Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake Loaf

by Heather on November 18, 2011

I don’t know about y’all, but cranberry orange is one of those flavor combinations that wakes me up better than a 6-mile run in the morning.

Just so we’re clear here, I am NOT running while pregnant.  I wasn’t doing it a ton before, so it didn’t make sense to try to keep training after I found out.  Which is precisely why I need cranberry orange coffee cake – no caffeine, no running – what’s a girl to do?


All I have to say is thank the Lord for orange zest with its bright color and equally bright flavor.  Or the little bursts of cranberries, which I’m obsessed with lately, that brighten the day with every little bite.  Or big bite.  To each their own.

This is completely random, but you want to know what my favorite part about making breads is?  Besides the eating part?  Removing the bread from the bread pan to cut it.  It’s like I’m unearthing a magical treasure.  There’s the cutting around the edge to loosen it, the cautious turning of it upside down, the silence right before it slides out where you throw up a Hail Mary and hope for the best, and the massive sense of accomplishment when the thing comes out whole, perfectly browned, and smelling like an angel.  Really, where else can all that happen in a) the comfort of your own home and b) within the span of about 2 seconds?


That, plus the wake-me-up! flavor of the cranberry orange equals a good day.  A very good day indeed.


  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1 scant cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup of cranberries
  • zest from one whole orange
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl whisk together the butter, sugar, egg, and milk.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add that, plus the oats, to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.  Fold in the cranberries and orange zest.  Spray an 8X4 pan with nonstick spray and pour the batter inside, making the top as even as you can.  Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar on top (I made the mistake of sprinkling it only down the middle and it made the middle fold in – oops!).  Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out evenly.  Let cool completely before removing from pan and slicing.  Enjoy!

Also, I am kind of in love with the color of cranberries and want to paint my life that color.  That’s normal, right?

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