Grandma’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Bread

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende Devlin

Unknown-1-1.jpegThis is the time of year when I would read one of my favorite books, Cranberry Thanksgiving, to my boys when they were little. I love this 1971 vintage book from my childhood, it’s a fun story with some lovable characters. Grandmother’s cranberry bread recipe is included at the end of the book and has become a Thanksgiving staple at our table every year. I love making this bread and it is absolutely delicious with just the right sweetness of the orange and slight tart flavor of the fresh cranberries. It’s the perfect buttery Thanksgiving bread!

Grandmother and Maggie live at the edge of the cold and windy cranberry bog. The story begins as Grandmother is baking her delightful cranberry bread and preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. Grandmother’s cranberry bread recipe was so famous and special that bakers from all over the countryside were trying to get her secret recipe, even offering money. Grandmother kept the recipe safe and hidden behind a loose brick in her dining room fireplace.

Maggie and Grandmother were excited to each invite a guest to their home for imagesThanksgiving dinner. Grandmother is not happy to find out that Maggie has invited Mr. Whiskers, a scruffy old sea captain that Grandmother is sure is trying to steal her secret recipe. Grandmother’s guest, Mr. Horace is much more refined, well dressed and smells of lavender. Grandmother is much more pleased with her guest and welcomes him in.

After enjoying a delightful Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey, corn pudding, turnips, peas, pumpkin pie and of course the coveted cranberry bread, there is a tussle between Mr. Whiskers and Mr. Horace. Surprisingly it was the well mannered Mr. Horace who was trying to get his hands on Grandmother’s hidden secret recipe. Mr. Whiskers catches Mr. Horace trying to steal the recipe and saves Thanksgiving.

Here is Grandmother’s wonderful secret recipe….wink wink!!

2 cups flour, sifted
1 cup sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 cup butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon orange rind, grated
3⁄4 cup orange juice
1 1⁄2 cups raisins, (optional)
2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda together.
Cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture is crumbly.
Add egg, orange peel, and orange juice and mix until mixture is evenly moist.
Fold in raisins and cranberries.
Spoon into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan.
Bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
Cool out of pan on a wire rack. keep stored in aluminum foil.

You can get your own copy of this children’s classic, Cranberry Thanksgiving at

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