I found one last bag of cranberries in my fridge, which was such an awesome surprise! So, I was thinking of what else to make with this last bag of fresh cranberries for the season. And, I figured you all are wanting healthy recipes right now. So, while I was debating between muffins and loaf cake, I ended up making this Cranberry Orange Apple Bread!
This bread, or quick bread, as some might call it is filled with grated apple, and it has less than half the sugar of my normal loaf cakes. If you cut this bread into 8 slices, which are pretty generous slices if you ask me, then each slice only has 14 grams of sugar (not counting the natural sugars from the fruit). But, let me tell you, that is not much! This easy bread is filled with orange zest and fresh cranberries, that makes this bread lightly sweetened and loaded with fruit inside. I like to serve it with just a little bit of butter on top.
This Orange Cranberry Apple Bread would be an amazing breakfast, mid morning snack, or even a healthy dessert! The sweetness of the orange pairs so well with the tart cranberries, and the apple makes this bread extra moist. Make sure that you store this in an airtight container, or in a cake dome and it will stay good for up to 5 days.
Tips for Making the Best Cranberry Orange Apple Bread
• I use a 1-pound loaf pan, this size is 8 1/2-inches x 4 1/4 inches x 2 3/4 inches. I always use my USA Pan 1-pound loaf pan, as their pans are absolutely the best. The little ridges in them really helps baked goods rise evenly and bake better. If you haven’t upgraded your loaf pan in a while, I highly recommend that you get one of these and your loaf baking game will seriously improve.
• Make sure your butter is soft. I like to leave butter out on the counter overnight so it softens at room temperature. If you do have to microwave it, don’t do more than 10 seconds per 1/2 cup as otherwise you can melt portions of the butter.
• I used a Fuji apple in this bread, but you could also use a Pink Lady or Gala as those have a similar flavor profile.
• My favorite organic orange flavor is by Frontier Co-Op. This gives such an amazing perfectly orange flavor to baked goods. Flavors and extracts can make or break your dessert. So, don’t dismiss a recipe just because you don’t like the flavor, as if you don’t like one flavor there is probably another brand that makes a different kind. Flavors and extracts are so subjective, so they all will taste slightly different. And my personal favorite is Frontier Co-Op for organic orange.
• Always use whole milk, never use skim. Milk provides fat and flavor to baked goods, which is crucial for texture and taste. So, don’t skimp on the milk even if you are trying to be healthy. Remember, whole milk is healthier for you than skim!
• If you want to make this bread and it’s not cranberry season, then you could substitute blueberries in its place. Orange and blueberry go incredibly well together, and this would be a delicious option for this bread too.
Cranberry Orange Apple Bread
Makes 1-pound loaf
1/2 cup (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
113 grams (1/2 cup) organic cane sugar
1 organic large Fuji apple, finely grated (about 4 ounces grated)
2 organic large eggs
1/2 cup organic milk
57 grams (1/4 cup) organic sour cream
2 teaspoons organic orange flavor
191 grams (1 1/2 cups) organic all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
zest of 1 organic orange
170 grams (6 ounces) organic fresh cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 1-pound loaf pan with parchment paper letting it hang over the sides for easier removal.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and cane sugar and mix on low until combined and there are no butter chunks.
Add the grated apple, eggs, milk, sour cream, and orange flavor and mix on low until combined.
In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sea salt and orange zest and mix together. Add the cranberries and toss to coat completely. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Gluten Free — Replace the all purpose flour with 191 grams (scant 1 1/4 cups) organic gluten free flour blend.
High Altitude — Bake at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.