When I first moved to Toronto, I loathed the holiday season. My pity-party was at an all-time high during the holidays. Who were all these happy people scampering off to spend time with families! Why was everyone so frantic and bitchy at the malls? The happy music was on repeat EVERYWHERE. I was lonely and the Christmas season came as a culture shock that first winter. I was in a new country with few friends, tucked away in a suburban condo. Christmas wasn’t something we celebrated growing up, so it had never held a lot of significance for us.

Enter ‘A’, who grew up putting out cookies, and potato chips, and milk for Santa (I still don’t get the Chips bit). Despite having first-gen immigrant parents, he grew up tobogganing, sledding, decorating trees, saving money for presents, putting up stockings, and the whole nine yards. It was a wonderful way to embrace the season. Naturally, Christmas has now become a warm, happy time for us and we truly ring it in in the right spirit. The season is now synonymous with family, slow living, baking and spending time together.

I keep coming back to how important the role of food is, in marking occasions, making memories and creating traditions. My holiday weeks are littered with turkey dinners, stuffings, and casseroles; rich, decadent desserts with chocolate in the periphery of everything. I decided to add a citrus-cran loaf to my Christmas tradition a couple of years ago. Baked in mini loaf tins and wrapped in crumpled parchment, it makes for a lovely token when visiting friends and family.

Of course, no Christmas loaf is complete without a healthy dousing of alcohol. A slow pour of a lovely Grand Marnier glaze makes this loaf stand out and neatly place it in the gourmet category.

Print Recipe
Cranberry Orange Loaf
This citrusy orange loaf filled with bursts of fresh, tangy cranberries is sure to delight your palate and add stars your holiday fare. Doused in a delicious glaze laced with Grand Marnier, this loaf makes the perfect liqueur dessert
Course Dessert
Cuisine British, World
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
Other Ingredients
Cognac Glaze
Course Dessert
Cuisine British, World
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
Other Ingredients
Cognac Glaze
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a loaf tin. Set aside
  2. In a bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Stir in orange juice, sour cream, vanilla essence and orange zest
  3. In a separate bowl sift together all the dry ingredients. Add cranberries to this mixture, toss and reserve these flour-dusted cranberries separately, to be added later.
  4. Mix dry ingredients with the wet mixture. Do not overmix. Gently stir in flour-dusted cranberries so they don't sink to the bottom of the batter
  5. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean or moist with crumbs (start checking at the 40-minute mark)
  6. While the loaf bakes, prepare the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and grand marnier. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved
  7. To thicken the glaze consistency, add a pinch of corn starch. To thin the glaze consistency, add a pinch of water
  8. Once the loaf is ready, remove from oven and let cool in the tin for about 10 minutes
  9. Remove from tin and place on a cooling rack with aluminum foil laid out beneath (for easy clean-up). Poke small holes in the loaf using a toothpick or small skewer
  10. Pour glaze all the loaf or smear using a pastry brush. Let soak and cool completely for about 50 minutes
  11. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week