Cranberry Bread

12 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Cranberry Bread made with a buttery cake and fresh cranberries is an easy festive quick bread dessert perfect for Christmas and Thanksgiving!

Readers love quick fruit breads like this Classic Banana Bread Recipe which is made in just one bowl! If you’re looking for more easy cake recipes be sure to check out the Cake Recipes Index.

Stack of cranberry bread slices on wooden table


Cranberry Bread doesn’t have to just be served during the Christmas and Thanksgiving season, with frozen cranberries you can make this sweet bread any time of year! Cranberry Bread is a traditional American quick bread recipe like banana bread or Pumpkin Chocolate Bread.

To keep this recipe simple and traditional with cranberry flavors, there is milk in the recipe just like in 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. White chocolate goes great in holiday desserts like this 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.



How do you make Orange Cranberry Bread?

Use orange juice in place of the milk and the zest of one orange when adding in the vanilla extract. If you want even more orange flavor, add chopped candied orange peel to the top of the bread with a glaze.

How do you make 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.

Can I add nuts to Cranberry Bread?

Top Cranberry Bread with sliced almonds or finely chopped almonds or pecans before baking.

Can I add a glaze to Cranberry Bread?

Mix powdered sugar with just a tablespoon of water until barely able to mix then dip the bread upside down into it. Or make an orange glaze as directed above except instead of using water use orange juice in its place for a punch of extra orange flavor along with the zest from one orange.

What chocolate would work well for Cranberry Bread?

White Chocolate Chips is a great muted addition to the flavors of the cranberry (like in Starbucks Bliss Bars).

Can I add a cream cheese filling to Cranberry Bread?

Yes! Use the cream cheese filling recipe in this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread Recipe.

Loaf of Cranberry Bread


  • 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.



  • 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.


  • Serve: You can keep Cranberry Bread 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.

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Cranberry Bread

Cranberry Bread made with a buttery cake and fresh cranberries is an easy festive quick bread dessert perfect for Christmas and Thanksgiving!
Yield 12 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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 8×4 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.



Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1.6mg

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

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Cranberry Bread

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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    1. To scale up from a 8×8 pan to a 9×13 pan you double the recipe
      (8×8 ? 13×9: multiply by 1.82 (2))so for a 8 x 4 pan to 13 x 5 (are you sure it’s not 9?) you could double the recipe and use the remaining batter in a mini loaf pan to give away as a gift! Let us know what you decided to do!

    1. 5 x 13 bread pan will require you to 1 1/2 times the recipe would be my guess. I have not tested this recipe using a 5x 13 bread pan.

  1. Love this cranberry bread. Stock my freezer with cranberries when they are in season so I can bake numerous loaves!

  2. Great Cranberry Bread. Not too sweet. Only had 5oz of cranberries so I added fresh strawberries to make 12 oz of fruit. Worked great.

    1. And another hint it to lightly dust your cranberries with flour to keep them from rising to the top! Did you try the recipe and if so, how did it turn out?

    1. It won’t “mess the recipe up” but it will have a dryer different flavor. Let us know if you tried the recipe and what you thought!

    1. There are many sugar substitutes. Use your favorite and let me know how the recipe turns out!

  3. Very flavorful and moist cranberry bread recipe. My original recipe called for buttermilk, but was lost in a move recently. I added chopped walnuts and a little extra vanilla and it turned out great. ONE TIP: Slice before freezing!

  4. This cranberry bread turned out great for me. I did make some changes. I used about 7 ounces of fresh cranberries because it’s all I had and cut them in half before tossing them with a tablespoon of sugar from the one cup called for in the recipe. I used 1 cup of whole wheat flour and half a cup of white all purpose. I used unsweetened vanilla flavored almond milk. I added a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg. I used a 9 x 5 loaf pan. I baked the loaf for 65 minutes. The cranberries are evenly distributed throughout. Will definitely make again!