This easy Cranberry Bread recipe makes a great breakfast, snack, dessert and a beautiful edible gift yielding six miniature loaves per batch. It’s a festive holiday twist on my famous Sweet Bread that’s been baked 1,000s of times!

This amazing quick bread recipe takes just five minutes hands on time! It’s foolproof and take very little hands on time to make… using staple ingredients I already have on hand!

All you need is sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk, oil and cranberries, of course!

cranberry bread in white loaf pan
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This amazing Cranberry Bread is yet another adaptation of my favorite sweet bread recipe, which only takes five minutes hands-on time to make! It’s a beautiful and festive way to celebrate the holidays, especially for gifting.

The subtly sweet flavor is balanced with deliciously tart cranberries, which also add beautiful color to this classic sweet bread. Cranberry Bread makes a delicious breakfast, snack or dessert served with or without butter.

It makes a great gift! Yielding six miniature loaves (or one traditional large loaf) it’s great for that “one for you, one for me” mentality. Actually, five to gift and one to enjoy at home!

If you make a larger loaf, just increase baking time to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Why You’ll Love this Cranberry Bread Recipe

It’s so easy! No yeast, no fuss! This Cranberry Bread Recipe comes out perfectly every single time! In fact, it’s a reader favorite!

  • So easy to make
  • Mostly pantry ingredients
  • Great for gifting
  • Perfect for the holidays
  • Great for breakfast, brunch, snacks or dessert
  • Beautiful color for entertaining

It’s especially delicious for the holidays – aka cranberry season! This bread is so moist it doesn’t need anything, but who can resist smothering it in a little butter? Not me!

slice of cranberry bread

I’ve got an incredible, FREE quick bread recipe collection that will walk you through each and every recipe in my line-up, along with tips and tricks to enhance your baking experience!

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Sugar – Granulated white sugar makes this bread delightfully sweet. Sprinkle a little on top just before baking for a beautiful glisten.
  • Flour – All purpose flour, no need to sift!
  • Baking Powder – The leavening agent for this no yeast bread.
  • Salt – Brings out the flavors in this easy bread recipe.
  • Eggs – Large eggs bind the ingredients and also help leaven the bread. Don’t overmix.
  • Milk – Use whatever you have on hand from skim to vitamin D! Almond milk is a great dairy free alternative. Milk contributes to the light texture and color of the bread.
  • Vegetable Oil – Oil makes this bread incredibly moist! I like to use vegetable oil in all of my quick breads.
  • Cranberries – For best results, use fresh cranberries. Frozen cranberries tend to bleed a bit more and won’t thoroughly bake through, but can be used in a pinch. Chopped cranberries work best to fold into the batter. Use up to an entire bag depending on how much cranberry flavor you’d like. 
Gold bakeware on a marble surface

Tools to Use

Variations

  • Brown Sugar – substitute granulated sugar with brown sugar
  • Add a Glaze – although you certainly don’t need to,  you can cover it using my Orange Glaze RecipeLemon Glaze, Basic Glaze Recipe or Cream Cheese Glaze. Seriously, soooo good! Through the years we’ve made it in a variety of ways.
  • Add Nuts – toss in a half cup of toasted walnuts
  • Add Orange Zest – Make it a Cranberry Orange Bread by adding a hint of orange juice and orange zest.
Quick bread batter topped with whole fresh cranberries and sugar in a small white loaf pan.
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Tips

  • Use your food processor – to chop your cranberries into smaller pieces if you’d like. It’s hard to slice them traditionally on a cutting board as they tend to roll!
  • Use the Toothpick Test – Bake time varies depending on your oven, altitude, baking dish material and size. It’s done when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Don’t Overfill – Leave room to compensate for rise.
  • Add a few whole cranberries to the top for an extra beautiful and colorful presentation.

Frequent Asked Questions

Can you use dried cranberries instead of fresh?

