Cranberry Bread with Fresh Cranberries

Cranberry Bread with Fresh Cranberries

Here is an easy recipe for cranberry bread with fresh cranberries. Fresh cranberries help to create a dessert that is bursting with juicy cranberry flavor. In contrast, while you can make a nice cranberry bread with dried cranberries, the dried cranberries lack the natural juices & mouth “feel” of delicious fresh cranberries. Your family will love the taste of this easy cranberry bread with fresh cranberries. It is perfect as a breakfast snack or simple dessert for lunch or dinner.

Our cranberry bread recipe should take you roughly 10 minutes to prepare and clean up. Please be aware that this is an oven-baked recipe. It is not made with a bread machine. For similar recipes, please visit Bread Dad’s section on Sweet Quick Breads. You will also find a printable and “pin-able” recipe at the bottom of this page. If you liked this recipe, please leave a comment below and give us a 5 star rating.

Mix Batter & Then Add Cranberries

Ingredients – Easy Cranberry Bread Recipe

  • 2 Cups – Flour (all purpose flour)
  • 1 1/4 Cups – Light Brown Sugar (packed cup)
  • 1 Teaspoon – Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon – Baking Powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon – Salt
  • 8 Tablespoons – Unsalted Butter (melted)
  • 2 – Large Eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 Cup – Milk (or cranberry juice for even more cranberry flavor!)
  • 1 Teaspoon – Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup – Fresh Cranberries (or frozen cranberries)
  • Optional – 1 Tablespoon – Turbinado Sugar (to sprinkle on top of batter before bread pan is put in oven)

Servings – Roughly 12 slices

  • Equipment required for this recipe – Measuring cup & spoons, mixing bowls, long wooden spoon, 9 by 5 bread pan, oven mitts, silicon spatula, cooling rack and an oven.

Optional – Sprinkle Large Sugar Crystals On Top of Batter

Instructions – Easy Cranberry Bread Recipe

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Grease bread pan, line the bread pan with baking parchment paper or use a nonstick bread pan in order to prevent the cranberries from sticking to the bread pan during the baking process.
  • Wash the cranberries. Shake off any excess moisture. Set aside until batter is mixed.
  • Stir dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder & salt) together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Soften butter in a microwave.
  • Lightly beat eggs.
  • Mix the butter, eggs, milk & vanilla extract together in separate mixing bowl.
  • After mixing the wet ingredients, add them into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir by hand or with an electric hand mixer until the batter is fully mixed. FYI – An electric hand mixer helps to prevent any small white “lumps” (unmixed flour lumps) from potentially appearing in your finished cranberry bread.
  • Add the cranberries after the batter has been completely mixed. Stir them into the batter with a wooden spoon. Make sure the fresh cranberries are evenly spread throughout the batter.
  • Pour finished batter into the bread pan. Smooth out the top of the batter within the bread pan.
  • Optional – For a sugary top to the cranberry bread, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar on top of the batter before you place the bread pan in the oven.
  • Bake in the oven for 65-70 minutes.
  • Take out of oven and let the cranberry bread cool down in the bread pan for 10 minutes. Do not remove the cranberry bread from the bread pan during this 10 minute cool down period. Use oven mitts as the bread pan will be very hot coming out of the oven.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the cranberry bread from the bread pan. Use oven mitts. Place the cranberry bread on a cooling rack in order to completely cool. This cool down may take 1-2 hours. Gently slide a silicon spatula between the cranberry bread and the bread pan walls if the cranberry bread is stuck in the pan.

Delicious Cranberry Bread – Stuffed with Fresh Cranberries!

Cranberry Bread with Fresh Cranberries

If you liked this recipe, please leave a comment below & give us a 5 star rating. The recipe comment section is located at the bottom of this page. Your comments help us to improve & clarify our recipe instructions. Moreover, it is ALWAYS great to hear from someone who has enjoyed our recipes!

