Cranberry Nut Bread

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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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

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.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Can I use pecans rather than walnuts?

    • — Velma on December 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • So good! The perfect balance of tartness and sweetness. SO MOIST as well. I will definitely make this again!

    • — Victoria on November 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • Jenn – This cranberry nut bread is amazing! It smells so good when baking and the taste is spot on! I just added a few more cranberries to the recipe, but it is perfect as is!

    • — Theresa on November 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • Jenn, I’ve been a fan of your recipes for a while…quite a few are in constant rotation in my kitchen! I always go all out for Thanksgiving even though it’s just my husband and I (works out well for us this year!). Your whipped feta dip with tortilla crisps and veggies is the traditional Thanksgiving day appetizer! But, I do fish cakes, baked beans and cranberry bread for breakfast. Weird, I know, but I’m of Pilgrim descent! I have always made my mother’s cranberry bread. I just turned 59 and made your cranberry nut bread for today’s breakfast. AMAZING! It’s better, it’s now the only one I will make. Halving the cranberries makes all the difference! It has just enough moisture, you get more tartness from larger cranberry pieces, a winner! Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • — Laura Cox on November 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • I followed the recipe, except I did not have any cranberries, so I substituted dried cherries. Still turned out delicious. Used a Kitchenaid mixer and it worked fine.

    • — George Shafer on November 25, 2020
    • Reply
  • Just made this for the first time and it turned out great! I used 1-3/4 c all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. I snuck in about a T of orange liqueur in place of the OJ. And I used more spices than just the cinnamon…put in some nutmeg, clove and ginger, too. Pinning for future use – than you!

    • — Melanie Riley on November 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • The Cranberry Nut bread is so delicious and moist! Perfect for anytime of the year!

    • — Nicki H. on November 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have been making cranberry bread since I was a teenager (like almost 70 years ago. I always use a nut grinder. It is sooooooo easy to chop them up this way….and honestly takes only a few minutes to clean itup after use. Now you can enjoy making all the cranberry nut bread you want, THE EASY WAY!!

    • — Carol Joyner on November 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • Absolutely wonderful bread! I chopped the cranberries in the food processor. The orange juice and zest add a great flavor! My new favorite bread! It would make really pretty mini loaves to give as gifts at Christmas!

    • — peggy on November 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have been making cranberry nut bread for 50 years. I chop up the cranberries in my crushed nuts contraption! and you can chop up the nuts there too without cleaning it if you want. It makes this bread so easy to make, and gives a better distribution of cranberries throughout it. Try it….soooooo much easier.!!! I didn’t post a recipe….they are all over the internet, but I have seen people complain about chopping the cranberries, and that is why I shared this tip. Make it easy on yourself!!

    • — Carol Joyner on November 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • What is the chopped nuts contraption? Is it a small cup with a lid the has an x shaped chopper?

      • — Sandra Goldberg on November 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • I want to replace the 6 tablespoons of melted butter with vegetable oil – how much would be the correct amount for the Cranberry Nut Bread?

    • — Karen on November 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, It would be the same amount, so 6 tablespoons.

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2020
      • Reply
  • The BEST cranberry bread ever. It’s work for me, but so worth the result. The citrus and cranberry go perfectly together. Thanks, Jenn!
    I just bought your cookbook! All your recipes on the blog have been so great!

    • — Susan G on November 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you like this (and thanks for your support with the cookbook)! 💗

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this cranberry bread recipe many times and always love the result. This time I’d like to make muffins instead of bread. Do I need to adjust the recipe? And how long should I bake the muffins? (Thank you for being my go-to recipe guru. Thank you for always answering my questions. And thank you for your website and cookbook. 💜💙💜)

    • — Karen on November 8, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes and happy to help when you have questions! 🙂
      You can turn this into muffins without adjusting the recipe with the exception of the timing. I’d start checking them for doneness at 20 to 25 min. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on November 9, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thanks, as always, for getting back to me, Jenn. The batter scoops very nicely into a muffin tin pan, using a large ice-cream scoop. It’s thick enough to scoop with no drips. I love cranberries so I used two cups of fruit and just one cup of sugar. The muffins are a nice mix of tart and sweet. I baked them for about 21 minutes. This was my second batter tonight. I gave half of the first batch to a couple down the street and will give half of this batch to a different neighbor tomorrow. Just sharing a little Jenn Segal love around the neighborhood. 💙💜💙

        • — Karen on November 13, 2020
        • Reply
        • So glad they turned out nicely — thanks for reporting back (and sharing the love)! ❤️

          • — Jenn on November 15, 2020
          • Reply
  • Great recipe, easy preparation. I just made it. It was tasty and very delicious.
    Thank you.

