I love everything about this Cranberry Almond Bread. Every bite tastes like Christmas! I am not a big bread fan (I know, I know… what food blogger isn’t in love with bread)… so telling you that I am in love with this bread is saying something. I took a bite of this bread… and then another… and I pretty much was half way through the loaf before I had to call people to come over and take the rest from me before I ate it all. Believe me, I really could have eaten every. last. bite. You can’t really see the cream cheese swirl after it bakes, but trust me, it’s there. This recipe is SUPER easy to put together — it doesn’t require any yeast or kneading so that makes it even better! This would be a great one to make for mini-loaves (adjust baking times accordingly) to take around to the neighbors/friends/family for Christmas. Just wrap it up tightly, add a bow, and you are good to go! Your neighbors will love you forever.
Cranberry Almond Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl
1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. apple juice
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 egg, beaten
2 c. coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
sliced almonds (optional, to taste)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease bottom only of 9x5 bread loaf pan with shortening; lightly flour. In small bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg; blend well. Set aside.
In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in apple juice, butter, vanilla extract, almond extract and beaten egg until well blended. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Spoon half of batter into pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter and swirl batter with a knife a few times (to swirl the cream cheese through the batter). Sprinkle almonds over the top (optional).
Bake 65 to 75 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.