cranberry pecan bread

Last week, in a continued effort to get my fridge back to inbox zero after it was groaning under the weight of the extraneous contents of a few shoots here this fall, I decided to take my surplus of cranberries, oranges, and pecans and turn them into a cranberry bread. Except — wait — I don’t have a recipe for cranberry bread. Why did you guys let me go 15 years without a cranberry bread recipe on this site? How did I go 1300 recipes deep in the archives and never find my forever version of one of most classic late fall recipes everyone deserves in their repertoire? Let’s fix this right now.

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Along the way to this final cranberry bread — which yes, predictably required purchasing more cranberries, pecans, and oranges for testing and retesting, as if I’d misunderstood the assignment — two things happened that shocked even me.

First, I fell in love. Prior to last week, I’d have told you that I love all of my quickbreads equally: Banana, Pumpkin, Zucchini, and Coconut. Choose a favorite? I could never. It’s all lies. Turns out I only love this. I love it even more than blueberry muffins. It’s the tartness. I added a full two cups of halved cranberries, they stay perfectly distributed in the cake, the cheeriest ruby ornaments, and then I made the loaf four more times. And counting.

The second shocking thing that happened was that despite being previous anti-nuts in soft cakes — the interruption is so unwarranted, the soft crunch after they bake is so sapped of flavor — here I added pecans and love them. Am I… getting old? Are the kinds of reading glasses you keep at the end of your nose next? I do love a grandma cardigan, bonus if it has pockets, so maybe I was always heading down this path. Or maybe the pecans are particularly fitting here, especially if toasted first. For me, they’re here to stay.

There a few more wonderful things here — a great crunch on the outside, a plush but not-too-sweet interior, the scent of orange zest, how well this keeps and keeps (if we’re not around) but I hope you’ll discover this for yourself ASAP. You won’t regret it at all.

cranberry bread-07

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cranberry bread-11

Cranberry Bread

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Source: Smitten Kitchen
  • Print

  • 3/4 cup (85 grams) pecans
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 medium-to-large oranges, any variety
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup (120 to 160 grams) sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups (8 ounces or 225 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries, halved
  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Pearl sugar (about 1½ tablespoons), to finish

Heat oven to 350°F. If your pecans are untoasted or if they’re labeled toasted but don’t taste very crisp or toasty, toast them now. Place pecans on a small baking sheet in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they smell fragrant. Remove and roughly chop, then set aside.

Coat a loaf pan (8½ by 4½ or 6-cup volume) with butter or nonstick spray. For easier removal, you can line the bottom and two long sides with a sling of parchment paper.

Place sugar in a large bowl, and zest oranges into it. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar, breaking it up a bit and releasing more fragrance.

Cut oranges in half and juice them into a 1-cup measure; I get between 1/3 and 1/2 cup. Spoon in sour cream until the juice reaches the 1-cup line; whisk to combine.

Whisk butter and egg into zest-sugar mixture. Whisk in orange juice-sour cream mixture. Sprinkle surface of batter with salt, baking powder, and baking soda and whisk thoroughly into the batter. Scrape the bowl down. Stir in cranberries and pecans. Stir in flour until it just disappears.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread smooth. Sprinkle cake with pearl sugar, if using.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, rotating once for even color, until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out batter-free. Give the cake more time if needed; don’t worry about it getting dark. Cool in pan on a rack until lukewarm, or at room temperature. Serve in slices.

Cake keeps for 5 to 6 days at room temperature. I leave it in the loaf pan, and just cover the cut side with foil. This ensures the sides stay moist the the top stays crisp.


* Deb, this is a cake: I know, I know. In America, we have things called “bread” or “quickbread” that are definitely actually cake but called bread because they’re in loaf pans and sliced like sandwich bread. They do tend to be a bit more muffin-y: less sweet, denser crumb, and with much more fruit or vegetable than a birthday cake would have. But in case you were wondering if this is cake: yes, it essentially is.

* Cranberries: I’ve made this with whole cranberries (seemed too big) and roughly chopped cranberries (felt they disappeared too much) and really like them halved the most here. It takes a few minutes but I think it’s worth it.

* Nuts: Yes, you can skip the pecans. You can use another nut, too. I promise it’s good with or without the nuts.

* What can I add instead of nuts? I didn’t actually test this (see above: turns out I like nuts here!), but I was thinking of adding 1 cup white chocolate chunks instead of the nuts. Again, you could also use nothing but cranberries and it will still be delicious.

* What is pearl sugar? Sometimes sold as nib or hail sugar, Hagelzucker, pärlsocker, perlesukker, sucre en grains and more, pearl sugar is a magical white sugar that looks boulder-like but has a very soft crunch. It’s an essential ingredient in Liege Waffles, which you should also make this holiday season, and it shows up on Chouquettes (Sugar Puffs), and decoratively on SK on my Apple and Honey Challah and Braided Lemon Bread. I love it as a festive decorative sugar. I bought a single bag a decade ago and don’t think I’ll ever use it up. It keeps forever. I’ve found it online innumerable places such as Amazon, King Arthur Flour, and I’m sure any local baking supply store. I’ve read that you can make imitation pearl sugar from crushed sugar cubes, but I think that’s better for when the pieces aren’t being used decoratively, as they are here.

* Does this need pearl sugar on top? Absolutely not. It’s for crunch and decoration. Coarse sugar, or none at all, will also work.

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395 comments on cranberry pecan bread

    1. deb

      It will depend on the size of the mini loaves — they’re not all the same. This makes about 5 cups of batter, for reference, and I bake it in a 6-cup loaf. Temp will be the same. For the time, check just after the halfway point, then every 5 minutes.

      1. TJ

        Someone used Dorie Greenspan’s berry orange muffins as inspiration. I consistently use the zest in sugar trick in countless recipes.

        I’ll even make a huge batch of zested orange sugar, put it in mason jars, and give it with a dry muffin or pancake mix as gifts.

    2. Rosie

      I made half the recipe yesterday and used two Williams-Sonoma gold touch mini loaf pans. I followed Deb’s advice to check at the halfway point. I baked for 35 mins but the loaves didn’t actually need that much time.

  1. Midwesterner

    oh my goodness! This is very akin to the cranberry nut bread I learned to make in 7th grade home ec (and which everyone said was so much better than everyone else’s and I couldn’t figure out why until I was in my 20s and realized I’d been calculating the measurements wrong the whole time and was doubling the butter. Ooops), right down to the decision that cutting each stinking cranberry in half was actually necessary for it to reach it’s full potential. When both my parents would want to gift this to colleagues and friends, there were years I would wind up making 70-80 loaves between T’giving and Christmas. I’m eager to try this and see what differences your changes make (rubbing the zest itno the sugar and the addition of sour cream). Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!

  2. Ellen

    This looks lovely. Have you tried adding cranberries to your pumpkin brad recipe? Bet it would be delicious, though it may exceed the volume of a 9 x 5″ loaf pan.

    1. Erika’s Test Kitchen

      OK, finally did “immediately” make it. It’s so gorgeous. I ended up with a huge bag of tiny cranberries, so I only halved the bigger ones. It’s perfect. Thank you Deb!

  3. Lori T

    White chocolate chips are wonderful. I make a version of your blondie bars every holiday season with orange zest, pecans, dried cranberries, and white chips. People love them.

  4. Dana

    I have everything in the house to make this except for oranges. But you exclaim the oranges are one of the best parts. Can I use lemons? Are clementines comparable? I’m sure you’re going to say both are fine but should I figure out a way to take my kids to the grocery store tonight?? Help!

    1. Fran

      I have often subbed clementines for regular oranges when that is all I have – they have a lovely floral note. Since they are smaller you need to use more – I’d use as many as needed to get to the 1/3-1/2 cup juice Deb calls for in the recipe. Happy baking!

    2. Lynette

      This looked so great that I didn’t want to wait until tomorrow when I could grab some oranges so I used citrus on hand – lemons. It was very good! I will try with oranges as specified tomorrow! I’m sure the mellower zing of the orange will be yummy but the lemon was grand as well! Great pairings.

      1. deb

        The print button disappeared for a few days but is back now/fixed. If you don’t see it, restart your browser. If that doesn’t work, you might need to clear your cache. Button or not, every recipe is printable from CTRL or ⌘ + P [on desktop], File > Print on a Mac, or from the share button (the one that looks like an up-arrow coming out of a box) at the bottom of the Safari browser on an iPhone.

    3. Jan H

      I don’t like orange and cranberry together, so I left out the zest and used apple cider. It was amazing. I ate half a loaf in one sitting.

      1. debby

        I do like the flavor combination of orange and cranberry, but am interested to know how you subbed apple cider. What amount did you use? Where did you add it?

      2. Susie

        Yes, please let us know how you did it! I know I’m a year late to the party, but would love to make this bread with your apple cider substitution this week for Thanksgiving breakfast.

        1. stephanie

          i’m not jan but based on their original comment, they used apple cider 1:1 in place of the orange juice, and skipped the zest component all together. hope that helps! :)

    1. Laura C

      If you know how to sub gf flour, this looks like a winning recipe. I do it often with SK recipes but I usually add an extra egg. The gf flour mixture needs to contain xanthum.

    2. deb

      I haven’t tested it with one but from what I’ve read with other recipes here, this is the kind of cake/bread/loaf that usually swaps well with a gf baking flour blend. Let us know if you try it, how it goes.

    3. Paula Moore

      It definitely works with gluten-free flour! I just made it according to the recipe but substituted with Bob’s Red Mill GF 1 to 1 Baking Flour and I just sampled it. It is amazingly delicious (even without the sugar on top).

      1. Jen

        I’d been craving cranberry-nut bread, so when I saw this recipe, it seemed like fate! It’s very similar to the Cook’s Country recipe I’ve enjoyed for years, and it turned out nicely. I baked it in a long thin loaf pan I got from Ikea, and that worked out well. I think this would make delightful tea sandwiches with a bit of cream cheese in the middle.

        I’m at 5000′ ft elevation, so I added an extra 2 Tbs. of orange juice to make the liquid 1 cup + 2 Tbs.; reduced the sugar to 180 g.; reduced the baking powder to 3/4 tsp.; and reduced the baking soda to 3/8 tsp. I also baked it at 360.

