Cranberry Bread

4.82 from 53 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Our Cranberry bread features fresh cranberries, toasted pecans, and cream cheese. This combination of flavors and ingredients makes it one of our best holiday recipes.

Today, we show you how to make this holiday favorite in under 2 hours. No wonder this homemade sweet bread is one of our most popular cranberry recipes!

A loaf of cranberry bread sliced open on a cutting board.
We love making this for an edible gift for our mail carrier, neighbors, and other friends.

About this Cranberry Bread

This is a sweet and savory quick bread that is tailor-made for the holiday season. With no kneading and an easy recipe, it’s the perfect way to boost your bread-making confidence!

A loaf of cranberry nut bread on a cutting board.

What we love about it

  • Like this Cranberry and Orange Breaad, it is easy to make and a perfect recipe to bake with your kids.
  • You can make this cranberry bread into min-loaves which make great edible holiday gifts.
  • Use this recipe to make cranberry bread muffins!
  • Turn this into a Dutch oven bread.

Ingredients and notes

It’s hard to imagine anything that could taste better during the combination of ingredients found in this cranberry bread.

Cranberries – The unsung hero of baking! Use fresh ones if possible but frozen works too. I suggest that you do not thaw them if using the frozen ones. You can even use dried cranberries for this recipe.

Our home state of Wisconsin is the cranberry capital of the world – learn more about cranberries here!

A large measuring cup of fresh cranberries.
If you’ve never baked with fresh cranberries, get thee to a bog!

Cream Cheese – This lends a creamy sweetness to the recipe, making it almost like a half-cake, half-bread recipe. It’s heavenly! To save some calories, go with reduced-fat cream cheese if you prefer.

 Cranberry bread dough in mixer
I recommend using a stand-mixer for this recipe. It’s the perfect excuse to pull out that KitchenAid!

Toasted Pecans – Toasting the nuts before adding them to the recipe will bring out the natural sweetness of the pecans. You can also substitute the pecans for almonds slivers, walnuts, or even a combination of mixed nuts.

You’ll be amazed at the enhanced flavor that results from this process.  Just 7 minutes at 350℉ will do the trick! (Give them a toss in a little olive oil before toasting.)

If you don’t care for them or have a nut allergy, leave them out! Instead, consider using chopped dried dates or other dried fruit.

A sheet pan of pecans toasting in the oven.
For added flavor, always toast nuts before adding them to a recipe.

Additions and substitutions

  • If you don’t have cranberries, you can substitute virtually any other berry, fresh or frozen to add to this quick bread.
  • Add the zest of a fresh orange to this cranberry bread. This adds a nice pop of extra flavor.
  • Mixed nuts taste great in this recipe. I use them all the time!

Baking tips

  • Use a kitchen scale. Measuring cups and spoons can vary widely in how much they hold. Weight is a universal measurement. Using a kitchen scale takes the worry out of too much or too little of your ingredients.
  • It’s also very handy when dividing portions of dough to make sure you have equal amounts. (We love making mini-loaves of this cranberry bread, for edible gifts!)
A bowl of dough on a kitchen scale.
A kitchen scale will make you a better baker!
  • Buy an oven thermometer. Variations in ovens mean that your kitchen oven is probably not accurate. This cheap kitchen tool is indispensable and can save you a lot of time and heartache! I use one of these in one of our older ovens and it is a lifesaver!
overhead view of cranberry nut bread on a cooling rack.

Tasty additions:

Add a little orange zest for an extra pop of flavor to this recipe!

Common recipe questions

Can I freeze this?

This cranberry bread freezes well. Allow it to come to room temperature. Wrap and seal in kitchen wrap and freeze up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Can I use frozen cranberries?

Yes, but do not thaw them. You can also use dried cranberries but reduce the amount to one cup. I suggest rolling them in some flour before adding to the batter.

👨‍🍳 Tried this Recipe? Please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating in the recipe card below and leave a comment. We love hearing from our readers!
⏩ Stay in touch with us on social media by following us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube!
📬Get our Recipes delivered to your inbox for FREE!

