Cranberry Almond Quick Bread

If you love homemade quick bread, this Cranberry Almond Quick Bread recipe is a must try. Bake up two freezer friendly loaves–one for now and one to enjoy later!

If you love homemade quick bread, this Cranberry Almond Quick Bread recipe is perfect. Bakes up two freezer friendly loaves!

What is Quick Bread

There are few delights quite like the simple joy of a loaf of homemade bread fresh from the oven. While breads made with yeast require time for kneading and rising (sometimes even a second or third rise!) before you can bake them, quick breads are, well, quicker.

Just mix together the batter, pour it in a pan and you’ll be enjoying a perfect loaf of bread in under an hour. Classic Banana Bread might be one of the most familiar quick bread varieties. I also can’t get enough Zucchini Bread when my garden is overflowing and when the autumn arrives, Pumpkin Bread can’t be far behind!

This Cranberry Almond Bread might earn the top spot on my list of current quick bread obsessions. With a swirl of tart cranberries and an amazingly sweet glaze, it’s perfect for the holiday season. A little almond extract adds the perfect twist of nutty flavor.

I love this bread so much that I plan to make it all year long!

Just mix, bake and eat. Does it get any easier?

Ingredient Notes

  • Cranberry sauce – I prefer to use the cranberry sauce that comes in a can. Feel free to substitute homemade if you prefer.
  • Almond extract – If you don’t like the almond flavor (or don’t have any), feel free to substitute vanilla extract to make a classic cranberry bread.
  • Sour cream – Plain Greek yogurt makes a wonderful substitute too.

Easy Instructions

Make the batter: Combine butter and sugar, then add in the eggs and the almond extract. Mix in the dry ingredients, then fold in the sour cream.

Swirl with cranberry sauce: Pour a layer of batter into the bottom of two prepared loaf pans, then top with a layer of cranberry sauce. Swirl with a spatula, then repeat with another layer of batter and cranberry sauce. Swirl and top with the rest of the bread batter.

Bake: Bake in the oven for 60 – 70 minutes. Remove and let the bread cool while you make the glaze.

Glaze: Whisk the glaze ingredients together, then pour over the completely cooled bread.

The glaze will harden a little as it sets so it crackles just a bit when you bite into a slice of bread. Heavenly!

Tips & Tricks

  • Use cooled cranberry sauce. I prefer to use canned sauce because it doesn’t run into the bread batter quite as much. If you use a homemade cranberry sauce, make sure it’s thick (not runny) and cooled completely or chilled before using it in this bread recipe.
  • Best glaze. The beauty of this glaze is that you can make it thicker or thinner depending on your preference. Use less milk for a thicker icing or more milk if you like it a little runnier. For best results, it should be pourable but not so runny that it won’t stay on the bread.
  • Freezing. Wrap the baked loaves in foil, then in freezer bags to keep them fresh. You can freeze them with or without the glaze on top.
  • Optional toppings. Cranberry Almond is delicious served plain but it’s easy to dress it up for a special occasion, too. Slivered almonds or Sugared Cranberries would make perfect garnishes!

Recipe FAQ

How can you tell when quick bread is done baking?

Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean, it is ready to come out of the oven.

Can you use homemade cranberry sauce instead of canned?

Yes, however it should be a thick sauce, preferably chilled so it doesn’t run into the bread batter (see Tips & Tricks).

Should you freeze the bread before or after adding the glaze?

If you plan to freeze one (or both) of the loaves, you can do it either before or after the glazing step. I prefer to freeze it “naked” then add the glaze fresh once the bread is thawed.

Moist and sweet with tangy cranberries swirled into every bite, this Cranberry Almond Bread is a perfect quick bread for any occasion. Serve for breakfast, dessert or a holiday snack!

Yield: 2 loaves

Cranberry and Almond Quick Bread

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

If you love homemade quick bread, this Cranberry Almond Quick Bread recipe is perfect. Bakes up two freezer friendly loaves!


For the Bread:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 can (14oz) whole-berry cranberry sauce

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract


  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in almond extract. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly mix in sour cream.
  2. Grease two loaf pans and line bottom with parchment paper. Spoon about 1 ¼ cup of batter into bottom of each pan, using a spatula to press it into the sides. Add a large spoonful of the cranberry sauce on top. Repeat layer of batter, pressing with fingers (it won't completely cover the cranberry). Add second layer of cranberry and top with remaining batter.
  3. Bake loaves in a 350 degree oven for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Remove and cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before adding glaze.
  5. For the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar with milk and almond extract until desired consistency (add more or less milk as desired). Spread on top of bread. Allow to set, about 20 minutes.
  6. To store, wrap loaves of bread in foil, then in a ziploc bag. Store on counter or keep in freezer until ready to use. ENJOY!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on December 28, 2012

Comments & Reviews

  1. I made this last night. Very easy and was a HUGE hit!! Family loved it. Will be making again Thanksgiving morning. Thanks for all of your GREAT recipes!!! (I have made quite a few). 🙂

  2. I’ve got to try some of this. It looks so good and easy. You have a great photographer, too. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  3. Anything quick is awesome in my book! And this looks delicious! Cranberries don’t get enough credit – they rock. 🙂

  4. I love quick breads too! They are totally my favorite and I just whipped up some pumpkin pear bread today. My house smells great and I can’t wait to enjoy the warm bread! I’ve never added almond extract to my breads, but I have some in the pantry. I’m going to save this recipe!

  5. Cranberries and almonds is an interesting combination I would have never thought of. Sounds great!

    Nothing wrong with liking the canned stuff but I swear, the homemade version takes 3 minutes of your time + 10 minutes cooking. So good! And wow, you have a lot of great looking quick breads. 🙂

    1. I know. I know. I like the homemade stuff, I really do. And 90% of the time I choose to make everything homemade…except cranberry sauce. Go figure!

  6. I have always been tempted by your Triple Chocolate Caramel Butterscotch Bread – the pics alone, mmmm! But the cranberry bread with that glaze is looking good too!

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