        However, a caveat–I foolishly assumed the recipe just used an entire 12-ounce bag of cranberries, so that’s what I used. If you think halving 8 ounces of cranberries is tedious, try halving 12 ounces! While the halved berries are suspended prettily in the batter, I think in the future a rough chop (as I’ve done with the Cook’s Country bread) would be absolutely fine.

        1. Gretchen Block

          I made a double batch, and did a total of 12 oz of cranberries for it. I was short the other 4 oz. My mental health was glad I was short by the end of it. BUT…totally worth it in the long run!

      2. Katy

        I wasn’t snarking, by the way – it’s one of those details that I really admire in your recipes. I’ve put cranberries on my next order specifically for this cake!

    1. Julianna

      As I was slicing each.and.every.cranberry, I wondered whether the trick of halving cherry tomatoes might work here. I think you put the tomatoes on a filet-is plate, place another plate atop the tomatoes to secure them, then slice through from one side of the plate to the other. I hope it makes sense. I am waiting for this bread/cake to come out of the oven now. I hope I can keep my husband’s ha day off of it until Thursday!

    2. Amy S

      I offer here kindly that it took me all of three or four minutes to halve all the cranberries. A sharp knife made quick work of it, the task was a little meditative, so it wasn’t that bad. Honestly, I think it would have taken me longer to pull out a chopper to chop them or to get the food processor out to pulse them a couple times, not to mention the clean-up of said device. And roughly chopping all of them in a pile would have rendered some as escapees onto the floor. I admire Deb for both suggesting we halve the berries and for the benefits of doing so by hand instead of looking for another way.

      1. Elizabeth Thomas

        Amen, Amy S!
        I agree completely, especially the reference to the clean-up of any machine used to cut them up. It’s meditative, indeed, to do by hand.

  5. K

    This would make fantastic ham and havarti sandwiches, including the swipe of dijon mustard. Oh god, as an open-faced melt, too. Gimme gimme.

    1. Marcy Goldstein

      If you don’t want to halve each cranberry ( so tedious!) pulse briefly in the food processor. It will maintain some chunkiness without getting them too mushy.

      1. Mo

        Yes. I pulsed the cranberries in my mini cuisinart after I gave up slicing them in half. It works and it was delightful. I also use the mini Cuisinart to make a cranberry candied orange peel relish (with cointreau) and it gives a similar chop. I cannot believe how delicious these were. I baked them as muffins And they are shockingly better than even her perfect blueberry muffins. That’s saying a lot

    2. Philip

      I made this twice and it is the best orange-cranberry cake. It’s sooo delicious! Love this cake…

      Small issue: both times the cake barely rose. I am using fresh BP and baking soda, so I am at a loss. What am I doing wrong?

      1. Erika’s Test Kitchen

        I also had this problem; mine was delish but didn’t have the nice domed top Deb’s has. I am also using fresh baking powder/baking soda, but my baking powder has aluminum in it – could that be it?

        1. Philip

          Whoops! I did not mean to post my comment as a reply to the original message. It was meant to be a stand-alone, my apologies. I’m guessing the acidity to baking soda ratio is off? Not sure, hoping someone can chime in. Maybe add more baking soda?

          1. Kelley

            Hi Philip – your loaf pan may be too large for the amount of batter. Deb mentions 8-1/2×4-1/2, or 6 cups by volume. If your pan is larger, it will reduce the doming because there is less rise due to more surface area. Also, try tossing the cranberries in a tablespoon of the flour called for in the recipe. It not only prevents the berries from sinking, but also helps with the rise.

  6. Jaclyn

    I fully intend to make this very soon. I think it sounds great as-written but will probably have to forgo the pecans or my family will be unhappy (and all 3 of my small children love cranberries, so I think they’d like this otherwise).

  7. stephanie

    sometimes the universe is…interesting. i love your banana, zucchini, and pumpkin breads. on tuesday i was in the dunkin donuts drive thru with my partner and he asked if i wanted anything. they were advertising a new cranberry orange muffin, of course with the crunchy sugar on top. i had to try one. and as i was eating it, i thought “i should email deb and ask if i can turn one of her breads into this somehow.” and voila, here we are. so thank you for accidentally reading my mind 😂🙌🏻

    1. Muriel Verdibello

      Maybe if you really soak the dried berries? Like for 24 hours in all those GBBO gugelhupf recipes. Here in the US we can get canned cranberries, which would also be juicy.

    2. effika

      I’ve rehydrated dried cranberries in orange juice for baking use and have found it to be good. Not as good as the real thing, but it will definitely get you that cranberry zing, and the orange juice pairs very well. I added cranberries to a pumpkin bread recipe that way and it was a hit!

    1. Annalisa

      Don’t know about the egg, but I’ve been making nearly this exact recipe for years but with vegetable oil rather than butter. Of course the butter flavour is nice, but the oil version (or a mixture of oil and butter, for anyone else) actually keeps even better.

    2. Annalisa

      Sorry, meant to also say that my original version doesn’t have the sour cream either — it called for 3/4 c orange juice and 1/3 cup veg oil (which, together, is close to the total amount of liquid Deb calls for here). I’ve added in dairy over the years (sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, soured milk), and it gives it a slightly finer, cake-like crumb, but it’s not necessary by any stretch.

  8. Trisha

    Cover the indented part of a bread plate with whole cranberries. Place another plate over them, upside down.

    Saw between the plates carefully for half cranberries. Works for grape tomatoes also

    1. Marty

      This turned out delicious. My pkg of cranberries had many small cranberries so even though I started trying to half them, I ended up putting the
      Small ones in whole and cutting the larger ones. Next time I’ll look at the pkg and try to find one with larger berries. I used pecans which were good but I think I’d enjoy the bread with just cranberries. I made 3 small loaves and cooked them about 50 minutes. Another winner!!

  9. Becky

    Looks scrumptious as everything always does Deb!! I have a similar family recipe that is basically this plus it throws in some chopped dates and dark chocolate chips, which I highly recommend. It’s our go-to Holiday quickbread. An orange glaze instead of the Pearlised sugar could also be yummy (oj and icing sugar)….

  10. Megan

    This looks amazing! I can only find frozen cranberries near me, I’ve made some of your other breads and you have recommended just using blueberries straight from frozen. Do you think this would work with frozen cranberries too or because of their size defrosting would be better? Pumpkin is super hard for me to get my hands on so I was looking for a Thanksgiving alternative.

    1. Jess

      Made these as muffins and they turned out great! It took about 35 minutes at the same oven temp and made about 18 muffins. I had to sub about half of the sugar with brown sugar because I didn’t realize I’d run out of granulated sugar until I was already in the process, but it honestly worked just as well. Very happy with how these turned out and might add more zest next time to make them even more orangey.

      1. I generally cook quickbreads to an internal temperature of between 190-200 degrees F, or at least 180. I cooked this one to 180, and it was perfect! Though note that I made a ton of ingredient substitutions. But I do think 180 would work.

  11. Nanci

    You absolutely do NOT need to take the time and effort to halve the cranberries. I’ve made whole cranberry bread for years with a similar recipe. When you slice the bread it slices through any cranberries. So save yourself time and stop the insanity! Lol

    1. Jennifer Branks

      Swedish Pearl Sugar is the one you want for this recipe. The “pearls” are much smaller than the larger Belgium Pearls.

  12. Dominika Ujlaky

    You’re writing voice is such a breath of fresh air. I love your recipes, and even when I’m not interested in the recipe-of-the-day (rare) I still come for the writing.

    I just bought pecans AND oranges AND cranberries. This is so perfectly timed and I can’t wait to make it. But I had to tell you how much I love your site and style and opinions. Thank you!

  13. Elizabeth

    When you mentioned searching your archives, I attempted to do just that and discovered that the search function on your site isn’t working! Every search attempt ends up telling me that nothing matches my search terms (pecans? Beans? Apples? Nothing, really?). I know this isn’t bread-related, but I thought you may want to know.

    1. Robyn

      I came here to search for the cranberry upside down cake, which popped up fine in the search feature. I got distracted by this deliciousness, and now have a dilemma! It will probably get solved by making both!

        1. Aurora

          I’ve been unable to use the search feature for several days. I haven’t tried my laptop yet, so I was wondering if it was a mobile-version issue.

          1. deb

            The search was down for a couple days late last week, unfortunately, but it has been fixed since before the weekend. Try restarting your browser and it should reappear. If that doesn’t work, can you clear your browser cache? That will do the trick and definitely let me know if it does not.

    1. scargosun

      I made it with King Arthur’s Gluten Free Flour Mix. It was not the measure for measure so I bought some Xanthan Gum and followed the amount for quick breads (I think 1/2 tsp for 1 cup four). It worked out beautifully. You will need to bake it a bit longer b/c of the GF flour but, as a newbie to GF baking, I checked online and it is also suggested that you lower the temp a bit to make it so the outside does not cook too quickly and over-brown. I may have pulled it a few minutes too early but it was still wonderful.

  14. Steven J Steidl

    Where can I print this recipe, I’m going to another website for use with my cranberries. Piss on you never coming back to your web page. Don’t send me any emails because I will just block your email. Never again will I ever use any of your recipes again.

    1. Ann Greiner

      Wow, Steve – I will admit to (after YEARS) of using Deb’s site) having a little trouble locating the small printer icon at the end of the recipe. It’s there, one just has to pay extra special attention initially.

      Look for:

      Do More (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest icons) and the Essential PRINTER icon

    2. Jill

      Steven J Steidl, I always find it so interesting when people use their full, easily found names to make a really crappy, uncalled for comment in a public forum. Hope you burned your cranberry bread.

    3. Marcy

      Wow! In the ten years I have been following Deb, this is the first obnoxious, rude, negative, troll-like comment I’ve ever seen! Steve, you win the prize!
      Now, please keep your promise to never come back.

