Earthy Delights Recipe

Double Cranberry-Orange Chestnut Bread

Double Cranberry-Orange Chestnut Bread
Here’s a holiday fruit & nut bread that EVERYONE can enjoy. Unlike the dense, heavy traditional fruitcakes filled with luridly colored candied fruit, our Double Cranberry-Orange Bread is light in texture and not too sweet. Each bite is bursting with tangy fresh and dried cranberries, plus orange zest & juice. It’s the perfect end to a meal or accompaniment to a cup of tea or hot cocoa on a brisk wintry night. You can mix and match any of your favorite dried fruit and nuts. This recipe lends itself perfectly to variations.

2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs
2/3 cup orange or tangerine juice
Grated rind of 1 orange or large tangerine
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla

1 pound coarsely chopped peeled and cooked chestnuts or a blend of chestnuts & toasted almonds, walnuts and/or pecans.
1 ½ cups (about 1/2 bag) fresh or frozen cranberries
¼ cup dried cranberries (or a blend of dried cranberries, golden raisins, chopped dates, and/or dried cherries)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Convection oven = 300 degrees).


Prepare two 9” x 5” x 3” loaf pans, or smaller loaf pans by spraying with oil and lining with parchment paper cut to width size and extending over the edges by about an inch.


In a large bowl, stir together with a whisk, the flour, sugar baking powder, salt and baking soda.


In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, orange juice,melted butter and vanilla.


Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to form a sticky batter.


Add the nuts and fresh & dried fruit and stir until evenly distributed throughout the batter.


Spread into the prepared loaf pans and bake 45 minutes – 1 hour for large pans or 30- 45 minutes for small loaf pans. The loaves are ready when a toothpick or skewer inserted in center of bread comes out clean.


Remove bread from pan by lifting the parchment paper “handles.” Let cool on racks for about 10 minutes, peel off parchment and let cool completely.


This recipe can be doubled. If making more than two loaves make in 2-loaf batches.


This delicious bread freezes exceptionally well, so make a double (triple?) batch while you’re at it. Wrap whole or cut loaves tightly in plastic and then with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 4 months.


Serving suggestions: Delicious when toasted and topped with butter, cream cheese or yogurt cheese. Also makes fantastic French toast!