Cranberry Orange Walnut Loaf

A festive tea loaf (also called a quick bread) is a great addition to your celebratory holiday baking roster. This pretty Cranberry Orange Walnut Loaf is dense and full of flavour. It makes a great nibble whether guests drop by or you’re relaxing for the holidays.

Cranberry Orange Walnut Tea Loaf | © 2016

From a Baking Fail Comes Inspiration

I was doing some baking for a holiday gathering recently, and decided to make a selection of coffee cakes (infinitely easier than fiddling with individual cookies!). I used two tried and true recipes and then ventured out on a creative limb to make an orange chocolate cake. Long story short: the cake looked fine and tasted delicious, but when I tried to remove it from the pan, it fell apart in my hands. Big oops!

So, I switched gears and made a festive tea loaf (or quick bread) instead. I’m glad I did, not only for its flavour, but also because it provided a variety of shapes on the serving table: two round cakes and one rectangular. What can I say … I notice things like that.

Holiday Coffee Mingle

Cranberry Orange Walnut Loaf

I loaded this tea loaf up with the flavours of winter: orange, cranberries and walnuts. And it turned out great, dense, full of flavour and not too sweet. I served it with a butter dish beside the platter for anyone who wanted an extra touch of richness.

This would be a good loaf to have on hand when company is dropping by, or as an anytime accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea and a good book.

I’m not glad that my first cake bombed out, but I am glad I got the chance to whip this one up! Oh, that first cake? It’s been eaten in all its tattered glory.

Wishing you all the best of the season, and if you have any baking fails, may you rise above them!

Cranberry Orange Walnut Tea Loaf | © 2016
Cranberry Orange Walnut Loaf
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
55 mins

This festive quick bread takes 10 minutes or so to put together, and then about an hour in the oven, time during which you can sit back and put your feet up!

Category: Dessert, Snack
Servings: 12 slices
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup large flake oatmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • juice of half the orange (a scant 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
How To Make This Recipe
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350℉. Prepare a 9″x5″ loaf pan by buttering and flouring it.
  2. Combine the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl; stir together and set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy (about 5 minutes), then beat in the eggs, vanilla and orange zest. Blend in the dry ingredients on low speed, alternating with the orange juice, stopping to scrape the bowl a couple of times. Add the walnuts and cranberries and pulse stir two or three times on low speed. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to ensure the nuts and fruit are evenly folded in.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan, leveling the top, and then bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the top is a dark golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove the cake and let it continue cooling on the rack.

Looking for More Loaf Cakes?

If you’re in the mood for loaf cakes, here are a few to try: Rhubarb Spice Loaf, Chocolate Banana Bread, and Date Loaf.

First Published 2016 12 26
Republished 2021 12 08


  1. Even though walnuts currently reside on my Naughty List, I do like the sound — and looks! — of this loaf, Mar. The bits of cranberry give it such a nice holiday look. And of course you notice things on your table like the shapes of your cakes. You’ve shared the details of other events you’ve hosted. Each proved the results pf your attention to detail. I’m sure your guests couldn’t help buy notice.
    I hope you and yours enjoyed wonderful holidays, Mar, and that 2017 brings you all good health and happiness.

    • You must have cringed when you saw walnuts in the title of this one! Thanks for checking it out regardless. I’m enjoying one more week of holiday before I make the long trek from the kitchen to the office in the next room each morning for my editing business. I’m really glad I took some extra time after all the hustle and obligations of the holiday season! I think my favourite moments were when I watched my little girls (6, 5, and 2 about to turn 2) open their presents – there was magic in the air then! Wishing you all you hope for in 2017, John. Happy New Year!

  2. Made your Cranberry Orange Walnut Tea Loaf and it’s pretty darn tasty. Hubby gave it a thumbs up. Going to make another to give away as a gift.

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