All year I wait until fresh cranberries are in season.

Fresh cranberries only show up for just a hot minute. I start seeing them around the middle of October and they usually exit stage right somewhere around the end of December.

But while they are here?

It’s cranberry bread-making time.

My mother has made this cranberry bread for all long as I can remember. Every year it shows up on the table with turkey and stuffing and mash potatoes and green beans and corn casserole. She passed the recipe down to me (along with the secret ingredient that makes it taste so good).

Last week the twins were headed home and I wanted to surprise them with the smell of freshly baked cranberry bread.

So of course, nothing else would do but my mother’s world-famous cranberry bread.


This bread smells like the holidays just showed up at my house.

It’s even better than it looks in these pictures.

Here are the walnuts and cranberries just waiting for a little Thanksgiving.

Aren’t those measuring spoons the cutest?

And here’s the recipe in case you need a little holiday in your life.

KariAnne’s Mother’s World-Famous Cranberry Bread Recipe



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″x 5″ loaf pan and coat with sugar (you’ll use sugar here instead of the traditional “flouring” it).
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in orange juice, butter, orange peel and egg. Mix until well blended.
  4. Stir in cranberries and nuts.
  5. Spread evenly in loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool on rack for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from pan and cool completely.

It is delicious.

The sugar in the loaf pan makes the edges crispy with a little crunch. The inside of the bread has this amazing flavor with the orange and the cranberry.

Freezing tip:

My mother’s best tip for freezing bread? She wrapped it in plastic wrap and then wrapped it in foil before putting it in the freezer. When it thawed out you could still taste the crunch.

I had to make extra bread to share.

I’m so happy I live in a world where there is cranberry bread.

And daughters to share it with. 🙂

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  1. Image for Richella J. Parham Richella J. Parham

    Thanks so much, KariAnne! I have a Sam's Plus membership, and I love it--the Scan and Go app is worth the price!! But I haven't tried WalMart+. Thanks also for the cranberry bread recipe. Orange peel is such a fragrant ingredient; I can just imagine the freshness it brings to the bread!

  2. Image for Ann Ann

    I couldn't wait to see what the secret ingredient was in your Mom's cranberry bread because my Mom made the best cranberry bread as well. And you know Mom used orange peel too!! Another thing she did was halve the cranberries which made the bread so wonderfully moist. Love your blog and your stories! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  3. Image for Christiane Christiane

    Thank you, KariAnne! I can't wait to try the recipe it sounds delicious. I LOVE your little stripes bowl....where did you find them?

  4. Image for Christine Hood Christine Hood

    Can you tell me more about the butter. Usually you see the butter creamed with the sugar in a recipe like this. Is it melted, perhaps?

  5. Image for Jayne @ Chalking Up Success Jayne @ Chalking Up Success

    Ummm, I can smell that cranberry bread from here! I order almost everything online these days, it's much easier and quicker when you're in the whirlwind of all things Christmas. I call it the Christmas vortex! ;) Happy Christmas baking KariAnne!

  6. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    That bread looks wonderful! Now I am hungry! Use Walmart + and love it. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  7. Image for Patty Patty

    I have already made this recipe twice and shared with neighbors. We all think it is wonderful - absolutely delicious!

  8. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Sounds perfect, but only 2 TBS. butter?? Would you kindly tell me where I can find those little measuring bowls, just adorable!

    1. Image for AnnTN AnnTN

      I believe the butter is used to grease the pan so the sugar will stick to the pan. The pan is sugared instead of floured.

  9. Image for Beth Beth

    Yes! My parents used to make this every year at Christmas. It's the recipe from the book Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende Devlin. So good!

  10. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I made your mom’s cranberry bread right after Thanksgiving. I didn’t get to use the freezer instructions. It was gone in 2 days! Excellent with our morning coffee!

  11. Image for Sandee Sandee

    Well I must say that after reading how good you said your mom’s cranberry bread was I decided to make it I didn’t check the recipe because I knew I had cranberries well as I got five glass bowls out I also realized I couldn’t find my pen can you give me information my life plan well every state your mistake I didn’t have the right flower I didn’t have the right sugar I didn’t have the right size pan I didn’t have orange juice so I can provide all of the things and followed every direction that your mother said and believe it or not mine it’s flat like a cake but considering all the substitution and two hours of gathering the stuff replacing it and cleaning I had a miracle I can only imagine that when I make it again and Loaf pan I am going to have something super delicious thank you keep up the good work I’ll keep reading things more before I start the next adventure

  12. Image for Pam Pam

    My Mom also made this every year, you can use the same recipe to make a dozen muffins. Just made some this weekend. I think the bread gets better after a couple of days.

  13. Image for Chris Hamilton Chris Hamilton

    I love nuts but they are a no-go in my house. If I leave them out, do I need to add more flour? Would love to make this but just need a nut-free recipe.

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