Growing up I always knew it was officially the holiday season when my mom started whipping up batches of her cranberry walnut bread. No table was complete without a loaf or two and it was a great addition to any meal. I think her record for the number of loafs in one day was 40 – they were the smaller tins which she made for each of Kevin and my teachers. When I chatted with her over the weekend she told that there would have been more but she had “oven issues” as she only had one and you can not bake “too too many at once”.
She told me one of her favorite cranberry bread memories over the decade that she made them was that one of my teachers told my mom she had a little bite with her coffee at coffee break because it smelled so good, that she was dreaming about it as she was teaching next period, had another little bite with lunch, and another little bite with her afternoon coffee, and another little bite on her ride home from work and all of those little bites ended up in an empty tin when she got home to her family. And she couldn’t believe she ate the whole thing!
My mom made this same cranberry nut bread every year and people began to look forward to them every season. I remember one of her tennis coaches liked it so much that he asked if Mom could make him his very own bread because he used to hide it from his wife at home and each year she would ask where it was because she knew he had somewhere so my Mom would make him two, one for sharing and one for himself.
This year when I got an email at work that we were going to be having an office potluck my mom’s cranberry nut bread was automatically the first thing I thought to make. Despite the countless years of measuring out the OJ and picking out the bad cranberries I had never embarked on a cranberry nut bread baking adventure on my own. My mom’s famous cranberry nut bread recipe was adapted over 15 years ago from this Ocean Spray one and here’s how it goes:
I made a double batch, not shown in the photos above, and put it in three treys to bring to work! I am happy to announce that it was a big hit at my work potluck!
This cranberry walnut bread is such a great addition to any holiday table, I highly recommend it. Here is my adapted recipe below:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup orange juice - 3 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped - 2 bags
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. *
- Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl.
- Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg.
- Mix until well blended.
- Stir in cranberries and nuts.
- Spread evenly in loaf pan.
- Liberally spread cranberries over the top of the mix and push halfway down.
- Sprinkle with sugar
- Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight.
- * I used three 8x4 disposable tins
If you try this bread out, please let me know what you think!