Cranberry Sauce Bread Recipe (Cranberry Nut Quick Bread)

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Cranberry nut bread is an easy holiday treat full of festive flavors.  And this cranberry quick bread recipe uses up leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving.  So I suppose it's a cranberry sauce bread recipe!

Cranberry nut quick bread is a delicious way to use up leftover cranberry sauce after thanksgiving.

When I opened the fridge yesterday, I was confronted with leftover cranberry sauce.  Again.  I bought some nice cranberry sauce from Trader Joe's for Thanksgiving dinner (because I was supposed to have cranberry sauce), set it out, but nobody touched it.  I have a hard time throwing out perfectly good food, and it's been staring at me every time I open the fridge for weeks, making me feel guilty that it has no purpose in our lives.  Until now, that is, because I figured out the perfect use for leftover cranberry sauce:  cranberry nut quick bread!

I was inspired by an old family favorite recipe for strawberry bread.  My mom sometimes made it (along with our favorite date nut bread) and gave it to friends and neighbors as Christmas gifts.  The original recipe calls for strawberry jam, and I realized that jam is a lot like cranberry sauce, and decided to experiment with my leftover sauce.  Spoiler:  the experiment worked.  Really well.  It's even better if you make your own fresh cranberry sauce and have some leftover after Thanksgiving!

I also have a great pumpkin bread recipe that uses fresh cranberries, in case you're trying to use up whole cranberries rather than cranberry sauce.  And if you have leftover pumpkin pie filling, try this leftover pumpkin pie filling bread.

Cranberry Nut Bread ingredients on a white weathered wood background.

Cranberry Nut Bread:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped (I used pecans)

Can I use oil instead of butter in this Cranberry Sauce Quick Bread Recipe?

  • Yes!  Substitute 3/4 cup vegetable oil for the butter in the recipe above to make a non-dairy version of this cranberry nut bread recipe.

Cranberry Nut Bread batter in two loaf pans.

Cream the room temperature butter, sugar, and vanilla together until the mixture is fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Combine flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda.  Combine cranberry sauce and sour cream.  

Add the wet cranberry mixture alternately with the dry ingredients mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, beating until well combined.  Stir in the nuts at the end, after the basic batter is finished.

I used my Kitchenaid mixer to make this sweet bread, but you could use any electric mixer and a large mixing bowl.

What kind of Cranberry Sauce to use in Cranberry Sauce Bread?

  • This cranberry bread recipe works well with homemade cranberry sauce
  • It also works brilliantly with jellied cranberry sauce (though the cranberry flavor is more subtle and spread out, since it doesn't have any chunks of cranberries)
  • You can even use leftover cranberry relish.  But since cranberry relish is generally much less sweet than cranberry sauce, add an extra 1/4 cup of brown sugar to the recipe.

Two loaves of baked Cranberry Nut Bread on a white weathered wood background.

Divide between two greased bread loaf pans (or five mini loaf pans).  You could also line the bottoms of the bread loaf pans with parchment paper instead of greasing the pans.  

Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 55-60 minutes (for the regular sized loaf pans), until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.

Sliced Cranberry Nut Bread on a cutting board surrounded by cranberries.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

I like this cranberry bread without any icing, but it is delicious with an orange glaze made with a little bit of orange juice, orange zest, and powdered sugar.

You could also bake this recipe in muffin tins, and make leftover cranberry sauce muffins. 

If you're looking for a low-carb option, try this gluten free cranberry orange bread.

Sliced Cranberry Sauce Bread on a cutting board surrounded by cranberries.

Quick breads like this freeze gorgeously, which makes this recipe the perfect way to use up that leftover Thanksgiving cranberry sauce!   Just wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months.

Printable, One Page Cranberry Sauce Bread Recipe:

Want a one page, printable version of this leftover cranberry sauce bread recipe?  Click on the image below to print or download the PDF to your device.

Navigational image leading reader to printable, one page version of the cranberry nut bread recipe.

Other Quick Bread Recipes You Might Like:

Navigational image leading reader to gingerbread loaf recipe.

Navigational image leading reader to cranberry pumpkin quick bread recipe

Other Cranberry Recipes You Might Like:

Navigational image leading reader to cranberry pistachio biscotti cookie recipe

navigational image leading reader to pumpkin cranberry scones recipe.

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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