Orange Bourbon Cranberry Bread Photo

Orange Bourbon Cranberry Bread

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We are in full swing of the holiday season & my favorite holiday will be coming up this month, Christmas! I love this time of year! The holidays allow for us to take a step back from our everyday lives, to reflect & enjoy what is most important, our families, friends & loved ones. 

For me & my family cooking is a traditional part of the holidays. We spend the week before Christmas preparing cooking & baking for the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, then another big dinner on Christmas day. Needless to say its a lot of food for two-3 days, but that’s just what we enjoy doing, sitting around the table together, catching up eating, drinking, laughing & crying! 

This month I’m going to share with you one of my favorite loaves of bread that you can have on Christmas morning with your coffee or even have as part of your dessert tray. It’s sweet, tart and bourbonlicious! This recipe I have had to change over the years to fit my gluten free diet, however, if you decide to make this gluten free, you will be amazed that it isn’t full of gluten. (It’s that good 😉 )

The recipe calls for GF Flour & xantham gum, if you decide to go full gluten with this bread, just replace the gluten free flour with regular all purpose flour & omit the xanthan gum. Just don’t forget to add the bourbon!

Have a happy & safe holiday and remember to #EatResponsibly

Orange Bourbon Cranberry Bread


  • 6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour 
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounces fresh cranberries, halved 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (for cranberry mixture) 
  • 1 Cinnamon stick (for cranberry mixture)
  • 1/2 Cup Belle Meade Sour Mash Whiskey Straight Bourbon  (optional) replace with water or orange juice if you choose not to use bourbon 
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (108 g) sour cream, at room temperature*

(*The milk and sour cream together can be replaced by 1 cup (227 g) plain whole milk yogurt, or with 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) real buttermilk) 


In a medium bowl, add the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon stick, 1/2 of your orange zest & bourbon (or water/ orange juice) and allow to sit (stirring occasionally) for a minimum of two hours. (However, the longer you allow for it to sit the more flavorful the cranberries become, I usually will let mine sit overnight)

When you are ready to make the bread, Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line a standard 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and set it aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, add in the butter & the remaining orange zest. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the 1 cup of granulated sugar and the eggs, beating well after each addition.

In a separate, medium-size bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. Place the cranberry halves in a strainer to drain them from the liquid. Once they are drained, place them in a small bowl & add about one tablespoon of the dry ingredients to the cranberries, and toss to coat. Set the cranberries aside.

To the bowl with the butter and sugar mixture, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk and sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. The mixture will be thick but smooth. Add the cranberries that are coated with the reserved dry ingredients, and mix gently into the batter until evenly distributed throughout.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan; it will fill to the top of the pan. Smooth the top with a wet spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of granulated sugar or you could also sprinkle with a coarser sugar, like sugar in the raw. Place the pan in the center of your preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 1 hour). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.

About the Author

Chrissy Martin


Some of my fondest memories are in the kitchen with my Gram. She spent a lot of time nurturing my naturally curious nature. We spent hours cooking together and as most Italian women, we take great pride in feeding our families. My Gram has since passed, but her famous catch phrase is still with me “A lil’ dab will do ya!" I’ve taken her catchphrase with me throughout my life. Specifically with whiskey in my twenties (haven’t we all). In Jersey, I started drinking the dreaded whiskey and cokes, but my pallet has progressed and now I appreciate all whiskey & bourbons, neat. In fact, I love it so much that I try to incorporate it into my cooking on a steady basis. Hence my blog “A Lil’ Dab Of Bourbon.” My love of all things bourbon continues to progress, and once again I am beginning another chapter. Several months ago, I began my training to be a Whisk(e)y Sommelier and plan to document this journey. Through this journey of flavor profiles, failures and successes I can say that I’ve loved every bit of it! I adore the bourbon community and I love documenting my experiences. I’m excited to share my kitchen adventures with you!