    4. stephanie

      this is just too funny. first of all, steven, there is a printer icon at the end of the recipe that you can click to print the recipe. deb also has an FAQ page where this question is answered in detail if you missed the icon:
      and even if neither of those things existed, it’s very simple to copy and paste the recipe into a notepad page or word doc and print it that way. instead, you chose to make yourself look like a fool, attempting to cuss somebody else out for your own ignorance.

      second of all, and what is truly hilarious to me, is that you think deb sends you emails personally. i hate to break it to you (just kidding i love it) but *you* signed up for her mailing list, and should you no longer want to receive the emails, *you* can go ahead and unsubscribe. your fantasy of deb pounding her fists at her desk and yelling “i can’t believe it! what’s going on! why are my emails to steven j. steidl not going through! how dare he!” is just…it’s too much steven. it’s too much.

    5. Lily

      What’s with the printing function that makes people go bonkers? You can copy paste the recipe to a word processor (I like google docs) and print through that way.

      1. deb

        There’s no need to. There’s a print feature built into each recipe, there was just a rendering error that isn’t cleared on every browser yet that was blocking the button below the recipe. The print function still works:
        * CTRL or ⌘ + P [on desktop]
        * File > Print on a Mac, or
        * From the share button (the one that looks like an up-arrow coming out of a box) at the bottom of the Safari browser on an iPhone.

  15. Ann Greiner

    Hi Deb – can’t wait to make this, I may just go get the ingredients right now! After a cursory interwebs search, I learned about two main types of pearl sugar – Belgian (larger pearly white pebbles) and Swedish Parlsocker (small hard granules). If you are suggesting using the same type of sugar as used in Liege Waffles, is it the Belgian type you recommend for this recipe? Thanks!!!

    1. deb

      I am actually unaware of the difference and my bag was dumped into a jar unlabeled so I’m not sure which I’m using. Sorry I cannot be more helpful.

  16. Alice

    My granny used to make a cranberry bread every year around Thanksgiving/Christmas. I recently found her recipe for it, and it includes a *cup* of grated sharp cheddar cheese. I always loved hers, but now I can’t bring myself to make it because . . . huh? Might try this one instead.

    1. k

      I love that idea, Alice! It also reminds me of my grandfather’s assertion that “apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze”.

  17. Molly

    Yummmmm! This looks like the cake-bread I didn’t even know I was missing – can’t wait to make this weekend, and maybe try with pistachios! Thanks, Deb!!

  18. S

    Entertaining post as always Deb but as someone who I think is just a few years older than you, I hate to tell you that one day you will be making fun of everyone you know who is constantly pulling out their readers and then BOOM! you’ll suddenly realize that you can’t read ANYTHING without them 😂

  19. Mine came out gorgeous and delicious!!! I’m eating my third slice as I type this.

    I’m allergic to everything, so I changed almost every ingredient, making it vegan and gluten-free, and it came out great anyway!

    In case anybody else is considering any of these substitutions, here’s what I did. Deb, I don’t think you would approve of all of these, and I apologize!

    * I didn’t know if it would work with so many substitutions. In case it failed, I cut the recipe in half and baked it in two mini-loaf pans. Baking took 28 minutes.
    * I replaced the granulated sugar with coconut sugar.
    * I replaced the butter with canola oil.
    * I replaced the sour cream/yogurt with a vegan homemade replacement, but I think any vegan yogurt should work.
    * Since it’s hard to cut an egg in half, I replaced it with 1/2 tablespoon of finely-ground flaxseed in the dry ingredients and 2 tablespoons of water in the wet ingredients. (If anybody does this: Make sure your flaxseed really is finely ground. It should look like a powder. Often a container labeled “finely ground” flax seed is way too bumpy and needs re-grinding in a blender.)
    * I replaced the flour with my favorite gluten-free mix: For 1 cup of flour I used 1/4 cup each of potato starch, garbanzo flour, quinoa flour, and teff flour, plus 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum. But I think any gluten-free flour mix with xanthan gum included should work fine.

    Other notes:

    * When I juiced my orange, it made about twice as much juice as the recipe said to expect. So I used the amount of juice for the maximum of the range in the recipe (1/4 cup for half a recipe), then drank the extra. :)

    * I found myself fervently wishing that there were chopped pieces of oranges in the finished cranberry bread, so for my next batch I plan to try adding that. I left out the pearl sugar — maybe that’s why I was craving oranges.

    * I put my pecans into a cold oven and started it preheating. At six minutes they didn’t smell at all. At eight minutes they still didn’t smell (no, I don’t have COVID!), but they were a really scary dark brown that looked burned. I almost threw them away, but I tasted one and it seemed to still be edible, so I took the risk of using them. That was okay, but next time I would toast for a much shorter time. This may be specific to just my oven – it is new and has a mind of its own.

    * I didn’t try this, but for cutting lots of cranberries in half at one time, it should be possible to put them between two plates and run a big knife horizontally through all of them at once, like for cherry tomatoes. I plan to try that next time!

    Anyway, thanks for a great recipe! Now I’ve eaten *four* slices! Yum!

  20. Emily

    Can’t wait to make this! But this recipe is making me very aware of the frozen cranberries I’ve had in my freezer since last Thanksgiving. Anyone baked with year-old frozen cranberries and lived to tell the tale?

    1. Becca

      I have, and it’s always fine. In fact I just made this with the last of my cranberries from last fall. I find cranberries keep very well for a long time in the freezer.

        1. Transatlantic

          I used old frozen cranberries and halved them once thawed (in truth I took them out intending to make this loaf and ran out of time, then threw them in the fridge for a day and a half before I got round to it). They were very soft but I cut them in half anyway and the loaf is delicious.

  21. Holly McDade

    This is for the cranberry lover in your life. I made them in muffins instead of a loaf. Yield was 18. Cooked between 18 and 21 minutes.
    When I make them again in muffin form, I’ll quarter the cranberries instead of halving them and I’ll double the nuts.
    I didn’t have pearl sugar so I used turbinado sugar. Not as pretty but the sweet was very welcome with the very tart (but yummy) cranberry.

  22. Marianne Davis

    This looks wonderful and I want to make it! I don’t see a print option (such as in the top right corner with f (facebook), etc. Am I missing something? I’d rather not print the whole blog if I can avoid it.

      1. Ann Greiner

        I will admit to (after YEARS) of using Deb’s site) having a little trouble locating the small printer icon at the end of the recipe. It’s there, one just has to pay extra special attention initially.

        Look for:

        Do More (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest icons) and the Essential PRINTER icon

  23. Northeastern food fanatic

    A very light hand on the Pulse button of the food processor can create nearly the equivalent of cutting each cranberry in half. It prevents biting down directly on a chunk of cranberry, too, which would appeal to some people. I have done this for many years.

    I freeze orange zest as the oranges come along (in the winter) to use in baking all year and use unsweetened orange juice (which is always in the fridge) for the liquid. A weight measure for the zest and a volume measure for the juice, perhaps a range, would be more useful to me and others who do the same than the classic “zest and juice of two oranges,” which sends me to paper and pencil to figure out.

    1. deb

      Thanks for the food processor tip.

      I don’t follow why the zest and juice need to be measured. If I say, perhaps, 1 tablespoon zest, it’s actually really inconsistent to measure by spoon (packed, semi-packed, loose?) and the weight would be too low for most kitchen scales to catch, plus if you ended up with less, you’d think you need a 3rd orange, but it’s not necessary. You really never know how much juice you’ll get from each orange until you squeeze it, so I wanted to write this with a way to adjust for what you have. I’d much rather write the recipe so everyone can use what they’ve got.

  24. Grace

    I made this today with great success! Followed as written minus the sugar topping which I couldn’t find at my local grocery store but it doesn’t suffer without it. Very moist cake and I do think it’s worth the trouble of halving the cranberries.

  25. Pam deB

    SUPERB!!!! Lots of my friends and family will b so happy to have this from me for Christmas. Sprinkled with turbinado sugar before baking. Stacey snacks is my usual choice for these types of breads but for now you’re in the lead. She’ll understand. We go way back. Slice the cranberries in half as instructed u punks lol.

  26. Julie

    Unrelated to this post, I swear in the archives you had a post about your trip to Portugal but cannot seem to find it. Similar to the ones you have for Spain/Ireland/Iceland. Am I making this up?

    1. deb

      I don’t think I wrote up Portugal as a separate travel-focused post but you can read about it a bit here:

      Here’s Iceland (, Ireland (, Spain — although we went twice and this is just from our first trip; second was Madrid and south (

  27. hey Deb! i have this in the oven right now, and it smells divine.

    do you know about the trick to slice cherry tomatoes between two takeout container lids facing each other? i tried this to slice the cranberries and it worked like a charm. i halved all of them in about a minute.

  28. Mariah

    I made this for my dairy-free household, substituting canola oil for the butter and cashew milk yogurt (specifically, Forager) for the yogurt/sour cream. It’s absolutely delicious and not at all “compromised.”

    I did not have pearl sugar on hand, so I used turbinado sugar instead. Not as flashy as pearl, but still makes for a lovely crunchy topping.

    Thanks Deb!

  29. Hilly Jacklin

    My mom made a similar cranberry bread, when I was a kid it was my job to cut the cranberries neatly into quarters. As an adult I like halves better, I love the intense flavor flash when I come across a cranberry.

  30. KJH

    This bread is delicious and comes together so easily. Great flavor and texture with the pecans, cranberries and subtlety of orange zest. I followed Debs lead and sliced the cranberries in half. I had to laugh picturing Deb, queen of one bowl mixing and making recipes quick and easy, slicing the cranberries herself as it’s a bit time consuming. So if she’s recommending it you know it makes a difference!
    I did add the pearl sugar on top and when I make again I’ll probably omit. Thanks for another great recipe !

  31. Laurel

    This was incredible. I accidentally only did about a heaping tablespoon of sour cream (toddler distraction) and my batter was very thick but it still turned out great. I skipped the pearl sugar but my crust was nice and crispy. Will definitely make again.

  32. Marie

    I have not found frozen or fresh cranberries in Israel yet, I was thinking about possible substitutions but I think anything other than cranberries would totally change the bread. What about sour cherries?

  33. Wendy

    I have a bag of pearl sugar on hand from making your liege waffles, but seeing this picture, I realize mine is much bigger “pearls”. No wonder my hands hurt so much as I tried to knead in the sugary pebbles! Still, it was worth it.

  34. Serena

    This was amazing! Not overly sweet. The worst part was cutting the cranberries in half so I didn’t cut the smaller ones in half. The best cranberry orange bread I’ve ever had.

  35. Susan1228

    We loved this! I accidentally bought Stonyfield whole milk vanilla yogurt instead of plain (packaging is too similar!), so I reduced the sugar to 160 grams and it worked! It’s a bit tedious cutting the fresh cranberries in half, so next time I might use frozen instead. Yum! Friends went for seconds!!!

          1. Toni McCormick

            Freezing is fine (although nothing is ever as good as fresh baked) I think the Pearl Sugar I got was the large size and didn’t work so great for me.

              1. Toni McCormick

                The time I froze it I didn’t have the pearl–just used Turbinado sugar and that did fine.

                The large pearl was difficult to evenly spread over the cake. There is a smaller one I think would have worked better.

    1. stephanie

      hi gayle!
      there is a printer button. after the recipe, you’ll see “you might also like” with some pictures of other recipes. then, below that you’ll see “SEE MORE: CAKE, CRANBERRIES, EVERYDAY CAKES, FALL, FOOD GIFTS, ORANGE, RECIPES” and *then*, right underneath that you’ll see “DO MORE” and next to it are four icons. the last one in the line is a little printer :)

      i hope this explanation wasn’t too convoluted. deb also addresses this in her FAQ which is here:
      it’s the second question in the “logistics” section and includes a couple other tips and tricks. happy printing!

    2. deb

      The print button disappeared for a few days but is back now/fixed. If you don’t see it, restart your browser. If that doesn’t work, you might need to clear your cache. Button or not, every recipe is printable from CTRL or ⌘ + P [on desktop], File > Print on a Mac, or from the share button (the one that looks like an up-arrow coming out of a box) at the bottom of the Safari browser on an iPhone.

  36. Kristin

    Better than your blueberry muffins???!!! That’s a recommendation I can’t resist. That claim seems preposterous! Too bad I will have to eat the entire thing myself as no one else in my family will eat cranberry bread (weirdos).

  37. Kat Bene

    Thinking of your lemon bar recipe that uses(processes) the whole lemon, what do you think about adding a seedless orange that has been chopped in the processor?
    I think I’ll give it a go- has anyone else tried that yet??

  38. Jen S

    What?! More quick-bread “cake” recipes? * I laugh sarcastically & thankfully as I can always use another quick bread-cake recipe. I get rave reviews from my orange cranberry bread & now curious to how this one compares. As other commenters say, adding some pumpkin purée to create a hybrid loaf is also amazing. Hazelnuts here in the PNW are deliciously amazing & addictive so I swap them whenever walnuts or pecans are called for.
    Gonna add this to my November bake list for Friend’s-giving for sure!

    1. Jen

      Hi Deb, any thoughts on brown butter in this? Given that the butter needs to be melted in any event, there would be no extra step and it seems like it would compliment the flavours. But you’re such a proponent of brown butter that I’m wondering if you made a deliberate choice not to use it here. Thanks!

  39. Jackie

    Made this yesterday and in spite of a small error on my part (added the flour with the salt etc.) this came out really well. Did not halve the cranberries, used frozen, but very tasty – nice crumb and toasting the pecans was a definitely noticeable flavor plus. Another keeper, thank you SK!

  40. Sara

    This is wonderful! I used 1/2 white whole wheat flour and 1/2 AP flour, and dusted the top with coarse Demarara sugar. Otherwise exactly as directed; baked for 70 minutes, turning halfway through. Really delicious, and definitely worth halving all those cranberries! (I tried the “between two plates” trick and it didn’t work for me). In spite of that extra time, this recipe is a keeper!

    1. Marji

      This is delicious! We followed the recipe exactly and love how the flavors are so present and distinct. Navel oranges are at peak now and it was the perfect citrus for zest and juice. Using pearl sugar for the topping was a first, and gives a satisfying crunch and sweetness. A question for Deb, What is the reason for mixing the baking soda, powder and salt into the wet batter ahead of the flour, instead of mixing all dry ingredients in at the same time?

  41. Jill

    We have been making a similar cranberry bread in my family for years, but I actually think yours looks better with the addition of a second orange, sour cream and a lot less baking powder (ours calls for 1.5tsp!). I am going to take yours with me to family Thanksgiving and we will have a friendly taste test. :)

  42. Jenn

    Made it this afternoon. Love it. It’s not too sweet, which lets the cranberries do the talking. Nice orange accent. Moist with a crunchy top. (I used Sugar In the Raw, ‘cause that’s what I had). Arbiter of All Baked Goods (husband) gives it a big thumbs up. Thank you.

  43. Melissa

    Well now I know what I am gifting everyone in my life this holiday season! This turned out so well and is so pretty to look at. I subbed walnuts for pecans since that is what I had but otherwise followed the recipe. If I don’t eat half the loaf tonight it will be a miracle.

  44. Hillary Rosenfeld

    Still wondering about the possibility of freezing this sure-to-be delicious loaf? Would it be better to freeze unbaked (prior to adding the pearl sugar?) or after baking? I’m trying to get a little head start for Thanksgiving… thanks for all of your anecdotes and wonderful recipes Deb. Our whole family cheers for you!

    1. Jill

      My family has made a similar cranberry loaf for almost 40 years. My mom always makes in advance and freezes it AFTER baking. We wrap in plastic wrap and place into freezer container or freezer zip top bag. Remove from freezer the day before you want to serve and thaw in the refrigerator. Hope that helps!

  45. Lwood

    Except for the Pecans (we were poor growing up) and Pearl Sugar this is my Mom’s Recipe! She loved fresh squeezed OJ so she used 3/4 Cups of that, and I go to the Grocery and buy their Fresh Squeezed variety. It’s my favorite bread and cook it year-round and think of Baking with Mom and my 2 Sisters!! Thanks!!

  46. Dee

    Where I live, we have wild cranberries. We pick pails and pails of them in September and October most years. They are much smaller than commercial. I use them instead of commercial of course and chopping them up is not necessary. Thanks for this recipe.

  47. Lisa Dick

    So excited to make this!! I actually still have some of that lovely sugar from your waffle recipe, so it will be a nice excuse to use it up! Hot tip on cutting all those cranberries – take two deli lids, put the crans in between the lids, and cut horizontally with a bread knife. I cut cherry tomatoes that way (usually to make a batch of your dried tomato “candy” :) and easily do 8-10 at a time. It will make getting those cranberries halved a cinch!

  48. Ami

    Two related questions: if using frozen fruit, do you thaw before halving/folding in? And, if the frozen fruit in question is sour cherries instead of cranberries, is it a one-to-one substitution/do I need to add additional sugar to counter the tartness (my instinct is no?) Thanks in advance to everyone!

    1. Jill

      I make cranberry bread every year at Christmas and frequently use frozen cranberries. I don’t thaw before cutting and using in my bread. Also, I personally don’t think extra sugar is needed for cherries, and wouldn’t add more if I were doing cherries instead.

  49. eliz plam

    OMGOSH…. this bread is EVERYTHING… tart from the cranberries, balanced with the crunchy topping…I used natural sugar, makes a lovely sugary topping. I did think zest from 2 oranges would be a lot…..BUT with 2 cups berries, it was perfect!!
    thank you so much…my new favorite cranberry bread!

  50. OH_HI from OHIO

    HI Deb,
    like so many of your recipes this looks fantastic. We’re out of our house right now and without loaf pans (or many baking supplies). Wondering if I could do this in a small cake pan (I brought my “little” set along with me- maybe a 6″ cake pan?). Or do you think I should break down, and look the other way at Mother Earth’s tears and buy some disposable loaf pans? I REALLY want to try this…

  51. Nicholette Lawson

    This was AMAZING! I took it to work and everyone raved about it. I couldn’t find pearl sugar so I used turbinado and it provided some sweetness and crunch. I’d definitely recommend it as a worthy substitution for the pearl sugar.

  52. Deb

    So good…my husband said it was the best quick bread he had ever eaten. Only change I made was I dusted the pan with sugar instead of flour; made a yummy crust.

  53. Diana

    I made this last night and it is simply incredible! I left out the pecans and used a mixture of both yogurt and sour cream. I followed the recipe exactly otherwise. The cake is so moist and orange-flavored, and I love the tart cranberries.

  54. ElaineNYC

    I made this the other day. I baked it in three (double) foil mini loaf pans. I followed Deb’s advice to check them at the half-way point (I also rotated them). I did not have pearl sugar or sugar cubes to break up, so I sprinkled a little bit of turbinado sugar on the tops. Not nearly as pretty or crunchy as pearl sugar. These came out beautifully moist. Like Deb, I am not a fan of chopped nuts in most baked goods, and now, having added chopped toasted pecans them to these breads, I’m still on the fence. I didn’t mind them, but I don’t think they added much except texture–but maybe that was their only job. I think next time I will add a 1/2 tsp of vanilla or Fiori di Sicilia to the batter, for a little more flavor in the bread itself. The beautiful orange flavor from the zest would not be overwhelmed, I think.

  55. Rosie

    I baked half the recipe and used two mini Williams-Sonoma goldtouch loaf pans. I would have preferred that the loaves be taller but I divided the batter evenly. The bread was VERY well received! I really loved the aroma.

    My substitutions:
    -King Arthur Baking’s sparkling sugar instead of pearl sugar
    – very finely chopped up orange peel instead of zest (had some organic peels in the freezer :) )

    If I make this again, I would use the lower amount of orange juice. For the half recipe, 30 minutes probably would have been enough for me but I got sidetracked and left the loaf in the oven for 35 minutes (no crumbs at all on the skewer X-D). It came out a bit dry for my personal taste.

  56. Leslie B.

    For those who want to bake mini-loaves, I have a 4-loaf pan that holds two-cups of water in each. I filled three about 3/4 full and left one empty. I baked them @ 350 for 50 minutes. My Thermopen actually registered 200, but they are golden brown and not dry.

  57. Jennifer Trunk

    Wow Deb, this bread is delicious! It’s the perfect amount of sweet & tart. I didn’t even know I liked cranberry bread until now. It’s hard to cut a thin piece without it crumbling so I solved that by cutting myself a much larger one. I subbed out pecans for walnuts because of buying my walnuts at Costco and what am I doing with 5lbs of walnuts? This was just delicious, I’m going to make it for friends & fam for Thanksgiving!

  58. Pam

    Great recipe. I modified as per my usual MO: used 1/2c honey for the sugar, whole grain flour (this time, a mix of emmer + whole wheat pastry), and forgot to melt butter/earth balance so used 6T of olive oil. Also, I am Team Nuts in quick breads/muffins, might make it an even 1 cup pecans next time. However, even though I cut the cranberries, some of mine did not cook thus are still a little crunchy, and not sure yet how I feel about it.

  59. Dora

    I loved this! Nice holiday flavors. Mine cooked in about 40 minutes, maybe could have been in for 5 more, but definitely not 50-60. Thanks for another winner.

  60. Patty

    I baked this today and it is wonderful! I couldn’t find the pearl sugar at the Walmart in rural Arkansas, but they had Ghirardelli’s White baking chips. I added 3/4 c when I added the pecans.

  61. Sam

    This is definitely the best cranberry bread I’ve ever made (and I’ve made a few!). Even my spouse (who doesn’t usually like orange or cranberries) loved it. My kids, who typically don’t like nuts in their bread devoured it. Great texture.

    The pearl sugar on top is a nice touch :)

  62. Tracy Fitzgerald

    About ten years ago, I cut the bread recipe off the back of a bag of fresh cranberries and have been using it ever since. This is a nice push to try something new!

    On the topic of cutting cranberries in half: I am all for it. I don’t like the blown out bits of cranberry creating soggy pockets throughout the bread, nor am I fan of the pesky seeds inside the berries. I cut them in half, give them a good rinse in a colander, and they’re ready to go.

  63. Alexandra

    This was the absolute perfect breakfast this morning to get me in the festive, Thanksgiving mood. Everything about it is delightful, and the smell when it comes out of the oven is otherworldly!! It is a slightly sweet, slightly rich cake, but the wholesomeness of the nuts and the tartness and fragrance of the cranberries and orange keeps it feeling celebratory without being over-the-top at all.

  64. Reney

    Yum, this is so good. It’s so pretty I had to make it, but didn’t get the pearl sugar until yesterday ( thanks for giving me an excuse to buy it Deb). I actually made 3 loaves, since I was going to have leftover cranberries I just bought 2 bags. I’ve only tried the recipe following one. I also did one with bittersweet chocolate chips (husband) and one with spent grain from brewing. Stopping myself from going to grab a slice of those

  65. Jan H

    I made this on Thursday, but didn’t get a chance to taste it until last night. I ate half the loaf by myself (all right, I admit it, “butter” was there too). OMG it’s wonderful. I love the big pieces of cranberry and there’s just the right amount of nuts.
    I did make one change. I do not like the popular combination of orange and cranberry. I never have. So I left out the orange zest and instead mixed 1/2 cup of apple cider with 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt. It was perfect. I’ll be making this often. *Note to self: freeze more cranberries for summer.

  66. I veganized this by swapping the egg for 1 mashed banana, the butter for sunflower oil and the sour cream for oatly Greek yoghurt. The first slice, after it cooled down from the oven was pretty meh. But each subsequent day the loaf seemed to “ripen”. I’m on day 3 and it is absolutely freakin delicious! The cranberries are really singing now and the orange fragrance is delectable. I’ve been keeping it at room temp. Will definitely make again!

  67. I gave this recipe to my wife andshe did this for all of our staff on monday. We all liked it so much that i ask her to do it again next week!

    It’s gettinf cold outside and a warm bread like that is the absolute best to confort the team! Thanks alot for all your ideas, appreciate you.

  68. Linda

    I baked this in 4 foil pans (3″ x 6″). Each pan weighed in at ~300 grams going into the oven. A heaping teaspoon of pearl sugar was about right for each one. They took 30 minutes to bake to golden brown/200 degrees internal temp.

  69. Erica

    So good. Two years ago I began making the cranberry orange rolls for Christmas and I have craved those flavors ever since. This is such a beautiful answer to get them with less fuss. I quickly got bored with cutting cranberries perfectly in half, so switched to a rough chop which saved time and turned out great. Next time I’ll go with the longer baking time as the cranberries camouflaged pockets of batter that weren’t quite cooked, but we saved it by putting it back in the oven for a bit. I used cane sugar on the top and it was lovely. Deb, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  70. Laura

    This was DELICIOUS. Worth the chopping of every rolling cranberry and the purchase of a new ingredient for me (pearl sugar)! My guests loved it with rave reviews. I’ll be making more on repeat this holiday season!

  71. Emily

    1) wow! This is amazing
    2) I “veganized” this (flax egg replacer, vegan butter, vegan yogurt) and it turned out beautifully
    3) I need to make this again immediately because my house smells amazing

  72. Kristen

    Just made this evening and it was delicious! We’re looking forward to another slice in the morning! I didn’t have pecans so used slivered almonds and toasted them. I used 0% fage yogurt because that’s what I had – I usually use full fat yogurt for baking but this seemed to work great!

    1. Kristen

      I forgot to add, I left this in for what seems like SO much longer than some others have commented. I had a dark coated loaf pan and lined with parchment for easy lifting. It was in @350 for about 80 minutes. The top and sides have a nice golden edge and the inside is not dry at all. Just emphasizing the comment to not worry if it gets dark – it is so bright on the inside!

  73. Maureen

    Mmmm, this is really good bread (or cake!). Only thing I did different was cutting the sugar a bit – down to 3/4 cup. I then made an orange-honey butter to spread on top…yum!

  74. Lori Parker

    I just want to say that yes I will definitely try this (I’m thinking chopped dates instead of the cranberries would be lovely for those opposed to cranberries. I know, but they exist…), but we have been in a relationship for almost 15 years! I fell on to your blog oh so many years ago and stuck with it. Each time someone would share their own discovery of your blog, I would reply with, well ya, of course!

    Here’s to another 15 yrs!

  75. Ruth

    Great recipe! I tripled it, and put 2/3 in a Bundt pan and 1/3 in a loaf pan- they were both done at the same time (right at 70 minutes). I used pistachios instead because that’s what I had, and they worked great. Will make it again, though might add a bit more cranberry- but I also REALLY love cranberry. I also didn’t have pearl sugar, so I just went without anything on top- it is plenty sweet, I didn’t miss it at all.

  76. Lucy

    It’s tiresome to cut so many cranberries in half, but well worth it for this deliciousness. Made *gluten free* with 2/3 cup brown rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup sorghum and 1/3 cup millet. Was perfectly plush next morning at brunch. Gonna try again with less sugar (2/3 cup instead of 1 cup).

  77. Jaclyn

    Unrelated to the recipe, though I fully intend to make it—where did the button go to print recipes? I printed several of my favorites a couple of months ago but now it doesn’t seem to be there. I hate using my phone when cooking, always having to wake it up between steps!

    1. deb

      There had been an error on the site blocking the Print icon, however, it’s been fixed. Try restarting your browser and it should reappear. If that doesn’t work, can you clear your browser cache? That will do the trick and definitely let me know if it does not. Finally, even without the print button, every recipe is printable with a clean template is using one of these methods:

      * CTRL or ⌘ + P [on desktop]
      * File > Print on a Mac, or
      * From the share button (the one that looks like an up-arrow coming out of a box) at the bottom of the Safari browser on an iPhone.

  78. Brenda

    I made this a few hours ago, and just tried my first slice. Delicious, moist, tarty cranberry goodness! I had to bake mine 75 minutes, and I followed the recipe exactly. The pearl sugar really helps offset the tartness, while making it pretty and festive. Unfortunately my spouse doesn’t eat tart fruit, silly man, so it will be mine all mine for breakfast all week. Thanks, Deb!

  79. LitProf

    Mine was baked at 49 minutes, and I didn’t have pearl sugar so I used turbinado and it made a lovely glossy crunchy lid.

    1. deb

      There had been an error on the site blocking the Print icon, however, it’s been fixed. Try restarting your browser and it should reappear. If that doesn’t work, can you clear your browser cache? That will do the trick and definitely let me know if it does not. Finally, even without the print button, every recipe is printable with a clean template is using one of these methods:

      * CTRL or ⌘ + P [on desktop]
      * File > Print on a Mac, or
      * From the share button (the one that looks like an up-arrow coming out of a box) at the bottom of the Safari browser on an iPhone.

  80. Patricia Whitener

    I made this in preparation for Thanksgiving; it was easy to put together with the only time consuming items being halving the cranberries and zesting the oranges. I used plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream as it was all I had on hand. I also couldn’t locate pearl sugar so I used raw cane granular sugar.

    It came out perfect! It’s not too sweet and will definitely compliment the dinner buffet. I will definitely add this to my recipe box!

  81. Linda

    I made this in four small (6″ x 3″) foil pans. Each weighed about 300 grams going in; they were done in 30 minutes (interiors 200 degrees). A heaped teaspoon of pearl sugar was about right for each one.

  82. scargosun

    I finally got a chance to make this and I also made it gluten free in anticipation of a guest coming for dinner. It was excellent! For the GF version, I suggest a longer bake time so next time I will lower the temp a little and cook longer. I may have pulled it out of the oven a scootch too early but it was still delicious!
    I mentioned in an earlier comment that I want to make a cream cheese frosting for it but I think what I will do next time is make a cream cheese frosting glaze. I do not want to take away from the flavor of this cake as is and I think an out and out frosting would be too much. I also feel the need to buy and freeze cranberries so I can make this well into winter.

  83. Matt

    I used the pearl sugar that deb linked in the recipe and it melted within 5 minutes of being in the oven. The resulting cake had sunken craters where the pearl sugar was, rendering the thing ugly looking.

    I wish I hadn’t baked this, it was a waste of ingredients for a product that did not deliver on what it was supposed to look like.

      1. Matt

        I think the ingredient you meant to link to is Swedish pearl sugar, but instead you linked to Belgian pearl sugar.

        The cake (once I scrapped off the weird gloopy melted sugar from the top) was delicious tho!

  84. Caterina

    I made this as written (except for the pearl sugar topping) this afternoon. Mine needed the entire 70 minutes. Delicious – not overly sweet or tart – perfectly balanced. The orange flavour is delicate. Perfect with tea or coffee while wearing a granny cardigan – LOL.

