22 Quick and Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes (or less) + 5 Chef Secrets To Make You A Better Cook!

Cranberry Nut Bread

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

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 tart cranberries and walnuts, this cranberry nut bread is 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, mingling with the rich batter to create tart-sweet pockets of jammy cranberries.

Cranberries are abundant over the holiday season. For more ways to enjoy them, check out my Nantucket cranberry pie, fresh cranberry sauce, and cranberry chutney.

What you’ll need to make Cranberry nut bread

Bread ingredients including egg, baking soda, and milk.

How to make Cranberry Nut bread

Begin by combining the buttermilk, orange zest, orange juice, melted butter and egg in a small bowl.
Egg in a bowl with wet ingredients.

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.

Whisk in a bowl of wet ingredients.Next, combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Bowl of unmixed dry ingredients.

Whisk well.

Whisk in a bowl of dry ingredients.Add the wet ingredients to the dry.

Wet ingredients and dry ingredients unmixed in a bowl.

Stir gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.

Bread dough in a bowl.

Add the halved cranberries and nuts.

Nuts and cranberries in a bowl with dough.

Mix again to incorporate.

Bowl of cranberry nut bread dough.Scrape the batter into a greased loaf pan.

Loaf pan of cranberry nut bread dough.

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

Cranberry Nut Bread in a loaf pan.

Turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely.

Cranberry Nut Bread on a wire rack.

Slice, serve and enjoy!

Cranberry Nut Bread

You may also like

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


  • ⅔ cup buttermilk (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, from 1 orange
  • ⅓ 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
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved (see note)
  • ½ 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: If you’d like to make your own buttermilk, check out the easy method here.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • 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, Edamam.com. 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.

See more recipes:


  • Could you suggest a substitute for the orange zest and juice? Apple juice?? I would like to make today and stores closed and none at my house. Love the recipe as I’ve made before using the orange zest and juice.

    • — Barbara on March 31, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Barbara, I think I’m weighing too late for this to be helpful, but I think you could get away with using lemon zest in place of the orange zest and apple juice.

      • — Jenn on April 3, 2024
      • Reply
  • Could I use frozen cranberries and if so, should I thaw them first? Thanks!

    • — Martha on March 9, 2024
    • Reply
    • Sure, Martha, frozen cranberries are fine to use and thawing them isn’t necessary but they will be easier to chop if thawed. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 11, 2024
      • Reply
  • This bread is delicious! I’ve made it several times and the only time it has ever come out dry is when I overmix it. So, be careful not to overmix. The last couple of times I’ve baked it, I added 2 teaspoons of Chia seeds.

    • — Claudia on February 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • This has been my go-to cranberry bread recipe for years but last night I wanted to try veganizing it for my son. I substituted olive oil for the butter, a flax egg for the egg (1 T ground flax mixed with 3 T warm water left to sit for 5-10 minutes), cut back the sugar to 1/2 cup and substituted 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat flour. The result was a beautiful domed, moist loaf that was delicious and not overly sweet.

    • — Peggy on January 25, 2024
    • Reply
  • So I made this for our bible journaling class. There’s alway so much food there and I usually bring part of what I’ve taken home with me. Not this time! Every bit gone and many asked for the recipe. I’ve shared your website with them too! Made this exactly as instructed. You never fail to bring it! Your website is so user friendly, your recipes are amazing, and the details you share to make things perfect are so appreciated. Thank you for sharing your gift with us!

    • — Cindy on January 14, 2024
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on January 15, 2024
      • Reply
  • This is the BEST orange, cranberry, nut bread I have ever made. It is a must recipe! I am not a baker but this turned out perfectly on every loaf I made and I made several for friends this Christmas!!

    • — Sharon on December 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • I followed your guidelines for this Cranberry-Nut Bread. FANTASTIC! And it looks just like the one you posted. I did add a dusting of confectioner sugar on top. LOVE IT! Wonderful bread, shared with my mother on Christmas day. 🙂

    • — Lee on December 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • Could you use dried cranberries instead of fresh or frozen

    • — Ann Leduc on December 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Ann, I don’t recommend it here – sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2023
      • Reply
  • Excellent taste. Next time I will use slightly smaller loaf pans and bake less time. So worthwhile baking again!

    • — Geraldine Rivera on December 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • This has been a Christmas morning staple for the past several years. My husband & I look forward to it!

    Also- I have always been unlucky in freezing baked goods like this; but needed to do so last year & it worked great!! Thanks for the tips!

    • — mpotter on December 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Most large eggs these days are a lot smaller than what large eggs use to be just 5 years ago. If an egg is relatively small, should I use 2 eggs?

    • — Judy on December 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, it’s fine to stick with one egg. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2023
      • Reply
  • Can I substitute Ghee for the butter? Friend has a dairy products allergy.

    • — Patricia on December 20, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Patricia, I’ve never baked with ghee, but I believe it should be fine. 😊

      • — Jenn on December 21, 2023
      • Reply
  • Love this recipe. I want to make in muffin pans topped with raw sugar. What oven temperature and amount of time would you suggest?

    • — Anne on December 15, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, So glad you liked this! Yes, you can adapt this into muffins – I I’d keep the oven temp the same and start checking them for doneness at 20 to 25 minutes. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on December 15, 2023
      • Reply
  • Love the flavors and excellent texture! Very easily made/baked in my bread machine using quick bread option.

    • — A Smith on December 14, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’d like to try this recipe using my left over cranberry sauce by swirling it into the batter. Do you think this would work? Would it be best to use whole cranberries? Thank you!

    • — Linda on December 13, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, I would not recommend using leftover cranberry sauce here as it will throw off the wet to dry ingredient ratio – sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 14, 2023
      • Reply
      • Thanks for feedback Jenn-will be making this bread with fresh cranberries(!) for our holiday gathering. 🙂

        • — Linda on December 20, 2023
        • Reply
  • Excellent Recipe. Have made it numerous times. My question is why is the butter melted for some quick breads and for other quick breads it isn’t? Thanks Jen.

    • — Linda on December 8, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi, Linda, melted butter helps to create a denser bread whereas creaming it introduces more air, giving the bread/cake a lighter texture. Hope that clarifies (and glad you like the bread)!

      • — Jenn on December 15, 2023
      • Reply
  • Even better this year! I always get confused with cranberry by weight or volume. Went by weight this time and love the sweet/tart cb and orange flavor in every bite. It’s also dense which I love too!!

    • — RJ on December 8, 2023
    • Reply
  • Excellent flavor. I’ve made it twice in as many days for neighbors. I have made one change on second baking. I decreased cranberries to 3/4 cup and added 1/4 cup more nuts. Personal taste only. I’m in process of baking another now as I give out to neighbors for Christmas along with a bit of fudge. I give out on day it is baked.
    Hope y’all enjoy the recipe and the holiday.

    • — Ommie7 on December 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this with crushed cranberry relish. Basically a whole orange, one bag of cranberries, and sugar put through a food processor. This is our standard Thanksgiving cranberry relish.
    I “folded” the relish and nuts into the batter in ribbons and poured that intact into the loaf pan. I topped with a smattering of raw sugar to make a crust.
    Came out fabulous.

    • — Katherine on December 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Great blend of flavors! It freezes well too. This is the second season for making this bread. Last year after also trying several other recipes, my wife got me your cookbook for Christmas. Everything has been so good. Thanks.

    • — Michael William Behrens on December 1, 2023
    • Reply

Add a Comment

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