Classic Cranberry Pecan Bread

This Classic Cranberry Pecan Bread is perfect for the holidays. The sweet-tart, crunchy-crispy components make this a loaf to remember!
Cranberry Pecan Bread | Moist, dense and loaded with fresh cranberries and nuts!

Classic Cranberry Pecan Bread

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.

Cranberry Loaf | A scrumptious quick bread that's perfect for the holidays!

Cranberry Loaf: A Terrific Seasonal Quick Bread

This cranberry 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.
Classic Cranberry Pecan Bread | Moist, dense and loaded with fresh cranberries and nuts!

Cranberry Pecan Bread

Serves 1 loaf     adjust servings

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins

The perfect cranberry quick bread recipe!


Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

  • 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.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 2977kcal Calories from fat 1024
% Daily Value
Total Fat 114g 175%
Saturated Fat 50g 250%
Transfat 3g
Cholesterol 376mg 125%
Sodium 2447mg 102%
Carbohydrate 458g 153%
Dietary Fiber 18g 72%
Sugars 248g
Protein 44g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
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Cranberry Pecan Bread | Moist, dense and loaded with fresh cranberries and nuts!Cranberry Pecan Bread | Moist, dense and loaded with fresh cranberries and nuts!



  1. Such a pretty bread, perfect for breakfast or with tea!

  2. Very tasty! I love the combo of cranberries and orange:@)

  3. Very tasty! I love the combo of cranberries and orange:@)
    PS-That Packers game was a lot of fun yesterday-Congrats!

  4. This is just what my stomach ordered, Liz! I’ve got a big batch of cranberries in the freezer that will soon be baking happiness 🙂

  5. what lovely bread I love cranberries! happy new year dear Lizzy!

  6. I love foods that bring back such fun memories especially memories of when our kids were young. I wouldn’t want to be back there 🙂 but the memories are so special. Your bread so quintessentially holiday-ish and very yummy! Happy New Year Liz!

  7. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time says:

    Dudette would probably go the way of Mister Skinny, but that’s because she doesn’t like nuts in her desserts. I wouldn’t mind though; that just means more for me. My first loaf of cranberry nut bread was one that I took to my in-laws on the first Thanksgiving I spent with them (also the first time I met them).

  8. Orangem cranberries and pecans. A really great combination. Love this bread. Happy New Year!

  9. Graham Blackall | Glazed & Confused says:

    Looks divine! Love the holiday memories 🙂

  10. Glad you were fearless that Thanksgiving and improved this great bread. Of course butter, buttermilk and pecans would make it a real winner. Happy New Year!

  11. What a lovely loaf!

  12. I have made no cranberry bread this holiday season. Wawa–I miss it. This bread looks perfect! Happy New Year!

  13. He has no idea what he’s missing. I think this looks so good! A slice of this and a cup of tea – heaven.

    Happy New Year!

  14. Your recipe is reminiscent of the one inherited from my MIL…Lovely, isn’t it how certain breads, baked goods are infused with wonderful memories? I love your addition of pecans…Betty, my dearest MIL used walnuts =)

  15. Delicious looking–and gorgeous as always, Liz! Hope you and your family had a spectacular Christmas and that 2014 will be amazing!

    I love that you said you are “Fearless in the Kitchen…” =)

  16. Perfect for using up the last of my cranberries! This is a lovely loaf and I wish I knew Bill’s secret about not liking something. Might save me a few calories!

  17. Yummy, Liz. A beautiful happy new year cake! Wish we could get fresh cranberries in Australia! Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2014 my friend xo

  18. What a beautiful quick bread! Do you think it’s possible to use dried cranberries instead fresh ones? Do I have to use more liquid? Or soak the dried cranberries before using?
    Have a blessed and joyful New Year, Liz!

  19. Happy New Year my friend! That loaf looks amazing, and truth be told, I’ll take a slice toasted with a pat of sweet butter, oh my!!! For breakfast, or tea!! I wish you all the best for 2014!

  20. This bread looks fantastic! Love the fresh cranberries together with pecans. What wonderful holiday memories and so cute that Bill won’t touch this still. Happy New Year Liz:)

  21. Wow, looks and sounds yummy! 🙂

  22. That loaf is beautiful! Can’t buhlieve the Mister won’t touch it… Pshhhht! More for you! 😀

  23. I looooooove fresh cranberries in baked goods. I don’t like super-sweet things, and I find their tanginess is just perfect to offset all that sweet-sweet-sweet at this time of year.
    Thankfully, everyone in my house has absolutely zero problems with cranberries in their baked goods. Then again, that means I have to share with them… so maybe we should trade after all! 🙂

  24. Sometimes it’s good to know some recipes will make it as gifts and not be mysteriously eaten by ‘nobody’. Quick breads are so versatile, and they keep so well. Too bad I can’t get cranberries here, but will try this recipe anyway! Maybe with sour cherries.

  25. This bread looks so delicious. Cranberry+ pecan sounds great 🙂

  26. Lynn Curzon-Hepworth says:

    What is Buttermilk? I am in the UK and wondered what an alternative would be. Thanks

    • Hi, Lynn,
      It’s basically sour milk. You can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon (15 ml)of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk. Let sit 5 minutes and you’re set!

  27. Oh Liz – thanks for this recipe! This one I will make and perhaps gift wrap a few of them for some special people on my list. It sounds like one of those breads that stays moist and gets better even a few days after it’s baked.

  28. I have tried many quick bread recipes I found on Pinterest. 99.9% were just ok. Nothing to write home about. I ran across this recipe yesterday and decided to make it this morning. This bread came out perfect. It is so easy and the taste is amazing. I followed the recipe to the T. Thank you so much. It will be my go to recipe from now on.

  29. This looks beautiful…and delicious!

  30. I love cranberry and pecans. This looks wonderful.

  31. Lauren Gaskill says:

    This loaf is stunning, Liz!! Love!

  32. What a delicious and beautiful holiday bread!

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