Organizing Theory & Artistry

Ruly Gift Idea: Cranberry Orange Bread

Looking for a great holiday gift for a neighbor or friend or a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast treat. I have just the thing!  A lovely, sweet-but-not-too-sweet cranberry bread.

We discovered this recipe over Thanksgiving.  We were supposed to be making a “cranberry chutney” for my daughter’s class Thanksgiving project but since none of us were that interested in eating the finished chutney we wanted to make something else.  We flipped over the bag of Ocean Spray cranberries and found this wonderful recipe for “Classic Cranberry Nut Bread.”

We just happened to also need to use up a large quantity of mandarin oranges and we had a ton of almonds on hand so it was perfect.

Cranberry orange can be a difficult flavor.  If the orange is too bitter (it can be surprisingly hard to find a sweet orange at the grocery store), our family generally dislikes the taste.  The milder flavor of the mandarin oranges was perfect for us.

It takes a little bit of work to get all the ingredients prepped.  You have to cut up the fresh cranberries (which I learned are white inside with small seeds!) into little pieces.  Since we were using fresh oranges, we also had a lot of squeezing to do to get the juice out and the orange peel grated.

The end result, however, is so heavenly!  You must try this!  My husband, after tasting it the first time said, “You should make this every weekend!”  Alas, it will be more like once a month but this is a new classic at our house.  Enjoy!

Recipe from Ocean Spray Cranberries (my modifications in italics)


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 (we used mandarin oranges and squeezed our own juice)
1 tablespoon grated orange peel (again, we used the mandarin orange peel)
2 tablespoons shortening (I don’t remember adding this so I am not sure if I put this in or not.  If I did I probably used butter.)
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used sliced almonds.)


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. *Sprinkle top with additional sliced almonds.

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. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices).