Cranberry Citrus Bread Recipe: Perfect for Gift Giving!

Fresh cranberries and two types of citrus give this Cranberry Citrus Bread a fresh and festive taste. Perfect for holiday gift giving!

cranberry citrus bread ingredients

One of the gifts I love to give at Christmas is something homemade from my kitchen. Not only is it totally budget-friendly, but I think the receiver appreciates that effort was made and time was spent. Last year I gave my Snickerdoodle Bread. This year it’s Cranberry Citrus Bread. This recipe is so easy and doesn’t use any odd ingredients. Plus it’s delicious.

cranberry citrus bread ingredients chopped cranberries in bowl

The first thing you do is chop the cranberries and zest the lemons…then you mix them with a little sugar and let it all set while you prepare the rest of the recipe. It doesn’t call for any lemon juice, so I had two zested lemons left over. I hated to put them down the disposal, so I quartered them and put them in an old enamelware coffee pot that sits on my stove. I added water, cinnamon sticks and a few cranberries.

cranberry lemon stovetop potpourri

Between the bread baking and the coffee pot simmering, my whole house smelled like Christmas. The only thing that would have made the afternoon more perfect was a little falling snow out my window. Can’t have it all I guess!

cranberry citrus bread three mini loaves on cooling rack fi

Cranberry Citrus Bread Recipe

Fresh cranberries and two types of citrus give this Cranberry Citrus Bread a fresh and festive taste. Perfect for holiday gift giving!
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5 from 1 vote
Servings: 1 large loaf
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes


  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 large eggs


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl mix together cranberries, lemon peel and 1/4 c. sugar. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together flour, 1/2 c. sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together canola oil, orange juice and eggs until well mixed.
  • All at once add the oil/juice/egg mixture to the flour mixture.
  • Beat until combined, scraping sides of the bowl a few times.
  • Gently fold in cranberry/lemon zest/sugar mixture.
  • Pour into prepared large loaf pan or 3 small loaf pans.
  • Bake 30 - 35 minutes (small) or 45 - 50 min. (large) until lightly browned and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before serving.


I prepare my pans with Baker's Joy.
Large loaf pan = approx. 9 x 5 in.
Small loaf pan = approx. 5 x 3 x 2 in.
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Cranberry Citrus Bread Recipe Tip

I used disposable pans to bake these little loaves. I got them at HomeGoods, but you can also purchase them {HERE.} One helpful hint I got from my daughter…the package says you do not need to spray the pans. That’s not true…if you don’t, the loaves stick and you can’t get them out. I sprayed these with a little Baker’s Joy, and the loaf I kept for us popped right out.

cranberry citrus bread three mini loaves on cooling rack

For wrapping I got clear cellophane bags. I slipped the pan of bread right in the bag, added a tag and tied it off with a piece of ribbon. If you have any fresh greenery around, adding a little sprig is a nice touch. It’s all in the presentation you know.

cranberry citrus bread in christmas wrap

I showed you my initial gift tags in my Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas post. Some of these loaves are for families, so I’m using the initial of their last name. Click {HERE} for one other homemade gift idea and wrapping tips.

cranberry citrus bread sliced loaf on cutting board

Until next time…
ann signature christmas


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  1. Agnieszka says:

    Dear Ann,
    I Made this bread right now.. and it looks amazing… Can’t wait to try it.. Thank you.. It’s perfect🎄✨❣️
    Best wishes from Slovenia☃️

  2. The bread looks so festive, perfect to deliver to my neighbors! I’m in a wheelchair so these little beauties will fit perfectly in my basket.
    Thank you again many times over for your loving spirit, and generosity. Your gifts of talent flow freely and is much appreciated and entertaining. May your days ahead be peaceful and blessed!
    Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas

  3. This sounds and looks YUMMY. I’d like to try it. But after reading about oils and how they react in our bodies I’d like to substitute either olive oil or avocado oil for the canola oil. Any thoughts on this? Would it change the flavor considerably do you think?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Yvonne…I definitely would not use olive oil. I don’t know much about avocado oil and I’m not sure of the taste. One thing that may work is coconut oil. I can’t guarantee it because I’ve never tried it, but the taste would go better with the sweet bread. Let us know what you try!

      1. I have used apple sauce as as substitute in baking in the past. Do you think this would work for this recipe?

  4. Lee Durden says:

    Those look beautiful & sound Yummy! They will be on my baking list. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. This looks to be a delightful Christmas bread!
    Thanks for the tip on spraying the disposable pan. I bought some Christmas holiday pans from King Arthur Flour back in the spring and have been saving them for the upcoming holidays.

  6. Linda🐝 says:

    Good morning! I love your blog and always look forward to each post. I plan to make the Cranberry Citrus Bread. I was not able to print the recipe – when I clicked on print in the upper corner of the recipe, it took me to a blank page! Help! Thanks!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Linda…this sounds like a browser issue. It’s very helpful to clear your browser cache & cookies, and then restart your device. Let me know if you need anything else!

  7. To split this into the small individual pans, how much mixture do you put in each?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Angela…I just try to divide it as evenly as possible. Using a large cookie scoop is helpful and makes it easier to drop the batter into the pans. Enjoy!

  8. Holiday Greetings Ann~ I am a new reader to your blog and am loving everything I’m seeing. I’ve printed the gift tags and some of the artwork – so beautiful and even more so when those pics are framed. I place them around the house and they make me smile……..the cranberry/lemon bread will definitely be baked more than once and given to my friends who always enjoy my baking and certain this one being no different. So glad I’ve come across your blog – HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you/family!

  9. Looks so pretty! Can’t wait to make this,thank you!

  10. How many times have we seen this misspelling: “non-stick”. Everyone knows the correct spelling is “will-stick”. I wish they’d get that right.

  11. Debbie Robinson says:

    Hi Ann, I have to tell you that I first made your Cranberry Citrus Bread last year and I’m totally addicted! I made it all year long and freeze it. I’m now up to baking 15 small loaves at a time. It’s my favorite breakfast.
    This holiday season, I got smart and am buying and freezing fresh cranberries. The frozen worked well but were so much more expensive!
    Thank you for a new family favorite and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family! Thanks for all the great ideas.

  12. Hi Ann ~ Finally got around to making the Cranberry Citrus Bread that you posted before Christmas. It is DELICIOUS!!! It looks pretty, is moist, not too sweet, easy to make…just right. Thanks so much for the recipe. It’s a keeper.
    ~ Judy

  13. Made this today. It’s wonderful – tart and very tasty! Thanks for the recipe.

  14. Hi Anne,
    This is a crazy question, but are you referring to tsp or tablespoons throughout the recipe?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Louise! The lowercase t. is a teaspoon and the uppercase T. is a Tablespoon. I should probably start using the full words instead of the abbreviations. Thank you for your patience!
      Merry Christmas,

  15. Erika Carey says:

    This was delicious! I made a loaf this morning for breakfast and it is almost gone! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  16. Pam Adams says:

    This sounds so delicious and also the Snickerdoodle Bread. I might just make both and take to our annual Christmas dinner our family has each year. You have made me feel a bit of Christmas cheer finally! Thank you for these recipes and also for your blog and great ideas. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Pam

  17. Hi Ann, 5 minutes from taking out my 9×5 pan. I am so glad I hunched that it was baking powder and not soda. Now I had no OJ saw I used the lemon juice of my large lemon from peel. Might be tart but I am sure still delicious.
    Also was my first experience with fresh cranberries and I am a baker. Oven beeping. Thanks

  18. Linda Sangirardi says:

    This is right up my alley…cranberry and citrus…looks lovely too! Oh, and Ann, I had made your Apple/Walnut bread and had one in the freezer which I took to a friend. She absolutely loved it (as do I). Great to have as little gifts when you have a last minute invite or guest!

  19. Jeanette Duke says:

    Yummy! This looks so pretty in it’s presentation! I agree, it is all about the presentation. I think that you can give the simplest of gift’s and have them wrapped to the nines and it will look like a million bucks and besides it’s so much fun to me as I get to be crafty/creative!!

  20. I tried the recipe this morning and it is fabulous. Not too sweet which is just the way we like it. I did discover, however, that I was out of canola oil, so since I read a recipe once about an olive oil, citrus cake, I took a risk and was very pleased. I’ll try it next with canola, however, to see what I might be missing.

    I so love your “classy” blog and look forward to every post. Have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Oh thank you for telling me that olive oil worked…great substitution!
      Merry Christmas to you…

  21. This looks really good…am going to bake some this afternoon. The packaging/presentation is lovely. This will make a great Christmas gift for our pastors. Thanks for the idea! Merry Christmas!

