Pistachio Cranberry Bread

Pistachio Cranberry Bread

Happy New Year friends. Also happy Pongal/Sankranthi wishes to those who celebrate. One of my new year’s resolutions was to bake and post a recipe once a week and I have already broken a part of it by not posting anything last week. I’m happy that I at least got to keep up the baking part. On my grocery shopping trip last week I saw these attractive cranberries, so couldn’t help but picking them up even though I’m not a big fan of it. I was going through a couple of recipes using fresh cranberries and finally decided to try this recipe.

These days with so much work around the house, I’m always looking for easy baking recipes. Which is why I like to bake muffins and quick breads more often because it’s just mix, pour and bake; and the end result is so yummy without any elbow grease. This cranberry bread recipe is no exception. No waiting for the butter to soften, no creaming of butter and sugars. One drawback though, you have to wait for at least 2 days before you can slice the bread and taste it.

Why is it so? That’s what has been mentioned in the original recipe and I did the same. The author mentions that since this recipe is low in fat unlike regular quick breads, it is better to keep it wrapped in aluminum foil for 2 days or more for the flavors to mingle. I decided to use all purpose flour itself because I wanted to finish the pack. This bread is not light and fluffy like the Orange Blueberry Bread. It’s dense and not too sweet. I wouldn’t suggest using all whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour in this recipe. I don’t think it will be flavorful.

Pistachio Cranberry Bread Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
15 Mins1 Hrs 10 MinsOne 9×5 inch loaf.
Pistachio Cranberry Bread Simple to prepare cranberry bread recipe using fresh cranberries and toasted nuts.
Dry Ingredients:
  • 4 cups All Purpose Flour, Sifted
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • optional Zest of one orange or lemon
  • 1 cup Fresh Cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Nuts of your choice, toasted and chopped (I used pistachios)
  • 1 cup Mixed candy peel
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup Plain Yogurt (I used non-fat)
  • 1/4 cup Butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Milk (See My Notes)
  • As Needed Water/Milk
  1. Preheat the oven for 15 minutes at 350F/180C. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. I also lined and greased the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to enable quick removal of the bread from the pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine together the first 5 dry ingredients.
  3. In another medium sized bowl combined together all the wet ingredients.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do not over-mix. At this stage I felt that the batter was a bit tight, so I added another 3 tablespoons of milk. Now stir in the nuts and fruits.
  5. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and smooth it out. Bake it for 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. I baked it for 60 minutes at first and checked for doneness twice after every 5 minutes. I removed the pan after 70 minutes. (See Note 2)
  6. I was able to remove the bread from the pan just after 15 minutes. The original recipe suggests to wrap the bread in aluminum foil (once it is cooled completely) for 2 days or more for the flavors to develop.
My Notes:
  1. I also used the juice of one orange along with the milk. I poured the juice in the liquid measuring mug and added milk to it to make it 1 and 1/2 cups as mentioned in the original recipe.
  2. Although the bread tasted good, I think I should have baked the bread for another 3-5 minutes because I felt that the slices in the middle of loaf was lightly dough-y, especially around the cranberries.
  3. Toasted and chopped almonds was mentioned in the original recipe. I used pistachios because I thought that the green and red will give the bread a grand, festive look, but it didn’t look as I expected. I think the reason was that I chopped the pistachios too much making it look like just green speckles. So if you decide to use pistachios, I would suggest not to chop it but just use whole toasted pistachios. If you decide to use almonds, pecans or walnuts, chopping it should be fine.
  4. I would also suggest using the zest of 2 oranges instead of 1 because I felt that the bread could have had some more flavor to it. This cranberry bread recipe uses a lot of flour and very less butter, so you have to do something to spike up the flavor.
  5. I feel that the bread will not be sweet enough if you don’t use the candied peel. So if you don’t have that in hand, either increase the quantity of sugar by another 1/2 cup or use some dried fruits instead of that.
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Pistachio Cranberry Bread

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  1. Kim

    Hi Madhu,

    Can I use dry cranberries?


    • Madhuram

      Yes you can Kim.

  2. praveena

    hi madhu,
    can we subtitute the all purpose flour with almond flour or something healthy?
    thank you

    • Madhuram

      It wouldn’t work Praveena, because almond flour is gluten-free. That requires a lot of other changes. You can try substituting half of it with whole wheat pastry flour.

  3. Jazmin Stork

    Love the theme of your site, is that this a regular theme? bookmarked your site enjoyed reading this post

  4. Amola

    Hi Madhu,
    I am loving your blog on eggless cooking. I am working to get into it, but sometimes with unsuccessful results. I have two questions.
    1. I made orange cupcakes with ready cake flour, few days back. It required 1 and 1/3 cup of liquid ( water) and 1 egg. I made liquid with 2/3 cups of orange juice and rest water. (Just as you mentioned above) and 1 egg with 1 tbsp yogurt. The cupcakes were delicious, but they turned very doughy. They got cooked properly. I do not understand what went wrong.

    2. In the above recipe can I omit the candy peel or substitute with something?

    I would really appreciate your input and guidance on that.

  5. Bhavna

    Well, am glad I dint cut the whole bread – and I was mightly pleased the next morning when it had cooled in the refrigerator – the slices now looked just like in your picture and tasted yummy too..so yes, I realised the importance of cooling the bread before cutting. Thanks for the recipe – loved it..I added walnuts insteads of pistachios and also addd a little bit of cinnamon to it!! Thanks again!

