{gluten-free} Cranberry Bread for The Baker Chick’s Virtual Baby Shower!

Audra's Shower

Hooray for babies!

Today some ladies across the internet are showering our friend Audra of the Baker Chick with some sweet loving, as she prepares for the birth of her first child, whom I cannot wait to meet!

Audra and I met first through our Milk Bar Mondays group, and then in person for a Blogher luncheon. Since then we’ve met occasionally to trade stories of baking, acting and nanny-ing in the city, and the absurdities of it all. It was Audra (and Lauren of Keep it Sweet Desserts) who encouraged me to keep blogging even as my health starting slipping and my inspiration for exploring on this site was waning a tad. She’s a genuinely warm and caring person, and I’m so thrilled that we’re celebrating her today!Gluten-Free Cranberry Bread - The Dusty Baker-2

I was fortunate to attend Audra’s in-the-flesh baby shower in New York a few weeks ago. It was a particularly dusty morning for yours truly, who was set to meet Lauren for a pre-shower tea until I realized I’d left Audra’s present on the subway platform 100 blocks away! I did a 180 home to find the present not sitting there, and had a good laugh about it all, hoping that the person who found it really needed a brand new sling carrier and CD of Roots with Ruark.

At the shower, we joined with Audra’s (stunningly beautiful and sweet) sisters and mother, and a bunch of her closest friends to play games and open presents and coo at the little ones running around. Fellow Milk Bar lady Krissy was in town and got to join, which was a special treat, too! And Audra was incredibly welcoming in making sure there was food that I could eat and preparing a super-sweet gluten and dairy-free  version of the Mason jarred cookie mix all the ladies took home. Um, yeah, she’s incredibly talented over at her site and uber considerate in person.

Originally when pondering what I’d make for this online shower I was thinking mini carrot cakes, which seem ladylike and appropriately seasonal. But I haven’t landed on a gluten-free version I’m bonkers about (and, yes, I’ve worked some recipes around… it’ll come.) Then I wanted to do Chevre Pumpkin cheesecakes in this tiny little molds I ordered… which then didn’t come on time for me to make them! Finally, inspired by the sweet take homes from her shower, I settled on mini loves of cranberry bread; they’re bright, seasonal, only lightly sweet, and the perfect treat to send guests home with after a party so they have something to toast up all warm the next morning.

Gluten-Free Cranberry Bread - The Dusty Baker-1

Yes, these breads have a Christmas theme and not a blue and yellow baby theme…but I think any December celebration — a wedding, shower, Quinceañera, birthday party, anything — glows brighter with a holiday touch. I’m the dork who’s watched 12 Dates of Christmas about 40 times while cooking or baking. I may have a problem.

But until I work that out please join me in toasting Audra, her husband Andy, and their growing family. I wish her so much love and joy as she takes more and more steps on this special journey. And I can’t wait to snuggle and sit with her new baby boy!

Check out the other treats from the shower, and head on over to The Baker Chick to meet (and fall in love with!) Audra!

Gifting breads.

Gifting breads.

{gluten-free} Cranberry Bread

Makes two large or eight small loaves

I fussed around with many recipes I found online to no avail, before turning to The Ratios book and a simple quickbread method accordingly. I don’t know why I didn’t just do that from the beginning. This bread is incredibly simple to make, adaptable, and true to form in that the result is a light, slightly sweet and aromatic bread that cooks evenly and stays moist day after day.

If you want a bit more punch of flavor and sugar shock, I’d add an additional 1/4 cup sugar and even another half cup of chopped cranberries. Chopping the fruit is probably the most annoying thing about this recipe, so I suggest checking out 12 Dates of Christmas on Netflix while you do so. It saved me many a frustrating afternoon of polishing silver and prepping vegetables at my last private chef gig. Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Amy Smart are adorable. Promise.

Other than that, play around with it, but keep the ratios to: 2 parts flour, 2 parts liquid (milk and orange juice), 1 part egg (each egg is 2oz) and 1 part butter.


  • 5oz (1 cup) brown rice flour
  • 4oz (3/4 cup) millet flour
  • 3oz (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp) tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar + 1 Tbsp for cranberries
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 oz (1 cup) milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (or Earth Balance to make dairy free)
  • 1 cup of chopped, fresh cranbberies
  • zest of one lime, 1/2 lemon or orange, as you have on hand

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using nonstick baking pans, don’t grease them — the grease does help release them from the pan, but it also pulls the batter down, so if your pans are non-stick, let them do that work for you. If they’re not, lightly grease them.

In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk all dry ingredients together up to sugar. Make sure to really thoroughly whisk, so that the starches and gum are evenly distributed. In a small bowl, toss 1 Tbsp of the flour mixture and the final additional Tbsp of sugar with the cranberries, tossing to coat completely.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs until frothy and smooth. Whisk in the milk, orange juice and melted butter. With a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until no lumps of flour can be seen, and then the cranberries. This will make a runnier batter than you’d expect for a bread – trust me, it will work.

Fill tins 3/4 of the way full. Small loaves will take 28-30 minutes, larger loaves up to 50. They’re done when slightly firm on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes up with a few crumbs.

Cool in racks until just warm, then use a rubber cookie spatula or small offset spatula to loosen and flip them out of their tins.


  1. These are so lovely! I absolutely adore cranberry bread and anything in mini-loaf form is my favorite. I’m so glad to know you both in life and through our blogs- I’m so lucky to have you as a friend! xoxo

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