Cranberry Bread

I would bet that many of you who read this blog have or are familiar with the cookbook that the following recipe comes from. It's the "Silver Palate Cookbook" by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. The cookbook is a classic, and its cranberry bread recipe is a classic holiday bread. You can make it as a gift for neighbors, co-workers, teachers or anyone else you want to remember at the holidays with something you took the time to make yourself.

This bread is best if you let it rest a couple of days before you slice into it. The book suggests it's "especially good toasted and buttered."

Try to incorporate as many organic or local ingredients as you can into this recipe like organic flour or fresh, local cranberries.


  • 2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ c sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 c fresh orange juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ c coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1¼ c cranberries, fresh is best but frozen works
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
Time Estimates

Prep time: 10 min  

Cook time: 50 min  

Total time: 1 hr  


  1. Grease or use non-stick spray on an 8 x 4½ x 3 inch loaf pan.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix in the orange juice, eggs and melted butter until all together, but do not overmix.
  5. Fold in the walnuts, cranberries and orange zest carefully.
  6. Pour into pan and bake on center rack for 45 to 50 minutes, or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove.
  8. Allow to cool completely then wrap and store for a day or two before serving or giving away.


Makes one loaf

My notes

  • One cup of whole wheat flour can be substituted for the all-purpose flour.
  • Breads like this can be made weeks beforehand and frozen. Wrap the bread in plastic wrap and then in foil before putting in the freezer.
  • I went through several cranberry bread recipes to see if spices like cinnamon or nutmeg would be good additions, but it seems like cranberry bread is most often made without the addition of spices, and almost always made with orange juice.  

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Homemade holiday food gifts: Cranberry bread
This make-ahead cranberry bread is a thoughtful gift for co-workers, neighbors, teachers or anyone.