Cranberries to me spell fall and the holiday season. I love cranberry sauce and when I make it, I always make extra, so I can enjoy it with toast for breakfast. This cranberry orange pecan loaf uses the same sauce that I make for thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Once you try the sauce, you will know why I love it so much.
This cranberry orange pecan loaf is so moist and delicious and easy to make. Bursting with the citrus flavour of oranges and the aroma and flavour of cloves and cinnamon, it’s going to become your go to.
Making the cranberry sauce
In a medium sized pan, add 2 cups of fresh cranberries, 1/2 cup sugar, zest of one orange, 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 whole cloves and salt. Let cook for about 7 -8 mins so most of the cranberries have popped.
Let the sauce cool completely before you make the loaf. Cranberries pop and let go of a lot of their liquid when heated. But once the cool down, they the sauce naturally thickens up.
Pecans taste best if they are toasted before you add them to the loaf. Of course you can add them without toasting, but you will be able to tell the difference if you toast them first.
The loaf batter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of softened unsalted butter and 3/4 cup light brown sugar – the sugar and butter should mix well and become slightly fluffy.
Add 2 eggs one at a time to the sugar butter mix. Mix well and then add 1 cup of buttermilk.
NOTE: If you don’t have buttermilk, it’s ok, don’t fret. Take one cup of milk and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to it and let it sit for about 5 mins. This will help the milk curdle a slight bit and will work just as well as buttermilk does.
In a separate bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of baking powder together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. To this, add 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Mix well and ensure that the spices are well mixed into the batter.
It’s time to add the cranberry sauce. Again, you want to ensure that the sauce is completely cooled. Add it to the batter and mix the batter really well to combine the cranberries.
Baking the cranberry orange pecan loaf
Once you mix the cranberry sauce into the batter, the entire batter’s colour will change and it will take on a pinkish hue. Add the pecans to the batter and with a spatula combine the nuts into the batter.
Butter a 9 x 5 inch bread pan and then sprinkle some all purpose flour in it to coat the butter. Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
Bake the loaf for about 70 mins. Note that each oven is different, so the baking time will differ. After about 55 mins, insert a toothpick or wooden skewer into the loaf to check for readiness. If the toothpick comes out with some batter on it, then it’s not quite ready. If it comes out clean, the loaf is done. Do not over bake the bread because if you leave it in the oven for too long, it will no longer be moist and will dry up.
Let the loaf cool down in the bread pan for about 5 mins then turn it out on to a cookie tray and let it cool down completely before you cut it into slices.
Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or tea, or with ice cream for dessert. I like to warm it up a little and spread a little bit of butter and more cranberry sauce on it.
Moist Cranberry Orange Pecan LoafCourse: DessertCuisine: CanadianDifficulty: Easy
- For the cranberry sauce
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Zest of one orange
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the loaf
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk (see notes)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans toasted
- Cranberry sauce
- In a medium saucepan, add the pecans, orange zest, orange juice, sugar, salt and cloves.
- Cook over medium heat for about 7 -8 mins, stirring occasionally. Cranberries tend to pop as they cook and release a lot of liquid, but once they cool down they thicken up on their own. Let the cranberries cool down completely before you make the loaf.
- Once cooled, dish out the 3 whole cloves and the cinnamon stick and discard.
- Toast the pecans and set aside. Let cool completely before you make the loaf.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a medium mixing bow, add the sugar and butter and mix till the sugar is well mixed and fluffy.
- Add the eggs to the bowl one at a time.
- Add the buttermilk and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Add the flour mix into the wet ingredients and mix well to combine.
- Add the ground cloves and ground cinnamon and mix well.
- Add the cranberry sauce and mix. At this point the batter will change colour and take on a pinkish hue.
- Add the cooled toasted pecans and using a spatula mix them into the batter.
- Coat a bread pan with butter and then some flour. This helps the loaf slip out of it easily once it’s done baking.
- Pour the loaf batter into the bread pan and gently tap the pan on the counter. This helps get rid of any air bubbles that might have formed.
- Bake for about 70 mins – each oven is different so the cooking time differs. After about 55 mins, stick a toothpick or a wooden skewer into the middle of the loaf and if it comes out clean the loaf is ready. Do not overcook or the loaf will dry out.
- Let the loaf cool in the bread pan for about 5 mins then turn it out onto a cookie rack and let cool completely before you cut into slices.
- The loaf can be stored in an air tight container for up to 4 days.
- – If you don’t have buttermilk, take one cup of milk, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and let it sit for about 5 mins. The vinegar helps the milk sour a little and it works like buttermilk.
– Check out other dessert recipes here.