Cranberry Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl has all the flavors of the holidays in one sweet, rich, easy to make bread. It is made with fresh, tart cranberries, an almond flavoring and sweet cream cheese filling. A glorious addition to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
We love baking around the holidays, whether it be bread, Christmas desserts, or Christmas cookies. Try any of our baked Christmas treats with a rich cup of hot cocoa or this citrusy holiday wassail.
Best Cranberry Bread Recipe
There are many cranberry bread recipes out there, but this one really is the best! I love everything about this Cranberry Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl. Every bite tastes like Christmas, and I’m not talking about fruitcake! I am not a big bread fan (I know, I know… what food blogger isn’t in love with bread?) so telling you that I am in love with this bread is saying something. I took a bite of this bread, and then another and I pretty much was half way through the loaf before I had to call people to come over and take the rest from me before I ate it all. Believe me, I really could have eaten every. last. bite.
This kind of bread doesn’t require any kneading, no yeast, no waiting for it to rise, none of that. This sweet cranberry bread recipe is super easy to put together. t’s a recipe adapted from a Pillsbury recipe I saw years ago and loved. Cranberry bread has a soft texture, similar to muffins, or a sweet cake. Just mix the ingredients together and bake! That’s it. The beautiful color and texture make this an easy and quick bread recipe to bake up when you have company coming, or as a gift.
Cranberry Bread As A Gift
This bread is so pretty and makes for the perfect gift around Christmastime. Make a whole loaf, or bake it in mini loaf pans and take to neighbors and friends for Christmas. Just wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or in an airtight container, add a bow and you have a gorgeous gift that everyone will love!
Tips for Perfect Cranberry Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl
- This recipe is easy but you need to take a bit of time when assembling the ingredients so it doesn’t look like a mixed up mess. Be sure to start with the dry ingredients and then Part of the deliciousness of this bread is its presentation.
- Once the batter is mixed, gently fold in the cranberries and almonds. Don’t over mix!
- Work in layers. Spread half of the cranberry bread batter in the bottom of a loaf pan, then spread the cream cheese mixture, then top with another layer of the bread batter.
- Use a knife to get perfect cream cheese swirls in the bread.
- Before pulling the bread from the oven, use the toothpick test to make sure the bread is completely baked.
- Once it bakes, you can’t really see the cream cheese swirl but trust me, it’s there! The swirl melts into the batter and helps keep a moist, light texture that tastes so yummy!
- Place the bread on a wire rack to cool. I usually place it on it’s side and then rotate it a few times while it’s cooling.
- Store this bread in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped. It’ll stay good for up to a week.
Cranberry Bread FAQ’s
Yes, once cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Then, wrap it again in foil or place it in a resealable freezer bag.
Of course! Chopped pecans or walnuts are delicious in this bread.
Yes! Thaw the cranberries and then cut them as directed in the recipe instructions.
Yes, they can but I don’t recommend it. The fresh cranberries are what makes this bread so delicious. The texture and flavor of using fresh cranberries is totally worth the extra effort.
Yes, because of the cream cheese filling, we recommend keeping it in the fridge. This also makes it easier to slice.
More Delicious Sweet Bread Recipes
If you like this recipe you’ll love these others!
- Pumpkin Bread (made three ways!)
- Sweet Coconut Bread
- Homemade Banana Bread
- Chocolate Banana Bread
- Zucchini Bread
- Easy Strawberry Cinnamon Twists
- Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
How to make Cranberry Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl
Cranberry Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup apple juice
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
- sliced almonds optional, to taste
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease bottom only of 9×5-inch loaf pan with shortening; lightly flour. In small bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg; blend well. Set aside.
- In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in apple juice, butter, vanilla extract, almond extract and beaten egg until well blended. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Spoon half of batter into pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter and swirl batter with a knife a few times (to swirl the cream cheese through the batter). Sprinkle almonds over the top (optional).
- Bake 65 to 75 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.