Cranberry Orange Yogurt Bread and Homemade Yogurt...A Christmas Favorite!

With Halloween over, it's time to start getting the Christmas goody list together. I love to bake at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I tend to concentrate on desserts for Thanksgiving and then the next week it's time to start baking all those goey, ooey, goodies for Christmas.

This post contains two recipes:
Cranberry Orange Yogurt Bread
Homemade French Vanilla Yogurt

Cranberry Orange Bread...A Christmas Favorite! This year I'm starting with Cranberry Orange bread.  I went to a Cranberry Festival in Wisconsin in October and purchased a huge bag of fresh cranberries.  I love those little gems.  I already have made 30 small loaves of cranberry bread for gifts for Christmas.  They're in the freezer wrapped to protect them from frost burn and awaiting the time when they will be part of our Christmas gift giving for friends and family.  
This year I tried a new recipe.  It called for yogurt instead of oil or butter.  Because I was making so many loaves, it would have cost a fortune for the yogurt.  So, a friend of mine at work gave me a recipe for home-made yogurt.  I had tried this recipe before and absolutely loved it.  I like plain vanilla yogurt and this recipe makes a lot of yogurt.  I'm including this recipe along with the cranberry bread recipe.  
I do hope you have a chance to try both of them....the bread turned out great with not a whole lot of money spent!  Now there's money left over to buy those little grandchildren a little something extra... 

Cranberry Orange Bread
  • 3/4 c. vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (opt)
  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 c. orange juice
  • 1 T. orange zest
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh cranberries
  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  2. Whisk together yogurt, sugar, egg, and orange juice in a large bowl. Sit in the flour mixture and then stir in the orange zest, cranberries, and walnuts.
  3. Scrape into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  4. Cool 10 minutes, then invert on a wire rack. Flip over and cool. Slice and Serve.
Homemade French Vanilla Yogurt
This holiday bread is so good and so moist. I'm sure It's because of the yogurt. I added this recipe because I've made homemade yogurt before. It's really good and when making a lot of loaves of bread this yogurt comes in very handy. You can use this yogurt in everything.  It's wonderful with fruit and cereal, or just plain.  This recipe was a great find... Thank you Rachel!!!

  • 1 gallon whole milk (I purchased a gallon for $1.38 in a plastic bag)
  • 3 T. yogurt (I purchased Yoplait single serving French Vanilla)
  • 2 T. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  1. Boil milk on high (watch it so it doesn't boil over). Take off heat and mix in vanilla and sugar...leave it alone until it's room temperature (90 minutes).
  2. Whisk 1 cup mix with 3 T. yogurt starter (Yoplait single serve French Vanilla); then mix with remaining boiled milk.  Fill four + glass quart sized jars (sterilized) and put on (sterilized) lids. Place into a cooler. Dump 16 cups (1 gallon) warm water into a cooler.  Close the lid and walk away for 4-6 hours.  Finished product will be thicker after refrigerating.
  3. Refrigerate for up to 6 weeks.  
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Always remember..."Life's short, eat dessert first!"...words to live by!