Bake and Give: Cranberry-Orange-Pistachio Loaves

‘Tis the Season for holiday baking and I have a sweet treat to bake and share~ Cranberry-Orange-Pistachio Loaves! The red and green from the cranberries and pistachios make these mini loaves of bread merry and bright, as well as sweet, tart and nutty! A perfect little loaf to give or enjoy for the holidays!

Festive paper baking loaf pans make these mini loaves easy for gift giving. I always stroll the baking and food section of HomeGoods when I’m there and I found a set of 6 festive Welcome Home Brands baking loaf pans for $4.99. Are you familiar with these paper bakeware loaf pans? They streamline the baking process; just add your batter, bake and serve, no pre-greasing required. They’re freezer safe and oven safe to 400°F.

You can find paper baking loaf pans at kitchen stores and I’ve seen them most recently at Target in an assortment of festive red and green patterns for Christmas.

Cranberry-Orange-Pistachio Loaves,

recipe courtesy Taste of the South Magazine

Makes 8 (5 1/4 x 2 1/2 ) mini loaves, 2 (9 x 5) loaves or  4 (7 x 2.5 x 1.8) loaves


4 cups self-rising flour

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped

1 cup roasted salted pistachios, chopped

 1 1/2 cups whole milk

 1/4 cup butter, melted

 2 teaspoons orange zest

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs


Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 cups sugar, and rosemary. Add cranberries and pistachios; stir gently to combine.

In a medium bowl, stir together milk, melted butter, orange zest, vanilla, and eggs until combined. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Divide batter evenly among 8 (5¼ x 2½-inch) mini paper loaf pans or 2 (9×5-inch) loaf pans; place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes for mini loaves and 50 minutes for large loaves. Let cool completely on a wire rack.


  • I used 7 x 2.5 x 1.8 loaf baking pans for 4 mini loaves. If you use regular (metal)loaf pans, be sure to spray with nonstick baking spray with flour before adding batter. Fill loaf pans 3/4 full.

  • Self-rising flour is all-purpose flour with baking powder and salt added. To make your own, combine 4 cups all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon fine salt.

  • Chop your cranberries as recipe directs (unlike me :) so they are distributed more evenly throughout the batter.

  • As always when zesting, zest just the orange peel, not the white pith, which is bitter.

  • Substitute chopped pecans or walnuts for the pistachios if you prefer.

  • Sprinkle tops of loaves with sanding sugar for a little festive sparkle before baking if desired.

Printable Recipe

Merry Baking!

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Metamorphosis Monday

  36 comments for “Bake and Give: Cranberry-Orange-Pistachio Loaves

  1. Leslie
    December 11, 2017 at 6:33 am

    This looks delicious! I love the combination of Cranberry & Orange. I usually make Mini Nut Bread loaves to give out at Thanksgiving. I may just have to change things up a bit next year. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Linda L
    December 11, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Thanks Mary, just what I needed for my neighbors gifts. I’m going to change from cookie giving this year. Now to find the mini baking pans!

  3. Karen
    December 11, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Mmmmmmm!!!!!! They look so good and pretty too. Think I’ll have to make a run to Home Goods today. Thank you for the recipe and where to buy the loaf pans.

  4. Karn Wright
    December 11, 2017 at 6:47 am

    Those loaves look delish! I love the festive paper baking pans! Cranberries and pistachios are two of my favorites at Christmas!!! Such a lovely treat to bake and share!!! Thanks for the recipe and paper baking pan idea. So much prettier than the foil pans!!! Merry Monday!!! And Happy Baking!!! To all!

  5. December 11, 2017 at 6:52 am

    I love this Mary…I just bought a bag of Pistachios as they are my favorite and have to admit…I sprinkle lots of it on ice cream…Yes, I add more pistachios to my pistachio ice cream! Thanks for the recipe as it is one of my very favorite combinations! Love the idea of the “gift loaf pans” In the past, I also would try and buy a pretty loaf pan that was specific to the “giftee” and used it as 2 gifts in one!….Have a very “Merry” Day!

  6. December 11, 2017 at 7:36 am

    What a beautiful gifting bread for Christmas time, Mary! The recipe certainly looks so festive, and sounds so flavorful.The little loaf pans make for such a pretty gift presentation. I always make my own self-rising flour, and that was nice of you to add that substitution. Happy Baking!

  7. December 11, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Wow!!!! Can’t wait to make these. Thanks so much for the idea and the pictures!.

  8. Norma Rolader
    December 11, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Oh my what a delicious sounding bread and this would make a wonderful gift Thank you for sharing

  9. Liz
    December 11, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Beautiful can you make 1 large Bundy cake, we hare having 15 people for Cristmas day and need to make a cake thanks

    • December 11, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Hi Liz, I wouldn’t know the ratio of ingredients to adapt this for a bundt pan but there is a beautiful Orange-Cranberry Bundt Cake recipe available at Food Network, here.

  10. Rita C.
    December 11, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Mouthwatering goodness! I pinned before I even read the recipe. That combination of flavors just sings to my palate! Thanks for sharing, not just the recipe, but the idea for gift-giving with such beautiful photos.

