Festive cranberry-pistachio bread

A tasty make-ahead holiday treat!

This delicious, not-too-sweet loaf is easy to make, great for gifting and ideal for brunch or as a sidekick for your favourite hot (or cold) beverage. It can be made ahead and frozen but it’s best to add the white chocolate drizzle and toppings right before serving. Wrap the loaf in beeswax cloth or plastic wrap plus a festive tea towel and it’s perfect for gifting, too! I created this recipe for the winter 2021 edition of Ottawa At Home magazine, where I serve as food editor, and you can find it here though I have also reproduced it below the image.

Be sure to check out other recipes in the Ottawa At Home archives – there are many delicious ones to be found there!


  • 1/2 cup (115 g) room temperature butter
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 g) sour cream or plain yogurt (regular or dairy-free)
  • 1 3/4 cup (215 g) all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free), divided
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (2.4 g) baking powder
  • Grated zest of one orange
  • 1 1/2 cups (157 g) fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup (67 g) coarsely chopped roasted pistachios, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups (225 g) white chocolate chips, divided
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) vegetable oil
  • Additional grated orange zest


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 5 inch (22.5 x 12.5 cm) loaf pan (8 cup or 2 L capacity) with parchment paper with enough paper to drape over sides and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl (use a stand mixer if you have one), cream butter and sugar together for 2 minutes, until fluffy. Add vanilla and stir to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one.
  • Combine baking soda and baking powder plus salt with all but 1 tablespoon of the flour.
  • In a small bowl, toss the chopped cranberries in the reserved tablespoon of flour to coat them evenly so they don’t sink to the bottom of the loaf.
  • Add half the sour cream to the batter, followed by half the dry ingredients. Mix well after each addition and repeat with remaining sour cream and flour mixture. Fold in orange zest, cranberries, 1/2 cup of the pistachios and 1/2 cup of the white chocolate chips.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for 65 – 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Lift loaf out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper and let cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes.
  • Before serving, melt the remaining white chocolate chips with the vegetable oil in the microwave on medium power, stirring often (or use a double boiler on the stove). Drizzle the white chocolate over the loaf and spread it with a knife then sprinkle with remaining chopped pistachios plus a small sprinkle of orange zest. Refrigerate for a few minutes so chocolate can set, then slice and serve.

Makes 1 large loaf.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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