Coconut Cranberry Oatmeal Bread

Cool fall and winter mornings always get me in the mood for baking. A freshly baked quick bread or batch of muffins to start the day any time of the year, but we all know that baked goods are even more enticing during the end-of-year baking season. This Coconut Cranberry Oatmeal Bread is a perfect addition to any fall or winter breakfast – even if you end up baking up the loaf the night before and not the morning of! Packed with tart cranberries, sweet coconut and nutty oatmeal, my Coconut Cranberry Oatmeal Bread is a moist, delicious way to start your day.

This quick bread is very simple to put together. The dry ingredients are combined with the wet ingredients, then the butter is folded in at the end. Folding the butter in at the end of mixing tenderizes the batter before it goes into the pan to bake. It’s a great technique for many quick breads, which are easy to both under and over-mix in search of a tender crumb. It is seasoned with cinnamon and a generous splash of vanilla.

The batter includes a generous amount of sweetened shredded coconut, quick cooking oatmeal and whole cranberries. The coconut and oatmeal both add their own unique nuttiness to the bread. The oatmeal gives the loaf a pleasant density while the coconut adds just the right touch of extra sweetness to contrast with the bright, tart cranberries that dot each slice. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries in this bread, and both types can be used whole.

This loaf has a long baking time due to all those mix-ins, so don’t hesitate to give it a few extra minutes in the oven if your tester/toothpick doesn’t come out clean when your oven timer goes off. The bread is ready to eat has soon as it has cooled. Bake it early in the morning to serve for brunch, or the night before so it is ready to eat when you get up!

Coconut Cranberry Oatmeal Bread
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk (lowfat is fine)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in sugar and coconut.
In a medium bowl or a large measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla extract until well combined. Whisk in butter.
Pour butter mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined and only a few streaks of flour remain. Fold in blackberries and pour batter into prepared pan, spreading it into an even layer with a spatula.
Bake for about 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Turn loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf.

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