Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread is a moist quick bread that is perfect for breakfast or snack! Its sweet and tart flavor profile is addicting and will have you wanting to eat every last crumb!
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Every home cook needs a collection of quick bread recipes, and this is a perfect one to add to the mix! The cranberries and orange zest give the loaf a nice punch of flavor and the cream cheese makes it incredibly moist and tender!
I love to keep a variety of quick breads in my freezer and pull them out when I need an easy breakfast. They are also wonderful for your brunch buffet, or afternoon snack!
Cranberries: The cranberries can be fresh or frozen. Both work beautifully in this recipe.
Cream Cheese: This is a moist and tender bread, thanks to the addition of cream cheese! The cream cheese also adds a subtle flavor that complements the cranberries.
Eggs: The eggs act as a binder in our bread, which helps the dough to be smoother and fluffier.
Milk: We use milk in this recipe to add flavor and lighten the texture of the bread. You can substitute soy, almond, or rice milk in this recipe.
Orange Zest: Orange and cranberry are a perfect harmony of flavors. We add our orange flavor through the zest of an orange. It adds just the right amount of citrus! Later, we'll juice the orange for our delicious glaze.
How to Make Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread
Cream the Wet Ingredients
- Beat the butter, cream cheese, and sugar together on high speed for 2 minutes. This helps the sugar to dissolve into the butter, creating an airier batter.
- Scrape the sides before adding your next ingredients, and also before adding in the flour, so that all of the ingredients are incorporated.
- Next, add in the eggs, milk, zest, and vanilla, and mix well.
Add in Dry Ingredients
- In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
- Then add them to the batter. Mix on low speed until the flour is just incorporated. The mixture will be lumpy.
Fold the Cranberries in By Hand
- Finally, add the beautiful berries! Fold them in by hand, until the berries are distributed throughout the batter.
Finish with a Citrus Glaze
- While the bread is baking, make your glaze. This is a simple glaze of powdered sugar, orange juice and vanilla. It adds a beautifully sweet citrus flavor to finish off the bread.
- This step is optional, but it really makes the bread delicious!
Other Fall Quick Bread Recipes
Frequently Asked Questions
Dried cranberries can be used instead of fresh, but you will use less berries. For this recipe, you will need 1 ½ cups of dried cranberries.
It is best to cream the butter and sugar with a mixer, in order to get a light and airy bread. Mixing by hand will result in a more dense bread. After the butter and sugar are creamed, the rest of the ingredients can be mixed by hand, if you prefer.
When you cream sugar with butter and cream cheese that are softened to almost room temperature, the sugar crystals poke into the softened fats to create air pockets. If your butter and cream cheese are too cold, the air pockets won't occur and your batter will be dense.
Cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for a week. Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread can also be frozen for up to 4 months. Wrap the whole loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap, then foil. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread
Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, scooped and leveled
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
Make the Bread
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8x5 bread pans with nonstick spray.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar using a hand or stand electric mixer. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes, then scrape the sides.
- Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest, and milk, and beat on medium speed, until mixed well. Scrape sides again, to ensure that all of the ingredients are mixed together.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed until just incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Add the cranberries and stir on low speed, or by hand, until they are distributed throughout the batter.
- Pour the batter evenly into two loaf pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.
Make the Glaze
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, and vanilla, until smooth.
- Drizzle over the top of the cooled loaves.