the best cranberry nut bread

Though I did not personally name it the best, (Cook's Illustrated did,) I would whole-heartedly agree that this is a hard recipe to beat. The bread has much to offer:

it is spongy and tangy from buttermilk,

 citrusy with orange zest and juice,

 and tart from the cranberries.

 The nuts can be omitted, which I usually do, though I snuck some into one of the mini-loaves.
The recipe doubles easily—I made one regular loaf and then six mini-loaves.

The Best Cranberry Nut Bread
from Cook's Illustrated

⅓ cup orange juice
1 T. grated orange zest form 1 large orange
⅔ cup buttermilk
6 T. unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pans
1 large egg, beaten lightly
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups cranberries, chopped coarse
½ cup toasted pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

Stir the orange juice, orange zest, buttermilk, melted butter, and egg in a small bowl.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir the orange liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir in the cranberries and nuts.

Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350ºF and bake for another 30-35 minutes. 

This post is linked to the following: show and share, holiday haven, tatertots and jello, frugalicious fridaysfrugal girls, show and telltasty tuesdaystip me tuesdayhome stories a to zcrazy sweet tuesdaywow me wednesday, sugar and dots, somewhat simplesomething swanky, momnivores dilemmaSundae Scoopmade by you mondays, this chick cooks, friday flair, inspiration friday c.r.a.f.t., show me what you got


  1. oh my cranberry goodness....i want some with coffee right now!!!

  2. That looks so delicious. Great pictures. Be sure to stop by on Friday 12/2 and register to win our wonderful giveaway from The Shabby Apple.

  3. Buttermilk makes everything better! Great photos! I don't think I've ever cut open a cranberry before!


  4. I am always looking for recipes for my husband and this is just right for him.

  5. Please pick up an award.

  6. mmm this bread is gorgeous and so festive for the holidays, love this! :)

  7. Looks amazing, I'm bookmarking this for sure!

  8. The BEST. I lost my copy of this torn from my Cooks Illustrated so found it here. I added lots more orange zest, used freshly squeezed Valencia OJ, and preferred it with frozen cranberries, chopped and thawed. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. A double batch is in the oven...again!

    1. Glad you found this- I make this yearly at Christmastime. I will definitely sprinkle with coarse sugar, I love the idea!

  9. Made this for Thanksgiving; It's a family favorite. I too lost my Cook's Illustrated version.
    Saved time by giving the cranberries a quick burst in my Ninja blender. I skipped the OJ and zest and just put two whole clementines through the blender. A little more orangey but my family loves that. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  10. I made this tonight. It was yummy. Did you double your batch to get one regular and six mini loaves? Still trying to adjust to my convection oven and could have left it in a few more minutes. Making another batch in the morning!

  11. I have been making this cranberry nut bread every Thanksgiving, and other times, for years. It is THE BEST! (And I live on Cape Cod, where cranberries are grown!)


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