Cranberry Bread – Tried and True

Cranberry Bread,Tried and True #quick #bread @mjskitchen

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.



Cranberry Bread Recipe

Source:  “A Cook’s Tour of Shreveport – A Dash of the Old South”; 1973; Recipes collected and tested by The Junior League of Shreveport, Inc.

Makes 1 loaf
Prep and Cook Time:  60 to 70 minutes


2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
juice and zest of 1 large orange
2 Tbsp. melted butter or shortening
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup walnut meats, chopped
1  1/2 cup fresh cranberries, cut in half


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Prepare a bread pan by coating the inside with shortening or butter, then dusting lightly with flour.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Melt butter in a measuring cup.  Add the orange juice, zest, and enough water to make 3/4 cup.
  5. Add the beaten egg and mix.
  6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just mixed.
  7. Fold in the nuts and cranberries.
  8. Pour into bread pan.  Batter is very thick.  Gently tap the pan to help spread out batter.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and let set about 4 to 5 minutes.
  11. Use a spatula or knife to loosen sides of bread from pan.
  12. Gently flip the bread pan over to release the cranberry bread.
  13. Flip back over and set on rack to cool.

Recipe creators:  Mrs. Robert G. Chandler and Mrs. C.M. Zaenglein




Cranberry Bread - Tried and True #quick #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 Tried and True Cranberry Bread 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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86 Responses to “Cranberry Bread – Tried and True”

  1. April J Harris December 22, 2017 at 9:29 am #

    This bread looks so good, MJ! And what a fabulous idea for a shower gift – a cookbook with recommendations is such a great thing to have on hand when starting out in your own kitchen! Thank you so much for your support this year, and for being a part of The Hearth and Soul Link Party. I’ve shared this on the H&S Facebook page today. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

    • mj December 29, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

      Thanks so much April and you are most welcome! Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday!

  2. Carole from Carole's Chatter December 11, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

    Love the tried and true recipes. Cheers

    • mj December 12, 2017 at 8:04 pm #

      Thanks Carole!

  3. 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!

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

    Thx for the mention, MJ 🙂

  5. 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 🙁

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

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

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Maple Raisin Ice Cream

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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!

  9. 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…

  10. 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!

  11. 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

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

    this looks fabulous! gorgeous picture too!



  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

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

    OMG! The bread looks absolutely fab!

  18. 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!

  19. 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. 🙂

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

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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! 🙂

  24. 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?

  25. 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!!

  26. 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!

  27. 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 😉

  28. 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

  29. 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!

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

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

  31. 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!

  32. 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!

  33. 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

  34. 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!

  35. 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.

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

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

  37. Judy December 13, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    It’s not often I find a baking recipe that I absolutely have to try, and what’s more, fits into the burgeoning Xmas mood! I’m curious that it’s making bread without a bread maker, so this is really exciting! I can’t wait to add some butter and make cranberry toast =)

  38. Reem | Simply Reem December 13, 2011 at 12:58 am #

    What a lovely recipe….
    I love those ruby red cranberries set into the slices…

  39. vianney December 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    lovely cranberry bread. I can imagine this bread is a winner if you have made it all these years. Can’t wait to try it!! yummy!

  40. Food Jaunts December 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    I love that you’ve been making the same recipe for so long – that’s really tradition at its finest. That being said, that cranberry bread look amazing when it’s sliced.

  41. mj December 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments! One of the things that I love about doing this blog is learning what people do and don’t have access to and what people do and don’t eat. We take our old-standbys for granted to the point that it’s a surprise when someone says “I’ve never had …” or “I can’t get (that ingredient) here”. So it’s been fun introducing new things and then learning about some many new foods from others. Thanks to everyone for dropping by!!!!

  42. Giulietta | Alterkitchen December 12, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Too bad there’s no cranberries now, but next year… I’ll try it for sure! Bookmarked! 🙂

  43. Tina (PinayInTexas) December 12, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    What a perfect looking cranberry bread that is, MJ! I will definitely try that for Christmas dinner!

  44. Suzi December 12, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    MJ this looks beautiful. I have gotten into cranberries this year and I could really go for some of this bread. I want to try this.

  45. Kathy December 12, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    Those Louisiana Junior League cookbooks are masterpieces!!! Do you have Monroe’s Cotton Country? I was given that treasure at a Sunday School wedding shower in ’79. Gotta love our southern heritage. ~~K

    • mj December 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      So you got a JL cookbook as well! No – I don’t have the Monroe’s Cotton Country, but I’m sure it’s got some great classics. Thanks for the comments!

  46. Charles December 12, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    Well, like Nami, I’ve never had cranberry bread either – Cranberries aren’t so “big” in Europe, so it’s not often I can partake in their deliciousness – I’d love to try this… I wonder if they’re in stores for Christmas yet? We often have a few available 🙂

    I think I saw this post on foodgawker too over the weekend… congratulations 🙂

    • Charles December 12, 2011 at 2:10 am #

      Or maybe it was Tastespotting… :s

      • mj December 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

        It was Tastespotting. Foodgawker turned down these pics! Go figure. 🙂 Thanks for your comments as always!

