Do you need to take along something special to a Thanksgiving dinner you are attending? Or want something delicious to serve if you are hosting at home? Bake a loaf of frosted apricot cranberry bread. It is a quick bread and just perfect alongside the turkey and all the trimmings.
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Pieces of tart cranberries and swirls of sweet apricot preserves combine to make a lovely holiday bread. Spread with the sweet orange frosting, it is almost like having a slice of dessert.
But if you prefer, skip the frosting and serve plain. It is so moist and delicious on its own. Skip the frosting and just slice and add to your holiday bread basket.
Interesting cranberry facts
Besides their beautiful color, we love cranberries for their bright, sour-tart flavor and how wonderful they are in many recipes.
- Cranberries are harvested from mid-September through mid-November in North America and can be found in grocery stores and farmers markets through mid-winter. When purchasing, choose firm, deep red cranberries.
- Cranberries score among the highest of all fruits in antioxidants. Diets including fruits and vegetables with high antioxidant values, like cranberries, may help support memory function and coordination.
- Cranberries are a cholesterol free, fat free and low sodium food, and help maintain a healthy heart.
- Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. A perennial plant, cranberries grow on low
running vines in sandy bogs and marshes. Because cranberries float, marshes are flooded when
the fruit is ready for harvesting.
- Europeans named the fruit “crane berry” because they thought the cranberry blossom looked like the
head of a sandhill crane.
Preparing frosted apricot cranberry bread
Begin by cutting 1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries in half.
Next, zest an orange using a microplane or zester. You’ll want 1-2 teaspoons. I prefer more to less 🙂
Measure out the ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest.
Whisk together making sure the ingredients are well combined.
In a small mixing bowl, add the egg, water and oil.
Stir or whisk together.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients.
If you forgot to add the orange zest above as I did, add it now 😉 Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Now, add the cranberries.
Once again, gently fold in just until berries are evenly distributed, being careful not to over-mix.
Pour the batter into a prepared pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray and dusted with flour. I did not flour the pan and did not have a problem removing the finished bread from the pan but if you want to be safe, go ahead and flour. Spoon the apricot preserves over the batter.
NOTE: if your preserves have large chunks of fruit, cut them into small pieces for better distribution.
Using a knife, cut through the batter to swirl.
Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack.
Allow the bread to cool almost completely before frosting. Simply combine the frosting ingredients in a small bowl and spread over the bread.
If desired, sprinkle with sliced almonds and garnish with a few cranberries.
Mini apricot cranberry bread loaves
If you are baking just for you and hubby, or want to share with friends or coworkers, this recipe will make three yummy mini loaves. Reduce baking time to about 45 minutes for the smaller loaves. Here is a link to the set of four pans I have been using forever and here is a link to a set of three mini pans.
Freezing quick bread
Most quick breads freeze well. To freeze, wrap securely in aluminum foil, freezer wrap or place in freezer bags. The bread can also be cut into individual serving slices before freezing, making it easy to pull just one or two serving out. Label all packages with the name of the recipe and date.
How to defrost quick bread
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Frosted Apricot Cranberry Bread
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 65 min. plus cooling
Yield: 16 Servings
Preheat oven to 350° F
Greased and flour a 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup fresh or frozen halved cranberries
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- Sliced almonds and a few cranberries for garnish, optional
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
Combine ingredients in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. After the bread has cooled almost completely, spread over the top. If desired, sprinkle with sliced almonds and garnish with a few cranberries.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together making sure the ingredients are well combined.
In a small bowl, beat egg, water and oil; using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold together until dry ingredients are moistened.
Fold in the cranberries.
Pour into a greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Spoon preserves over the batter. Using a knife, cut through the batter to swirl.
Bake at 350° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack.
Allow the bread to cool almost completely before frosting. Simply combine the frosting ingredients in a small bowl and spread over the bread. If, desired, sprinkle with sliced almonds and a few cranberries.
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Ann Thompson says
Looks delicious. I like anything with cranberries in it