Cranberry Nut Bread

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Sweet, orange-scented and chock-full of cranberries and walnuts, this cranberry nut bread is perfect for the holidays.

Cranberry Nut Bread

Sweet, orange-scented, and chock-full of cranberries and walnuts, this cranberry nut bread is practically tailor-made for the holidays. It’s a classic quick bread, which means it’s easy to throw together. The hardest part is chopping up the fresh cranberries because they like to roll all over the place. Don’t be tempted to substitute dried cranberries; the fresh cranberries burst as they bake, adding moisture and a pleasant tart note.

What you’ll need to make Cranberry nut bread

How to Make Cranberry Nut Bread

How to make Cranberry Nut bread

Begin by combining the buttermilk, orange zest, orange juice, melted butter and egg in a small bowl.
How to Make Cranberry Nut Bread

Since the recipe calls for only 2/3 cup of buttermilk, you might not want to buy a whole carton. It’s easy to make your own by combining regular milk with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar (see recipe below for exact quantities). Whisk well to combine and set aside.

How to Make Cranberry Nut BreadNext, combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Whisk well.

How to Make Cranberry Nut BreadAdd the wet ingredients to the dry.

How to Make Cranberry Nut Bread

Stir gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.

How to Make Cranberry Nut Bread

Add the halved cranberries and nuts.

How to Make Cranberry Nut Bread

Mix again to incorporate.

How to Make Cranberry Nut BreadScrape the batter into a greased loaf pan.

How to Make Cranberry Nut Bread

Bake for about one hour, then cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes.

How to Make Cranberry Nut Bread

Turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely.

How to Make Cranberry Nut Bread

Slice, serve and enjoy!

Cranberry Nut Bread

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Cranberry Nut Bread

Sweet, orange-scented and chock-full of cranberries and walnuts, this cranberry nut bread is perfect for the holidays.

Servings: One 9 x 5-inch loaf (about 12 slices)
Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes


  • 2/3 cup buttermilk (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, from 1 orange
  • 1/3 cup orange juice, from 1 orange
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved (see note)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and set an oven rack to the middle position. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together buttermilk, orange zest and juice, melted butter and egg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just moistened. Gently stir in cranberries and nuts. Do not overmix.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° F. Continue to bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean, about 45 minutes longer. Cool the loaf in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto the rack and cool at least 30 minutes before serving.
  5. Note: Cranberries are a bit tricky to chop because they roll all over the place. I cut them in half one at a time -- seems tedious, I know, but there aren't that many so it doesn't take long. If you're using frozen cranberries, be sure to slice them while they're still frozen.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it securely in aluminum foil, freezer wrap or place in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  7. Note: If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding to 2 teaspoons lemon juice or white distilled vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add milk until the level reaches 2/3 cup. Let sit about 10 minutes until the mixture curdles.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 227
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Sugar: 20 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 224 mg
  • Cholesterol: 31 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn! I’d love to make this recipe but have a nut allergy. Can I make it without the walnuts or would I need to adjust the measurements? Thank you!

    • — Alyssa on January 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Alyssa, It’s fine to omit the nuts with no other modifications. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • very good…now I am making one to freeze. thx for the extra tips.

    • — Bonita Thompson Glaser on January 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made one loaf over the holidays to use up my fresh cranberries – had to make another one it was so good!

    • — Linda on January 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • My bread came out very crumbly and it was hard to slice. I love the taste of this recipe and I would like to make it again. Any suggestions for my next time? The only thing I did different was I added 1 and 1/2 cup of cranberries instead of 1 cup.

    • — Elizabeth on January 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth, did you allow the bread to cool for the amount of time specified in the recipe? Often times, quick breads get crumbly if sliced too soon.

      • — Jenn on January 5, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe as muffins (1 dozen) with enough left over for a mini-loaf. It was a hit like so many of your recipes. Tart and sweet and I gifted to friends for a post Christmas thank you. Another winner!

    • — JOANN GRAU on December 29, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is amazing! I add about 1/8 tsp vanilla. I make 6 large muffins. After the muffins were baked and cooled I topped with an orange glaze. The glaze offset the tartness of the cranberries.

    • — Martha Ruth Soliz Chavez on December 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • My cranberry nut bread turned out dry and crumbly. I sifted the dry ingredients rather than whisking. Would that cause the dry texture?

    • — Bev on December 27, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Bev, Sorry you found this to be dry. Dryness is usually caused by measuring the flour incorrectly. Did you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Even a few extra ounces can make a big difference. This article/video explains it nicely.

