This is one of my favourite go-to recipe for the holidays. A slice of Cranberry Orange and Ginger Loaf is perfect with a hot drink for a slightly indulgent breakfast or alongside a cup of tea for dessert or a snack. It makes a lovely addition to a cookie tray or you can wrap a whole loaf loosely in foil and tie it with a ribbon to make a very welcome gift. The loaf keeps at covered at room temperature for two to three days so it’s perfect to have on hand at this busy time of year.
In December 2011, Mary of Passionate Perseverance blogged a Glazed Cranberry and Crystallized Ginger Loaf that looked so good it had my mouth watering.I adapted the recipe the following year.
While Mary’s recipe contains lemon, I prefer the combination of cranberry and orange, so I switched out the lemon for fresh orange rind and juice. I added buttermilk for flavour and texture and bumped up the ginger spice a bit.
I have reduced the sugar since I originally published this recipe seven years ago, from 1⅓ cup down to 1 cup. By increasing the ginger I’ve still achieved what my many taste testers (family, friends and colleagues) say is a good balance. If for some reason you feel the cake needs to be sweeter, by all means bump the sugar up again.
Definitely more a quick bread style loaf, Cranberry Orange and Ginger Loaf is a cut and come again quick bread that is perfect to have on hand for last minute guests – or just as a treat with a cup of tea on a rainy afternoon. We all deserve a treat from time to time!
Cranberry Orange and Ginger Loaf – Printable Recipe
- For the Loaf
- 1¾ cups all-purpose (plain) flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ cup butter (unsalted for preference), softened
- 1 cup granulated or caster sugar
- the grated zest of one orange
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 generous cup fresh or frozen cranberries, picked over
- ½ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
- ¾ cup icing sugar (confectioners/powdered sugar)
- the grated zest of one orange
- 1 to 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165C). Grease or line a 8½ by 4½ inch (2 lb) loaf pan.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest and beat in.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Into the reserved flour mixture, toss the cranberries and crystallized ginger. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients. Blend together using a wooden spoon to avoid over beating.
- Carefully blend in the buttermilk using the wooden spoon. The batter should be well blended, but try not to over mix it. (Like muffin batter, quick bread batters are better if you do not over mix them.)
- Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the bread comes out clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow the loaf to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
- When the bread is completely cool, make the glaze.
- Put the icing sugar in a small bowl with the orange rind. Gradually add the orange juice, a bit at a time, until a drizzle-able consistency is reached.
- Drizzle the glaze over the Cranberry Orange and Ginger Loaf.