Christmas Eggnog Bread

Christmas Eggnog Bread

I absolutely love having a slice of this cranberry pecan bread on a chilly morning with my coffee. The sweet and tart cranberries paired with the crunch of toasted pecans makes it the perfect quick bread for fall and winter. It comes together in just one bowl and bakes up incredibly moist. I like to drizzle a simple vanilla glaze over the top to take it over the top. But it’s also great plain or with a smear of butter.

Can I use fresh or frozen cranberries?

You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries in this recipe. If using frozen, do not thaw before adding to the batter.

What kind of nuts work best?

Pecans, walnuts, and almonds all pair nicely with cranberry bread. Toast them first to enhance the nutty flavor.

How long does cranberry bread last?

Properly stored cranberry bread will last 3-4 days at room temperature. For longer storage, wrap tightly in plastic wrap then foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

How do I make muffins instead of a loaf?

Simply divide the batter evenly between 12 lined or greased muffin cups and bake at 375°F for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

What if my bread is still gooey inside after baking time?

Try tenting foil over the bread for the last 15 minutes of bake time to prevent overbrowning. Test with a toothpick to confirm doneness instead of going by time.

Can I substitute the brown sugar?

You can use white sugar instead but the bread won’t be quite as richly flavored. Also reduce any spices slightly if using white sugar.

What do I serve with cranberry bread?

Cranberry bread pairs nicely with coffee or tea. Drizzle leftover glaze over vanilla ice cream for a tasty dessert too. It also makes great sandwiches with cream cheese or brie.


  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil (or melted butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1/3 cup molasses (for richness and color)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or plain yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

For the glaze (Optional):

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, brown sugar, molasses, buttermilk and vanilla extract until nice and smooth.
  3. In another bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cranberries. The flour will help coat the cranberries.
  4. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold together gently using a spatula until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in 3⁄4 cups of the chopped pecans.
  5. Pour batter evenly into your prepared loaf pan. Top with remaining 1⁄4 cup chopped pecans.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. If the bread is very moist on top but the center seems done, tent lightly with foil for the last 15 minutes.
  7. Let cool 15 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack.
  8. Once completely cooled, you can drizzle over the glaze if desired. Simply whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth and pourable. Spoon over bread letting it drip attractively down the sides.


  • Pick out and discard any bruised cranberries. This will keep them from discoloring the dough. Also chop the cranberries in one uniform size for even distribution and baking.
  • Make sure to generously grease the loaf pan so the bread easily pops out when cooled. You can also line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper for extra insurance.
  • Whisk the wet ingredients vigorously until nice and airy for a light bread crumb. Don’t overmix once the dry ingredients are added though.
  • Let all ingredients come to room temperature for best volume and rise, especially if you were using cold butter directly from the fridge.
  • Test doneness early by 55 minutes then continue checking every 5 minutes after. Ovens vary and breads bake fast. You want moist, not dry bread.
  • Resist cutting into the bread when hot. Let it cool completely first so the crumb sets up properly for clean slicing without crumbling apart.
  • Store tightly wrapped at room temperature up to one week. For longer storage, wrap in plastic then foil and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight before serving.
  • Transform leftovers into bread pudding, French toast, croutons or stuffing to use it all up. The cranberries lend delicious flavor to anything made with the bread.
  • Play around with add-ins! Dried fruit, orange zest, spices, nuts and seeds are all delicious in cranberry bread. Customize to your taste.


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