Cranberry, Pecan, and Olive Oil Quick Bread

I don’t know about you, but cold weather and I just don’t mix. All I want to do when the temperature dips below 40 degrees is grab a blanket, a book, and curl up in front of our fireplace. Seriously, I don’t want to clean the house, I don’t want to go shopping … I don’t want to do anything.

But, even though the temperature was in the low 20’s when I left for work this morning, I was able to muster up enough strength to write you this blog post … yay, something accomplished! And something tasty indeed!

A few years ago, my family decided to go the homemade gift route … homemade sweets, baked goods, crafts … anything as long as it’s homemade. This year I decided to make two pretty rich chocolate treats (recipes coming soon!) for everyone, and since I didn’t want to throw “healthy” completely out the window, I decided to make a fairly healthful quick bread for them too.

Cranberry, Pecan, and Olive Oil Quick Bread

Enter my cranberry, pecan, and olive oil quick bread. I’ve long been a fan of using olive oil in baked goods — and not just in focaccia or pizza dough — but in cakes, cookies, and brownies too. In fact, I typically replace the vegetable or canola oil called for in recipes with olive oil … and you can too.

The most important thing to remember is that olive oil tends to have a stronger flavor than most other vegetable oils so you want make sure the other ingredients in your recipe don’t get put on the back burner. I’ve found that olive oil goes really well with fruity flavors so it’s a great choice for recipes that feature citrus or fresh berries. Or you could just use a late harvest extra-virgin olive oil; these tend to have a more subtle flavor profile that won’t compete with the other ingredients in your recipe.

And ultimately, if you’re not sure about switching to olive oil completely, go the 50/50 route … substitute half of the oil called for in a recipe with olive oil … I think you’ll be surprised with the results!

Cranberry, Pecan, and Olive Oil Quick Bread

Cranberry, Pecan, and Olive Oil Quick Bread

Adapted from California Olive Ranch


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 12 fresh cranberries, for topping


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush four miniature loaf pans with a little olive oil. Set aside on a baking sheet.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, and the baking powder. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, the sugar, and the eggs. Add the vanilla extract, and stir to incorporate.

4. Add the reserved dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir just enough to blend together, but not enough to produce a smooth batter.

5. Gently fold in the 1/2 cup fresh cranberries and the pecans.

6. Divide the batter evenly among the loaf pans, then top each with four whole cranberries. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.



[This post linked up at A Night Owl Blog, Little Inspiration, and Home Cooking Memories.]

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  • a periodic table

    These little loaves are so pretty! I love replacing standard vegetable oil with olive oil in cakes and breads; such a nice underlying flavor, and i agree; goes SO well with citrusy things. I’ve been working on a cranberry walnut yeast bread recently; must be this time of year, because it seems like a perfect warmup treat.

    • Kimberly

      Thank you! Looking forward to seeing your cranberry walnut yeast bread … I love cranberries and nuts so much!

  • kitchenriffs

    Really nice light in the second picture. And a really nice recipe, too. Great tip regarding the olive oil – this is one I know, but rarely use for some reason. I need to experiment more! Good stuff- thanks.

    • Kimberly

      Thanks! I’m loving the light that comes into our new living room … great for food pics! Looking forward to your experiments too!

  • PolaM

    Somme of my favorite ingredienti in there!

    • Kimberly

      Mine too! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Anita at Hungry Couple

    Looks great. I love homemade food gifts. And I HATE being cold. :)

    • Kimberly

      Thanks, Anita! Can you believe it’s 60 degrees in St. Louis today? The temperature is projected to hit 70 tomorrow … but then go back to the 30’s with snow on Wednesday. I wish Mother Nature would make up her mind!

  • ironstef

    those are some nice loaf pans! 😉

    • Kimberly

      I know! I bought up as many as I could at Schnucks after Christmas : ) Did you design them?

  • Rebecca

    Hi there! I’m new to your blog and this recipe looks delicious. I don’t have mini loaf pans- what would you say is the conversion to regular loaf pans (either 9 x 5 or 8.5 x 4.5)? Thanks!!

    • Kimberly

      Hi, Rebecca! Great question! I would use an 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan to make one large loaf, and I think you’ll probably want to bake it a minimum of 40 minutes. Let me know how it turns out … and thanks for stopping by!

  • Addie K Martin

    Great looking bread! :) i love the flavor combination of cranberry and pecan :) delish! And i love the idea of exchanging homemade gifts. How smart!

    • Kimberly

      Thanks, Addie! I too love cranberry and pecan together … it’s one of my favorite combinations!

  • Everything Rhubarb

    Hello, Just came accross your Blog! (the name “rhubarb” caught my attention;))
    Love the organization of your site! Your photography is super too!
    Kind regards,
    Lois from

    • Kimberly

      Thanks for stopping by Lois! I’m looking forward to checking out your site … I need to make more rhubarb recipes!

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  • Rachel

    I am dying – this looks beyond delicious. I am pinning this immediately – I mean, really. I’ve got to make this asap! All I need are the cranberries. I shall be heading to the store tomorrow, haha :)

    • Kimberly

      Aww … thanks, Rachel! Please let me know how they turn out for you!

  • Rebecca’s Soap Deli

    These look amazing! I love everything about them except the nuts. I’m one of those weird freaks who doesn’t like nuts or coconut cooked into foods, but will eat them raw.

    • Kimberly

      Leave out the nuts, Rebecca! Or feel free to substitute some chocolate chips … I think either milk or white would be great!

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  • Sybil @ Peace it all Together

    These look delicious! I am pinning them now…hoping to make them later. Visiting from the SITS Sharefest.

    • Kimberly

      Thanks for stopping by, Sybil! Looking forward to seeing what you linked up to the SITS Sharefest!

  • homecookingmemories

    Absolutely beautiful bread! I’m a sucker for anything cranberry and I really like that yo used olive oil too. I’m very inspired! Thank you for linking up to the Weekend Kitchen Link Party and it was an honor to feature you!

    • Kimberly

      Thanks for the feature … I’m honored you chose me!

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  • Crunchy Con Mommy

    Yum! This looks like something my family would love! I wonder if it would work with craisins when fresh cranberries are not in season?

    • Kimberly

      I think that would work just fine! And just a tip … fresh cranberries freeze very well so I always buy a few extra bags at Christmas to use throughout the year!

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