  11. December 11, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Wow those loaf pans are just gorgeous and the color of the cranberries sure make these loaves pop! Your photos just pop too!

  12. December 11, 2017 at 9:55 am

    What a find, the loaf pans are not only holiday pretty, but so practical too! Great sounding recipe for a really lovely thoughtful gift, thanks Mary!

  13. Ricki Treleaven
    December 11, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Very thoughtful gift, and I love the combination of cranberry, orange, and pistachio. Super idea! Thanks for posting!

  14. Cyndi Raines
    December 11, 2017 at 10:15 am

    PERFECT and thoughtful at the same time! They look so delicious, thank you! I just finished my Pistachio and walnut ice cream. Haha Will pin and try for sure. Really like the paper baking pans, will go to Target this afternoon.

  15. mistimaan
    December 11, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Loved your yummy recipe :)

  16. Virginia
    December 11, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Mary, I am definitely preparing this recipe as a take home for our Christmas Day dinner guests. I found similar paper baking pans at Hobby Lobby this year. Thanks for another winner.

  17. Paula
    December 11, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I love cranberry and orange together, so I can not wait to make these for gifts,and of course one for me:)
    Have a super week !

  18. December 11, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Mary, I’m loving those loaf pans. I’m going out tomorrow and will have to see if I can find them. And this recipe sounds so delicious. I’ve pinned and plan on adding it to my baking list.

  19. Portia
    December 12, 2017 at 2:16 am

    Looks delicious and might be a way
    to save the day! Thanks!

  20. December 12, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Need to add his to my bread recipes..thank you for sharing!!❤️👍🏻🎄🎁

  21. December 12, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Mary I love to give and receive the gift of home-made sweets! The mini pans are so cute and festive and the recipe sounds like the perfect slice to accompany coffee!

  22. December 12, 2017 at 11:31 am

    You’ve done it again! So many of your recipes are family favorites in my home now. I was so taken with this when you posted it yesterday, that even though I’m in the middle of my planned Christmas baking, I ran right out to buy the ingredients. I couldn’t find ANY cranberries of any kind, so I have substituted three little bags (3 cups total) of dried cranberries w/candied pecans from the salad isle for the cranberries and pistachios. I am bummed about the pistachios, which we love, but I couldn’t find any of them either. It’s in the oven now and smells like heaven! I sprinkled them with sanding sugar for a bigger sparkle than regular sugar. I’ve never used the paper loaf baking pans before. There were hard to find and I got two of the last four packs in our area after looking in so many stores. This is just another in a long line of things I’ve never tried till reading your blog. It was also my first time making orange zest, though I make dark chocolate dipped candied orange peel. I’m going to be orange zesting more I can tell you that! I love your beautiful photography and how your directions are so complete and easy to follow. It’s great that you also offer a printable version! Everything is happy and warm here. I can’t tell you how many strangers I have sent to your blog. What a blessing! Ok, they just came out of the oven and are marvelous! I love how you presented them with ribbon and rosemary. That’s next! Thanks again and Merry Christmas! May God bless you and yours! OH and one last thing…this recipe makes 5 loaves in 7x3x 1 3/4″ pans!

    • December 16, 2017 at 7:19 am

      Hi Lynette, Thanks so much for your sweet comments and visits! I found the roasted salted pistachios at Target and Trader Joe’s carries them year round if you have one close by you. I hope you and your recipients enjoyed the bread and I’m glad you were able to find the paper loaf baking pans. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas. ♥

  23. December 12, 2017 at 11:41 am

    After thought – I see that having to substitute dried cranberries has robbed me of those luscious red spots you have. I’m adding that so people will know. But still, if that’s all you can get, like me, it’s still lovely, smells wonderful and I’m sure will be delicious!

  24. December 12, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    I was so happy when we cut one and saw that though we didn’t have bright red berries showing on top, they did all the way through and oh is this delicious! Thanks Mary!

  25. Portia
    December 13, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Great fix! Beautiful table!

  26. December 13, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    I would love to find the paper loaf pans. Your styling is so pretty and I know the loaves are delicious.

  27. December 18, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I made it again already, this time finding all the right ingredients. Truly a festive,yummy and fun gift to give! Merry Christmas!

    • December 18, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Hi Lynette! Thanks for you visits and Merry Christmas!

  28. Kate
    November 30, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I am a year late for this, but I love those paper pans — I was thinking you had to put them in a metal pan to bake – silly me. I am wondering how some poppy seeds would be and I am also wondering how the cream cheese filling you used in your pumpkin bread would be. I might give it a try and let you know! THANK YOU SOO MUCH! Happy Holidays!

  29. Sona
    December 26, 2019 at 12:53 am

    Is this recipe missing baking powder? I followed it very carefully and got a very dense loaf, only the edges were somewhat edible.

    • December 26, 2019 at 6:16 am

      Hi Sona, Did you use all purpose flour? The recipe calls for self-rising flour which contains baking powder.

      • Sona
        December 27, 2019 at 2:19 am

        That makes sense! Thank you!

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