Pistachio Cranberry Bread

Pistachio + Cranberry Bread

This recipe goes along with my December Times Union column. Read the story here, about trading time together for the usual holiday gifts.

Pistachio Cranberry Bread

Recipe by Caroline Barrett




  • Oil or cooking spray

  • 1 cup lightly salted pistachios

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

  • ½ orange, peeled and separated

  • 2 1/4 cups flour

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • Grated zest of 1 orange, divided

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • ¼ cup bourbon

  • ⅓ cup orange juice or apple cider

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • Fresh cranberries, for topping


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the loaf pan or pans. You can use one large loaf pan, or a few smaller pans. Don’t fill any pan more than 2/3 full.
  • Combine the pistachios, cranberries and orange sections in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until all pieces are pea-sized, about 15 times. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • In another bowl, mix together all but 2 teaspoons of the zest, eggs, sugar, olive oil, bourbon and juice. Be sure to distribute the zest evenly. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, along with the nut mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Pour into the prepared pan (or pans if you are baking smaller loaves). Do not fill any pan more than ⅔ full. Bake for 40 minutes (smaller pans), and 55 minutes for a single, large loaf.
  • Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. Keeps, wrapped and refrigerated, for one week.

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