Cranberry Bread – Tried and True

Cranberry Bread - Tried and True

Every once in a while you come across a recipe that doesn’t need to be changed.  It worked the first time, then the time after that and every time after that.  This is the case with this cranberry bread recipe.  I made it for the first time December of ’74 and have made it pretty much every year since then.  So where did this awesome recipe come from?

One of my bridal showers in ’74 was hosted by the women of my mother’s Sunday school class.  The attendees were the hostesses and several neighborhood moms and friends of my mother. One of the presents was a cookbook: A Cook’s Tour of Shreveport- A Dash of the Old South.

Staying with tradition, the book was passed from Cranberry bread recipe in Cook's Tour of Shreveport guest to guest and each woman wrote her name next to one or two of her favorite recipes, because – of course – they ALL had this cookbook.  The Banana Nut Bread and the Cranberry Bread were both signed.  It didn’t take but a few months for me to make the Cranberry Bread.  It was SO GOOD, that thirty-seven years later I’m still making it.




Slices of cranberry bread

Kitchen Notes

Not much to add about this one.  I didn’t make any changes to the original recipe other than dress up the instructions a bit.  Below are the original instructions.

Sift dry ingredients.  Add combined juice, rind, melted shortening and enough water to make 3/4 cup.  Add beaten egg and mix.  Fold in chopped nuts and cut up cranberries.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes. (Wax paper in pans is a help.)
Close up of delicius cranberry bread
I’ve never tried any other cranberry bread recipe, because … there is just no reason to.  If you make this bread, and I hope you do, I think you’ll agree!

If you are curious to know if it can be made with dried cranberries, well apparently so!  Check out Chef in Disguise who did make it with dried cranberries and it looks delicious!

Just a comment in case you don’t know:  Shreveport is a city in the northwest corner of Louisiana, USA.

Cook Around the Globe

It’s interesting how some recipes are found in many different countries.  In researching recipes on Canada and Alaska for Cook Around the Globe, I found this recipe in An Alberta Family Cookbook.  With the exception of 1/2 tsp. baking soda, the two recipes are the same.  I love the name and notation that comes with the Alberta recipe: “Grandma’s Cranberry Loaf - We can’t remember a Christmas without this.  One of our oldest traditions.”  Sound familiar? :)


This recipe has also been entered into the following blog hops. Be sure to check on the following links to see more tasty recipes.

Food of the Month, Made From Scratch Blog Hop, Thursday Ultimate Recipe Swap, It’s a Keeper Thursday, Bake with Bizzy, Let’s Do Brunch, Cook Around the Globe, Made with Love Monday, Mom’s Test Meals Mondays, Recipe Sharing Mondays, Keep It Real Thursday

Featured on

The top photo was accepted by C. J. as a Food Story Photo at C.J.’s Food Stories.  Click on the link to check it out.  While you’re there check out C.J.’s other great feature posts and recipes.

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81 Responses to “Cranberry Bread – Tried and True”

  1. Susan March 4, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    I was so delighted to find your post! A very, very dear friend who has now deceased gave me a banana bread recipe years ago from “A Cook’s Tour of Shreveport.” The recipe, written in her own hand, has been used many times and has a stain on the oven temperature. I started searching today for “Banana Bread Recipe from A Cook’s Tour of Shreveport,” and the search engine brought me to your post. I was thrilled to see the recipe I was searching for in your photo. Although I couldn’t see the whole recipe, I could see enough of it to tell that my friend had written it out word-for-word from the cookbook, too! Must try the cranberry bread sometime! Thanks!

  2. CJ at Food Stories November 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Thx for the mention, MJ :-)

  3. Isobel July 23, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    Your loaf looks beautiful! I wish I could find fresh berries here! I hate how fruits are limited in my tropical country :(

  4. Choc Chip Uru March 29, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    I trust you I trust you this bread is amazing :D
    Your blog is amazing – you. are. brilliant :D

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Maple Raisin Ice Cream

  5. Chung-Ah @ Damn Delicious March 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    I can’t believe I’ve never tried cranberry bread before. Will have to make it soon with your recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Bam's Kitchen February 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    I found your cooking website through Chef in Disguise and I had no idea what I was missing out on. The use of the fresh cranberries gives this bread its special zing!

  7. Javelin Warrior February 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    I the love the story behind where the recipe came from, and you’re so right – there are only a handful of recipes I’ve made that worked perfectly the very first time =) This bread does look delicious and I’m so glad you shared with Made with Love Mondays…

  8. Soni February 10, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Oooh I love Cranberry bread, but I’ve only made them using TraderJoe’s Cranberry Bread Mix..never made them from scratch.Your bread and pics look gorgeous and now I’m tempted to try making them from scratch!Thanks MJ!

  9. Moo Eleven January 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    I LOVE this recipe – I nearly bought some mini loaf tins at the weekend and now I wish I had!! Thanks for sharing x

  10. Melssa Placzek January 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    this looks fabulous! gorgeous picture too!



  11. German Mama January 4, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    This looks great! I can just imagine how tasty the combination of cranberries, orange and walnuts will be. Thanks for participating again in Cook Around the Globe.

  12. Megan December 30, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Hello Dear! Love that your mom’s friends did this for you and that you still have the book! Absolutely genius! My mom always made this during the holidays and this year she didn’t :-( . So maybe it is time I start taking up the tradition. Thank you for sharing this – Happy New Year to you!

  13. Gigi December 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    This is fantastic. I was a bit concerned because it is VERY thick. But it is excellent. The kids love it. The only thing I did different was to process the fresh cranberries in my mini food processor for a few seconds. I thought the cranberries halved would be a bit much for my family. And it was perfect. I’m making mini loaves for my neighbors.

    • mj December 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

      Gigi – Thanks so much for your feedback! I’m thrilled that your family enjoyed this bread and you’ll be giving it as gifts. Makes my day!

  14. Chaya December 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    The cranberries look like jewels in the bread. I also love the combination of orange and cranberry.

    I want to thank you for your kind words and for linking up to Let’s Do Brunch. Please visit again. I plan to be back here often. I am enjoying your blog.

  15. sally December 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    My mom has made the same cranberry cookies every Christmas since I was in preschool. This recipe reminds me of her cookie recipe.

  16. easyfoodsmith December 18, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    OMG! The bread looks absolutely fab!

  17. Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} December 18, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    I love cranberry bread and yours is definitely a winner since you’ve been making it for such a long time! Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays!

  18. sara December 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Yum, this looks so delicious! I love cranberry bread, especially with orange and walnuts – so festive! :) Totally makes me feel that it’s the holidays. :)

  19. Amy December 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    wow!!perfect bread…& beautiful captures…
    Thanks a lot for sending to Food Corner event….

  20. michele (maryland) December 16, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Hi, I am going to make mini loaves of this wonderful looking bread for my 22 guests to take home this Sunday. How far ahead is it ok to make, so it will still be fresh for them. I am also thinking of adding pure almond extract to the mix, instead of nuts.

  21. daphne December 16, 2011 at 2:37 am #

    I love recipes with a bit of history to it- that means every time you make it, there is a story to tell! What classic- and I am loving those fresh cranberries.

  22. Baker Street December 16, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    MJ!!!! This is brilliant! What a lovely recipe. Thank you so much for sharing! Gorgeous clicks too! :)

  23. Ivy December 15, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. If I ever find fresh cranberries, I would love to make it. I get dried cranberries but I don’t think it would be the same, would it?

  24. Mama's World December 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!

    Your site is gr8!! love the pics!!

  25. Jen at The Three Little Piglets December 15, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Those are THE best kinds of recipes! And the perfect ones to share!

  26. Val December 15, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    What a great story behind this recipe. I love how not only have you continued to make this cranberry bread but that it has turned into a yearly tradition. I can’t get hold of fresh cranberries in my part of the world but it does look a recipe worth making every year ;)

  27. mania December 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    this looks amazing, i was looking for something like that for breakfast , thanks for sharing will make that soon , have a lovely day dear

  28. Katherine Martinelli December 14, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    I absolutely love the story behind this!! So sweet. And hey, if it aint broke don’t fix it. This recipe definitely sounds like a keeper – the bread looks moist and delicious!

  29. lavieenfribourg December 14, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    The pictures of your cranberry bread are superb…
    I am amazed.

  30. Sissi December 14, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    Both your cookery book and this recipe have a beautiful story behind. For me it would be the most precious book in the world. I love cranberry juice, but have never cooked or baked cranberries. This bread looks so fantastic, I can well believe no modifications are required. Thank you for this wonderful recipe and its lovely history.
    And thank you for visiting my blog!

  31. Ann December 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    Love, love, LOVE that it was passed around and everyone wrote in the book – which says something for the book. I also think it’s terrific that you’ve not adapted the recipe at all – which says something for the recipe! It sounds terrific and your pictures are delicious! Now I have another book to look up on Amazon!

    • mj December 14, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

      You’re going to love this. There is still an “order form” in my cookbook to buy it for $4.50! I checked Amazon and it had one for $49! Thanks for the nice comments Ann!

  32. Steve @ the black peppercorn December 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    This bread looks so great. Those are some wonderful photos! I have never made cranberry bread but I am gonna bookmark this for a definite try

  33. Reeni December 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    I adore tried and true recipes like this that never let you down! It looks absolutely delicious and so festive!

  34. mairin December 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Love the look of your bread. Thank you for sharing your recipe. All the positive comments have made me determined to bake a loaf these coming holidays. Here in New Zealand we don’t get fresh cranberries but dried ones are readily available. Perhaps if I soak the dried fruit in orange juice for an hour or two before I start…? Must try it.

    • mj December 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

      Mairin – thanks for stopping by! Sorry you can’t get fresh cranberries in NZ, but your idea to soak the dried cranberries in orange juice should work great! If you try it, let me know how it works.

  35. Jessica @ Cajunlicious December 13, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Looks absolutely delicious! Would add a perfect addition to my Christmas!


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