    • Madhuram

      You’re welcome Bhavna. Cooling the bread in the fridge is not necessary. You can leave it at room temperature overnight.

  6. Bhavna

    well, I tried this recipe today – I have to say the look was just as good – However the taste was a bit disappointing to me – a lil rubbery and was also crumbling when cutting – dint come close to the neat slices you have in your picture. Wonder where I went wrong 🙁

    • Madhuram

      Maybe you overbaked it or the bread was not cool enough.

  7. shubhra

    I would like to know that what should the temperature of the oven
    when you say “Pour the batter in the prepared pan and smooth it out. Bake it for 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. I baked it for 60 minutes at first and checked for doneness twice after every 5 minutes. I removed the pan after 70 minutes. (See Note 2)”

    I shall be using microwave to cook the bread and hence require the temperature

    • Madhuram

      Hi Shubhra, it’s 350F/180C. You can find that information in the very 1st line of the Procedure.

  8. Shiela Marvel

    This is so mouth-watering!!! Really amazing recipe! Do you think hazelnuts would go well for this recipe?

    • Madhuram

      I think toasted hazelnuts will be great.

  9. CurryLeaf

    Wow,Madhu.FABULOUS.I missed ur recipes Madhu.Howr u? Can;t take my eyes off the pic. You r truly great,trying out all the variety combos in recipes. Do you think milk made it denser?

    • Madhuram

      I’m fine Sweatha. I think the flour content is a lot when compared to the other quick breads I have baked. That should be the reason for the dense bread.

  10. Sanjeeta kk

    Festive wishes to you too, Madhuram. Love the fruity and flavorful bread here.

  11. Vidya

    Hi Madhuram,

    I love your style of blogging. Its great to see your notes, and what you thought could be better, etc. I am really inspired by you and your blog. I have recently started a vegan blog and would love a visit from you 🙂

    • Madhuram

      Thank you very much Vidya.

  12. sheetal

    actuaaly pls can u tell me wats this carnberries any hindi name for it pls can u explain me wat it is

    • Madhuram

      I googled and found that the hindi name for cranberry is Karounda but I’m not sure if it’s exactly the same berries or falls under that family.

  13. Divya Vikram

    Colorful looking bread. Quick and easy to make. How is the lil one doing?

  14. Ana

    Hi, Where do u get the “Candy peel” ? Can u please post the brand name?
    I havent seen them & have been trying to get them, no luck so far.
    Its a beautiful loaf would love to try it If I get the candy peel.

    • Madhuram

      Hi Ana, I got it in a bulk food store. So no brand name.

  15. shoba

    HAPPY NEW YEAR !! and Wish you a Happy Pongal too, Madhuram ! Its been quite some time since I visited your blog. Glad that you are back with more healthy recipes.

  16. B M COOK

    Happy New Year, everyone,

    Is it possible to give the quantities in ounces or grams instead of cups ? I never know whether it means an American Cup or a British Cup (and as there is at least 2 fluid ounces difference between these measures it DOES make a difference!!)

    I would also like to use dried cranberries and

    Can you make this in a bread maker ?

    Tell Rupa that candied peel (NOT candy peel!) is thin strips or narrow slices of fruit peel (usually orange or lemon) which has been cooked and infused with sugar as a preservative. Frequently use as a cake or other pudding decoration. I can buy it in my local supermarket in cartons but I have made it myself.

    • Madhuram

      Sorry for the delay in replying B M Cook. The cup measurement I use is American cup, in all my recipes, unless I state otherwise. There are many online conversion charts available to convert American cup measurements to the measurements of your choice. I have one such column under Baking 101 as well. I find it convenient using cups (American). Some of the visitors from UK mention that they use the same measurements with British cups and get it right. But I wouldn’t know it personally because I haven’t tried it.

      Using dried cranberries should be fine. I don’t own a bread machine and haven’t tried it even once, so I’m unable to comment.

  17. Rupa

    Hi Madhu
    Quick Question :
    1) Can i use dried cranberries….that’s what i have at home right now
    2) What is candied peel ??? is it Tutti Fruitti …red green yellow squares

    • Madhuram

      Hi Rupa, sorry for the delay in replying. You could use dried cranberries as well.
      Yes it is tutti fruiti.

  18. jayasri

    The bread looks so gorgeoous,After reading your notes, I don’t particularly see from the click not much difference, It looks so festive. I made an Orange bread the other day, I didn’t click it as I was not satisfied with the texture, but my kids liked it!, Now I feel I should have posted it!, and wrote notes like you have done, I love using fresh fruits like you have done, It’s such a good Idea, I will try this one and thanks for all the Notes.

  19. Jayasree

    Good to see the posts coming in from you, Madhuram. Happy pongal to you and your family. Bread looks gorgeous. Loved the pic of the sliced bread.

  20. Suganyaramkumar

    This is so cool… Lovely looking bread recipe… YUM!

  21. Priya

    Fabulous cake, looks absolutely divine..

  22. Rachana

    Thats a gorgeous looking bread. Loved the pistachio and cranberry combo.

  23. Cilantro

    Happy New Year & Happy Pongal to you & your family, Madhuram!
    Bread looks colorful and I love the addition of Pistachio. I bought cranberry too this week, going to try out something new, of course nothing to do do with baking though.

  24. Raji

    That”s a heavenly looking bread… wonderful infusion of colours 🙂