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sliced loaf of Classic Cranberry Pecan Bread

Classic Cranberry Pecan Bread

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Classic Cranberry Pecan Bread is perfect for the holidays. The sweet-tart, crunchy-crispy components of this cranberry quick bread recipe make this a loaf to remember!

slices of cranberry pecan quick bread

Cranberry Pecan Bread: The Perfect Seasonal Loaf

I remember the first time I made a cranberry nut bread. It was Thanksgiving, Tom was almost 2 and Katie was a newborn. And I was hosting Thanksgiving.

It was easier for family to come to us than for us to pack up the mounds of baby gear and travel. I was fearless in the kitchen and I knew my MIL and Bill’s aunt would work their magic and help me out with the perfect mashed potatoes and gravy.

I baked up a loaf of this classic cranberry pecan bread as I already knew that the hubby would never even take a bite and that his family would. I used the cranberry loaf recipe on the back of the bag of Ocean Spray fresh cranberries and it was tasty. But I knew it could be improved upon by using butter instead of oil, buttermilk plus toasted pecans for the ultimate loaf.

beautifully golden loaf of Cranberry Quick Bread with Pecans

A Seasonal Quick Bread Recipe

This cranberry pecan loaf is perfect for any morning holiday gathering or on Christmas morning. I served this when I hosted some neighbor friends for a cookie exchange.

I was planning to up the cranberries to 1 1/2 cups, but got distracted and only added a cup. If you want more berries than in my photos, feel free to use the larger amount in the recipe. Mr. Skinny Chick still won’t touch this classic cranberry pecan bread, but I have plenty of friends who will.

If you don’t care for cranberries, consider making a loaf of Michelle’s cinnamon raisin walnut bread or Yvonne’s cream cheese banana nut bread.

Tips for Making the Best Quick Breads

There are a few key pointers that will help you bake up a perfect loaf of this cranberry bread. The pan must be prepared properly, the batter must be mixed with care and the loaf must be released at the ideal time. All simple tips that will help you have the best results!

  • I like greasing the pan with a flour-oil spray like Baker’s Joy to prevent sticking. Spray right before filling. You can also grease the pan with butter or shortening, then dust the pan with flour.
  • As an extra precaution, I also put a rectangle of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, then spray that, too.
  • Do not over mix your batter. Once the wet ingredients are added to the dry ingredients, mix just until incorporated. If you over mix, the loaf will have tunnels.
  • To  prevent over mixing, do not use a mixer, but instead mix by hand with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Bake just until a toothpick inserted into a number of spots in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. A few moist crumbs on your toothpick are OK, but you don’t want any sign of batter.
  • Let you loaf cool for about 15-20 minutes before releasing it onto a cooling rack. Any longer and the loaf may be hard to remove. Any shorter and the loaf may break apart.
Classic Cranberry Pecan Bread slices on a white ceramic tray

Supplies Needed to Make Cranberry Nut Bread:

Cranberry pecan bread is an easy quick bread to make, but you may want or need these supplies to help you make it:

Cranberry Pecan Bread | Moist, dense and loaded with fresh cranberries and nuts!

Cranberry Pecan Bread

The perfect cranberry quick bread recipe!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 1 loaf


  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped (I just cut each into about 3 pieces)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Spray 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray (I used Baker's Joy).
  2. In a small bowl, stir together orange juice, orange zest, buttermilk, butter and egg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add liquids and stir with a rubber spatula until just moistened. Mix in cranberries and nuts, being careful not to over mix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º. Bake for about 45 minutes longer or till toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and let cool completely.


16 slices can be made from one loaf.

Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 208mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g


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titled photo - Cranberry Pecan Bread


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