I have always loved the combination of cranberries and oranges. It started with a cranberry orange muffin from Dunkin Donuts when I was much younger, and it hasn’t stopped since. The challenge I find with the combination is making sure the orange flavor doesn’t overpower the delicate cranberry flavor, and that the dried cranberry is soft and slightly juicy instead of hard and chewy without the cranberries absorbing all the moisture from the dough while baking.
In this recipe we soak the cranberries in fresh orange juice to help them re-hydrate and add a little extra subtle orange flavor. Since we love having recipes that don’t use a ton of partial ingredients, we use the rest of the orange for the zest, not only giving you that wonderful freshness, but also give you a beautiful bread laced with orange and red cranberries.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup wheat flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1¾ cup zucchini grated (do not dry or drain excess liquid)
- ½ cup almonds chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries chopped
- 1½ tbsp orange zest ½ orange worth
- 2 tbsp orange juice ½ orange worth
- 1 tbsp milk
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- In a small bowl add cranberries and orange juice, microwave for 30 seconds and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly spray loaf pan with baking nonstick spray.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Mix all wet ingredients together except for the grated zucchini, almonds and cranberries in a large bowl.
- Add half the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix in. Do not over mix, just enough to incorporate all the ingredients. Mix in zucchini, almonds and cranberries (minus any excess orange juice – should be able 1 tbsp left in bottom of bowl).
- Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, covering with foil for the last 15 minutes. You will know it's fully cooked when you can insert a cake tester into the loaf and it comes out clean. Let cool on cooling rack.
- Mix all ingredients together and drizzle on cooled zucchini bread (it will slide off zucchini bread if it's still hot).