Cranberry Nut Bread

When I walked into the grocery store and saw big, beautiful fresh oranges on display my first thought was “Time to get out my favorite cranberry nut bread recipe.” That’s what everyone thinks of when they see oranges, right? Cranberry nut bread without orange zest and juice lacks flavor. Fresh squeezed orange juice and zest make all the difference.

I double this recipe so I can share a loaf or keep one in the freezer for later. Two loaves use one 12 oz package of fresh cranberries so that’s convenient.

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In the Kitchen on a Winter Morning

It was -10°F when I got up this morning. I didn’t check windchill. Knowing wouldn’t make me feel better! A cold winter morning is a good time to be in the kitchen.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Use loaf pans that are approximately 4.5″ x 8.5″.

If you don’t have access to fresh cranberries you can use frozen. Do not thaw them.

This recipe is also suitable for muffins. Bake at 350° and start checking to see if they’re done at 20 minutes.

Cranberry Nut Bread Recipe - On The Fire

Course Muffins
Cuisine American
Author Robin Follette


Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup butter melted
  • 2/3 cup orange juice squeeze two or three oranges
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest

Dry Ingredients

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

Cranberries & Walnuts

  • 3 cups cranberries chopped if large, whole if small
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped, also good with pecans


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix together all of the wet ingredients in one bowl.
  • Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Chop the walnuts. If the cranberries are large, chop them. It's alright to leave them whole if they're small.
  • Gently mix the wet ingredients into the larger bowl of dry ingredients. Mix only until the flour is blended in. It's important to not over mix this recipe.
  • Fold the cranberries and walnuts into the batter. Stop folding as soon as they are well blended.
  • Butter two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans. Pour half the batter into each one. Bake at 350° for 60 to 75 minutes. The bread is done when it doesn't give way under pressure from your finger or a spoon (careful, don't get burned).
  • Cool for ten minutes in the pans, and then an hour before slicing.