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Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread features lots of cranberries and nuts in a simple quick bread with a ribbon of cream cheese running through the center.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread

Cranberries are so briefly available every year that I tend to go a little cranberry crazy in my baking. An excess of fresh cranberries led me to bake this Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread

This wonderful quick bread is filled with cranberries and pecans, and it gets even better with a swirl of cream cheese running through the middle. The flavor combination is just fantastic. I’m fairly certain that this cranberry bread recipe has taken a lofty spot in my favorite quick breads ever.

This bread mixes in the usual quick bread way using the muffin method. That means that the wet ingredients are combined and added to the dry ingredients (plus the sugar). That makes it quick and easy to mix. The only extra step is making the cream cheese layer, but it is 100% worth those few extra minutes.

The cranberries in this bread get chopped before getting stirred into the batter. I usually bake with whole cranberries, but I think the smaller pieces work really well in this bread to spread out that cranberry flavor as much as possible.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread

I didn’t alter the original recipe very much, although I did opt to use orange juice instead of the suggested apple juice. Either will work, but I do love cranberries and oranges together. However, I sometimes find that the orange flavor can come a little too strong for my liking. Of course, we all have different taste preferences, so feel free to increase the orange juice by 1/4 cup if you like. It will make the batter a little wetter and not quite as thick, but it should give you a similar result.

I must say that this Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread is now one of my fall and winter go-to recipes. It’s so great just for snacking, but it’s also a terrific homemade gift for the holiday season. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!

Find more quick bread recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Cranberry Recipes

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Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread

Yield 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Cranberries, pecans, and cream cheese combine to make this incredible Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread


For the cream cheese mixture:

  • 6 ounces (170g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg

For the bread:

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (or 3/4 cup if you want more orange flavor)
  • 1/4 cup (57g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (150g) cranberries, roughly chopped*
  • 1/2 cup (60g) chopped pecans (or other nut)
  • sanding sugar, optional


To make the cream cheese mixture:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9"x 5" loaf pan. (I recommend a baking spray with flour, like Baker's Joy.)
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and egg until thoroughly blended. Set aside.

To make the bread:

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.
  2. Add the orange juice, butter, and egg to the well in the flour mixture. Mix just until combined.
  3. Stir in the cranberries and pecans.
  4. Transfer half of the bread batter to the prepared pan, and spread evenly. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the batter. Top with the remaining batter. If you like, sprinkle a few pinches of sanding sugar over the top of the batter.
  5. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the bread has browned and the top springs back when lightly touched in the center.
  6. Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes. Then transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap well and store in the refrigerator. (You can reheat slices in the microwave when serving.)


*If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw. It may be easier to chop frozen cranberries in a food processor.

This bread will rise and completely fill the pan. Be sure your pan is the correct size so you can avoid a mess. If you're at all worried about the batter spilling out of the pan, just place the pan on a lined rimmed baking sheet to catch any potential spills.

Recipe adapted from Pillsbury.

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    17 Comments on “Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread”

  1. can you use dried cranberries?

    • Hi, Grace. I’ve not tried that with this recipe, but I would guess that it would work well enough. The flavor and texture of dried cranberries is different than fresh, so you wouldn’t get quite the same result.

  2. Jennifer,
    I made this recipe yesterday and it was pretty much perfect! Loved all the cranberries and pecans plus the texture of the bread was great. I will be making this again but will be adding a bit of orange zest. I, and this is only my personal taste, felt it could have used just a bit more orange flavor. Thank you for all your great recipes. Happy Holidays!

  3. Amazing pictures and will soon give the recipe a try

  4.  Since you said the bread rises pretty good, I’m wondering if I know the quantity of how many cups of batter this recipe makes, I can use one of my  Bunde pans …

  5. Is this recipe for one loaf?

  6. Has anyone tried to bake 2 or three loafs at the same time? Are there temp or time differences?

    • Hi, Donna. If your oven is large enough to accommodate multiple loaves without crowding, then you shouldn’t have to make any adjustments. I have a standard oven, and I wouldn’t want to bake more than two at a time.

  7. Can I add oats to this recipe, similar to your strawberry cream cheese bread? If so, what amount do you think would work? Thanks in advance!! 

    • Hi, Jen. You can, but I’d be worried about the increased volume being too much for the pan. It’s possible you could decrease some of the flour and replace it with oats, but I can’t say for sure how that will work without trying it. You could always make the Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread but substitute cranberries.

  8. I made this bread this week, absolutely delicious !!!

  9. Hello, my cake turned into an omelette in some parts because of the egg and cream cheese mixture.

  10. I like to bare small loaves for gifts. What is the cooking time if I use 7” x 2.5” x 1.8” paper bakeware pans? Thanks!

    • Hello! I would check on them after about 40 minutes. Paper pans will bake differently than metal pans, so there may be other adjustments that need to be made to time or temperature. I don’t often bake in those kinds of pans, so I can’t say with certainty what changes they’d need.

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