  85. Mary Beth

    I made this over the weekend and it was perfect. I followed the recipe exactly, but did not use pearl sugar. I chose not to add any sugar to the top. Fabulous cake! I especially like the tartness, I’m not a fan of super sweet breads/cakes. I will make again in a muffin tin as I’d like to freeze individually and pull one out for my weekend paper and coffee time. Thanks for the recipe.

  86. Lauren Hidalgo

    My loaf is currently in the oven, and I can’t wait to try it!
    I have a favorite orange/cranberry/toasted pecan cookie recipe, as well as an orange/cranberry/toasted pecan scone recipe, so am glad to add another recipe to this genre.
    Overall it’s a pretty easy recipe. I didn’t mind halving the cranberries; I have a small serrated tomato knife which made it easy to cut them. I was worried the cut berries might bleed into the batter, but they didn’t.
    The only (slightly) tricky part of the recipe was adding the sour cream to the OJ. I got a lot more juice than Deb did from my medium oranges (2/3 cup), and wasn’t sure if I should just add enough sour cream to make one cup, or use less of my juice to allow for more sour cream (so it was similar to the recipe ratio.) I made the decision to just add enough sour cream to make 1 cup, and assume it might take a bit longer to cook.

  87. Paula Mangum

    I put turbinado sugar on top instead of pearl sugar. It was delicious and added a nice crunch. This really is the best cranberry bread ever!

  88. Heather

    I made a double batch and, instead of doubling the pecans, I did 3/4 cup of pecans and 1 cup of white chocolate chips, per Deb’s suggested substitution. So there will be a little bit of both! :) Also, I had poured the batter into two 8×4 pans but they looked VERY full and I was anxious about spills, so I transferred them to 9×5 pans…I’m glad I did because they domed up quite nicely in the pan.

    I’m giving one loaf to friends tomorrow for Thanksgiving, and then bringing a loaf to my in-laws’ on Friday…and hopefully I’ll get to try a bite then because it really does look beautiful, especially with the pearl sugar on top. Thanks, Deb, and happy thanksgiving!

  89. Maeve

    Oh my god. Another smash hit from Deb. I made this with white chocolate chips instead of pecans, because that’s what I had on hand. It is so good, I’m already planning to bake another loaf this week. Easy, somewhat foolproof and so delicious. I had missed out on baking with cranberries until now, such a treat!

  90. Laura Benefield

    This is the PERFECT bread (ok… cake). It is delicious. Followed recipe to the T except for the sugar on top. I had turbinado course sugar on hand, so I topped it with that and it resulted in a yummy crunch on top. This will be made on repeat! Thank you!

  91. Christine H

    I’ve got to add this to my other cranberry orange pecan recipes in my repertoire (scones & shortbread)! Also, I have a question about the glass measuring cup pictured – who makes it & where can I get one!?!? So tired of my printed ones that fade to the point of unreadable! TIA!

  92. Josie

    Made this yesterday and it disappeared immediately! So tasty and I hate to say, it’s worth it to take the time to halve the cranberries. I made it exactly as the recipe says except for subbing “sugar in the raw” for the pearled sugar. My only critique is that the texture is a little crumbly, but that might be because we didn’t let it cool long enough before devouring it!

  93. Agnieszka

    Made this yesterday and it is delicious. Followed the steps exactly (except I only had 1 orange, but there was about 1/2 cup of juice from it). Will definitely be making it again. Thank you !

  94. Michelle C

    I made this last night and I’m sitting here, eating it with my coffee. It is the best cranberry orange bread I have ever had! The orange is so flavorful with the cranberries and nuts. I followed the recipe exactly except adding the pearl sugar. I also put it in a bundt pan because my loaf pan was in use. Deb, your recipes are always right on the money! Thanks for posting!

  95. Katy

    This sounded so delicious, and I was desperate to try it last night, but didn’t have (1) pecans, (2) oranges, (3) sour cream, (4) yogurt, or (5) pearl sugar. I decided to make do with what I had. I left out the nuts and pearl sugar, swapped in 1 tbl of almond extract for the orange flavor, and used 3/4 c applesauce + 1/4 c vegetable oil to replace the OJ/sour cream/yogurt. It turned out AMAZING – I’ve already eaten 3/4 of one of the four mini loaves it made. Thanks so much for the base recipe, Deb – I can imagine a million wonderful variations on the already great original! Happy Thanksgiving.

  96. Shama

    Thank you for this recipe!! Everyone loved it and in fact most asked me to share the recipe with them! I followed the recipe as is and the result was excellent!!

  97. Golda

    I made this for Thanksgiving to ease my way back into baking after giving birth to my daughter last month. Delicious and easy to make, even for a sleep-deprived mom of a 5-week old! Thank you Deb!

  98. Susannah Lee

    This recipe was a karmic gift. I woke up at 5:30 am this morning wanting to make cranberry bread. The 1st thing I did while still in bed was go to this website on my phone to find a recipe, knowing I can count on Deb. There it was! My bestie had texted me last night that her partner was coming home from the hospital to hospice in their home & invited me to join the family vigil this am. Just before the bread was finished baking, she texted me that her partner passed. My friend & her family then went to the park where I met them with the hot out of the oven cranberry bread. Her grandson loves cranberries. Everyone was grateful for this perfect, warm cranberry bread, which we ate together on this cold, cloudy day.

  99. Debby N

    This is a great recipe; I’ve made it twice, and my neighbor insisted on trying it too. I find that 60 minutes is plenty of time; any longer and it will overbake. Rather than spending time and money on the sugar topping in the instructions, I just sprinkled turbinado sugar on the top, and it was great. Thanks Deb for another winner! Happy Chanukkah!

  100. Courtney

    I was assigned quick bread for Thanksgiving and my goal was for people to say “The turkey was good but that cranberry bread was amazing!” And this did the trick! I made it exactly as written except for using turbinado instead of pearl sugar on top. I doubled the recipe and used the zest of four oranges but the juice from only three. My pans were a little smaller than Deb recommended but I filled them to the top and it worked fine—no spilling and no extra batter. Will definitely be making again, hopefully just one loaf at a time so I don’t get carpal tunnel slicing all those cranberries 😊

    1. Courtney

      I got three requests for the recipe, so I’m calling this a victory!

      I was also wondering if hazelnuts would work well here instead of the pecans.

  101. Eliza

    Yum! I just had one orange so I used some lemon juice to replace the lost orange juice. It definitely made the bread a bit extra tart but in a good way. It wont last long here. My pearl sugar didnt sit nicely on top but sunk in a bit. I think I will skip it next time or try a raw sugar lid. Thanks for another great recipe!

  102. Kara

    Made this Monday in an attempt to better expedite my Thanksgiving preparations, and it kept BEAUTIFULLY until Thursday morning. So, so good.
    I used a coarse sugar, as I didn’t want to go on the hunt for pearl sugar this close to Thanksgiving, but I think that it would really be worth it if you were planning on doing this for a gift. Plus, pearl sugar is great for chouquettes!!

  103. Sarah

    Wanted this for Thanksgiving (Thursday) so assembled dough Monday evening and scraped it into a glass loaf pan, covered pan with foil and stuck it in the freezer. Baked at 350F for about 90 minutes and it was PERFECT, beautifully colored top, lovely moist crumb, the BEST cranberry bread recipe ever. Thanks Deb!

  104. Laurie

    Made this just as directed, and it turned out beautifully. Everyone loved them. My child loved the muffins so much that he requested the recipe (minus cranberries & pecans) be used for his bday cake, which turned out pretty delicious too. Thanks for the great recipe! It will be a regular on our fall treat menu.

  105. Kathleen

    This is delicious! I followed the recipe, but made it in muffin form instead of bread form – worked well (baked at 350 for about 15 minutes). I worried that the cranberries would be too tart, but they are just right. I also halved the berries, which did not really take long and I agree with Deb that that makes them just the right size. The pearl sugar on top is pretty great – I do recommend it if you can hunt some down. Thanks, Deb, for a great recipe!

  106. Suzanne

    This came out great. I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream because I don’t generally use sour cream. I skipped the pecans because someone coming over was allergic, but next time I will add them. Will definitely make again.

  107. Quin

    Wow, this was so good! I typically reduce the sugar in recipes, but with the tart cranberries I was a little nervous so I used the full amount and found it well balanced. I used vegetable oil in place of the butter (1/3 cup). The pecans really add a wonderful depth of flavor. The pearl sugar I think could be skipped. All in all, a delicious cake/bread that I will for sure make again!

  108. Susan

    This is fantastic — everyone at work went nuts over it today. The orange and cranberry are so good together and the toasted pecans really add to the flavor.

  109. Sherri

    OMG, this is epic! The tart cranberries, the hint of orange, the crunchy crust with the awesome sugar boulders! I’ve already had two pieces. I was planning to share the loaf with a friend, but now I don’t know….. Well, I can always make a second loaf. I know I’ll be making this again and again. Move over, banana bread, there’s a new favorite in the house! I’m already planning to stock up on cranberries, since they freeze well, because this cannot be only a holiday recipe.

  110. Rebecca

    This bread is delicious and forgiving! I made it the first time with Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream (what I had) and it was the best cranberry bread I’ve ever had. This morning, I got halfway through assembling it before realizing we were out of sour cream AND yogurt. I subbed buttermilk and half and half successfully- it was slightly gooey-er than previous, but just baked it for 5 mins longer. Thanks for a wonderful recipe- it’s perfection as written, still better than every other version I’ve tried, using what’s on hand….

  111. E Laskey

    This cranberry bread is by far the best I have ever made – all in family agree. For those at high altitude, I’m at 7500 ft, it came out perfect with the typical adjustments: 1/4 tsp less powder, a little less sugar, and I did slice off about a teaspoon of butter. Kept the baking soda the same. I used turbinado sugar because pearl sugar is not to be found in northern NM. No matter, we love the turbinado on top. Not sure if it is my pan, oven, or the altitude but the two times I’ve baked this 55 mins was perfect.

  112. Susan

    So good ! I was doubling and messed up by using half of the cramberries – still so good ! I can’t wait yo make it again with the correct amount .. Love the sugar topper too !

  113. Katie

    My son and I are thinking this would make good holiday teacher gifts. Does the recipe double easily? We will likely use aluminum gift pans which are slightly smaller. They generally hold 4 – 4 1/4 cups of batter. Figured we could get three loafs in one go. Or is this best to make the recipe as is and not try to double it?

  114. Delish! Adding this to my list of recipes to bring to Holiday gatherings this season!
    I’ll be trying a test run with Gluten Free flour in hopes it turns out alright (fingers crossed). Thanks for sharing!

  115. Patty

    Had a bag of fresh cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, so good timing. My rule is to make a recipe as close to the original as you can on the first go round. My only swap was sanding sugar. Sadly, could not get my hands on the pearl sugar. Great recipe. Halving the berries went quick and worth the effort. When I took out of the pan, it stuck a bit to the bottom. I would grease heavier next time (although I felt I covered it well). Otherwise, a perfect bread. Brought to work and it received many compliments.

  116. Jessica M

    I made muffins instead of a loaf and got 23 muffins. They baked for about 22-25 minutes. Due to the shorter bake time, I quartered the cranberries so they cooked through. These muffins are FULL of cranberries and pecans. We loved them!

  117. Janet in NC

    This and your pumpkin bread and cannoli loaf were my Thanksgiving hat trick. I have forever replaced my recipes with these, and the cannoli loaf is just a show stopper. Your instructions to sprinkle dry ingredients over wet, then fold in flour is a game changer, giving rise perfection every time. I prepared each recipe in mini loaf pans for quick gifts, and have followed up with recipe requests soon after. Readying to prepare new batches for the holidays, and cookies too – love your Seven Layer Rainbow Cookies and Bakery-style Butter Cookies – perfection! Need to try the pie crust after watching your YouTube demo for my sweet potato pecan pie. Have a wonderfully yummy holiday season!

  118. Mary Ann

    I made this today exactly as written. It is absolutely delicious. Just enough sweet to balance the tart cranberries- it’s worth the effort to halve them, btw.
    80 minutes in my gas oven.

  119. Kerri

    Made today and this is so delicious! Great flavor- love the orange and cranberry with the toasted pecan and it’s not too sweet! Also great rise on the loaf, so the technique of sprinkling baking soda and powder before adding flour is one I’ll use again. Just decided I’m going to use a couple slices for French toast tomorrow morning as well. :)

  120. Ash

    Made this as written and thought it was delightful. I did not have the optional pearl sugar and ended up dusting it with confectioners sugar after it cooled for a little extra sweetness. Next time I might try an orange glaze on top to bring out the orange taste a little more. Thanks for another easy to follow recipe!

  121. ET

    This was amazing. Cranberries are sorely underutilized outside of the Thanksgiving relish zone. I too avoid nuts in food, but these were blended in very well and I’m glad I took the chance. The last few pieces that dried out a bit made for a wonderful french toast!

  122. Carol in Texas

    Well, I can hardly wait to try this. I have made your pumpkin bread recipe 3 times in the past month and it is the best pumpkin bread recipe I have ever made! And your directions are so simple!! It has been delicious here at home and at the homes where it has been gifted. I will make this cranberry bread this week. Thanks for the recipe!

  123. Chris S.

    This loaf was delicious, the entire family loved it. My Father-in-Law has requested this loaf in lieu of a birthday cake for his 91st.

  124. Claudia Smith

    I just love the taste but I live alone so I turned it into muffins that can be wrapped and frozen. Please tell your readers that any quick bread can be made into muffins especially for those that live alone.

  125. Inga

    Husband declared this one of the best things I ever baked. I liked it too, though it’s probably not in my top 10 recipes. I did appreciate that the bread wasn’t too sweet, and the cranberries were lovely. Having recently baked the yogurt anything muffins from this site with cranberries as well, I personally prefer the latter recipe (husband disagrees).

  126. M-C

    Wow, this is really delicious. Cutting a whole bag’s worth of cranberries in half was a tedious pain, but they did come out perfectly. Just the right amount of pecans, sadly lost a lot of the orangeiness with the baking, but very buttery… Will be making more of this soon

  127. Christine H

    Made this last week & it was so good! Making it again this week! I used sanding sugar on top (the chunky kind you sprinkle on cookies), and it turned out great – kept its crunch, and it’s an easy to find ingredient. **Still waiting to hear where I can get a measuring cup like the one pictured. :) If anyone knows, please chime in! Thanks!**

  128. Elizabeth F. Thomas

    Just made the 2009 cranberry bread. I wonder if you ever use a Thermo-pen to determine the optimal temperature for declaration of doneness (sp?) of a cakelike “bread’ such as this. A brief online search revealed temps of 195-200, in the rare case when this is mentioned. My loaves were quite moist at these temps. I had doubled the recipe, so that is one factor. The oven runs a bit hot, if anything (yes, I’ll be checking that!!). Any thoughts? Thanks for your enthusiasm and recipes that work for the normal home cook.

  129. Virginia

    Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! I did take the liberty of replacing the APF with 2 cups minus 2 T. of regular whole wheat flour, and reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup. Everything else remained the same as in the original recipe, including the pearl sugar topping. The results were fab.

  130. Lisa

    I am obsessed with this recipe. After trying numerous other cranberry/orange bread recipes, that were all tasty, I found this one. This is the best! I have made it several times. I have made it with sour cream and also a few loaves using Greek yogurt. Both are amazing. My first loaf was a bit under done in the center so I think the 70 minutes is a good time for the bake. I used the recommended loaf pan size and achieved a nice rounded top. I splurged and bought Swedish pearl sugar for the top. It makes for a great presentation and a nice crunch. The top ends up crunchy while the loaf itself is moist. Using a very sharp knife for slicing really helps. Thanks Deb!!

    1. I should mention I used Greek yogurt and I baked it in a German? type bread pan that is 4.5 by 12 inches. It only took about 30 mins. to bake and it came out great! I agree one of the BEST recipes! Brown dat Butta–you won’t be sorry! I’m curious how Crème Fraiche would work.

  131. Kristina

    I made this tonight and it is sooo delicious! The toasted pecans give it such a warm flavor that perfectly offsets the sweet and tart cranberries. This is a total winner! Next time I may add an entire cup of nuts because I loved them so much.

  132. Mindy

    Absolutely delicious! Prepared exactly per Debs instructions. At first I thought it was a bit labor intensive (chopping, micro planing, juicing) but soon realized some of these prep steps could be done beforehand or delegated to a helper. Tender cake, the cranberry/orange combination works beautifully without being overly sweet. Am planning to take this to the office tomorrow…. then I’m stocking up on more cranberries.

  133. I made this loaf for an early Christmas family gathering this past weekend. Easily modified to make it vegan-friendly with a flax egg and grapeseed oil in place of the chicken egg and butter. It was reminiscent of a fruitcake loaded with all of those cranberries. For occasions other than Christmas I would use half the amount of cranberries. My whole family loved it!

  134. Kim Beidler

    HI Deb, Curious about why you sprinkle the salt/ baking powder/ baking soda on top of the sugar/ butter mixture instead of whisking it into the flour and then adding to wet ingredients? As a devoted fan, I will follow your directions, but I am curious. Thank you for your outstanding recipes and commentary.

  135. Janie

    Delicious cranberry pecan bread-thank you! I had all ingredients except the oranges (and sour cream!) so I substituted 2/3 cup orange juice, added the plain yogurt to that and made as written. Baked for 65 minutes, in a metal loaf pan. It came out with a perfect crumb and beautifully studded with fresh cranberries. Not too sweet, just right!

  136. Mit

    So glad I made this once as written the first time – because my second go-round some self-created challenges showed up.

    I was cooking for a diabetic (I know – there’s almost no way to make this ok) – but did use a sugar substitute. Next time I will not, use my “fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar, breaking it up a bit and releasing more fragrance” because really what I did was make a lumpy-sticky mess – all over my hands. :( Instead I’ll use a fork and toss the sugar and zest together.

    Not sure what else contributed to the second challenge – but after I dumped one cup of flour in and did one stir – I thought … “oh – this is pretty stiff – maybe I better add the second cup right now” … and I did … and I regretted it. It was almost dough consistency. I had already added the combo of OJ/sour cream for one cup total liquid – which left me with the second orange unsqueezed. So squeezed that and added about another 1/4 of (very thick) sour cream – hoping that would be enough moisture. It wasn’t so added about 1/3 of a cup of milk. I plopped spoonfuls into the loaf pan. It smelled and looked ok in the oven. I removed it after the 70 minutes – and when an inserted toothpick came out clean. Later when I cut it – it was clear it should have cooked longer. The bottom was dense and compact. It still tastes good – just not perfectly baked like the original recipe.

  137. Angie A.

    I’ve made this twice now, as written. I love it, my boyfriend loves it, and my Christmas guests loved it. The process of making it is so satisfying too—the scent of pecans toasting, rubbing the orange zest into the sugar, and the lovely orange-y scent of the whole thing. It’s a gem.

  138. M-C

    Works great with pistachio too. And you can throw in half again as many cranberries (like a 12oz bag) without any ill effect. As a matter of fact, you can stupidly put in half the flour, figure it out 5mn after the fact, screech, yank it out of the oven, messily scoop it out again, toss in the missing flour and mix, still screeching, in a very perfunctory way.. And still end up with a completely edible bread/cake. So. Good stuff.

  139. Dasha

    Absolutely delicious! Substituted orange zest for natural orange flavor, because did not have an orange on hand and replaced orange juice with vanilla yogurt for the same reason. The flavor and texture were outstanding and the cake was so pretty! Will bake again!

  140. Pamzi

    I’ve made it 3 times and can’t stop thinking about it- Ummm, this bread is TRUE love in a bite. Hits all the marks. Mil gracias Deb!

    1. My 2nd time making this –only had 6 oz. of cranberries so I increased the pecans. This time I used jumbo muffin tin(6), sour cream & browned the butter again. We had friends from Lyon visiting and it happened to be his 70th so breakfast cake! They loved them! As muffins they were very moist–but I probably used a little more OJ & sour cream (combined about 1/6 of a cup). Definitely a keeper.

