Fall Means Quick Cranberry Bread

Everyone has a favorite old recipe or two they haven’t made in years. It’s always fun when something causes you to pull them out again. Today my incentive was provided by Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations who decided to throw a cookbook party!  Since October is National Cranberry Month, that would be my starting point.

When the cranberries arrive every October I am psyched. Should I make a crisp? Cranberry sauce for my Swedish pancakes? That salad that Mom used to make—hmm, can we even find that recipe?

This time I went back to an old favorite cookbook, Beard on Bread, by James Beard. When I first started baking in the 80s, this was one of my bread bibles. I make it almost exactly like he did with a couple changes that I note below.

Quick Cranberry Nut Bread

• 2 eggs
• 1 cup sugar
• ¼ cup melted butter
• 1¼ cups whole milk mixed with 1 teaspoon rosewater (I omit rosewater)
• 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used 2 c all purpose and 1 c whole wheat)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1¼ cups cranberries, coarsely chopped
• ¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a loaf tin about 10 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide.
  2. In a mixing bowl, by hand or in an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until well blended. Stir in the melted butter and the milk.
  3. Combine the flour with the soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Mix the dry and liquid ingredients until just moistened, and then fold in the cranberries and nuts. Do not overwork the dough.
  5. Spread the dough in an oiled loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the center of the bread springs back when touched lightly or a cake tester comes out clean. (The top will often crack, which is typical of soda and baking powder breads.)
  6. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing from the pan. When thoroughly cooled, wrap in plastic or foil and let sit overnight or at least a day before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.
Slice of Cranberry Nut Bread

*  I recommend chopping the cranberries, given the tartness of even a half berry!
*  Check carefully for doneness since this is a large loaf.  Or consider splitting into two small loaves.

This bread is especially nice toasted. The pecans take on a nice roasted flavor—warm and perfect for fall!

14 thoughts on “Fall Means Quick Cranberry Bread

  1. Mary Gute Witte

    Inger, Do you post and Gluten Free (GF) baked bread recipes?
    The cranberry bread look terrific.

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      I have never done a gluten free bread, though I believe I have a couple gluten free “company” entrees posted (it’s amazing how often a little flour creeps into things)–let me know if you’d like me to dig them up for you. I did a couple of related posts including some product reviews that I have listed below (the cookie in the 3rd post was to die for!) if you are interested.




  2. Louise

    I gave my Beard on Bread book to my daughter, the bread baker in the family, a long time ago. Would you believe I never baked one recipe from it? What was I thinking? Your bread sounds heavenly, Inger. It sure looks good enough to eat right this minute.

    It’s going to be a big hit at the Cookbook Party. Thank you so much for joining and Good Luck. One of the prizes is a bread cookbook too!!!

    P.S. I know you’re not on twitter but I’m going to tweet it for the others to see.

  3. Tammy

    I love that it’s cranberry month. How did I not know this? I have a wonderful new raw recipe to try and love to make cranberry ice.

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      Mmmm. You should post the cranberry ice–too cold now for me, but there are usually a few cranberries that survive in the freezer until summer and the tartness would be sooo good!

  4. Pam

    I love your recipe for National Cranberry Month. You can never have enough sweet bread recipes as far as I’m concerned…and walnuts & cranberries are just perfect. I love this at Christmas too.

  5. Cee Tollefson

    When I inadvertently forgot to put the sugar the last time I baked cranberry bread, I racked my brain for some way to use it up. I came up with the idea of using it for french toast. It was absolutely delicious. That sweet maple syrup contrasted with a tart bite of cranberry will wake up your tastebuds and the rest of you too. I now purposely cut the sugar down to one-quarter of what is called for because this is our favorite way to enjoy cranberry bread now.

  6. Choc Chip Uru

    I am on a huge cranberrry kick right now so this recipe is perfect for me 😀
    Quick and totally delicious!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Colossal Caramel Peanut Monster Cookies

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