Chock-a-block full of fresh cranberries and walnuts, this scrumptious and colorful Cranberry Nut Bread is the perfect companion to a cup of coffee or tea.

Sliced loaf of Cranberry Nut Bread with a teapot

Every year at Christmas, our good friend Jeanne Saunders gives us a loaf of her amazing Cranberry Nut Bread. I look forward to it every year! I finally broke down and asked her for the recipe, which it turns out came from her mother. It’s my kind of recipe – easy to prepare with readily available ingredients, able to be made ahead, beautiful to look at, and absolutely delicious.

A mixture of melted shortening, butter, orange juice and zest and eggs is stirred into a basic mixture of flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. After spooning into loaf pans and baked, you will have these delectable dense, super-flavorful loaves!

Cranberry Nut Bread sliced on a plate

I think this Cranberry Nut Bread is perfect with a cup of coffee for breakfast, or a cup of tea in the afternoon. I plan on serving it during the Thanksgiving holiday to our house guests!

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Two slices of Cranberry Nut Bread with butter

Cranberry Nut Bread

  • Author: (By Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Yield: Makes 2 9-by-5-inch loaves 1x
  • Category: Bread, breakfast and brunch, easy recipes, easy entertaining


Chock-a-block full of fresh cranberries and walnuts, this scrumptious and colorful Cranberry Nut Bread is the perfect companion to a cup of coffee or tea.



  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening, melted
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • juice and zest from 2 navel oranges
  • boiling water
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped cranberries, picked over before chopping (an 8-ounce bag)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9-by-5 inch (or 3 5 1/2-by-3 inch) loaf pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk together shortening, butter, orange juice and orange zest. Stir in enough boiling water to equal 1 1/2 cups total liquid. Let cool for a few minutes.
  4. Slowly whisk beaten eggs into liquid mixture. Stir liquids into dry ingredients just until combined; do not overmix. Fold in cranberries and walnuts. (Batter will be thick.)
  5. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans; smooth top. Bake for 40 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert out of pan and place on a rack to cool completely. Store, well wrapped, in the refrigerator.


High altitude: no adjustments are required.

Make ahead: loaves can be well wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months.

Lee Clayton Roper


I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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Access more recipes in Lee's award-winning book, Fresh Tastes!

9 Responses to “Cranberry Nut Bread”

    • Lee Roper

      I’ve never made it with dried cranberries. You could give it a try! I would use unsweetened, as the amount of sugar in the recipe assumes using fresh, which are very tart. If you do make it with dried, report back on how it turns out!

    • Lee Roper

      I don’t own a bread machine, so I don’t really know for sure. If you can make other quick breads in it, then I would say this recipe would work also. Sorry!

  1. Susan

    I live at 5300’ feet. Recipe said no need for adjustments at high altitude. It was a total disaster! I carefully, carefully followed instructions. Bread fell In the middle about 1.5” and tasted like baking powder. It was inedible and threw it away. Stay away….

    Says This was a duplicate comment and it wasn’t!

    • Lee Roper

      Oh no, Susan I’m so sorry! My friend Jeanne, who gave me the recipe, lives in Denver (at 5300 feet), and I did as well until a month ago. Since we’ve both made this bread at high altitude several times, I don’t think that’s the issue. You put it in 2 pans, correct? If so, then all I can think of is that it needed to bake longer. Again, I’m sorry my recipe didn’t work for you.

    • Lee Roper

      Me again. Well, this is embarrassing. I asked Jeanne (provider of the original recipe) to double check the ingredients, to make sure there wasn’t a typo. And, there is – I have corrected it now. It should be 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) baking powder, not 3 tablespoons. My apologies for not catching this before. And, many thanks for bringing it to my attention, so I could correct it.

  2. Annette R.

    Love this bread, especially the addition of the orange flavor! I’ve never seen that in cranberry bread before.


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