This bread is a versatile, easy-to-make crowd-pleaser, delicately laced with Grand Marnier and studded with tart dried cranberries and orange zest. You can vary the size: Make 2 large loaves, or spread the joy with 6 mini loaves.
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened, plus more for buttering pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups powdered sugar
7 to 8 tbsp. Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 330°. Butter two 6-cup-capacity loaf pans (or, if making the mini loaves, butter six 2-cup-capacity pans).
With an electric or standing mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add orange juice, sour cream, orange zest, and vanilla; mix until blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture and cranberries to wet ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are absorbed; do not overmix.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers of breads comes out clean, 70 to 75 minutes for large loaves and 60 minutes for mini loaves.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 7 tbsp. Grand Marnier. Glaze should have consistency of thick maple syrup or corn syrup. If it is too thick, thin with an additional tbsp. of liqueur.
Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a cooling rack set over a large baking sheet. With a thin skewer or long toothpick, poke deep holes in tops of loaves. Drizzle with Grand Marnier glaze so that it coats the top, runs down the sides, and seeps through the holes.
Let loaves cool completely, then slice and serve, or wrap and freeze (see Notes).
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Loaves can be made up to 1 month ahead and frozen. Bake and glaze loaves and allow them to cool completely. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, put in zip-lock plastic bags, and freeze. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and defrost at room temperature.
I agree that this is much like the pound cake we love but with lots of cranberries, a very mild orange flavor and in my case; chopped freshly shelled pecans, (a real advantage to living in the South around holiday baking time!).
I made the recipe as shown except adding 2 C of chopped pecans. Due to that addition it made 8 - 6" aluminum foil loaf pans generously filled to a bit over 2/3 full which rose as they baked to a nice rounded top with the traditional 'pound cake/holiday bread' crack in the center. I was somewhat concerned that the batter was too thick due to the pecans but the bread is moist, yet a bit crispy on the top which is wonderful. I will probably sub about half fresh OJ for half of the Grand Marnier next week so the icing has more orange than GM flavor. Yes, I'm definitely making more for holiday visitors' goody plates since they freeze well and so far the reviews have been great.
PS My husband gave this a definite thumbs up and sour cream pound cake is his favorite.
This is not really 'bread' -- it is like pound cake. With this recipe, I made 4 mini loaves and a regular-sized loaf. The dough is very thick -- I was worried about this before baking, but the loaves were beautiful -- crusty on top (like pound cake) but moist and buttery inside. I would prefer more orange flavor as I could not really taste it -- I would add a tsp of orange extract. I used fresh frozen cranberries and this was delicious and added beautiful color too. I do think adding chopped walnuts would be great. I baked at 345 for 46 minutes. Note: for pound cakes, the edges brown and the middle should have a creamy stripe down the center that looks unbaked --- place a toothpick about half way b/n the center and the edge and if it comes out clean, it is ready. Otherwise, the cake will be dry. Overall, this was good, but not great. I made this for Christmas gifts for co-workers and I will make something else next time (have not given to them yet so I do not have their review.)
I made this recipe by the directions and baked the small loaves. Although the flavor was good, they were way too dense. I had made these as gifts and given out 2 but won't give any more. My very close friend told me that she enjoyed her's but after she warmed it in the microwave. Too much cost and effort for the texture.
This is too good for words. I am shocked at how delicious it is. I will not be sharing the recipe, because I want all of the glory and accolades which are a given when this is presented. Wow!
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