You will love my Chocolate and Cranberry Quick Bread with Cinnamon Glaze! It is my new favourite holiday quick bread. With a decadent, rich, full on chocolate flavour, sweet, sharp tangy cranberries and a bit of spice, it’s full of holiday flavours. It’s also super moist and healthier than your average chocolate quick bread, due in part to a secret ingredient.
Want to know the secret?
Shh…It’s zucchini, or courgette, as we call them in the United Kingdom and Europe. Don’t be alarmed, the secret ingredient really is secret – you can’t taste or even really see the zucchini. In fact, none of my taste testers suspected a secret ingredient at all. When we talked about flavour, “chocolate”, “cranberries” and “delicious” were the only words used to describe the taste!
Quick and Easy To Make
One of the best things about this loaf – aside from its decadent, rich and luscious flavour – is how quick and easy it is to make. You mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, and then combine them. Measure out everything beforehand and you’ll have the quick bread made in mere moments. Then all you have to do is enjoy the wonderful smells coming from the oven while it cooks.
Like most muffin and quick bread recipes, the wet ingredients are stirred into the dry ingredients just until mixed. At this stage, you will notice that the batter is very stiff. In fact, you need to be persistent in order to get all the dry ingredients mixed in. Trust me, all will be well! Just keep scraping the bowl down with a spatula and stirring with a wooden spoon until it just comes together.
Don’t be tempted to beat the mixture or to add any more liquid. The zucchini gives off liquid while it is cooking. I scoop the batter into the loaf pans with a ladle it is so stiff – but it makes the most beautiful, moist, chocolatey loaf you can imagine.
Chocolate and Cranberry Quick Bread Makes a Great Gift!
I always like it when a quick bread recipe makes two loaves like this one does. It means there is one to keep and one to share. Wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon, my Chocolate and Cranberry Quick Bread makes a wonderful hostess or holiday gift.
The batter for Chocolate and Cranberry Quick Bread is very forgiving, and you can bake it in many different forms. Pop it in muffin tins to make cinnamon glazed cupcakes (just bake for about 15 to 20 minutes instead of the full amount of time). Or bake the loaves in decorative loaf pans as I did to make the loaf below.
I love Chocolate and Cranberry Quick Bread with Cinnamon Glaze at teatime, or as a dessert. I often serve it with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon. Chocolate and Cranberry Quick Bread also makes a gorgeously decadent holiday breakfast. And of course, should you prefer to eat it without the glaze, it’s perfectly delicious naked too!
Chocolate and Cranberry Quick Bread with Cinnamon Glaze Printable Recipe
- butter to grease the loaf pans
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1¾ cup granulated or caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (slightly thawed if frozen), chopped
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup mild olive oil (or other mild vegetable oil)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups shredded zucchini (courgette)
- For the glaze
- 1 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C or 160°C for a fan oven).
- Grease or line two large loaf pans.
- Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a very large bowl. Stir to mix thoroughly.
- Stir in the chopped cranberries and walnuts. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.
- Add the olive oil and vanilla and beat together well.
- Stir in the shredded zucchini (courgette).
- Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring gently as you go. Be sure to blend in all the dry ingredients, but only until just mixed. Do not beat.
- The batter will be very thick at this point, but don't be tempted to add any more liquid. The thick batter gives the most luscious cake!
- Scoop the batter into the loaf pans, levelling the top a little.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaves comes out clean.
- Cool in the loaf pans for 15 minutes.
- Remove the loaves from the loaf pans carefully and cool completely on wire racks.
- When the loaves are completely cool, make the glaze.
- Combine the icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) and cinnamon.
- Gradually add the water, a bit at a time, beating until a smooth, drizzle-able consistency is reached. You may not need all the water.
- Drizzle the glaze over the loaves and allow the glaze to set before cutting.