Nothing says the holidays like freshly baked bread. It’s been a little while now since I’ve baked up a loaf of quick bread, so today I’m changing that! I’m not sure why or how I thought of this crazy recipe, but I’m so glad I did! Our family absolutely loves the cranberry orange marmalade muffins I make, so I thought how about a cranberry apple combo?!
I wanted to make sure that this bread was packed full of flavor. I hate when bread turns out bland- it’s always such a bummer. So I made sure to use LOTS of apple and plenty of cranberries. Sweet apples like fuji, gala or honeycrisp are perfect for this bread, granny smiths will work too but I prefer something a little less tart to complement the cranberries. Along with the grated apple and diced apple, I used 3 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce, it adds extra moisture and helps give this bread it’s apple flavor. Of course I had to include a good amount of vanilla and spices like cinnamon & nutmeg along with a touch of salt to enhance/balance everything out.
When it came to the flour I decided to use a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat. I like to think that a little whole wheat here and there makes up for the lack of it in other overly decadent recipes 😉 Plus you can’t even taste it! My last big experiment was with buttermilk, sour cream and greek yogurt. I’ve made this bread a few times now using one of each in separate loves and they are all winners, you can’t go wrong. Buttermilk makes this bread a little more rich while greek yogurt adds protein and lightens things up a bit.
After whipping up the batter, all that was left to do was sprinkle a little coarse sugar on top and bake it! Bake the bread at 350 degrees and continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it. Don’t be worried if you think it’s been baking for too long. This is a really moist bread so it can take up to a full hour! If you notice that the top is getting too brown, simply cover it with a piece of foil. I prefer a nice dark top so I left mine uncovered.
After letting it cool for a good 45 minutes, we sliced it up and gobbled it down! This bread has so many wonderful flavors and textures going on, you’re going to love it! The hubby and I both loved it, and our little guy did too! I’m definitely adding this bread into our baking rotation. It’ll quickly become a holiday tradition!
ADDITIONAL TOOLS & INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- ¼ c. granulated sugar
- ½ c. brown sugar
- 3 tbsp. applesauce
- 2 tbsp. vegetable or coconut oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- ½ c. all-purpose flour
- ½ c. + 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour*
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ c. buttermilk, plain greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 c. apple, grated, juice squeezed out (1 medium fuji, gala or honeycrisp)
- 1 c. apple, diced (1 small fuji, gala or honeycrisp)
- ½ c. cranberries, cut in half
- Optional Topping:
- 1 tbsp. coarse sugar (turbinado or demerara)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 8x4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars, applesauce, vanilla extract and egg, whisk to combine.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the large mixing bowl, stirring just until combined. Gently fold in the grated apple, diced apple and cranberry halves.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, sprinkle the center of the top with coarse sugar if desired. Place in the oven and bake for for 50-60 minutes. You may want to tent your bread with foil around the 45 minute mark to prevent over-browning. Because this is a moist bread, mine took exactly an hour from the time I put it in the oven. Use a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf to check for doneness.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Recipe source: adapted from Averie Cooks