Sweet, orange-scented, and chock-full of cranberries and walnuts, this quick bread is tailor-made for the holidays. I came up with the recipe as a way to use up loads of fresh cranberries I had left over from Thanksgiving. There was a Cranberry Nut Bread recipe on the back of the cranberry bag and I figured, “How bad could it be?” Well, I should have known better! It was dry and sunken in the middle. A pound of butter, five loaves, and one very messy kitchen later, I arrived at this version.
It’s a classic quick bread, which means quick and easy to throw together. The hardest part is chopping up the fresh cranberries because they like to roll all over the place. It’s important to use fresh as opposed to dried because they add a pleasant tartness and look so pretty and festive once the bread is sliced.
Begin by combining the buttermilk, orange zest, orange juice, melted butter and egg in a small bowl. 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.
Next, combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
Stir gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.
Add the halved cranberries and nuts.
Mix again to incorporate.
Scrape the batter into a greased loaf pan.
Bake for about one hour, then cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes.
Turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely.
Slice, serve and enjoy!
My Recipe Videos
Cranberry Nut Bread
- 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
- 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.
- In a small bowl, stir together buttermilk, orange zest and juice, melted butter and egg. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.