This recipe for cranberry bread with dried cranberries is a little different as we've made it more like soda bread. The sweetness achieved by adding chocolate chips makes this a perfect light and airy treat for breakfast or even a dessert.
Baking homemade bread can seem a little intimidating, but with this easy recipe it certainly doesn't have to be. It starts with an easy quick bread dough that makes an artisan-style cranberry walnut loaf.
It’s perfectly crusty on the outside with a delightfully tender texture on the inside! It's truly one of the best homemade bread recipes you'll ever make.
The bread is studded with dried cranberries that are sweet and slightly chewy as well as dark chocolate chips that give this bread the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavor.
But the beauty of this recipe is we used dried cranberries which means you can make this bread any time of year without having to wait until fall for cranberry season.
🖤 Why We Love This Recipe
This is an easy quick bread recipe, which means you don’t have to allow rise time like most yeasted breads.
It’s the ideal bread recipe for beginner bakers but even more experienced bakers will love the ease of working with this dough.
During the holidays, bake an extra loaf or two to share! This homemade cranberry bread makes a great gift for friends, family or neighbors.
🛒 What's Goes into this Recipe
All-purpose flour, coarse salt, baking soda-basic bread making essentials
Ground cardamom-used to provide a subtle tangy citrus note to the dough
Granulated sugar-gives the bread the perfect amount of sweetness
Coconut oil-helps bind the gluten and gives the bread structure
Almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)-helps create soft texture and moisture
Fresh orange juice, apple cider vinegar- adds flavor but also reacts with the almond milk to curdle it making it a great substitution for buttermilk
Dried cranberries-gives the bread a sweet and slightly tart cranberry flavor.
Walnuts-provides even more texture and some nutty flavor to the loaf.
Dark chocolate chips- adds sweetness and chocolatey flavor to each bite of bread
Scroll down to recipe card for full list of ingredients and nutrition information.
👩🍳 How to Make Homemade Cranberry Walnut Bread
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
Step 1. In a bowl or measuring cup combine the almond milk, orange juice, and vinegar. This will curdle the milk and that's what you want. Set these wet ingredients aside.
Step 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, and sugar. Whisk the dry ingredients to distribute everything evenly.
Step 3. Add the melted coconut oil to the bowl.
Stir the mixture and work with your hands until the coconut oil is in small clumps within the dry ingredients.
Step 4. Pour the curdled milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir just until well mixed.
Step 5. Add the cranberries, chopped walnuts, and chocolate chips, stirring evenly to distribute.
Step 6. Turn out the dough onto well-floured surface. Knead the dough 8-10 times, eventually forming 2 round loaves.
Dough will still be quite sticky, but this is the right consistency you are looking for.
Step 7. With a sharp knife, score an X into the tops of the bread dough and place on prepared baking sheet.
Step 8. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cranberry loaf is golden brown and is firm all around. The bake time can vary slightly so keep an eye on it after 30 minutes.
Step 9. Allow the delicious cranberry bread to cool on a cooling rack for at least 40 minutes before cutting.
We used dark chocolate chips because they are not overly sweet. But during the holidays white chocolate chips and cranberries are always hit. You can also opt to leave the chocolate chips out altogether if you prefer.
Pumpkin seeds or chopped pecans can be used in place of the walnuts in this recipe. For added flavor, I like to lightly toast them first. This helps to release some of the oils in the nuts or seeds giving them a stronger nutty flavor.
While the acid in the orange juice helps create a reaction with almond milk, it also gives this easy cranberry bread recipe a nice subtle citrus flavor. To make this a delicious cranberry orange bread with even more orange flavor, you can mix in some fresh orange zest. it goes great with the other flavors in the bread.
This is not an overly sweet bread. If you're serving this more as a dessert, you can drizzle it with an easy orange glaze. To make it, just add powdered sugar and little orange juice to small bowl. Whisk until smooth. With the bread on the wire rack, drizzle the glaze over the top of the bread and allow it to dry before serving.
If for some reason you can't find dried cranberries, you can still make an amazing bread using raisins instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
This bread will stay fresh for a couple of days at room temperature, wrapped in a layer of plastic wrap. After that, you'll want to store it in in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.
You can also freeze the baked bread loaves. Just allow the bread to completely cool, wrap them in plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil and place in the freezer for up to a couple of months.
Most bread recipes suggest taking a sharp knife to cut slits in the outer skin of the dough. The reason you do this is because as the bread bakes it continues to rise. By scoring each cranberry loaf, it prevents the dough from busting in the wrong place. It also gives the bread a nice rustic texture.
This recipe makes two medium sized round loaves with 8 slices each, which gives you the perfect crust to bread ratio. I wouldn't make them any smaller than this.
💭 Top Tips
While fresh cranberries are in season it may be tempting to try them in this recipe. Though delicious, they are more tart and juicier than dried cranberries. This can affect the overall texture of the bread, so we recommend sticking with the dried ones for this bread.
The round shape of the loaf helps the bread to bake evenly. If you want to give the bread a professional touch, dust the top of each loaf with just a little bit of flour. It comes out of the oven with that real bakery-style look.
Allow the bread to cool before slicing it! Bread continues to cook even after you remove it from the oven. If you cut into it too soon, you release the steam that the dough needs to finish cooking. This could cause your bread to be gummy.
If you have leftover bread that has become too stale to eat, cut it up into large chunks and toast them in the oven. It makes awesome croutons for salads. Or you can toast slices and make a delicious crostini appetizer with goat cheese and a drizzle of honey.
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More Recipes with Cranberries
Cranberry Walnut Bread
- 4 cups all-purpose flour 480g
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt 6g
- 1 tablespoon baking soda 14g
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom ½ g
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 g
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar 62g
- ¼ cup coconut oil 60ml, melted
- 1 ⅓ cups almond milk 315ml, or other non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup orange juice 60 ml
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 10 ml
- ½ cup dried cranberries 65 g
- ½ cup cup/50g walnuts coarsely chopped
- ½ cup cup/85g dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon baking mat.
- In a bowl or measuring cup combine the almond milk, orange juice, and vinegar. This will curdle the milk and that's what you want. Set these wet ingredients aside.
- Combine flour, salt, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir to distribute everything evenly.
- Add the melted coconut oil to the bowl. Stir and work the dough with your hands until the coconut oil is in small clumps within the flour mixture.
- Pour the curdled milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir just until well mixed.
- Add the cranberries, chopped walnuts, and chocolate chips, stirring evenly to distribute.
- Turn out the dough onto well-floured surface. Knead the dough 8-10 times, eventually forming 2 round loaves. Dough will still be quite sticky.
- Slice an X into each loaf, placing on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and firm all around.
- Allow the bread to cool for at least 40 minutes before cutting into the loaves.