    • — Leila on October 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • Delicious and so easy to prepare! Another winning recipe that confirms Jenn as the go-to master chef for me!

    • — Kelly Ho on August 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • ❤️ Great recipe! I couldn’t find any cranberries fresh or frozen and I did not want to use dried cranberries, so instead I got a can of tart cherries, washed off the juice and use those with a can of whole cranberry Sauce which I also rinsed. Got to be flexible right?😂 I made two loaves with the idea of freezing one. Wrong idea. One loaf was halfway gone the first evening I made this. And completely gone the next day. So easy to make. I wish I was technologically advanced enough to post the picture I took of the two loaves before they were devoured. I may have it framed.

    • — Mike on June 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • 😊

      • — Jenn on June 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • Delicious

    I had a mother’s day brunch today and I made 2 new recipes – this and the spinach frittata – and both came out perfectly.

    I always follow the recipe precisely the first time I make it and next time I will add more cranberries, but this was very good and everyone loved it. Moist, cake like but not too sweet. I loved the orange undertones as well.

    • — LiSi on May 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • I just made this and it was pretty tasty and easy to make. I used lemon juice and whole milk for the buttermilk and it seemed to work fine. I cut each frozen cranberry in half by hand as recommended and while tedious I agree helped distribute the flavor. One orange didn’t quite yield enough zest and juice for me, so that flavor didn’t really come through, so make sure you have a second orange or a large one. I removed 1 star for a few reasons. I had trouble with the melted butter, since when I combined all the liquid ingredients it immediately turned chunky and gave me problems. I would say the melted butter needs to cool a bit and the milk should be room temperature to avoid this. I would also use at least 1 1/2 cups of cranberries (maybe even 2) since I would’ve liked cranberries in every bite but they were a little sparse for my liking.

    • — Angela on April 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • I followed your recommendation and let the butter cool before mixing and had no problems at all. Thanks for the heads up.
      Next time I will add more cranberries. But I will definitely make it again, as I found it easy and tasty.

      • — LiSi on May 9, 2020
      • Reply
      • Have have lots of blueberries that are not very sweet. Can I substitute blueberries for cranberries or mix them?

        • — Sandra Goldberg on November 22, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi Sandra, for the best results, I’d stick with cranberries here. Sorry!

          • — Jenn on November 23, 2020
          • Reply
  • We were lucky enough to have all ingredients on hand so decided to give this a try. It was delicious!! We made the buttermilk by adding vinegar to milk and subbed in mini chocolate chips for nuts (kids are not a big fans). Orange flavor comes through nicely. Quite frankly, I would have enjoyed this better without the chocolate chips but still amazing. Thanks for another amazing recipe!

    • — LisaR on April 10, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this today. Delicious. Very easy to make. I only made a slight modification. Instead of 1 cup plus 2 Tbs sugar, I only used 1 cup sugar. Came out perfect. Will become a family favorite. So grateful for Jenn Segal’s web site. It’s my “go-to ” source for perfect and easy to follow recipes. ( I have the cookbook & love it ! )

    • — Marion on April 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • My question ended up on the review page by mistake. Can I substitute white whole wheat flour and oats for some of the white flour to add more fiber to this recipe?

    • — Anita on March 31, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Anita, you can actually swap out the all-purpose flour for white whole wheat as they are pretty interchangeable. The texture will be a bit different with it, so if you’d like the minimize the impact on the texture, I’d suggest using half all-purpose and half white whole wheat. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 31, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hello. Can I substitute or add a combination of white whole wheat flour and oats to add more fiber to this recipe?