  47. Nami | Just One Cookbook December 12, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    I’m trying to remember if I had cranberry bread…and I think I haven’t! I love cranberry scones and muffins etc, but I don’t know why I’ve never had the bread before. This looks so pretty with bright red cranberries in it. And the best part is that you baked and said it’s great. Of course I’m going to keep this recipe… 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

  48. A Brown Table December 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    I love all things cranberry and Louisiana related which makes this bread a must-try this week!

  49. Treat and Trick December 11, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment. Fantastic and good looking bread with just tablespoons of butter. Great photos!

  50. Margaret Murphy Tripp December 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    just made cranberry muffins with the cranberry bread recipe I’ve been using since the mid 80’s. You are so right. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Your photos are really gorgeous!

  51. Anne@frommysweetheart December 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    MJ…that bread is GORGEOUS! And your pictures are just beautiful. And I love your cookbook from the ’70’s! I love collecting older and vintage cookbooks though they are becoming hard to find! I can’t wait to try this tried and true recipe! : )

  52. wok with ray December 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Like what they always say… if it ain’t broke why fix it! Why change the recipe even a bit if it’s a tested one. Beautiful bread with the vibrant color of the cranberries. Have a wonderful week, MJ!

    ~ ray ~

  53. Carolyn Jung December 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Even after Christmas ends, I always keep a bag or two of cranberries in the freezer. That way, I can bake a beautiful cranberry loaf like this — of muffins — whenever the mood strikes and fresh cranberries have long disappeared from the stores.

  54. Reiko December 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    So pretty and festive looking! I’ve never used fresh cranberries, although I’m always interested. This sounds like an awesome recipe!

  55. Amy December 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    This cranberry bread is lovely, and it sounds delicious as well! Very rare are recipes that I don’t change, but when there is one it is special!

  56. Biren @ Roti n Rice December 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Some recipes are real keepers and this bread looks so pretty and festive too! Definitely a wonderful bread to serve for the holidays.

  57. rachelle December 11, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    I can’t wait to try this with my leftover cranberries.

  58. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles December 11, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    What a pretty loaf! I love the combination of cranberry and orange… it’s an all time favourite and I’m one of those people who is always looking for nuts in loaves, so I’m delighted to see the walnuts too. All the elements are here in this beautifully presented bread – lovely MJ.

  59. Ramona December 11, 2011 at 5:29 am #

    Hey, why mess with perfection! That looks like a great recipe! I can just imagine how lovely it tastes hot hot out of the oven. Mmmmm! 🙂

  60. Sawsan@chef in disguise December 11, 2011 at 3:31 am #

    That bread looks so good! sadly we don’t have cranberries here. Any chance I could use dates or raisins instead?

    • mj December 11, 2011 at 8:56 am #

      Sorry you can’t get cranberries! They are such treats here in the states this time of year. However, I think dates would be great with this recipe! I might just have to try it myself.

  61. Sanjeeta kk December 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    Just awesome, simple ingredients but what an incredible bread it looks!

  62. Junia @ Mis Pensamientos December 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    i love tried and true recipes. those are the ones that i always make and bring to parties! this cranberry bread looks fabulous. i just love the fresh bright popping color it adds to bread. 🙂

  63. Rachel @ Bakerita December 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Always love a good cranberry bread.

  64. Spoon and Chopsticks December 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Great looking cranberry bread. The bread looks moist and delicious.

    Spoon and Chopsticks

  65. balvinder December 10, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Cranberry bread is one of favourite in this season but I have never done it with fresh cranberries. Yours look fabulous.

  66. Jo December 10, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    This looks so good. I’m glad to find some cranberry recipes, because I don’t really know how to cook or bake with them.
    Thanks for sharing.

  67. Nads December 10, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    I’m so glad you did this recipe! This is my favorite too! I have to admit that I’ve tried other recipes and always went back to this one. Once you’ve know what something is “supposed to take like” it’s had to accept something else. What I like about this bread is the simplicity. You can taste every ingredient in each bite, and every bite is a burst of flavor. Thank you for taking this wonderful recipe out of that hidden corner of the state and shared what is best about Shreveport – the food – with the rest of the world.

    • mj December 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

      WOW! That’s great that this is your CB recipe as well! I knew you had the book but I didn’t know how much you used it. It contains some classics! The food really is the best thing about Shreveport for sure! Thanks for the great comments!

  68. Monica @ TheYummyLife December 10, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Recipes like this with a story and a history are the best kind. I love cooking from old cookbooks and recipe cards that I’ve had for years. It makes me feel connected with generations of cooks. This recipe looks deserving of lasting through the years. A classic cranberry bread–can’t go wrong with that!

  69. Liz December 10, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Oh, I love a tried and true recipe! And I also love cranberry bread with a touch of orange…yum!!!

  70. Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot December 10, 2011 at 12:52 am #

    Wow, I feel lucky to see this tried and true recipe! This is something any cook would be so happy to come across. The bread looks so moist and delicious, I’d like to have a slice now as a late night snack! =)

  71. Joanne December 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Wow, that IS a tried and true recipe! The bread is just BEAUTIFUL! I was totally wowed by the photo. Great post MJ!


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