This easy cranberry blueberry bread recipe is loaded with fresh or frozen blueberries and cranberries, plus a touch of orange zest. Thick slices of tender, moist, and delicious cranberry blueberry bread are perfect for a breakfast treat or delicious anytime snack!
Some baked goods with fruit seem best for certain seasons… Like how fall is all about the pumpkin and pears are classic in winter. Well, you will be happy to know that this cranberry blueberry bread recipe is perfect all year long!
This homemade sweet bread is brimming with summery blueberries, fall cranberries, and the zest from an orange – typically at peak ripeness in the winter. Together they create a deliciously tart, tangy, bright and sweet bread that tastes just right in any and every month.
Basic baking pantry staples are combined with your choice of fresh or frozen berries, then smoothed into a loaf pan. No need to proof! The bread goes straight into the oven and bakes in for only about an hour. Then it is ready to cool slightly before slicing and serving warm with your favorite spreads for breakfast, snack time, or dessert!
How to make blueberry cranberry bread
Begin by getting all your ingredients, so they are easily accessible. This makes the baking process smoother.
Set your oven to preheat at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven heats, position a rack in the middle, as this provides even baking for the bread.
Grab a mixing bowl and cream together the softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Stir the mixture until it takes on a light and fluffy texture.
Break the egg into the butter and sugar mixture. Add in the orange zest and vanilla, stirring these into the mix.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. This helps remove any lumps and aerates the mixture, which is crucial for a soft bread texture.
Gradually pour the sifted dry ingredients into the wet mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. This means you add a bit of the flour mixture, then a bit of buttermilk, and continue alternating until everything is combined. This method helps to incorporate the ingredients more effectively.
Once you have a consistent batter, gently fold in the blueberries and cranberries. You want them to be evenly distributed but not broken up too much.
Prepare a bread loaf pan by lightly greasing it or lining it with parchment paper. This step helps in easy removal of the bread once baked. Pour your batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula for an even surface.
Place the loaf pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 60 minutes. You can check if the bread is done by inserting a toothpick or a knife in the center. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs (and not wet batter), it’s ready.
After baking, remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the loaf pan for about 10-15 minutes. Afterwards, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. This step helps the bread firm up, making it easier to slice.
Once fully cooled, slice the bread and serve. Enjoy your freshly baked cranberry blueberry bread with a pat of butter or your favorite spread! Or by itself, like i did.
Cranberries. Fresh or frozen. These tart berries have a great bite without too much sweetness, so they are perfect to pair with sweet blueberries.
Blueberries. Fresh or frozen. Blueberries practically melt in your mouth when baked, so you get delicious berry flavor in every crumb.
Orange zest. Citrus zest contains the oils that pack the most vibrant orange flavor.
Vanilla. An essential ingredient in many sweet baking recipes.
Granulated white and brown sugar. Using both of these sugars gives the bread a yummy and sweet but mellow flavor.
Butter. Unsalted and softened is best for baking.
Egg. To make a thick but pourable batter that bakes up a tender loaf.
Buttermilk. The acidity works with the leavening agents to give the otherwise dense bread a nice bit of fluffiness.
Flour. All-purpose flour is best. But you can easily substitute with your favorite gluten-free alternative for a GF-friendly recipe, if you like!
Baking soda and baking powder. Using both makes the cranberry blueberry bread rise properly with just the right soft texture.
Salt. A pinch to bring all of the flavors together.
Frequently asked questions
It is entirely up to personal taste… Oil will often result in a moist crumb. But butter creates a lovely dense texture with lots of, well, buttery flavor. I use butter in this blueberry cranberry bread recipe for a hearty loaf that is soft and not too crumbly.
Technically you can, but I do not recommend swapping buttermilk for regular milk. The acid of the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda and baking powder to make the most fluffy, tender and tasty sweet bread.
However, it is actually quite easy to make buttermilk if you do not have it on hand! Replace buttermilk with ½ cup of regular milk and add ½ tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for a minute or two so that the milk sours a bit, just like buttermilk.
No, there is no need to defrost the frozen blueberries and/or cranberries first. Thawing frozen fruits releases their moisture and can therefore make the bread soggy. But when baked from frozen they cook quickly enough to avoid releasing too much moisture.
My recipe calls for a total of 1 cup of sugar. Compared to most other sweet breads (and especially when you compare to store bought packaged breads), this homemade version is typical in the amount of in sugar per serving.
Not only can you eat them together, you absolutely should! The tart cranberry and sweet blueberry flavors are perfectly balanced in every bite.
- If you’re using frozen berries, consider tossing them in a light dusting of flour before adding them to the batter. This can help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf.
- Every oven can vary slightly. It’s a good idea to start checking the bread for doneness around the 55-minute mark to prevent over-baking.
- Allowing the bread to cool fully before slicing will give it the best texture and will make slicing easier.
- When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix just until incorporated to avoid overmixing. Overmixing can lead to a denser bread.
- If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitute by adding 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a ½ cup of regular milk. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and it’s ready to use.
- This bread pairs beautifully with a light glaze made from powdered sugar and a bit of orange juice or with a spread of cream cheese.
This bread is moist due to the berries, so store it in a cool place in an airtight container. If you’re in a humid environment, you might consider storing it in the refrigerator to prolong freshness.
More fall recipes
Hope you will like this cranberry blueberry recipe as much as we do. Please rate the recipe if you made it and leave comment below if you have any questions or suggestions.
- 1⁄2 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1⁄2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- zest from 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1⁄2 cups flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine butter, egg and sugar. Add vanilla.
- In another bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Slowly add dry to wet mixture. Add orange zest.
- Slowly pour buttemilk and mix a batter. Add berries and stir. Pur the bater into the greased loaf pan.
- Bake for about 60 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 461mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 4g