How to Make the Best Cranberry Bread Recipe

Mini Banana-Cranberry-Nut Bread Loaves
Recipe: Mini Banana-Cranberry-Nut Bread LoavesCranberries add a splash of color and holiday flavor to a much-loved quick bread. Photo: Luca Trovato

Nothing embodies the flavor of fall better than cranberry walnut bread. Whether it's for breakfast, dessert, or something in between, this sweet, moist bread -- punctuated by tart cranberries and crunchy walnuts -- is one comfort food we can't get enough of when the weather starts to get chilly.

While there are a number of variations on cranberry nut bread, all of which are different, there is one tried and true tip for making it from scratch: Before baking, it is important that you let the batter sit in the pan for 20 minutes. During this rest-time, the leaveners will become active, and this will encourage the bread to rise higher than it would if you sent it straight to the oven. This extra leavening time is the key to a super-moist and fluffy final loaf.

You may also be interested in the below video.

Here are a few variations on the classic that we can't wait to try at home:

This recipe for melt-in-your-mouth cranberry orange bread calls for softened butter, plain yogurt, and buttermilk to give the bread its boost of moisture. The use of both freshly squeezed orange juice and orange marmalade contribute to a bright orange flavor (other recipes sometimes call for orange zest). The citrus notes from the orange enhance the sweet side of otherwise tart cranberries.

What baked good (or beverage) isn't better with pumpkin? For an extra dose of fall flavor, try Ocean Spray's super simple recipe for cranberry pumpkin bread. The sweet and subtly spiced pumpkin provides a nice balance to the tart cranberries and makes the bread a bit more dense and gooey. This would be a great combination for pancakes, too.

You Might Also Like: Our Best Fall Desserts

These mini cranberry-nut loaves would make a thoughtful holiday or hostess gift. This recipe calls for overripe bananas -- the further past their prime, the more sweetness and moisture they'll add to the bread. Instead of walnuts, this version calls for chopped pecans, which you toast in the oven beforehand. Packaged cream cheese helps to create the perfect amount of moisture.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles