Cranberry Orange Bread
Ed Haun/Detroit Free Press/TNS

I clipped the following recipe for “Catherine’s Favorite Orange Cranberry Bread” out of the newspaper, oh gosh, some 15 or 16 years ago. I’ve made it just about every holiday season since. It requires all the measuring cups and all the mixing bowls, and I usually get flour all over the kitchen floor, but it’s so worth it.

Most of the time.

Here are instructions for making Lisa’s Version of Catherine’s Favorite Orange Cranberry Bread (2017 edition):

1. Make a trip to the store for fresh cranberries.

2. Make a second trip to the store for orange juice.

3. Make it almost all the way through the recipe before realizing you do not have enough ground cloves.

4. Google “substitute for ground cloves.” Come up with “grind up 1 teaspoon of whole cloves to make ¾ teaspoon of ground cloves.”

5. Find jar of whole cloves.

6. Try grinding whole cloves in food processor.

7. Realize food processor is too big for this job.

8. Glance at beloved coffee grinder, which has never, ever, ever been used to grind anything but coffee beans. Because coffee sacred.

9. Mentally compute how long it will take to drive to the store in holiday traffic.

10. Grit teeth and pour cloves in coffee grinder.

11. Suddenly it smells like Christmas! Either that or somebody’s smoking clove cigarettes in the kitchen.

12. Add very pungent, freshly ground cloves to batter and say a little prayer.

13. Let bake for one hour, then very gingerly try a bite.

14. Rush to mirror to make sure eyes are not turning blue, like what happens in “Dune” when people are exposed to the spice drug.

15. Write “new coffee grinder” on shopping list.


Makes 1 loaf

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, or 1 cup dried cranberries or one half of a 16-ounce can of whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar for the pan
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (add an additional ⅓ cup if using fresh or frozen cranberries)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar for the top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash the fresh cranberries, if using, and pick through, discarding any soft or discolored ones. Pat dry. Grease a loaf pan with vegetable oil. Sprinkle some granulated sugar in the pan and turn the pan until the inside is completely coated with the sugar, then knock the excess out. Set pan aside.

In a small bowl, mix the vegetable oil, orange juice and egg.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, soda and spices. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ones. Add the cranberries or cranberry sauce and the nuts (if using), and stir gently. Fill the loaf pan with the mixture. If you like a sugary top, sprinkle the top of the loaf with up to 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool in loaf pan, then remove.

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.