Thursday, January 13, 2011

Crazy Nut Bread

Crazy Nut Bread!
I need to give a huge shout-out to my older sister Erin. I think I’ve officially decided that she is my editor. (I have my own website; I think I’m entitled to an editor.) Anyway, Erin is the first person I call when I have an idea about something I want to make and need help finding a jumping off point. She tastefully points out any spelling errors that I may have and calls me with comments, rather than posting them because she doesn’t want anything to sound overly critical. Just today, she asked me to text her when I post so she can be the first to read it. Obviously, she loves me and this blog, so why not give her title, right?

So when I needed a name for this recipe, who did I ask? Yup, Erin.

It started out as Orange Craisin Walnut Loaves. Very descriptive, very literal—you know exactly what you are eating with that name. But Erin is clever one…and came up with a few other suggestions/tag lines for this dish (some of which may be in poor taste…haha…poor taste.) Here they are:
  • Mental Illness Bread…because Orange=strange, Craisin=crazy, Walnuts=nuts. Strange, crazy, and nuts…I think you get the idea.
  • California Bread…because it’s the land of fruits and nuts.
  • Orange You Glad I Didn’t Use Lemon…because the recipe I adapted it from had lemon.
  • One Loaf Over the Cuckoo’s Nest…again because of the whole crazy thing.

But the suggestion I liked the most was Crazy Nut Bread. It’s descriptive, but it’s also humorous—the best of both worlds! I would like to say that it accurately describes me too…haha. Plus, the whole reason I was baking was to bring a tasty treat into the school I’ve been subbing at for the past two weeks. Let’s be real, middle school kids are nuts and it takes some crazy people to work with them...

So, Erin found this recipe on for me after I asked her opinion of orange versus lemon in bread with craisins and walnuts. Obviously we went with orange. In this recipe, I substituted the exact amount of lemon for orange in both zest and juice. They turned out great! But, I also added a wee bit of vanilla because I think vanilla makes everything taste better (remember the Double Chocolate Mint Cookies?).

What I liked most about this recipe is the glaze. My mom makes these scones that have basically the same ingredients (lemon, not orange), which includes a fabulous glaze. I’m pretty sure I’ve been craving the scones, but wanted bake a quick bread for this blog (um, hello, scones were so 2010). So this delicious bread is my attempt at a compromise…and it worked.  Finally, the original recipe said it would make four mini loaves, but mine made six. Maybe I could have filled them up more, but what would be the point? Now I have six loaves and was able to slice up four to bring in to the school and keep two at home. Sweet. Oh, and I made one loaf without walnuts in case anyone had allergies. I’m so thoughtful. Enjoy this bread…it’s great at any time of day!

Crazy Nut Bread
2 medium navel oranges, prepared as follows:

2 tablespoons zested or grated orange peel
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
cup butter or margarine, softened
1½ cups plus ¼ cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups craisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

To begin, zest the oranges and then squeeze the juice (don't try to juice first). Divide the juice into 2 bowls, one with ¼ cup for the glaze and one with 3 tablespoons for the batter.
I love my microplane zester!!

I also love my little citrus juicer.

In a mixing bowl or electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Next, add 3 tablespoons of orange juice and the 2 tablespoons of orange peel.
Butter and sugar make the world a better place.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
This picture captures gorgeous yellow color of the batter because of the orange and the eggs.
I would paint a room this color.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to creamed butter mixture, alternating with milk. Mix well and then add vanilla.
Look at me! I'm adding in flour!

It's so pretty...and super tasty.

Stir in craisins and walnuts.
Just the craisins...because I made one nut-free loaf.
This batter is totally nutty!

Pour into 6 greased mini loaf pans.
We only have four mini loaf pans, so I had to do two rounds of baking.

Bake at 350ºF for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
The toothpick identifies my nut-free loaf.

With a toothpick or skewer, poke 12 holes in each loaf. For glaze, combine ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of orange juice until sugar is dissolved. Spoon glaze over warm loaves. Cool completely before slicing.
Really, really delicious and super simple glaze. LOVE.
Shiny!!! That's because of the fabulous glaze!!

And now for the Crazy Nut Bread photo shoot...
"I'm ready for my close-up."

I love this picture, but I wish the craisins and walnuts were more evenly spread throughout the loaf.

Thanks for reading!! I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and I adapted the recipe from

<3 Buttercup


  1. To prevent the cranberries and walnuts from sinking to the bottom of the loaf, try tossing them in flour prior to adding them to the batter. Then put the loaves in the oven as soon as possible. These look so good...I can't wait to try them!

  2. Did you really say "I'm so thoughtful" in your own blog? That's pretty funny.

  3. this looks delicious and shiny


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