Cranberries take center stage this month in both sweet and savory dishes. One of my favorites is this quick bread, sweet enough for dessert but not-too-sweet for breakfast or afternoon tea. The versatile little berry is widely available in markets now, so buy a few bags to use for Thanksgiving and a few to freeze for later. You’ll find other cranberry recipes in my latest cookbook Festive Flavors of Ireland. Order signed copies at


Makes 1 loaf

            This November “standard” is delicious spread with softened butter or cream cheese. To coarsely chop the berries, pulse them in a food processor.

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 large egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, roughly chopped

1/2 cup chopped pecans, roughly chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with no-stick baking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the orange juice, zest, butter, and egg; mix until blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Transfer to prepared pan; smooth top. 
  3. Bake the bread for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely. Wrap in plastic or foil. Store overnight for easier slicing.


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Tags: Christmas, Cooking, Desserts, Irish Kitchen, Irish cooking, Meals, Recipes


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