  22. Big thanks! I’m making this for sure! )

  23. I am baking your cranberry lemon bread right now and wanted you to know how much I appreciate all the little details (and BIG details) you provide to your readers! My daughter told me about your blog, and I haven’t missed a detail since I started reading. I love how you direct your readers to exactly where to buy the things you show, plus how inexpensive many of your ideas are to do. For instance, I now have my pot of lemons, cinnamon, cranberries, and leftover zest brewing on my stove — such a lovely holiday compliment to my afternoon, while finishing up Christmas wrapping and hubby is watching football. Thanks for all you do! Please keep the ideas coming! I live in Michigan in a rural area and find that many of your ideas compliment my lifestyle and home. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY 2015! Linda

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Thank you so much Linda! I am happy your found me and are following along. I smiled when you described how you were spending your afternoon…thank you for sharing that too. Merry Christmas!

  24. Hi Ann,
    Is it baking soda or powder? The recipe differs from the directions.
    They look delish and the presentation makes them a wonderful gift.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Thank you for catching that! It’s baking powder.
      Merry Christmas!

      1. I love cranberries and lemon so this is a winning combination. Thank you for all you do.

        Merry Christmas,

  25. cathy stangil says:

    in your cranberry citurus bread recipe you call for 2t of “baking soda” but in the instructions you say to whisk flour, sugar and “baking powder”. Which is the right ingredient!?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Cathy,
      Thank you for catching that. It’s baking powder.
      Hope your Christmas is lovely!

  26. Hello and Merry Christmas to you and yours Anne.
    This recipe looks fabulous and so festive. I love how you present the gift so beautifully as well.
    I often view your blog and enjoy your home tour and your outlook on life in general!
    Christmas peace and joy and blessings in the New Year!

    Louise from CT!

  27. debbiedoos says:

    OH yum! I would certainly enjoy this gift indeed. Be even better if I could sit with you and have coffee with it:)

  28. Ellie LaJuett says:

    I think it looks quite tasty, a very nice gift and beautifully wrapped. I am going to try it!

  29. Gael Shipstad says:

    Thank you, Ann, for wonderful inspiration with your terrific photos and tasty recipe! What a delicious gift this will be to receive!….and a must to keep one to treat the family!

  30. Christine says:

    This sounds delicious Ann, I can wait to try it myself. Thank you & Merry Christmas :)

  31. Ann-
    No need to answer me. I didn’t see the email where you purchase the loaf pan

  32. Hi Ann-
    I love the little loaf pans. Where can I get them.
    Thank you
    Have a wonderful day.

  33. It’s looks amazing Ann I would love to give it a try. Pinning and Printing :)

  34. Sounds delicious. Is the lemon ingredient 2tsp or zest from 2 lemons. I’m thinking the zest from 2 lemons would be more than 2 tsp. also where do you find the paper baking pans? Thank you.

    1. Hi Kathy!
      I zested 2 lemons and it came to about 2 teaspoons…maybe a little more. I just put it all in. The little baking pans can be found at craft or discount stores. Hobby Lobby and Michael’s had them. I’ve seen them at Walmart too. I got mine at Homegoods. Enjoy!

      1. this looks absolutely delish … and your presentation is beautiful .. i was wondering if the zest of orange would change the taste too much? i would like to use that instead … and, shhhh — maybe a tich of cinnamon, too, from (their vietnamese is amazing!) … my hubbs says i always have to *change something* … LOL … anyway, just some thoughts i am hoping you’ll respond to …

        thank you so much … merry christmas …. darlene

  35. Mieke Dinkelaar says:

    It looks delicious, I would love to make the loaf. I am a bit confused about the “t”. Does it mean a tablespoon or a teaspoon.
    Please let me know. Thanks

    1. Hi Mieke! Thank you for stopping by. The lower case “t.” is a teaspoon and the upper case “T.” is a tablespoon. Sorry for the confusion. Happy Holidays!

  36. Happy Holidays Ann!! Thank you for another wonderful recipe. I will be sure to give this a try and am sure it will be as good as the snickerdoodle bread that we enjoyed over Thanksgiving.

  37. Where did you get the cardboard loaf pans? Thx

    1. I got the disposable loaf pans at Homegoods but I have seen them at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Walmart. Have fun!