repeat alternating until all ingredients are incorporated, you should end with the dry ingredients. Finally fold in the cranberries and pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour (could take up to 1hr and 10 min), or until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. The bread is great served as is, but if you wanna go crazy put some butter or something on it, it’s your holiday.
*Recipe adapted from the book Cranberry Thanksgiving by Harry Devlin, shout out to Mrs. Hess for making a bomb version