Cranberry Bread

4.82 from 53 votes
Make this sweet treat in a traditional loaf pan or a Dutch oven.  It's the perfect quick bread for the fall holidays!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield: 16 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature.
  • 1 package cream cheese, (8 oz) softened to room temperature.
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, (may use frozen)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan halves, (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 ℉
  • Using a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, cream cheese and vanilla extract. One at a time, add the eggs, while mixing slowly.
  • In a separate bowl add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder & salt.) Gradually mix dry ingredients into mixing bowl of wet ingredients. Gently fold in pecans and cranberries.
  • Fill 3 greased mini loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 75-90 minutes. Bread is finished when toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into center of bread.



  • This Cranberry  Bread takes a while to bake. We made ours using our convection oven.
  • A full-size loaf pan takes about 2 hours to bake all the way through, yielding a huge loaf of bread.
  • We prefer using the mini loaf pans which take less time to bake and make for great gift ideas for friends and colleagues, or your local homeless shelter.
For Cranberry Bread Muffins
  1. Grease a 12-count muffin and prepare the batter as directed. Use a spoon to fill each space 2/3 full.
  2. Bake at 350° F for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted in the center of a muffin.
  3. Cool the muffins on a rack for 10 minutes, in the pan, before removing.  This recipe will yield 24 muffins.


Calories: 322kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 87mg, Sodium: 236mg, Potassium: 116mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 610IU, Vitamin C: 1.7mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 1.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Bread
Cuisine: Holiday
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

Favorite Bread Recipes

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

Get new recipes sent to your inbox!
Don't miss out! Subscribe and get all the new recipes first.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
4.82 from 53 votes (13 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    I was anxious about making this recipe. I am not sure why. I think because of all the discussion of which size pan to use. I do not have mini loaf pans. I was going to purchase them but the stores near me were limited on variety. I could have ordered them online but I wanted them before Christmas 2020. Anyway, I decided to wing it. I made the recipe as stated in the article, except the pecans. In the recipe it states ½ toasted pecans. I was not sure what the half was so I added 1 cup of toasted pecans. I divided the batter between two 9×5 loaf pans and baked them in the center of a 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes. They turned out perfect. I couldn’t wait to taste them. Love this recipe. Thank you for the recipe. I made 4 loaves to share with family and friends.

    1. Great job with this cranberry bread Patricia! We really appreciate your feedback and hope you will try more of our recipes. Happy holidays to you and yours!

  2. 5 stars
    We made this last week. It was so delicious that we’re going to make loaves for all of our favorite neighbors & friends as Christmas gifts this year, rather then the normal assorted cookies!

  3. 5 stars
    I made the recipe but added a little almond extract and lemon juice. It was delicious bread! Will be a keeper. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Tammy, we’re happy you like this cranberry bread recipe and hope you will share it with your friends and family. Thanks so much for the nice feedback!

  4. 5 stars
    So glad I found this recipe again. I made the cranberry loaves and my anti-cranberry husband ate 3 of the 4 minis. I decided to make again with blueberries. But misplaced the recipe link. I thought I found a similar recipe but didn’t get the same results. Discovered it used baking soda instead of baking powder…loaves came out flat and darker. I just made blueberry ones again using this recipe as a base… beautiful peaks and lighter crusts…yeah! I used a stoneware pan with 4 mini-loaves, convection at 325 for ~60minutes. Id like to add a little lemon juice. Any suggestions on how much?

  5. 1 star
    I made two concurrent (to bake together) batches of this recipe today, following the recipe exactly and it has obviously made WAY too much for my 6 mini loaf pans. My loaves are baking now and have already overflowed their pans leaving large drips of batter on the cookie sheet and giving me a wide flat unattractive “muffiny” top. A lot of expensive ingredients down the drain. Obviously, won’t be making this this way again. Maybe it makes the right amount for a large loaf pan, but the recommendation for the mini loaf pans should probably read 4, not three.

    1. We’re sorry you had issues with using the appropriate volume of this bread recipe for your mini loaf pans. Thanks for the feedback and we hope your holidays are delicious!