This soft and fluffy cranberry white chocolate bread is studded with fresh cranberries and topped with an almond streusel and white chocolate glaze.
Cranberry is often a slept on berry. Raspberries and blueberries get all the awards and accolades. But cranberries are fantastic in both sweet and savory recipes. I love them in this cranberry cream cheese danish recipe and this apple cranberry pie – two of my favorite wintery bakes. Not to mention this orange and cranberry sweet roll!
Cranberries are naturally tart and sturdy, so the combination of this hearty bread and the overly sweet white chocolate balance out the crans perfectly.
What makes this Cranberry Bread Special?
- With a combination of white and brown sugars and the addition of sour cream, the base of this bread is moist and fluffy and full of flavor on its own.
- Whole fresh (or frozen) cranberries and white chocolate chunks are stirred into the batter before baking. The white chocolate melts into the batter making little pockets of flavor.
- An almond streusel topping balances out the cranberries and white chocolate.
- A final drizzle of a white chocolate glaze finishes off the cake beautifully.
This bread shines with a few ingredients. It’s basically an oil-based cake, so I love that I don’t have to pull out a mixer for this!
- All-purpose flour. A sturdier flour is needed, so we’re skipping the cake flour today.
- Baking Powder. This provides the lift to prevent a stodgy cake.
- White & Brown Sugar. The combination brings sweetness and moisture to the bread.
- Canola or Vegetable Oil. Oil in the recipe instead of butter creates a more sturdy cake base to hold up to the weight of the cranberries
- Egg. Brings the structure.
- Sour cream. Adds extra moisture and a subtle tang that mixes well with the cranberries
- Cranberries. Fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries can be used. Skip the canned variety.
- White chocolate. I prefer a white chocolate bar, but white chocolate chips can also be used.
Almond Streusel & Glaze
- Toasted Almonds. Brings a nutty balance to the topping
- All-purpose flour.
- Brown sugar.
- Cold Butter. Rubbing in the cold butter to the ingredients makes for a perfect crumble topping
- White Chocolate + Oil. Use white chocolate baking bars for the glaze. Chocolate chips will not melt the same!
Making our Cranberry Loaf
It took several tests to get this loaf just right. At first, I had too much liquid, too many mix-ins and not enough leavening agent. The loafs sunk and were stodgy. After some adjustments, I landed on a cranberry loaf recipe that showcases the crans while still being moist and fluffy.
To make this perfected loaf, you only need two bowls, a whisk and a spatula.
In one large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients. This will prevent any clumps and makes sure the baking powder is evenly distributed.
In a second bowl, whisk together all your wet ingredients. Make sure the mixture is smooth and the egg is fully incorporated. Then, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Stir together using a spatula and only until everything is just mixed together. Over mixing can result in a tough bread. At the end, gently stir in the cranberries and white chocolate.
Almond Streusel Topping
Just before baking, we are going to top the cranberry bread with an almond streusel. This is technically optional, but in reality way too good to skip.
To make the streusel, combine toasted chopped almonds with flour and brown sugar. Then, rub in cubes of cold butter. This means to literally rub the cold butter and almond between your fingers until you get a sandy texture streusel.
Sprinkle the streusel over the cranberry loaf and bake until golden brown. You may need to place a piece of foil loosely over the top of the bread halfway through baking to prevent over browning at this is a very long bake.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely, I recommend that you do not defrost the cranberries first.
Certainly, leave the almonds out and double the amount of flour in the streusel. You can also leave the streusel off entirely.
Typically breads and loaf cakes sink because either the cake tin is too small or there is too much liquid. I find a kitchen scale is best of accurate measuring.
Typically you will need to lightly place a piece of aluminum foil over the pan about 30 minutes into baking to prevent over-browning. Do not secure it down completely so the loaf steams.
It’s best to let this cranberry loaf cool completely before cutting. Allow it to cool in the tin until it’s cool enough to handle, then transfer to a cooling rack until it’s completely cool.
Topped with an almond streusel and white chocolate glaze, this cranberry white chocolate bread is the perfect combination of tart and sweet.
Equipment: 8.5×9.5″ or 9×5″ loaf pan
Almond Streusel Topping
- 30g almonds, finely chopped (not almond flour)
- 30g tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
Cranberry White Chocolate Bread
- 240g all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 100g granulated sugar
- 106g light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 113g sour cream, room temperature (or greek yogurt)
- 2 teasoons vanilla extract
- 100g fresh cranberries
- 113g white chocolate bar, roughly chopped (1 baking bar)
White Chocolate Glaze
- 56g white chocolate bar, chopped (1/2 baking bar)
- 1/2 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
- Almond Streusel. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast almonds until fragrant, about 6-8 minutes. Allow to cool before mixing with flour, brown sugar and salt. Using finger tips, rub cold cubes of butter into the almond mixture until the texture resembles sand with some larger clumps throughout. Place in fridge until ready to use.
- Cranberry white chocolate bread. Grease and flour a 8.5×9.5″ or 9×5″ loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together oil, sugars, egg, sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir with rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate.
- Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan. Top with streusel. Bake for 65-75 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean or a thermometer reads 209°F in the center. Cover bread lightly with aluminum foil after about 30 minutes baking to prevent streusel from over browning.
- Allow to cool in tin until cool enough to handle, then transfer to cooling rack until completely cool.
- White Chocolate Drizzle. Once cool, prepare white chocolate drizzle. Slowly melt chocolate in double boiler or in 10 second bursts in the microwave, stirring between to prevent scorching. Stir in oil and drizzle over cooled bread.
- Store cooled bread in airtight container in refrigerator due to fresh fruit.
- Frozen cranberries can be substituted for fresh. Do not thaw before mixing into batter.
Keywords: mixer free desserts, holiday desserts