Oct 04

Orange & Cranberry Loaf




This will be my first ‘Festive Baking’ entry and I am terribly excited. Not least because I simply relish the Christmas season. All my life I have never actively had a “festive baking session”. When I was a kid all the baking was done by Mummsies and my aunts. Aaahhh … Christmas! I remember the smells, the atmosphere, the songs.

Earliest memory of Christmas ~ December 1988 ~ my parents put my sister and I on a plane headed for the big city, onward to grandma & grandpa’s. I was 6, my sister was 8. We had with us a container of chocolate brownies meant for my grandparents and we were given STRICT INSTRUCTIONS to not have any on the journey there. From the island it would take us almost 3 hrs to get to the capital city on the peninsular.

At the airport ground crew slapped a huge tag on each of us which read ‘Young Traveler’ on the front and the contact details of my aunt on the back. I didn’t have time to even consider the brownies in the container … I was leaving on a jet plane with no parental supervision for a month. Woohoo! We had to be escorted everywhere by a designated airport staff though. Bummer. There wasn’t anywhere to get lost in the tiny airport anyway ~ it was practically check-in and walk out onto the tarmac to board. Yes, we had to walk out onto the tarmac to get on our flight. There was no such conveniences as those aircraft-bridge-connector-thingies. If it rained, they handed out umbrellas to each passanger at the departure door.

On-board we were handed over to the in-flight crew. We were now the responsibility of the wonderfully-coiffed- not-a-hair-out-of-place stewardess. I didn’t pay too much attention to her, I was more interested in what I could coax out of her by being a sweet kid, (a.k.a FREEBIES) and I could turn on the charm quite well when it suited me.

Fast forward to life at my grandparents on the lead up to Christmas. Morning typically begins with the likes of Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra crooning out popular yuletide tunes. I have my uncle to thank for that … he was like the unofficial family D.J. In the kitchen food prep would be in full swing ~ cakes baking away, the sun-drying of cucumbers and cabbage for the Christmas pickled relish …. and TARTS! Man, now that is a family tradition. These were not your average garden variety mince meat tarts either; these were pineapple tarts. Yes, do not ask me why or how they even came to be, but they were made every single year at Christmas time by the hundreds. (Note to self : Get recipe for said pineapple tarts and publish on blog). Sounds very tropical doesn’t it? Well, Christmas back home is usually 35°C and rainy …. actually back home it’s usually 35°C and rainy everyday of the year. Mince meat pies would be in the oven, giving off their wonderful aromas. In our family, mince meat pies were not fruit but actual mince meat (mutton) and were made into little party-pie sizes. They were my favourite and I would have at least 5 but I had to wait for Christmas Eve coz that’s when we got to eat all the goodies, after returning from Midnight Mass.


Anyway, since Christmas is all about family traditions I hope to make this Orange & Cranberry Loaf a family tradition in my family now.



  • 140 g fresh cranberries (I couldn’t find any so I used dried)
  • 100 g fine granulated white sugar
  • 250 g flour
  • 115 g butter
  • Zest of 1 whole orange
  • 30 mls orange juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2oo mls buttermilk

Orange Glaze:

  • 350 g powdered sugar
  • 50 g cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 200 mls fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line baking loaf tin.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time.
  3. Add vanilla extract and orange zest.
  4. Sift together dry ingredients into one bowl. Combine buttermilk with orange juice.
  5. Now alternate adding wet and dry ingredients into the mixing bowl in 5 portions.
  6. Sprinkle about a tbsp of flour over the cranberries and then stir them into the batter with a spatula.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin and bake for 55 mins.




Combine sugar and cornstarch in saucepan. Add lemon and orange juices slowly and stir until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring frequently, over low heat until thick and glossy. Cool. Drizzle over cake. And add extra cranberries or candied orange slices to decorate.



Permanent link to this article: http://foodflurries.com/sweet/orange-cranberry-loaf


  1. Sybille

    Hi Viv,

    I would love to see those minced meat pie or any other malayen food from back home :-))

    Enjoy the festive season! I will start with baking of cookies mid of November 🙂

    1. bubviv

      A very sensible time to start your festive baking. I might try to start my Christmas baking sometime round there too.

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