Easy Cranberry Bread

December 23, 2010

How is it that cranberries have become the icon of the holidays?  Is it their crimson color or their relative scarcity throughout the rest of the year?  Whatever it is, they play a special role during this season.  For some reason, I have been craving cranberry bread.  When I set out to find a recipe, I was surprised that there are very few out there.  The recipe that follows is generously adapted from one posted on Everyday Food (that received mediocre reviews).

I was craving a bread that would celebrate cranberries rich color and tart flavor without distractions from nuts, citrus, etc.  To boost the flavor, I swapped out the whole milk for buttermilk.  The cranberries are chopped and sprinkled with sugar before folding them into the dough.  This sweetens the berries and prevents an overwhelmingly sour pop of cranberry when you bite into a piece.  The result is a quick bread that is perfect for breakfast or brunch during the holidays or any time of year. (Now is the best time to buy cranberries.  They freeze well!)

The bread was a hit.  Both kids were drooling over it before I even sliced it up.  After my son finished his fourth slice, I practically had to restrain him from eating more.  (How does a 40 pound person eat that much?!)  I hope you enjoy.

Easy Cranberry Bread

adapted from Everyday Food

makes 1 loaf

2 cups cranberries, chopped

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 4 x 8 inch bread pan.

Chop the cranberries and sprinkle with white sugar.  Set aside.

Whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg, and butter.

Mix the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.  It will be thick.  Fold in the cranberries and zest if you are using it.

Press bread dough into the prepared pan.  Smooth out the top with a spatula.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a rack 10 minutes, slice and serve.

Here is a printer-friendly version:  Easy Cranberry Bread

You may also like:

Mango Cranberry Chutney

Deep Dark Gingerbread

Pumpkin Coconut Pudding


12 Responses to “Easy Cranberry Bread”

  1. Tes Says:

    This easy cranberry bread sounds super simple and looks so delicious :)
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love your blog, I have a scone recipe that is easy and uses dried cranberries which is easier for me to use. Happy Holidays!

  3. Janice Juul Says:

    Swapping out Buttermilk for milk is a brilliant idea. I love the texture and extra color that comes with using the fresh/frozen berries.

  4. Janice Says:

    Delicious. Hubby keeps asking “is there more?”. There will be soon – I found a couple more packages of cranberries to have on hand.

  5. gracey (: Says:

    hi mrs. wilkinson… this looks great!! im making it for my mom’s birthday! thanks!!! she really loves it so far (:

  6. Now that it is cranberry season again, we made this bread and loved it all over again! I edited the recipe a bit to correct a few errors. Hope this helps make it clear.

  7. JPM Says:

    What can i subsitute for the buttermilk. We are lactose intolerant. We usually use lactose free milk but lactose free buttermilk doesnt exist!

  8. Michelle Longo Says:

    This sounds amazing. Can I sub almond milk soured with lemon juice in lieu of buttemilk?

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