Don’t you think cranberries and Christmas desserts are a match made in heaven?
These rose-hued berries can add a festive flair to any dessert. It is also highly versatile. That is why I still have a gazillion more innovative ideas earmarked for the holiday season.
As much as I love experimenting, I have a soft spot for Christmas traditions too. So I was eager to attempt an old-school Christmas bread recipe from my mom’s cookbook.
My foolproof recipe steers bakers away from refined sugar and butter. Despite the healthy spin, this wonderful bread tastes exactly like the Christmas classic that we cherish.
How great is that?
So if you follow my lead, you’ll get to taste the fresh burst of juicy cranberries layered inside a low-calorie crumbly, moist loaf cake.
How did I bake this luscious loaf cake?
I swapped butter for Greek yogurt to whip up this nutritiously delicious, super moist cake. The yogurt balances your loaf’s dense texture while infusing its natural tanginess with the tartness of cranberries. The zesty oranges add a fresh vibrancy to the mix. Sprinkle some sugar when you decorate the cake with fresh berries and some sweet buttercream frosting.
Together, these elements create an irresistible flavor that’s enveloped in its warm, crumbly goodness of this traditional loaf cake. Their presence makes each slice of my festive loaf cake feel like a party in your mouth.
What Can You Expect?
- Simple and quick recipe.
- Low calorie dessert.
- No refined sugar.
Baking Tips to Make Homemade Cranberry Loaf Cake
Here are a few hacks to create this terrific loaf:
- Use a kitchen scale and correctly calibrated measuring cups for consistent results.
- Mixing the dry and wet ingredients separately reduces the risk of getting a lumpy batter. It also helps you avoid overbeating the batter.
- I use refined coconut oil instead of taking the conventional shortening route with hydrogenated oil. That is because coconut oil is tasteless and manages to create the same consistency (at 68° F). Plus, it is a healthier alternative to shortening oil.
- Overmixing the batter causes the batter causes excessive gluten formation that changes the texture of your baked goods. Keep the mixing to a minimum (i.e. until the ingredients are combined) to avoid chewy and dense cake.
- Dusting the cranberries with flour before adding it to the batter. The little layer of flour has two functions. It stops the berries from sinking and clumping together on one side of the cake. It also prevents frozen cranberries from bleeding into the batter.
Healthy Substitutes: Homemade Cranberry Loaf Cake
- Ditch your calorie-filled refined sugar with mildly sweet and healthier cane sugar. I use ½ compared to the typical amount to strike the perfect balance between sweetness, calories, and nutrition.
- Use refined coconut oil to keep the cake moist instead of some hydrogenated version.
- This cake taste incredible with cranberries, but any other fresh fruit shall do if you want something different. My favorite substitutes include blueberries, strawberries or mangos. You can also opt for a combination of fruits for more flavor.
If I had my way, we would be gorging on cranberry desserts till Easter. What do you think of my latest cranberry spree?
Yay or Nay? Comment below.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
- Yield: 10 1x
- 1–1/2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour (divided)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp Orange zest
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 heaping cup of cranberry
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prepare your loaf pan by greasing it with coconut oil.
- Sift and whisk your dry ingredients (i.e. flour, baking powder and salt) in a medium bowl.
- Use a large bowl to beat the wet ingredients (i.e. Greek yogurt, eggs, orange zest, vanilla, and oil) + sugar). Mix until you get a smooth batter.*
- Gradually start adding the dry batter to the wet one and fold it in to combine them properly. Avoid over mixing to retain its consistency.**
- Dust your cranberries with one tablespoon of flour in a small bowl. Then carefully tuck them inside the mixed batter so that they are covered.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
- Pop the pan into the oven.
- Bake for 40 – 45 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
- Take it out of the oven once done and let it cool inside the pan for approximately 10 mins.
- Transfer the loaf to a wiring rack to cool for a couple of minutes.
- Decorate it with fresh cranberry or buttercream.***
Slice and serve to experience its festive flavors.
* Let all the wet ingredients reach room temperature before mixing them.
**The batter should not be stirred more than 15-20 times as overmixing it makes the tarts too chewy/tough.
***If you want something more healthy, you can decorate it with berries and edible flowers.
Keywords: Cranberry orange loaf, cranberry cake, orange cake, cranberry cake