Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf

A Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf is a delicious and festive bread that is perfect for the holiday season, but can be enjoyed year-round. The combination of tart cranberries and rich cream cheese makes for a delightful treat. Here is a simple recipe you can follow to make your own Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf:

Ingredients

For the Bread:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (if using frozen, do not thaw)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional, such as walnuts or pecans)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Pan:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan, or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients:
    • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Combine Cream Cheese Mixture:
    • In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
    • Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, beating until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Assemble Dry Ingredients:
    • To the dry ingredients, add the 3/4 cup sugar, cranberries, and nuts (if using). Toss to coat the cranberries and nuts with the flour mixture. This helps to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf while baking.
  5. Combine Wet Ingredients:
    • In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, milk, oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until well combined.
  6. Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures:
    • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until the flour is moistened. Do not overmix.
  7. Assemble the Loaf:
    • Spoon half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
    • Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the batter.
    • Top with the remaining batter, spreading it to cover the cream cheese layer completely.
  8. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean (with perhaps a few moist crumbs attached).
  9. Cool:
    • Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it to cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. Serve:
    • Once cool, slice the loaf and serve. It can be enjoyed as is or with a dusting of powdered sugar on top.

Enjoy your homemade Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf with a cup of coffee or tea! This bread also makes a lovely gift during the holiday season.

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