Easy Cranberry Bread Recipe – in Minutes!

LAST UPDATED: Jun 03, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Oct 18, 2018 | By:

This easy Cranberry Bread recipe makes a great breakfast, snack, dessert and a beautiful edible gift yielding six miniature loaves per batch. This amazing quick bread recipe takes just five minutes hands on time!

I love easy quick bread recipes because they’re great for entertaining – even last minute. They’re 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

Originally published October 18, 2018 and updated with fresh content and details June 3, 2021.

This amazing Cranberry Bread is yet another adaptation of my favorite sweet bread recipe which only takes 5 minutes hands on time to make! It’s a beautiful and festive way to celebrate the holidays, especially for gifting!

Its subtly sweet flavor is balanced with the delicious tart cranberries which adds 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

  • 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 am a bit of a quick bread devotee, or a connoisseur if you will. I’ve shared countless quick bread recipes, including a classic sweet bread, apple cinnamon bread and brown sugar bread that have been baked over a million times. I’ve got a quick bread guide that will walk you through each and every recipe in my line-up, along with tips and tricks to enhance your baking experience!

Cranberry Bread Ingredients

  • 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.
  • 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. 

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

Cranberry bread batter topped with whole fresh cranberries in a small white loaf pan.

How to Make Cranberry Bread

  1. Prep – Preheat oven and grease loaf pans.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients – In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients – In a mixer or large bowl whisk eggs milk and oil.
  4. Blend – Gradually fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just moist. Don’t over beat.
  5. Pour Into Loaf Pans – Pour into prepared pan / pans leaving 1″ (more if you’re using 1 large loaf pan) to compensate for rise. Sprinkle with cranberries and sugar to garnish. (Optional: add a touch of orange juice to the batter or orange zest on top)
  6. Bake – Bake and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Want another twist? The options are endless for this easy, adaptable Cranberry Bread recipe.

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.

Scaling up, down or substituting? You’ll love this printable Measurement Conversion Chart!

Tips

  • Use your food processor – to chop your cranberries into smaller pieces. 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.

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – Store cranberry bread in a sealed plastic bag or covered in saran wrap at room temperature for up to five days.
  • Refrigerate – Allow bread to cool and store in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap refrigerated for up to four days. If you need to store it any longer, you should move it to the freezer to maintain the fresh flavors.
  • Freeze – To freeze bread, wrap tightly in heavy foil, saran wrap or place them in freezer bags (I like to do at least two to prevent freezer odors from seeping in). Freeze up to three months. Bring to room temperature to serve.
A small loaf of a cranberry bread recipe in a white ceramic loaf pan, white background.

What to Do with Leftovers

Dietary Considerations

  • Nut Free
  • Vegetarian

Gifting

I always stock up on white ceramic loaf pans during the holidays when they’re 50% off, making them less than $1 a piece at Michael’s.

They wrap easily with (optional cellophane and) a bow – a true no fuss homemade gift.

Hungry for more? Get my BEST Baking Secrets delivered directly to your inbox and connect on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest!

A small loaf of a cranberry bread recipe in a white ceramic loaf pan, white background.

5 Minute Cranberry Bread

Author: Julie Blanner
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!
5 from 36 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 24
Calories 221 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups 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 sugar for sprinkling

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F⅔ and grease 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.
  • Grease 6 miniature baking dishes and pour mixture an inch below to the top to compensate for rise.
  • Sprinkle with cranberries and sugar. Bake 40 minutes.

Notes

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.
 

Nutrition

Calories:221kcalCarbohydrates:38gProtein:3gFat:7gSaturated Fat:5gPolyunsaturated Fat:1gMonounsaturated Fat:1gTrans Fat:1gCholesterol:15mgSodium:112mgPotassium:164mgFiber:1gSugar:21gVitamin A:62IUVitamin C:1mgCalcium:74mgIron:1mg
5 from 36 votes
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
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