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

  • I have been making this Cook’s Cranberry Nut Bread for years. It’s truly the best! I don’t see how you tweaked it though. I live on Cape Cod, where cranberries are grown and have tried many versions, NONE compare to this!
    BTW, I just love Once Upon a Chef. Everything I have made from here has been fantastic! You are my go-to for yummy ideas. Thank You!

    • — Buffy N Alten on October 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on October 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is to die for, so good! Thank you Jenn, your recipes are always so good. Use nice sweets oranges and frozen cranberries when fresh are out of season and make this cranberry orange bread anytime. Highly recommend!

    • — Pauline on March 23, 2021
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  • Fabulous recipe, next time will lessen the amount of sugar.

    • — Barbara B on March 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • My daughter loves this bread and the cranberries are out of season how can I substitute dried cranberries and should I soak them in hot water before using?
    Thank you for the always perfect recipes!

    • — Lesa jaber on March 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • Leesa, I’m concerned the bread would be too sweet with dried cranberries. Fresh cranberries are super-tart, and the batter is quite sweet to balance the flavor. They also add a good bit of moisture to the bread. Sorry! (And glad you like the recipes.) 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 5, 2021
      • Reply
  • Love, love, love this bread! I’ve made it several times and it’s perfect every time!

    • — Amy on February 1, 2021
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  • This recipe is the best! I’ve been making cake to bring to work for a while, this recipe is always requested and my colleagues say it’s the best cake I made. Since I found this in October, that’s all I’ve made (except for the also excellent Banana-coconut pecan bread here once, loved that too). My colleagues are French and this was all new and strange for them, but they love it. Metric conversion button very appreciated.
    I use colza oil instead of butter and use up to 2 cups of cranberries when I have them, otherwise as it.
    Congratulations and thank you!

    • — Nina Kotek on February 1, 2021
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  • This might be my favorite quick-bread ever!
    I’ve made this a bunch of times and it always come out so, so delicious! I’ve made this a few times with 1:1 gluten free flour, which always works really well here. I hand slice the cranberries in half and then toss them with a couple tablespoons of the flour which seems to help with their distribution in the final bread. My sister has a similar muffin recipe in which she pulses the cranberries in the food processor a few times before adding them to the batter which would probably work here but I really love the bigger bites of cranberry in the bread so much I haven’t tried the food processor method yet.
    I usually leave out the nuts as a personal preference and find this bread is a hit anytime of year (I happily store cranberries in the freezer for recipes like this)!

    • — Adriana L on January 31, 2021
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    • Can I use 3/4 cup sugar or would that be too bitter? Also, can I use peanuts instead of walnuts.

      • — kaylee on March 18, 2021
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      • Hi Kaylee, I think you can get away with both. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on March 19, 2021
        • Reply
  • This is the best cranberry bread!! I love the combo of orange, cranberry and walnuts.

    • — Cindy Hunt on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • I always hate it when someone leaves a review for a recipe and then goes on to say what they changed….since it’s then not really ‘the recipe’. Welllll, I’m going to do that, b/c there are so many recipes out there with potential that I’d never make d/t them being less healthy than I’d prefer to stuff in my face for days on end. I’m sure this recipe is delicious in it’s original form..I mean, what’s not to like, right?
    My changes are as follows (and I felt comfortable making them because these are frequent changes I make in other recipes):
    -removed butter totally and substituted with canola oil
    -substituted approx 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat flour
    -cut the sugar content in 1/2 and substituted 3/4 of the remaining sugar with light brown sugar.
    -substituted blend of home-made kefir and no fat plain yogurt for buttermilk
    increased the nuts and cranberries by a tiny bit…I did want the bread to rise, after all!
    It turned out spectacular, actually rose as much as I’d anticipate any of this sort of bread to rise. Young grandkids loved it.

    • — Carol on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • The cranberry nut bread is the best! You’ll never have to look for another recipe once you’ve made this one! It so moist & with the orange zest, juice & cranberries it is a perfect combination of tart & sweet. Jenn’s tip to cut the cranberries in half is worth the few minutes it takes. It makes the flavor pop & it presents beautifully when cut. I gave several of them away during the holidays this year & everyone asked for the recipe Enjoy!

    • — Judith on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a great nut bread recipe. It was so moist can chock full of flavor. I added same chopped up orange which worked out nicely.

    • — Suzanne on January 30, 2021
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  • Wow! I must admit, I have never been a good baker. My breads usually come out too dry or still wet in the middle. I now have a whole new confidence in my bread making skills ! This recipe came out perfectly done and moist to the very last slice! Walnuts are my absolute favorite and paired with the cranberries, well, what can I say, I did not share it. However, I felt guilty in the following day made three more. One for my family, one to freeze for a friend’s coffee next week and one more for me. Thank you Chef for making baking so simple and delicious! ❤️

    • — Ruth on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • The orange flavor and hints of cinnamon, plus the texture of the walnuts, make this such an interesting bread. Perfect for Christmas time. Every time I make an “extra” one to freeze, it doesn’t even make it to the freezer!

    • — Sarah on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this loaf recently, I had only made muffins in the past. This was so much easier and the flavor was so wonderful with the fresh cranberries adding a little tartness.

    • — Cassandra on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe has become our all time family favorite .
    We freeze it in thick slices and enjoy it year round .
    Recipe works equally well with frozen and fresh cranberries but easier to make with frozen .
    The citrus zest & juice are an amazing addition to the recipe .
    Only modification I make it to reduce sugar by 1/4 cup

    • — Marion on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Another hit from Jenn! A moist loaf with the lovely tang from cranberries to balance out the sweet. I make exactly per the recipe and comes out perfect every time! A nice addition to a morning coffee any time of the year 🙂

    • — Nicki on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi there
    Really loved this cranberry loaf. We used Ontario cranberries found at Johnsons farm in Bala Ontario . I used clementine to replace the orange. Gave it an extra special christmasy flavour for the season. Can always tell it’s a hit when whole loaf dissappears in one day!!!!🤭

    • — Corinne Severn on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a fabulous quick bread! Made exactly as the recipe is written, wouldn’t change a thing. I was worried about the cranberries taking too long to cut in half and about putting them in the batter raw. It really didn’t take too long once I figured out what knife to use and the bread was a delicious change to my regular bread making. I even ordered a loaf keeper so I could display it on my counter.

    • — Debbie S on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Loved this bread! The recipe was easy to follow and it turned out perfect! Will be making this again soon! Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    • — Corrine on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Jenn’s recipes never disappoint. I’ve made this twice already and it was delicious both times. The bread is nice and moist. Just follow the recipes as written. It was easy even for this novice chef.

    • — Paula on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This will be my weekend baking.. can’t wait to try.. love your quick bread recipes.. thanks

    • — Karla Moog on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made many recipes of cranberry nut bread over my 77 years, but this is the very best one ever. I took the time to halve the cranberries and that did make a difference. I thank my son in law for introducing me to Once Upon a Chef every time I use one of her recipes as they have all been great so far.

    • — Sharon Cales on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Cranberry Nut bread is a Holiday tradition in my family. This past Christmas I decided to use Jenn’s recipe instead of the recipe I have used that was my mother’s. This is the best cranberry nut bread I have ever had; it was moist and flavorful. Even my 93 year old mother said it was better than hers. I think the buttermilk made a big difference. Thanks for another great recipe @onceupon a chef.

    • — Bobbi Kerr on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Fresh cranberries! I was hesitant at first (breads are new to me) but this bread turned out great. The easy to follow pictures were really helpful. We loved eating this bread for breakfast 🙂

    • — Sheila on January 28, 2021
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  • I’m always looking for new loaf recipes and this one will be added to my collection.

    • — Lorraine on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Mine was done around 38 minutes total (however, I did cut the sugar by 10%. I found it still plenty sweet)

    • — Amira on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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
      • Hi Jen
        Just wondering why you added the sugar to the dry ingredients as opposed to the wet? When baking, I’ve always beat the sugar into the wet ingredients to dissolve it but I’m always keen to learn new methods.

        • — Fay on July 17, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Fay, Because the butter is melted and you’re not creaming the butter and the sugar, it’s fine to combine the sugar with the other dry ingredients. Hope that clarifies. 🙂

          • — Jenn on July 19, 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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