Heirloom Cranberry Bread

Heirloom Cranberry Bread Recipe

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Tam D


This is one of the first holiday recipes I learned to make as a girl. Back then, we baked the loaves in vegetable cans we had washed and saved especially. The methods may change with time, but the recipe is the same moist and fragrant loaf I made from my grandmother's recipe, all those years ago. It remains a staple on our holiday tables today.


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2 loaves
30 Min
1 Hr 30 Min


  • 1/2 c
  • 2 c
  • 1 tsp
  • 2
  • 1 1/2 c
    orange juice, unsweetened
  • 3 1/2 c
  • 1 tsp
    baking soda
  • 3 tsp
    baking powder
  • 2 c
    cranberries, fresh/frozen
  • 1 c
    walnuts, chopped (opt.)

How to Make Heirloom Cranberry Bread


  1. Preheat your oven to 350*

    Prepare two 8 or 9 inch loaf pans by coating thoroughly with food release spray. Or use silicone.
  2. Cut cranberries in half around the middle, so you can see the star pattern of the seeds. (It's lovely to have a kitchen helper do this while you're mixing.)
  3. In a large bowl, with a mixer set on medium, blend shortening, sugar, and salt until pale and well combined. (Don't rush this step.)
  4. Add eggs, beat until smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  6. Add about 1/3 of the orange juice to the creamed mixture and blend.
    Then add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, and blend again.
  7. Add remaining juice and dry ingredients alternately two more times until all the ingredients are combined.
  8. Stir in the cut cranberries and the chopped nuts, if desired, until they're well distributed in the batter.
  9. Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans.

    Bake about 1 1/2 hours, until loaves are raised and golden.

    Remove the pans from the oven to a cooling rack. Allow the loaves to rest a few minutes, then turn the loaves out of the pans onto the rack to cool completely.
  10. When the loaves are completely cool, wrap loosely in parchment paper and then plastic wrap or foil.

    For best results, allow the loaves to rest several hours or overnight before cutting.

    Serve at room temp.
  11. NOTES:
    1) This recipe is easily doubled.

    2) I also like to make mini-loaves and wrap them up as gifts.

    3) Adaptations for GF:
    2c. GF baking mix
    3/4c. Sugar
    1 Egg
    2 T. Oil
    1/2 t. Salt
    1 t. Vanilla
    1c. Cranberries
    1c. Orange juice
    30-35 min. @ 350*
    I find more success making the GF version into muffins than loaves. We like the mini muffins.

Printable Recipe Card

About Heirloom Cranberry Bread

Course/Dish: Sweet Breads
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: American
Other Tags: For Kids Heirloom

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