Cranberry-Orange Quick Bread with Nutmeg-Rum Glaze

Preparation info

  • Makes


    Small Loaves
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

Get in There and Cook

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About

This bread can be made in miniature loaves (great for gifts) or larger ones. It is based on a recipe that dates from the American Revolution, from Fraunces Tavern in New York City. Black pepper was frequently included in old recipes for spiced cakes and breads—and we thought bold, spicy flavors were a recent culinary development.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons each baking soda and cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon each freshly grated nutmeg and salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest (the outer orange skin only, no bitter white pith)
  • 4 cups (about 1 pound) fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries, picked over, rinsed, and drained
  • 1 cup pecan or walnut pieces (about 4 ounces)
  • cups fresh orange juice (from 3 large oranges), seeds removed but pulp left in
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs


    1. Butter 6 small loaf pans, 5¾×¼×2 inches, or use two 9×5×3-inch or three 8½×2⅝×2⅝-inch loaf pans. Spoon a little flour into each pan and shake and tap the pans to evenly dust the sides and bottoms. Whack the bottoms a few times to loosen any excess flour and then tap out the excess; set the pans aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F.; position a rack in the center.
    2. Sift together the flour, both sugars, the baking soda, cream of tartar, spices, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the black pepper.
    3. Place the orange zest, cranberries, and nuts in a food processor and pulse on and off just until the berries are coarsely chopped, no longer. In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, whisk together the orange juice, melted butter, and eggs until blended. Make a well in the dry ingredients; pour the liquid mixture into the well. Stir the dry ingredients and liquid together lightly with a large rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are moistened but not thoroughly mixed. Add the cranberry mixture and fold in gently just until thoroughly mixed, no longer.
    4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling each about two-thirds full. Tap each pan on a work surface to remove any air bubbles and gently smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Place the filled pans on a baking sheet (you won’t need the sheet if using larger loaf pans), spacing them slightly apart. Place on the center oven rack.
    5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the loaves are golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center emerges clean without any crumbs sticking. Set a large wire rack over a large sheet of wax paper. Remove the pans to the rack and let cool for about 5 minutes. Carefully invert the loaves onto the rack; carefully turn the loaves right side up and let cool until warm.
    6. Make the nutmeg-rum glaze: In a medium bowl, stir together all of the glaze ingredients with a fork. You should be able to drizzle the glaze in thin lines from a teaspoon; if too thick, stir in a little more rum. If too thin, sift in a little more confectioners’ sugar. With a teaspoon, drizzle the glaze over the loaves, forming thin lines back and forth across the narrow width of each loaf. Cool completely. Wrap each loaf in plastic wrap and return each to its foil pan.