Reference Sources

Tips – Cranberry Bread with Fresh Cranberries

  • The tips below are designed to help sweet quick bread “novices” and/or people with limited baking experience.
  • If you are looking for a cranberry “quick bread” made with dried cranberries, you should try our Cranberry Bread with Dried Cranberries recipe.
  • Cranberry bread is a type of sweet “quick bread” (similar to banana bread) because it uses baking powder and/or baking soda to rise and does not use bread yeast. This results in a faster rising baked good that tastes more like a muffin or cake and not like a sandwich bread. FYI – Cranberry bread is also known as cranberry loaf bread, cranberry quick bread or cranberry bread cake.
  • The use of fresh cranberries (versus dried cranberries) in this recipe helps to create a “juicier” & moist cranberry bread.
  • If you can’t find fresh cranberries in the supermarket, you should search the frozen section. Stores often have frozen cranberries in stock when fresh cranberries are not in season. Frozen cranberries work well and they are usually full of juice & flavor. They will thaw out during the baking process. Just make sure that you are not adding any extra ice with the frozen cranberries. Otherwise, you will adding too much moisture to the recipe and the cranberry bread could come out undercooked or soggy.
  • Be careful about adding any extra cranberries (beyond what is called for in the recipe). Too many cranberries can make the cranberry bread more fragile because there will be a relatively smaller “bread” portion binding the cranberry bread together.
  • In addition, you should make sure the cranberries are spread throughout the batter and not concentrated in one area (or there could be less “structural integrity” where the cranberries are concentrated).
  • This recipe is for a cranberry bread without orange juice. There are lots of orange cranberry bread recipes but I wanted to create an easy cranberry bread where the delicious flavor of cranberries is not overwhelmed by the taste of oranges. Moreover, some families do not have orange juice readily available and there is not point making a special trip to the supermarket if you do not have orange juice.
  • Optional – If you want a greater cranberry “appearance” to your cranberry bread, you can gently press a few cranberries into the top of the batter before you place the bread pan in the oven.
  • Optional – If you want a sweeter cranberry bread, you can sprinkle 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar (a brown sugar with large sugar crystals) on top of the batter before you place the bread pan in the oven. See picture above. You can find turbinado sugar in most large supermarkets (in the baking supplies section next to the “regular” sugar products).
  • Optional – For an even greater cranberry taste (and slightly “pinker” bread interior), you can replace the you can replace the milk (called for in this recipe) with a similar amount of cranberry juice. I added milk as the primary liquid ingredient (versus cranberry juice) because people are more likely to have that ingredient in their home. Nevertheless, if you have cranberry juice, you might prefer to use it over milk in order to create a snack/dessert with even more cranberry flavor.
  • Optional – If you want to create an orange cranberry bread variation, you should replace the milk (called for in this recipe) with a similar amount of orange juice.
  • Messed up the top of your quick bread? Hate the ugly top on your bread? Then try adding some homemade whipped cream to cover up any “blemishes”! See our Strawberry Bread Recipe for instructions on how to make homemade whipped cream.

 

  • Wait for this easy cranberry bread to completely cool down (i.e. 1-2 hours after removed from the oven) for better “sliceability”. A still warm cranberry bread will crumble/break more easily when cut (when compared to a cooled down cranberry bread). It is also better to use a sharp serrated knife when cutting homemade cranberry bread.
  • If you want more “cake” (bread portion) and less cranberry, you can reduce the fresh cranberries to 3/4 cup (versus the 1 1/4 cups called for in the recipe).
  • While some people think cranberry bread is only a thanksgiving dessert, I think it is perfect for any occasion because fresh cranberry bread is so delicious.
  • Be gentle when removing the cranberry bread from the bread pan because it is stuffed with cranberries. Consider using baking parchment paper if you want the least potential for any baking mishaps when removing a baked good from a bread pan. If you need more information on baking parchment paper, please see our instructional videos page because it has videos focused on how to use baking parchment paper.
  • Don’t use add more cranberries to the interior batter (than called for in the recipe) because the cranberry bread will be more fragile & more likely to break. More cranberries reduce the “structural integrity” of the quick bread because there is less internal “bread” (relative to the cranberries) holding things together. As stated above, the safest way to reduce the potential breakage of fruit-filled quick breads is to use baking parchment paper.
  • Make sure to grease the bread pan, line the bread pan with baking parchment paper or use a good nonstick bread pan. The cranberries can become very sticky after the baking process (especially on the bottom of the bread pan). Baking parchment paper might be the safest way to manage a potential sticky “bottom”.
  • If you have a problem with small white flour “lumps” appearing in moist cranberry breads & quick breads, you should consider using an electric hand mixer to mix your batter. Electric mixers are better at breaking up any small lumps that can be missed by hand mixing.
  • This doesn’t happen often but if the top of the cranberry bread looks too moist or under cooked, you should try the “toothpick test”. Gently push a toothpick (or wooden skewer) into the top of the bread and see if any batter sticks to the toothpick. If batter is sticking to the toothpick then it hasn’t completely cooked. Place the bread pan back into the still hot oven for another 3 to 5 minutes. Make sure to wear oven gloves because the bread pan will be very hot. Remove the bread pan and test the cranberry bread again with a tooth pick.
  • If you like desserts & snacks made with fresh cranberries, you should also try out our Cranberry Banana Bread, Pumpkin Cranberry Bread, Applesauce Cranberry Bread and Cranberry Banana Muffins recipes.
  • If you have a problem with a homemade cranberry bread recipe, please make sure that you are following the recipe exactly (i.e. using the correct oven temperature), using the correct amounts of ingredients (i.e. don’t eyeball the measurements versus using a measuring cup or accidentally add a tablespoon when a teaspoon is called for), using the correct ingredients (i.e. baking soda/powder versus yeast or all purpose flour versus bread flour), etc. Please don’t “wing” things with recipes.
  • In addition, you should always try to use relatively fresh baking soda & powder for the best results. For example, using baking soda from an open container (that has been deodorizing your refrigerator for months) may lead to subpar results. Old & hard baking soda/powder may lead to rising problems and/or leave small bitter clumps in your homemade cranberry bread.
  • If you do not have aluminum free baking powder, “regular” baking powder should work fine (as long as it is relatively fresh). However, I prefer to use aluminum free food ingredients when making food for my family.
  • Always wear oven mitts/gloves when dealing with bread pans & a hot oven.
  • For other delicious quick bread recipes (i.e. banana bread or cornbread), please visit Bread Dad’s main section for Quick Bread Recipes.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a comment below & give us a 5 star rating. The recipe comment section is located at the bottom of this page. Your comments help us to improve & clarify our recipe instructions. Moreover, it is ALWAYS great to hear from someone who has enjoyed our recipes!

Questions & Answers – Cranberry Bread with Fresh Cranberries

What is cranberry bread?

Cranberry bread is a sweet “quick bread” that is used for desserts and snacks. It is not a sandwich-type bread. Cranberry bread is loaf shaped, muffin-like and can be made with fresh cranberries, frozen cranberries or dried cranberries. Quick breads are made with baking powder and/or baking soda and not with bread yeast. Other types of quick breads include banana bread, pumpkin bread, strawberry bread, applesauce bread, etc.

Can I use frozen cranberries in cranberry bread?

Yes. You can use frozen cranberries in cranberry bread if you do not have fresh cranberries. Just make sure that you are not adding any extra ice with the frozen cranberries. Otherwise, you will adding too much moisture to the recipe and the cranberry bread could come out undercooked or soggy. In addition, frozen cranberries should not be used to replace dried cranberries (if dried cranberries called for in a cranberry bread recipe) because the frozen cranberries might add too much moisture and cause the cranberry bread to be soggy.

Can I use dried cranberries to make cranberry bread?

Yes. You can use dried cranberries to make a delicious cranberry bread. Quick breads that use dried cranberries tend to be a little sweeter because the manufacturers of dried cranberries often add extra sugar to the dried cranberries. For details on how to make cranberry bread with dried cranberries, please take a look at our Cranberry Bread with Dried Cranberries recipe.

Related Recipes

Cranberry Bread with Fresh Cranberries
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Cranberry Bread with Fresh Cranberries

Here is an easy recipe for cranberry bread with fresh cranberries. Fresh cranberries help to create a dessert that is bursting with juicy cranberry flavor. In contrast, while you can make a nice cranberry bread with dried cranberries, the dried cranberries lack the natural juices & mouth "feel" of delicious fresh cranberries. Visit Bread Dad (BreadDad.com) for more easy sweet "quick bread" recipes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry bread, cranberry bread recipe, cranberry bread with fresh cranberries, easy cranberry bread, easy cranberry bread recipe, fresh cranberry bread, homemade cranberry bread
Servings: 12 Slices
Calories: 256kcal
Author: Bread Dad

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Flour (all purpose flour)
  • 1 1/4 Cups Light Brown Sugar (packed cup)
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Eggs (large)
  • 1 Cup Milk (or cranberry juice for even more cranberry flavor!)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Fresh Cranberries (or frozen cranberries)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Grease bread pan, line the bread pan with baking parchment paper or use a nonstick bread pan in order to prevent the cranberries from sticking to the bread pan during the baking process.
  • Wash the cranberries. Shake off any excess moisture. Set aside until batter is mixed.
  • Stir dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder & salt) together in a large mixing bowl
  • Soften butter in a microwave.
  • Lightly beat eggs.
  • Mix the butter, eggs, milk & vanilla extract together in separate mixing bowl.
  • After mixing the wet ingredients, add them into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir by hand or with an electric hand mixer until the batter is fully mixed. FYI - An electric hand mixer helps to prevent any small white "lumps" (unmixed flour lumps) from potentially appearing in your finished cranberry bread.
  • Add the cranberries after the batter has been completely mixed. Stir them into the batter with a wooden spoon. Make sure the fresh cranberries are evenly spread throughout the batter.
  • Pour finished batter into the bread pan. Smooth out the top of the batter within the bread pan.
  • Optional - For a sugary top to the cranberry bread, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar on top of the batter before you place the bread pan in the oven.
  • Bake in the oven for 65-70 minutes.
  • Take out of oven and let the cranberry bread cool down in the bread pan for 10 minutes. Do not remove the cranberry bread from the bread pan during this 10 minute cool down period. Use oven mitts as the bread pan will be very hot coming out of the oven.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the cranberry bread from the bread pan. Use oven mitts. Place the cranberry bread on a cooling rack in order to completely cool. This cool down may take 1-2 hours. Gently slide a silicon spatula between the cranberry bread and the bread pan walls if the cranberry bread is stuck in the pan.

Notes

This is a Bread Dad recipe and may not be copied or reproduced. This recipe is copyright protected under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
 
Legal Disclaimer
 
The nutritional information is provided using recipe tools such as WP Recipe Maker. These figures should only be considered as an estimate. They should not be construed as a guarantee of accuracy given visitors may use different serving sizes, ingredients, etc. See our legal disclaimer for additional nutrition disclosures.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 304IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg

If you liked this recipe, please leave a comment below & give us a 5 star rating. Your comments really help us to improve & clarify our recipe instructions. Beginning bakers also learn a lot from your baking suggestions, ideas & recipe variations. We also LOVE to hear from people who have enjoyed our recipes!!!

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