  141. Anne

    I love cranberries! Finally got around to making this. I’m allergic to dairy and eggs but often combine elements of smitten kitchen bakes with my favorite vegan recipes. Another great result!
    For this I used 295 grams of flour, 160 grams of granulated sugar, 1 heaping tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 0.5 tsp salt, swap butter for 4 tsp of oil, swap sour cream for soy-yoghurt. Everything else as in Deb’s recipe. Baking time was around 55 minutes, but not sure if that was simply due to the oven, the change in recipe or my impatience!

  142. Dew

    Thanks to the Baker who added muffin timing.
    Also, do you think this would work with monkfruit or other diabetes-friendly sub? Anyone tried it?

  143. Caroline

    This is utterly delicious cake! Made it half dozen times in the few weeks. Question: has anyone made it with dried cranberries?

  144. Hilary

    Hi – Why do you and many other continue the myth that kosher salt is a necessary ingredient? Sea Salt, course ground salt, flaky sea salt, even table salt – all are good ways to bake. Please stop the baloney and end the myth of kosher salt being the “end all be all”. Just not true.

    1. deb

      Not sure where you’re getting this idea but kosher salt is the most common for cooking, so it’s what I default to in recipes. Any kind of salt will season any dish, you’ll just need a different amount.

    2. Molly

      Wow, that’s a strange comment. I love kosher salt for its fluffiness and flakiness, but I’ve run out (and it’s become oddly expensive) so I’ve been using table salt lately (1/2 the amount of kosher called for). But I hope to get back to the baloney myth soon because I prefer the finger-feel of sprinkling kosher.

  145. Doris Hofmann

    Having a deep love of cranberries, the cranberry pie with thick pecan crumble has been a go to recipe to get my fix that I’ve made at least once or twice a winter since I first saw the recipe on this site years ago. The pear cranberry gingersnap crumble is wonderful too, again have made many times and sometimes I just double the cranberries and forget the pears (apples also work well). Today, I came back to this wonderful no-fail site seeking something different, not the same old cranberry muffin or scone, and this Cranberry Pecan Bread did not disappoint! Minor changes I made were, reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup (personal taste choice), and used buttermilk in place of the yogurt or sour cream, as I didn’t have either on hand. Also instead of pearl sugar, I used demerara sugar. The cake umm bread was off the chart delicious! My husband even loved it and he isn’t as fond of cranberries as I am, and apparently the reduction in sugar didn’t phase his sweet tooth. Thanks, Deb for a wonderful recipe that I’ve printed out and placed with the other two aforementioned recipes in the cranberry hall of fame!

  146. Rebeca

    Wow this is delicious. I guess you could make it without pearl sugar but I think it really ‘makes’ this. I had two large oranges that gave a lot of juice so I just measured a half cup. I thought it looked like too much batter for the pan; it was just right and took about 75 min in my oven. I will be making it again (especially as I have a whole bag of pearl sugar).

  147. Ieva

    I followed the recipe quite diligently (apart from using less sugar) and it turned out beautifully! I had some frozen cranberries that my grandma picked up from the forest and they were quite special: much tinier, but full of flavour. A very special recipe, will definitely make this bread again and again. Thank you!

  148. Whitney

    Hi Deb! Love your site and everything you do. I’ve made so many of your recipes with so much delicious success. Today, I made this cranberry pecan bread. When I added the flour and was doing my final stirring to combine it, the batter was extremely thick. Very doughy and dry. I was second guessing myself, but all the measurements were correct. One mistake I made was that I accidentally added the baking powder, baking soda, and spices BEFORE I had added the orange/yogurt mixture… could that have been the cause? I wouldn’t think it would be such a drastic result, but it was very hard to get the flour mixed in without beating it to a pulp. The flavor of the bread is amazing but as expected the texture doesn’t seem right… kind of dry. Do you think my mis-timing the ingredients would’ve been the culprit, or is there another possible cause? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Did you use fresh cranberries? This batter is indeed thick — by design. Thicker batters are better at suspending fresh fruit so it doesn’t sink to the bottom. But the moisture from the fruit, the butter, etc, should assure that it’s not a dry final bread.

      1. Toni McCormick

        Were your ingredients weighed or measured? If measured, possibly more dough than recipe requires. I’ve made this MANY times–its one of my favorite cranberry recipes–and never had a problem. I just made a cake this past week and as always, came out great!

      2. Whitney

        Thanks for the reply! I used frozen. And everything did stay suspended nicely. The consistency of my dough/batter was just much thicker than what’s in your photo. Either way it’s delicious and I will definitely make it again.

  149. Martha Crannell

    I’ve tweaked almost every single last recipe of my mum’s, but not her cranberry orange bread. It is perfect, and now I’m desperately craving it.

    Her recipe, too, has two cups of halved cranberries, and I went through the same potential tweaks (whole? Chopped?) and came back to halves.

  150. Julia Cole

    Have been making my moms variation on this (her base is banana bread with orange, cranberry and pecan) for decades. This looks amazing – so must compare!

  151. Diana

    Thoughts on substituting lemon zest instead on oranges? My daughter in law is not a fan of anything orange. Or I could just make her the banana loaf!!

  152. Rebecca Hart

    making this for the third time and asking this because I’m just curious – not once have i needed two oranges for this. I get almost 1/2 C of juice halfway through the first ‘medium-to-large’ one (I guess slightly more like large?); if I squeezed both I would have at least a cup of juice and no room for sour cream. Am I missing something? Is there a recommended amount of juice for when you can’t go by the ‘two oranges’ measurement? (ie, better with 1/2 c or 1/3 cup?)

  153. Madeline Smith

    I used a mini loaf pan (made 6 loaves) and made the recipe vegan with margarine and a flax egg. It was delicious and perfect for the holiday season!

  154. James

    Great recipe! Rwally tastes delicious. Also, would typically avoid adding nuts to almost anything, but I decided to try it. The pecans really add to each bite, and I think the loaf wouldn’t be as good without them.

    Thanks for a great recipe.

  155. Annie

    I have made this twice in 2 weeks-it is soooo good. I have a pecan allergy so used about 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips, which melt into little pockets of creamy sweetness amongst the tart cranberries. The orange zest and juice are present but not overpowering and the house smells divine when this is cooking.

  156. Nancy in CA

    I compared this to my long-loved cranberry bread recipe and found them quite similar, though Deb uses three times the butter and sour cream instead of water. Yes, please! I thought I’d over-toasted the pecans, I used a smaller pan than usual (fool that I am), and was underwhelmed with the results last night. But this morning? Heaven. Most fruit/nut breads are really better the second day, and this one surely is. Last night, the pecans dominated, the cranberries overpowered the orange, it just didn’t sing. The pecans, cranberries, and orange settled their differences overnight, and the texture is sublime. This is my new go-to, and I really want a second slice now.

  157. Sam

    I’m sad and surprised this did not turn out for me. I baked it longer than needed and i toothpick came out clean but it’s still very wet bread.
    I did reduce some cranberries and put some fresh pineapple chunks in it and omitted the pecans. But everything else was followed suit. The pineapple wasn’t juicy considering how dry the cranberries were. My batter looked exactly like yours pictured as well

    1. Elizabeth Thomas

      Sam, try the recipe without changing it at all. I suspect the substitution of pineapple for (quite dry) cranberries had a lot to do with the consistency of the batter and its subsequent wetness.

  158. Susan Rafferty

    Jus made to take some to my hairdresser for a Holiday Treat. My hubby & I jus sampled one after our breakfast *My my quite Delicious 😊😋😋😋 Will for sure make again!!!! So Thankful my daughter introduced me to Ms Smitten Kitchen Website. Have a Wonderful Blessed Holiday Season🌲😊PS I also made into muffins instead of loaf, watched for 200 deg temp & are Perfect!

  159. Susan Barton

    I’m assuming it isn’t necessary to thaw the frozen cranberries, is that right? As I recall they get mushy if you thaw them, and then they would be difficult to halve, should one wish to do so.

  160. KJ

    I’m making this now for the first time but wanted to share a TIP on halving things like cranberries, grapes, etc.
    I have a cutting board with a “juice groove” around the edges. I line the cranberries, grapes, etc up in the groove and then take my large chef’s knife and just slice through the whole row of them at once. It makes quick and easy work of such tasks.
    Hope this helps!

  161. Rose Marie B

    I made this bread/cake yesterday and it was perfect, the very first time! Thank you for 15 years of delicious recipes. ❤️

  162. Marilyn Nergord

    WOW! Another winner. I’ve made it twice this month. The contrast of sweet and tart in this tender bread plus the crunch of the nuts is spectacular.

  163. Jillian

    This is a wonderful recipe! I have been making cranberry orange breads for years now, using a different recipe every couple years to change it up and this is the best by far! So full of nuts and fruits, and orange, and always moist! I enjoy the technique of adding the salt/baking powder/baking soda to the wet mixture and watching the magic happen! Then stirring in the cranberries and pecans, and the flour last- It just comes together so well and bakes up dreamy! I baked in 5 mini loaf pans, evenly distribute the batter of course ( I weigh it- 175-190grams in each mini) and bake for 30 minutes- perfect every time!

  164. Cheryl E Lane

    I made this Cranberry Pecan Bread today for Christmas gifts, and I will definitely be making it again. It’s a bit fussy to make, with zesting large oranges and cutting all the cranberries in half, but SO worth it!!

    I doubled the recipe and it made 8 mini-bread-pan breads. I doubled everything except I only used the zest and juice from 2 large Navel Oranges.

    Very yummy bread. Thank you for such a great recipe!

  165. Laura

    I made this in four mini loaf pans and baked them for about 35 min. They turned out perfect! Such an easy recipe and so delicious. These will be great Christmas gifts.

  166. Stephanie P

    For others who can’t find cranberries—I made this with blueberries (subbing a bit of lemon zest) and it was still really good, not overly sweet. Love the fresh orange! I’d try raspberries next time.

  167. cherie castiglione

    I just love this cranberry bread and the smell throughout the house is amazing! Thank you so much. ( PS. I leave out the pecans due to allergies).

  168. ch

    I have only orange zest – from the freezer – but no orange. What might i use to replace the orange juice? Thank you.