Cranberry Bread made with a buttery cake and fresh cranberries, this is an easy festive quick bread dessert recipe perfect for Christmas and Thanksgiving!
Cranberry Bread doesn’t have to just be served during the Christmas and Thanksgiving season, with frozen cranberries we make this sweet bread any time of year! Cranberry Bread is a traditional American quick bread recipe like banana bread or Pumpkin Chocolate Bread.
Pantry Friendly Recipe
To keep this recipe simple and traditional with cranberry flavors we keep milk in the recipe like in our Blueberry Lemon Bread Recipe. You could use orange juice as is traditionally used in many cranberry bread recipes but many people don’t keep orange juice on hand as they do milk. The first time you make this recipe we suggest making it the way it is written in the recipe card, it is the truly the best cranberry bread ever.
Most people make this recipe during the holiday season, so if you’re looking to make your Cranberry loaf a bit more festive you can top it with white chocolate chips, drizzle white chocolate on top or make a glaze with white chocolate. We like using white chocolate in holiday desserts like our White Trash Christmas Snack Mix – A festive mix of candies and pretzels named that way because it’s a bunch of snack items tossed together and “white” from the white chocolate. The recipe originally came from a famous department store which made it as a holiday snack treat they sold.
MORE DELICIOUS QUICK BREADS:
Next time you want to make it, if you’d like to add orange to this recipe use the recipe variation below:
Orange Cranberry Bread Recipe
- Use orange juice in place of the milk.
- Use the zest of one orange when adding in the vanilla extract.
TOPPINGS AND MIX-INS:
- Almonds: Top with sliced almonds or finely chopped almonds
- Glaze: Mix powdered sugar with just a tablespoon of water until barely able to mix then dip the bread upside down into it.
- Orange Glaze: Make the glaze as directed above except instead of using water use orange juice in its place for a punch of extra orange flavor along with orange zest from one orange.
- White Chocolate Chips: White Chocolate Chips is a great muted addition to the flavors of the cranberry (like in Starbucks Bliss Bars).
- Candied Orange Peel: If you want even more orange flavor, add chopped candied orange peel to the top of the bread with a glaze.
- Cream Cheese: Use the cream cheese filling recipe in my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread Recipe.
Create a free account to Save Recipes
Cranberry Bread Muffins:
Bake in muffin liners for 18-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Remove from the muffin pan and cool on a wire rack.
Why did my Cranberry Bread drop after baking?
- Make sure you’re measuring your dry ingredients exactly, especially the all purpose flour. If you’re using a measuring scoop, try using a butter knife to level the all purpose flour before mixing it in.
- Be careful not to over-mix the dough, stop when the flour mixture is just mixed in.
- Make sure your baking powder is fresh and not expired.
- Use an oven-safe thermometer to make sure your oven is baking true to temperature.
- It may not have been fully baked, if the middle is still raw it will sink as it cools.
More Recipes for the Holiday Season:
Cranberry Bread Tips:
- Check your fresh cranberries for any that are not ripe and for those that are overripe and mushy.
- For a deeper, more caramelized flavor you can add half brown sugar and half white sugar.
- You can bake this in one large 8×4 inch loaf pan or 2 mini loaf pans.
- If using mini loaf pans reduce your cook time to 30-35 minutes.
HOW TO STORE THIS BREAD:
- Serve: You can keep at room temperature for 2-3 days, covered in plastic wrap in a cool, dry place.
- Store: Store in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature to serve.
- Freeze: Wrap individual slices or full loaf tightly first in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw at room temperature to eat.
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cups whole milk
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries (frozen okay too)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
- In a stand mixer cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes then add in the vanilla and eggs until fully combined
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour and baking powder before adding it into the stand mixer on low speed, alternating with the milk until just combined.
- Stir the cranberries in by hand until just combined and pour into the pan and bake for 60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Original Photos from April 2019