Skip to Content

Holiday Cranberry Bread Recipe

In this post I’ll be sharing a delicious Holiday Cranberry Bread Recipe.

I don’t know about y’all but I love making homemade gifts to share during the holidays right in my own kitchen.

This moist old fashioned cranberry bread is made with simple ingredients and is so flavorful with the burst of orange zest and the tart of fresh cranberries.

There are also pecans in this cranberry bread. Us Southerners love our pecans in holiday baking recipes. You could use walnuts if you prefer, of course.

A delicious glaze finishes off this cranberry loaf and it is ready to enjoy.

Old Fashioned Cranberry Bread

Cranberry Bread

Y’all, just look at this beautiful holiday bread. Doesn’t it scream the holiday season? I think so.

I begin making this recipe for orange cranberry bread before Thanksgiving and give loaves for Thanksgiving through the Christmas season. Everyone loves it.

Oh….before I forget to tell you….this bread freezes well so could be made well in advanced. I’d hold off on the glaze until after you remove it from the freezer and thawing.

Best Cranberry Bread Recipe Moist

Holiday Quick Bread Dessert

This cranberry loaf I baked for my family and turned it out so that you could see how beautiful it is.

When baking for gifting, you can bake in aluminum foil bread pans and just give it in the pan.

The mini ceramic holiday loaf pans are also an option but I haven’t tested baking this bread in the smaller dish. If you decide to go with this option then I would probably start checking it around the twenty minute mark for doneness.

The full size bread takes an hour to bake.

Cranberry Orange Bread with Glaze

Christmas Cranberry Bread Ingredients

Allow me to take you through the steps of making this bread. You can also find the details in the printable recipe card further down in the post and see the steps in the video.

Holiday Cranberry Bread Recipe

cutting fat into flour

Making this easy homemade fresh cranberry bread begins with sifting some flour and sugar into a mixing bowl then cutting in some vegetable shortening.

TIP: Freezing and grating in the lard makes it easier to incorporate into the flour mixture.

Some folks will say cutting in the fat will make the flour mixture look like cornmeal. I’m not sure where that description came to be from but I think it just looks like flour with little pebbles. 

Easy Holiday Baking

combining Orange mixture with flour mixture

The wet ingredients get combined and added to the flour mixture then stir to incorporate it all together, just enough until it is combined. Do not over mix.

The wet mixture is made with some orange juice, eggs and orange zest. The orange zest adds a burst of flavor so I recommend not skipping that part.

The orange zest is also so aromatic!

Cranberry Bread Recipe with Fresh Cranberries

Making cranberry bread with fresh ingredients

Have the fresh cranberries and pecans chopped and ready to go so that they’re ready when needed.

Fold in the fresh chopped cranberries and chopped pecans into the bread dough mixture.

Batter in bread baking pan

Grease your bread pan well then add that wonderful cranberry bread dough. Place the cranberry bread into the oven to bake.

If you’re like me, set a timer. I loose track of time and get busy with other things so having that timer ensures that I don’t forget about my bread baking in the oven.

Cooling holiday cranberry Bread before glazing

When the bread is done, allow it to cool in the pan slightly (about half an hour) then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

Once the bread is completely cool then you can drizzle the glaze over the loaf. The glaze is optional and only takes a little orange juice and confectioner’s sugar to make.

The orange glaze does add another delicious element to this super moist holiday bread.

Best Holiday Cranberry Bread with orange glaze

Holiday Cranberry Bread Recipe Card

Yield: 1 Loaf

Holiday Cranberry Bread Recipe

Best Holiday Cranberry Bread with orange glaze

A moist and delicious holiday quick bread recipe. This is the BEST cranberry bread made with fresh cranberries, pecans, orange juice and orange zest. It is all of the flavors of the holidays and perfect for gifting.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


Cranberry Orange Bread

  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 cups Self-Rising Four
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Vegetable Shortening
  • 3/4 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Orange Zest (the zest of 1 orange)
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c Pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups Fresh Cranberries, chopped


  • 1/4 c Confectioner's Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Orange Juice


  • 1 tablespoon of Vegetable Shortening, to grease the bread pan


Cranberry Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176.667°C)
  2. Course chop the fresh cranberries and pecans and set aside until ready to use. (See Notes)
  3. Sift the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl.
  4. Cut the vegetable shortening into the flour mixture. (See post photo)
  5. In a small bowl; beat the egg then whisk in the orange juice and orange zest. Pour the juice mixture into the dry ingredients.
  6. Mix just enough to combine, don't overmix. Fold in the chopped cranberries and pecans.
  7. Spoon the dough into a well greased 9x5 Loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the bread to cool for about half an hour in the pan then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Orange Glaze

  1. In a small glass measuring cup or mixing bowl; add the confectioners sugar then orange juice and whisk to combine. If a thinner glaze is desired add small amounts of orange juice, mixing in between, until desired consistency.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cranberry bread loaf.


Fresh cranberries that are slightly frozen seem to chop a bit easier. I use a knife to rough chop the cranberries. You could use a food processor if preferred for this step but don't over process.

If gifting; bread can be baked in aluminum foil pan and given as is.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 Slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 28mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 32gProtein: 2g
Holiday Cranberry Bread Recipe - Pin Image

You Might Also Enjoy

Frosted cranberry pie in a glass pie dish

Frosty Cranberry Pie Recipe

Slate platter with holiday Brie en Croute garnished with cranberry and rosemary served with crustini bread

Holiday Brie en Croûte Recipe

The best ever shortbread cookie recipe

Shortbread Cookies with Pecans

Popular Recipes on the Blog

See the Latest Posts

You might also enjoy this recipe for Coconut Macaroon Kisses from South Your Mouth.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m so happy that you did. I know that you will really enjoy this easy cranberry bread recipe. 

Be sure to subscribe to my email list so that you never miss my latest recipes here on the blog. I’ll send you a weekly newsletter letting you know what’s new and all that’s happening here on the website.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Come be social y’all! I’ll see you there.

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

Home » Holiday Cranberry Bread Recipe

Meet Julia

Author of Julia's Simply Southern

Sharing is Caring

Skip to Recipe