Cranberry Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl

5 from 14 votes
44 Comments

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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

Slices of cranberry bread on a cutting board

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.

Three loaves of cranberry bread topped with almond slices

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 with cream cheese swirl on a cutting board

Cranberry Bread FAQ’s

Can cranberry bread be frozen?

Yes, once cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Then, wrap it again in foil or place it in a resealable freezer bag.

Is it OK to add nuts?

Of course! Chopped pecans or walnuts are delicious in this bread.

Can frozen cranberries be used in this recipe?

Yes! Thaw the cranberries and then cut them as directed in the recipe instructions.

Can dried cranberries be used in this recipe?

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.

Does this cranberry bread need to be refrigerated?

Yes, because of the cream cheese filling, we recommend keeping it in the fridge. This also makes it easier to slice.

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How to make Cranberry Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl

Cranberry bread with slices on a board

Cranberry Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl

5 from 14 votes
Cranberry Almond Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl has all the flavors of Christmas in one sweet, rich, easy to make bread. Tart cranberry, almond and sweet cream cheese filling. Delicious!

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 10

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition Information

Calories: 429kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 8gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 294mgPotassium: 227mgFiber: 3gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 528IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 3mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just made this as a “trial run”
    Wow! Soo delish & pretty easy. I did “tweak” it some, only used 1 cup cranberry & low fat cream cheese.All i had on hand, & i didn’t have almonds..still turned out great! I will be making again with ALL the items. I also used mini loaf pans, don’t overfill like i did,oops!

    1. Fresh cranberries introduce liquid into the batter, so switching them for dried might make your bread dry. Maybe add a few tablespoons of milk or water to the batter to counteract that? Let me know how it goes if you try it!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is excellent! I have a question about the cream cheese filling. The recipe states sweet cream cheese swirl.
    The filling does not call for any sweetener. Was an ingredient left out?

      1. Thank you for the response. I really appreciate it.
        This recipe is way too good! Once I start eating it I can’t stop.
        I made several for my friends and
        now I’m constantly asked when I will be making more.
        Thank you for your kindness in posting this amazing recipe 😊.

  3. 5 stars
    This is SO good…very moist and a perfect blend of sweet and tart. I make mini loaves and share so that I don’t eat it all. My current favorite!!!

  4. Make this today and it was an instant family hit. I doubled the recipes and used my homemade cranberry sauce (leftover from thanksgiving) instead of the chopped cranberries. I cooked it in my Bundt pan. Finished it with a powdered sugar glaze with a hint of almond extract. It turned out perfect, moist and delicious!

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