    • — Anita on March 31, 2020
    • Reply
  • Fabulous loaf. I put the fresh or frozen cranberries And walnuts in the food processor and pulsed 3 or 4 times. No chopping required. An delicious easy recipe made easier! I am going to try making Cranberry nut muffins next.

    • — Darlene Barnes on March 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • This was excellent! I made it because I had a bag of leftover fresh cranberries from Christmas. Followed it to a “T” and added an orange glaze because it was a gift. (1/2 cup orange juice, vanilla, and powdered sugar.) But honestly, it stands on it’s own. The cranberries do “pop’ as the cook described, and all the ingredients mesh beautifully. This will be my go-to for neighbor/coworker gifts around the holidays! Thanks so much!

    • — Micki on January 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have made this twice now. The first time I made exactly as written and it was fantastic. The second time I added slightly more cranberries and walnuts and sprinkled with turbinado sugar before baking. We thought this made it even better. The sugar added a nice crunch and we love walnuts and cranberries so adding extra was perfect. Thank you so much for this recipe. I have loved all the recipes of yours that I’ve tried.

    • — Martha O. on January 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • absolutely scrumptious and easy to make. I squeeze some lime and sea salt on the top after baking.

    • — froghodges on January 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • This Christmas season was the first time I used this recipe. I make cranberry bread every year as gifts for family and friends. I am not sure what prompted me to try a new recipe, but this particular recipe popped up as a suggestion on my IPad and I decided to try it. I am so glad I did! This one was so much better than the one I had previously used. My husband and family all agreed that this cranberry nut bread was amazing. It will definitely be my go-to recipe for cranberry nut bread from now on. Thank you so much!

    • — Kathy Mendoza on December 27, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi,I love this recipe but for myself, I need to use gluten-free flour. I had gluten-free breads before that were crumbly and dry. How can I prevent that from happening?

    • — Nancy Bowman on December 23, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Nancy, I don’t have a ton of experience with gluten-free baking but many readers have commented that they’ve had great luck with King Arthur’s gluten-free all-purpose flour. I think starting with the right flour can definitely have an impact on the recipe so I would suggest trying that. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2019
      • Reply
      • Cup-4-Cup is outstanding. It’s pricey, but oh so worth it (in any baking recipe)!

        • — Marcia on March 4, 2020
        • Reply
  • Can I substitute the butter with apple sauce?

    • — Geri on December 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Geri, You can replace half the butter with applesauce; I wouldn’t do any more than that, or the bread will be too dense and wet. Please LMK how it turns out with applesauce!

      • — Jenn on December 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,
    I am hoping to make mini loaves with this cranberry nut bread, but I was not sure as to how much batter I should make to fill 8 mini loaf pans. Would one batch of this recipe work? How much time do I cook it for? Do I reduce the temperature at all?

    • — Evelyn on December 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Evelyn, If you’d like to make 8 loaves, I’d double the recipe as I’d guesstimate that the batter would make 3 to 4 minis. I’m not sure how long they’ll take but I’d keep the temperature the same (start at 375 and reduce to 350) and check after about 25 minutes (stick a toothpick into the center of the loaf – if it comes out clean, it’s done). If it’s not done, check them with a toothpick every five minutes after that. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 19, 2019
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much for the advice on both the Cranberry and Pumpkin breads. They turned out wonderfully! I gave them out as gifts to family and friends. Thank you again!
        Hoping you have a very merry Christmas.

        • — Evelyn on December 21, 2019
        • Reply
  • I love cranberries and orange together and have tried many recipes. This is by far the best recipe I have ever made with a perfect balance of cranberries, orange, and just enough sweetness. Thanks for another great recipe. These will be my Christmas gifts!

    • — Debbie Hilliard on December 7, 2019
    • Reply
  • I made this into muffins and added chocolate chips, which were a nice balance to the tartness of the cranberries. Delicious!

    • — Barbara on December 6, 2019
    • Reply
  • Can you use dried cranberries?

    • — Sue J on December 5, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sue, I wouldn’t recommend them here as the bread would be too sweet with them. 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!

      • — Jenn on December 5, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    Could i make these into mini loaves to give as gifts? If so how many mini loaves would one recipe make and would i bake it on different temperature and time? Thanks so much!

