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Close up side shot of the best cranberry bread recipe sliced and served on a red and white plate
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5 from 1 vote

Mom's Cranberry Bread

A delicious and easy cranberry bread recipe that takes only 15 minutes to prepare and makes a perfect holiday gift or festive breakfast!
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberry bread, cranberry nut bread, cranberry orange bread, cranberry walnut bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 10 - 12 servings (1 loaf)
Calories 263kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice and zest from 1 orange
  • ¼ cup salted butter, melted
  • Approximately ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved (if using frozen cranberries, do not thaw before adding to batter)
  • ½ cup chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans (increase to 1 cup of nuts for an extra nutty crunch)


  • Preheat oven to 325°F (190°C). Grease an 8 ½ x 4 ½-inch loaf pan; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar.
  • In a large measuring cup, whisk together the melted butter, orange juice, and milk, adding enough milk so that the wet mixture totals 1 cup.
  • Add the egg and orange zest to the wet ingredients. Whisk until completely combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix. The batter should be nice and thick, without any dry pockets of flour. Add a splash of extra milk, if necessary.
  • Gently fold in cranberries and nuts.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for about 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Properly measure the flour. Always spoon and level the flour or weigh it on a kitchen scale -- do not scoop it out of the package. Incorrectly measuring the flour packs it too tightly into the measuring cup and results in dense, dry bread.
  • The orange zest is the outer layer of the orange peel, where you'll find all of the essential oils (and therefore the most potent orange flavor). Make sure that you don't scrape off any of the bitter white pith when grating the orange zest.
  • How to Make Cranberry Bread Moist: Be careful not to overmix the batter. Mixing too much activates the gluten in the flour, resulting in a dry, dense loaf of bread. Gently fold together the ingredients just until everything is combined.
  • To prevent quick breads or Bundt cakes from sticking to the pan, I prefer to use a baking spray (that includes flour). It also helps to run a knife around the outside of the bread while it's still warm and cooling in the pan.
  • I prefer a light colored loaf pan (rather than a dark pan), because the darker pans tend to brown or burn the outside of quick breads before the inside cooks through.


Serving: 1/10 of the loaf | Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 196IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg