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Cranberry Walnut Bread is a moist, sweet quick bread made with fresh cranberries and a hint of orange. It’s perfect for snacking on or gift-giving for the holidays.

Love this Cranberry Walnut Bread? Try these Cranberry Muffins next!

Cranberry bread, sliced, on a wire rack.
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Why I Love This Recipe

Made easy with a simple mix and bake approach, there’s no fussing with yeast, no rising to manage. Just the most moist bread you’ve made in awhile – and it’s a nice trade off from the regular old banana nut.


Just a quick run down of the ingredients. Amounts and more details can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Dry ingredients – Sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Wet ingredients – Egg, vanilla, vegetable oil, orange juice, buttermilk, cream cheese.
  • Cranberries
  • Topping – Butter (really cold), brown sugar, walnuts.

Don’t have buttermilk? Read How to Make Buttermilk with regular milk and vinegar or lemon juice.

How To Make Cranberry Walnut Bread

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

Prepare a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.

Mix dry ingredients. Use a whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Mix wet ingredients. In another bowl, beat the egg, cream cheese, vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla, then stir in orange juice and buttermilk.

Flour added to a bowl of light yellow batter.

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture, a little at a time.

Floured cranberries sitting in batter in a bowl with a red spatula.

Add the cranberries. Toss fresh cranberries with a little flour, then fold them into the batter.

Cranberry bread batter in a loaf pann.
Walnut topped bread batter in a loaf pan.

Add topping. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. In a small bowl, cut the cold butter into the brown sugar and stir in the walnuts. Sprinkle over the batter.

Bake. Bake uncovered at 400℉ for 45-50 minutes.

Loaf of cranberry walnut bread on a rack with fresh cranberries.

Cool. Let the bread sit in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Storage Instructions

Storing: Once the bread is completely cooled, wrap in plastic wrap or place in a resealable plastic bag. Store it at room temperature, like on the kitchen counter, for up to 4 days.

Freezing: Cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag or wrap in foil. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw at room temperature.

Expert Tips

  • Use fresh cranberries. You can find them in a bag in your produce department and they are usually only available between mid November and late December each year. If you can find frozen ones that are unsweetened you can use those here as well. I wouldn’t use dried cranberries; the flavor just isn’t the same.
  • Use real, full fat cream cheese if you can take it. I tested this a few ways and of course full fat won out for flavor and texture. If you’re used to another swap, try it but remember your final result will be different.
  • Don’t skip the buttermilk. It reacts with the leavening agents in the bread and helps with the rise.
  • Line your loaf pan with parchment paper and leave some hanging out on both sides so you can get it out easier. It’s okay if the short ends of the pan don’t have parchment. Just spray them really well even if it’s nonstick.
side view of a loaf of cranberry bread.

Quick Bread Recipes to Try Next


Cranberry Walnut Bread Recipe

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Cranberry Walnut Bread is a sweet quick bread made with fresh cranberries and a hint of orange. It's perfect for snacking or gift-giving.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 slices


  • 1 egg
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries washed, stems removed and any bad ones discarded
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 chopped walnuts
  • Optional: powdered sugar for dusting
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  • Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  • Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper long enough to cover both long sides and the bottom and leave some tails hanging over for easier removal. Spray the short ends well with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the egg, cream cheese, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla until smooth; about 2 minutes. Stir in the buttermilk and orange juice until well combined.
  • Using a hand mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture, ⅓ at a time, mixing just until the flour mixture is no longer visible.
  • Fold the berries in to the batter and pour into your prepared loaf pan.
  • Make the topping: In another bowl (you can use the one your flour was in) cut the butter into the brown sugar using your fingers, 2 forks or a pasty blender until it's the size of small peas. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
  • Sprinkle the butter mixture over the top of the bread and bake uncovered 45-50 minutes until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You can cover your bread with foil if it’s getting too dark halfway through.
  • Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan then run a knife along all the edges and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.


  • Use fresh cranberries. You can find them in a bag in your produce department and they are usually only available between mid November and late December each year. You can use frozen, but make sure to thaw and drain off any liquid.
  • If you prefer, skip the topping and stir the walnuts (in larger pieces) directly into the batter.
  • Store wrapped in plastic wrap and at room temperature for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.


Calories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 289mgPotassium: 100mgFiber: 1gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 292IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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