    • — Melissa Pickard on December 1, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Melissa — these will definitely work as mini loaves! I’d guesstimate that the batter would make 3 to 4 minis. I’m not sure how long they’ll take but I’d keep the temperature the same (start at 375 and reduce to 350) and check after about 25 minutes (and keep checking until done). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2019
      • Reply
  • Do you think this would work in muffin form?

    • — Cathy Bruning on November 26, 2019
    • Reply
    • Yep – start checking for doneness around 20 to 25 minutes. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 27, 2019
      • Reply
  • This bread is absolutely delicious! Super easy – followed the recipe exactly as written. I thought it would be tasty (as is everything from your site, Jenn) but it definitely exceeded my expectations.

    • — Cook from Calgary on November 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • My mom and I started our holiday baking today and used your recipe. It turned out fabulous!! Such great flavor and so moist. We love it and it will permanently be on our recipe list from now on.

    • — Sherry on November 8, 2019
    • Reply
  • There’s a nut allergy in this house & that always creates the question, “what to substitute”? I miss walnuts but most times I just leave out nuts when called for. There must be something I could use in this recipe? Help ????? Love your site & recipes. Nancy

    • — nancy g visconti on October 22, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Nancy, the first thing that comes to mind is using either sunflower seeds or roasted pumpkin seeds. Then there’s always chocolate chips… 😉

      • — Jenn on October 23, 2019
      • Reply
  • can you use dried berries instead of frozen??

    • Jan, 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!

  • Hi, can the batter be made and then stored in fridge for later use?

    • Hi Matt, Unfortunately, this needs to be baked right after mixing. Sorry!

  • Turned out great.I would not change a thing.Family had it gone in no time an I was lucky to get one slice.

  • This is a very good bread. The recipe and the directions work well. I recommend this recipe

  • Delicious. I used dried cranberries, which I pre-soaked in a drop of the orange juice, and they worked perfectly. I baked this loaf in a mini 4 loaf pan, for 10 minutes at 375 and then about 20 minutes at 350. I love the mini loaf pan, so my husband and I can enjoy 1 loaf, and then freeze the other 3 or give them to the family. But … maybe we’ll eat all 4 loaves ourselves this time. With the dried cranberries on hand, it’s so easy to bake this loaf any time as a treat for others. Thank you, Jenn, for yet another lovely recipe.

  • Hi Jenn, Does it matter if I use a metal loaf pan or a glass loaf pan? And if I use a glass pan, should I lower the oven to 350 degrees? Many thanks for your reply.

    • Hi Karen, no need to reduce the temperature to bake this in a glass loaf pan. Hope you enjoy!

  • Made this superb cranberry nut bread to the delight of my holiday guests. Followed the recipe exactly just added 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg. I have made many of Jenns recipes, never had a failure or one I did not like. I have your cookbook and use it alot; please do another one!

  • Hi, I have to say that everything I have made off your site is delicious! The crack nuts, the easiest and best I have had, the cookies with oat flour, yum. You are gifted, thanks for sharing. Waiting patiently for this cranberry bread to cool so we can eat it, I was out of walnuts so I use pistachios I’ll let you know 😊

    • ❤️

      • Made this today using gluten free flour. It was DELICIOUS!! Will be making this bread frequently! Thank you!!

        • — Leslie Harris on November 24, 2020
        • Reply
  • Can I use this recipe to make mini loaves?

    • Sure, Jessica – you’ll just need to reduce the cooking time. Enjoy!

  • Moist and delicious!

  • Admittedly, I had never even tasted a fresh cranberry before but I picked up a bag on a whim when they were on sale this season. The berries are very tart but the bread provides a perfectly sweet counterbalance. I doubled the batch and threw in the entire 12 ounce bag of cranberries. I sliced the big ones in half but left most whole. I can never resist tinkering, I added a teaspoon of cardamom and a splash of vanilla for extra flavor and cut back the salt a little (3/4 t. for the double). Very tasty! I think it might benefit from another egg because it wants to crumble apart easily when sliced. The double batch made 8 mini loaves, baked for 32 minutes at 350F for the entire time.

  • For years I used my mom’s recipe for cranberry bread. Your recipe tastes better and is now my go-to. Sorry, Mom.

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