Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread with Walnuts

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For the holidays, nothing beats this Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread with Walnuts, which can be given as gifts to friends and family or served on Christmas morning or as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.

» Try these Delicious Mini Pumpkin Pies or 28 Tasty Homemade Bread Recipes.

cranberry cream cheese bread

After Thanksgiving you might find yourself with an excess of fresh cranberries, like I always do. What do you do with all those cranberries? I think the best way to use them is to bake them into this wonderful cranberry cream cheese bread.

As you expect, this bread is super moist and springy. The creaminess from the cream cheese offsets the tartness of the cranberries and the walnuts add a great nutty crunch. Try another cranberry nut combination with these cranberry pistachio cookies.

Lisa says: 5 stars
I just happened to have cranberries, walnuts and cream cheese laying around. I didn’t quite wait until the bread was cooled completely before digging in. YUM! I made 5 mini loaves to share with family and friends.

Ingredients You Need

cranberry bread ingredients
  • Cranberries – Use fresh whole cranberries if you can. If not, frozen whole berries can be used. Don’t use canned cranberries or cranberry sauce, as these are too liquidy.
  • Cream cheese – Be sure to use full fat cream cheese and take it out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you’ll use it to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Walnuts – The walnuts add a great crunch and nuttiness to this bread. You don’t have to add them, if you don’t like nuts. You can also replace them with pecans or hazelnuts, if you want.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter and take it out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you’ll use it to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla and almond extracts you can just use one or the other, if you don’t have both, but together they add a lot of nuanced flavors to the bread.
  • Flour – All purpose flour is what we use in this recipe.
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
cranberry bread

Equipment You’ll Need

You can mix this dough with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, whichever is easiest for you.

How to Make Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread

Step 1: Prepare the oven

Preheat the oven to 350° F. This recipe makes two loafs of cranberry bread. Grease two loaf pans (8.5″ x 4.5″) and set them aside. It’s fine if you use glass or tin, both will work equally well. If you want to make mini loafs instead, use a 5.75″ x 3″ mini loaf pan.

Step 2: Mix the batter

For mixing the bread batter, you can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Choose your bowl accordingly. Add the softened butter and cream cheese to the bowl and mix it with your stand mixer or hand mixer, until smooth and fluffy. 

mixing the bread batter

Add sugar and mix it until incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla extract and almond extract. No need to mix at this point. You’ll soon be adding the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to incorporate the three together. With your mixer on low, add the flour mixture slowly to the bowl and mix until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix the batter. You want it to be nice an airy. 

Stir in the cranberries and walnuts.

adding cranberries and walnuts to the batter

Step 3: Pour into pans

Then pour equal amounts of the batter into each prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with your spoon or spatula, so it’s even. 

add batter to loaf pans

Step 4: Bake

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until light brown on top. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. The cooking time will vary depending on your altitude, so do keep an eye on it so you don’t overcook it.

Step 5: Cool

Cool the bread in the loaf pans for about 15 minutes, until they’re cool enough to touch. Remove the loafs from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack, before slicing.

cranberry cream cheese bread

How to Serve This Bread

At our house, we tend to devour this bread. The first loaf is gone the second it’s been sliced. The aroma of it cooking is too much to resist.

But the second loaf we reserve for serving as a late morning snack with our tea or coffee. It makes a great treat to serve to guests who pop over too, so it’s a good idea to have a loaf ready around the holidays.

Because it’s so moist, you don’t need to add any butter to it, but if you want to make it a bit more savory, a pat of butter or a smear of cream cheese wouldn’t be amiss.

cranberry bread

Additional Notes to Make Perfect Cranberry Bread

  • If you don’t like nuts in your bread, you can leave out the walnuts. You can replace them with another type of nut, sliced almonds are really good!, or you could make this a sweet bread by adding chocolate chips.
  • It’s important to let the bread cool completely before slicing it. It will firm up quite a bit as it cools.
  • You can freeze the loaves, if you want. After cooling completely, wrap them in plastic wrap and/or tin foil, then put them in the freezer. They’ll keep for at least a couple of months if you’ve packaged them well.
  • These loaves make great gifts at Christmas for your gift baskets.
cranberry cream cheese bread with walnuts

Equipment We Used

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cranberry cream cheese bread

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread with Walnuts

For the holidays, nothing beats this Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread with Walnuts, a moist and delicious treat.
4.67 from 30 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 353kcal
Author: Laura Lynch

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (227 g) butter softened
  • 8 ounces (226.8 g) cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) almond extract
  • 2 cups (250 g) flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 2 cups (200 g) fresh cranberries whole
  • 1 cup (117 g) walnuts chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 2 loaf pans and set aside.
  • Add the softened butter and softened cream cheese to a bowl and mix with a stand mixer or hand mixer, until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add sugar and mix until incorporated.
  • Add eggs one at a time until well mixed.
  • Add vanilla extract and almond extract.
  • In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. With mixer on low, add the flour mixture slowly until just incorporated. Don’t overmix.
  • Stir in the cranberries and walnuts. Pour equal amounts into each prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until light brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing.

Equipment Needed

Notes

  • This recipe makes 2 loafs of bread in 8.5″x4.5″ pans. You could also make 4 loaves in 5.75″ x 3″ pans instead. They will need less time to cook.
  • Once cooled, you can package the loaf in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 278mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 621IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg

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12 thoughts on “Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread with Walnuts

  1. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    I just happened to have cranberries, walnuts and cream cheese laying around. I didn’t quite wait until the bread was cooled completely before digging in. YUM! I made 5 mini loaves to share with family and friends.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Hi Marie. The loaf pan we use is 8 .5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches. This is considered a one-pound loaf pan, holding around 6 cups. If you want to make 2 mini loaves, you’ll need a half loaf pan (5.75 x 3 inches).

  2. Kitty G. says:

    O.M.G. This is the BEST bread I have EVER eaten!My daughter-in-law wants me to make it all the time! She managed to find to find cranberries (February) ‼️I’m signing up for all your receipes! Thanks for putting them out there!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Thanks for such a nice review Kitty. We’re always happy to hear when our readers enjoy a recipe so much. Enjoy the bread!

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