      • — Jenn on December 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jen, can I substitute bottled orange juice for part of the juice from the orange? I ran out of the real thing!

    • — Gina Luke on December 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2020
      • Reply
  • Not sure if it’s all the ads that pop up, but your links aren’t working …the jump to recipe and print button don’t work (on an iPad). Will like to try this. Thx

    • — Christine on December 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Christine, I am so sorry you’re having a problem with the links. The ads can move around on an iPad depending on how you’re holding it. Please let me know if you need me to email you a copy of the recipe.

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2020
      • Reply
  • Just made it. Amazed at how moist it is. I don’t usually like sweet breads but love this. I added a few more pecans. Love the tart cranberry taste!! Ate it with white cheddar cheese. Doubled the recipe and may give one away. Or not!

    • — Doris Fokey on December 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made a newbie baker mistake by adding hot melted butter to the egg, buttermilk, juice mixture all at once and the egg curdled a bit. I’ll check the temp next time and add it more slowly! But it’s a keeper recipe.

    • — Kim Berggren on December 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Just made it with almond flour came out perfect.

    • — joan on December 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • I use my kitchen scissors and just snip the cranberries in half.

    • — Anne on December 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is delicious! I made a double batch and got 4 mini loaves and one regular sized. 😋

    • — Deanna on December 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • How long did you cook the mini loaves?

      • — Jill on December 19, 2020
      • Reply
  • My sister-in-law made this yesterday and we had some after dinner. Reminds me of our mothers. DELICIOUS and moist. He sent me the recipe right then.


    • — Patty schmidt on December 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is an excellent recipe for a fruit/nut loaf. Very moist and flavorful. I added a generous sprinkling of turbinado sugar before baking which gave it a sweet crunchy top. Will make this often!

    • — Kate Mitchell on December 11, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello; Silly question?? What is the extra 2 tablespoon of sugar for? I couldn’t find it anywhere to add.

    Thank you,


    • — Michele on December 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Michele, not a silly question and sorry if it was unclear! All of the sugar (so the one cup plus the 2 tablespoons) get whisked together with the flour and other dry ingredients. Hope that clarifies that you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 10, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you for the quick reply. I just made four loaves with the 1 cup sugar and they turned out delicious! I made three for a client I cook for. Good thing I made an extra one because the kids said it smelled so good they hoped I made one for them!

        Thank you! Great recipe.

        • — Michele on December 10, 2020
        • Reply
  • Made this yesterday. Lost bread pan in my recent move, so used a large muffin silicon mold. They were fabulous and the house smelled oh so good! Only made 6 large muffins, and my sister thinks there will be some left tomorrow for her to taste… haha. NOPE! Best with tea in the morning or at night during a Hallmark Christmas movie. Ha. Thx again Jen for another winner. Only use your recipes!,

    • — Kristen Buchanan on December 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • Thank you for such a delicious recipe! I had tried another one last week that I ended up tossing, so I was prepared to accept that maybe it was just me and my difficult relationship with cranberries. But your recipes are always so perfect that I gave the dear cranberries another go. And now I’ve found my go to seasonal bread. It was almost worth baking it just for the the wonderful aroma that filled the house. I prefer to make a recipe exactly as written the first time, but since I don’t like nuts, I omitted them and added just a hint of turbinado sugar on top. The bread was perfect!

    • — Rhonda on December 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made a double batch and froze one loaf today, 12-4-2020. Delicious. Substituted half the flour with whole wheat flour, and exchanged 1/3 of sugar with Lakanto, I also reduced sugar amount by the extra Tablespoons. I will make this again. Thank you.

    • — Tamara on December 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    I made this today as three mini loaves with my almost 12 year old granddaughter since it was a day of asynchronous remote learning. We had a fun time making it and she is ready for our next baking time together. I completely forgot to start at a higher temperature and lower it and I’m so used to many of your other baked goods recipes so I ended up baking it for about 30/35 min. at 350 degrees. They seem fine; I’m curious why they are baked at a higher temp and then reduced. Also on my holiday mini loaves baking list are you lemon blueberry pound cake, which is a fan favorite, and the chai banana bread. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your recipes and cookbook.

    • — Ilene on December 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ilene, so glad you like the recipes and use them as a way to spend time with your granddaughter! The reason that some of my baked goods indicate that the oven temp should start out higher and then be reduced is that it helps to give certain ones an extra boost in their rise. Hope that clarifies and that the cranberry bread was good!

      • — Jenn on December 3, 2020
      • Reply

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