Dried (sweetened) cranberries work well in this cranberry bread recipe, but be careful to watch your measurements.
If a recipe calls for a cup of cranberries (either fresh or frozen), use just ¾ cup of sweetened dried cranberries. They are smaller and pack a bigger punch.

How do you keep cranberries from floating on bread?

Fresh cranberries do tend to float in your quick bread dough, but this dough is dense enough that it holds the chopped fresh cranberries throughout.

Do you have to cook cranberries before baking?

No, you don’t! The cranberries will cook through perfectly during your bake time in this cranberry bread recipe.

A small loaf of bread with cranberries on top, in a white ceramic loaf pan, white background.
A small loaf of a cranberry bread recipe in a white ceramic loaf pan, white background.
4.96 from 70 votes
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5 Minute Cranberry Bread

This easy Cranberry Bread Recipe is perfect for holiday entertaining -it makes a great breakfast, snack or dessert.It also makes a beautiful edible gift yielding 6 miniature loaves per batch. This quick bread recipe takes just 5 minutes hands on time!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 24
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Ingredients  

  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 4 cups all purpose flour all purpose
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • cup vegetable oil
  • cups cranberries fresh
  • cup white granulated sugar for sprinkling

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 6 miniature loaf pans.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl or mixer, beat eggs, milk and oil.
  • Gradually add dry mixture to wet until just moist.
  • Pour mixture an inch below to the top to compensate for rise.
  • Sprinkle with cranberries and sugar. Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Julie’s Tips

Substitutions

  • Milk – Use whatever you have on hand from skim milk to vitamin D. Almond milk also works well and makes it dairy free.
  • Oil – Canola oil or melted butter also work well, if needed. 
  • Cranberries – Use fresh cranberries for best results. Frozen cranberries tend to bleed a bit more and won’t thoroughly bake through, though can be used. Chopped cranberries work best to fold into the batter. Use up to an entire bag depending on how much cranberry you’d like. Dried cranberries also work well.

Variations

  • Brown Sugar – substitute granulated sugar with brown sugar
  • Add a Glaze – although you certainly don’t need to,  you can cover it using my Orange Glaze RecipeLemon Glaze, Basic Glaze Recipe or Cream Cheese Glaze. Seriously, soooo good! Through the years we’ve made it in a variety of ways.
  • Add Nuts – toss in a half cup of toasted walnuts
  • Add Orange Zest – Make it a Cranberry Orange Bread by adding a hint of orange juice and orange zest.
  • Large Loaves – Make 2 – 1 pound loaf pans or cut the recipe in half for just 1 loaf pan and bake 50 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
  • Make Muffins – If you prefer to make them into muffins, just grease miniature muffin tins and fill each to full. Bake 12 minutes.

Tips

  • Use the Toothpick Test – Bake time varies depending on your oven, altitude, baking dish material and size. It’s done when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Don’t Overfill – Leave room to compensate for rise.

To Store

  • Room Temperature – Store cranberry bread in a sealed plastic bag or covered in saran wrap at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze – To freeze bread, wrap tightly in heavy foil, saran wrap or place them in freezer bags (I like to do at least 2 to prevent freezer odors from seeping in). Freeze up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature to serve.
 
Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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4.96 from 70 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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103 Comments

  1. Julia
    This is the perfect holiday gift. I like your container idea, rather than the tin pan. Thank you for sharing this fun giftable.

    1. Unfortunately, no. Maybe make sugar scrubs? It’s my other favorite homemade holiday gift {and can also be made in the kitchen with a few ingredients}. You can get the recipes here.

      1. Is there something else to use instead of oil. Every person should see ‘The Oiling Of America’ on line. Dr Joel Wallach + other Drs say vegetarian Steve Jobs died so young from cooking his veg in oil caused pancreatic cancer very painful. Oil is worse when heated.

        1. Hi Betty,
          You can use melted butter instead. I’ve also seen folks replace oil with unsweetened applesauce and even Greek yogurt, though we haven’t tested those and I am not sure on measurements.
          Good luck, I hope you enjoy!
          Julie