Chocolate Cranberry Twist


Chocolate Cranberry Twist

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Sorry I was away while my virtual kitchen was under renovations and I am now back to share this amazing-looking Cranberry Chocolate Loaf that will have you doing the twist in your kitchen…lol ! So get comfortable and feel free to take a tour and scroll around.

There is something so magical by taking a few simple ingredients, which you probably already have on hand and transforming them into an incredibly delicious sweet bread. In texture it is much like an Italian Panettone but less drier on the inside, more brioche-like. The filling is a chocolate, cranberry and pecan mixture that once rolled into the dough creates a pretty swirl into each slice. Alternately you can also spread it with your favorite jam! I’m thinking raspberry jam and then sprinkled with some mini, dark chocolate chips would work really well. Ohhh! Will have to try that next!

Drizzled with icing, this sweet bread makes a spectacular centerpiece for the holidays or just enjoy it on a crispy-cold day, curled up in front of the fireplace with a steaming cup of coffee or tea.

If you try it, do let me know how it turns out. I would love to hear from you 🙂


  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • 1/4 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 2 tsp butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon of the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast and let it stand for 10 minutes or until it is frothy.

In the meantime, heat the milk, remaining sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter is melted. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm. Whisk 2 of the eggs in a small bowl, add it to the yeast mixture and whisk some more. Add in the milk mixture and whisk again. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of the flour. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.

Place the dough on a lightly floured workplace and knead for 10 minutes, adding in enough of the remaining flour as necessary til the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm draft-free place until it has doubled in size, for about one hour.

Grease a 10 inch spring-form pan and set it aside.

For the filling, mix the sugar with the corn syrup in a bowl and stir in the cranberries, chocolate chips and pecans.



Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a slightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into an 18 x 11 inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, pressing it slightly into the surface. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the filling. Starting at the long edge, tightly roll up the dough and place it seam side down. Cut the dough in half lengthwise. Keep it cut side up and start twisting the halves together like a rope.

dough twist

Place the twisted dough in the prepared pan, shaping it into a ring. Pinch the ends together to seal. Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and let it rise again until doubled in bulk for about 1 hour.

egg twist

Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the dough. Bake in the center of a preheated oven (350*F), for about 35 minutes or until golden.

cranberry twist

Loosen the bread from the pan by running a knife around it. Remove from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack.

cranberry bread

For the icing, mix together the icing sugar, milk and butter and drizzle over the bread.

The bread is at it’s best served the same day while it is still warm, but can also be wrapped and stored for one day. Any leftovers the next day, can be portioned out wrapped in paper towels and warmed in the microwave for about 10 to 15 seconds, it will come out tasting like it had just been baked 🙂

Makes 1 loaf, 16 slices.

This recipe was adapted from Canadian Living Magazine.


  1. Looks fantastic. I’ll give it a try!

  2. Marisa it’s gorgeous! Definitely something I’d try. Congrats on the new web site design, I think it looks fantastic!

  3. I love the first and the last photos. My eye told to my stamoch : hi Christmas is coming. Good job , Mrisa!

  4. Wow this looks so yummy and beautiful Marisa! I love the new look as well!

  5. This looks and sounds amazing, but I don’t think I’m up to making it quite so elaborately as you, any suggestions, as I would like to make this with my daughter for feeding the family over the Christmas period.
    Nice to see you back.

    • Marisa's Italian Kitchen

      Hi Linda, the end result is elaborate and this might make it seem very intimidating to try but believe it is not. In fact it turned out just perfect the very first time I baked it and I had never even made sweet breads before. The recipe in itself is an easy one to follow. Slicing the roll completely in half and then keeping the halves close together while overlapping them…much like braiding, will give you gorgeous results. And I might add, if your braid is somewhat less than perfect it does not take away from the taste. Also the icing will cover any imperfections. If this still sounds intimidating to you simply skip the step of slicing in half and twisting and continue with the recipe. I know you can do it. All the best Linda! 🙂

      • Thank you Marissa, my daughter and I are looking forward to being together and cooking o for the family over the Christmas period,
        I have printed out this recipe and one for date cookies (I can’t remember who posted this, but they look great)
        And also a veggie brussel sprout salad. It’s going to be a Bloggers Christmas ha ha ha

      • Marisa's Italian Kitchen

        That sounds like so much fun Linda…creating delicious meals and wonderful memories 🙂

      • God willing Marisa, still shootings and explosions at Paris this morning, I am counting down the days until I am in my daughter’s home xx

      • Marisa's Italian Kitchen

        My goodness Linda, yes now I remember that you live in France. So terribly sad about the explosions and innocent lives being lost forever. The whole world mourns. Stay safe Linda, feel free to write to me anytime. Big Hugs!!

      • I am actually in Paris Marisa, so very tense and emotional here, not uncommon to see people just openly sobbing walking down the street or on the train, I don’t feel safe on the public transport – they got 7 of them this morning, but have waraned that there are still others out there.
        I have put a little ‘normal’ post up today, but didn’t feel right doing that, but if we all just stop in our tracks, what then, so Christmas will be extra precious, and your ‘twist’ (or flop lol) Is going to be the star.
        Thank you I appreciate that very much. xxx

      • Marisa's Italian Kitchen

        I can only imagine how horrible things must be especially to the small children! The sadness is felt all over the world…my thoughts and prayers are with you and yes we must NOT stop in our tracks for the day we do, they win. All the best Linda 🙂

  6. This is such a beautiful dessert–looks delicious!

  7. This looks incredibly beautiful and delicious. 🙂

  8. Marisa's Italian Kitchen

    Thank-you Lana 🙂

  9. This looks absolutely heavenly!!!! 😀

  10. Making this for the second time this morning. The first time was on Thanksgiving. Made it per the recipe and it turned out great. Today, I’m modifying a bit, as I’m not a big fan of chocolate. So instead I made more of a caramel filling and added raisins and pecans. Really like the dough – so nice to work with.
    Thanks for sharing! CeAnn