Gluten Free Cranberry Bread

Gluten Free Cranberry Bread
The inside and outside views of cranberry bread

This gluten free cranberry bread is super moist, lightly sweet and only just a bit tart. It’s the perfect quick bread for your holiday table!

A close up of the inside of a loaf of cranberry bread on a white surface

Cranberries are a bit of a funny little fruit. They can be so tart that they make you pucker just to think about them. But they cook down quickly, so they’re barely recognizable—especially when you add some sugar. Since this is the time of year we have to bake and cook with cranberries. And with this gluten free cranberry recipe, you’ll want to.

A close up of the end of a loaf of cranberry bread

A proper quick bread should be perfectly browned on the outside, then soft and lightly sweet on the inside. This is definitely a proper quick bread. It takes about an hour to bake, since there is plenty of moisture in the batter. The reward is a super moist and tender bread, and one that doesn’t burn during baking.

A loaf pan with the cranberry bread dough inside

The fresh cranberries are indeed tart. They have a tendency to clump, like anything you might mix in to quick bread batter. You want them to be spread all throughout the batter during baking.

A close up of the top of the cranberry bread in a loaf pan.

Just be sure to follow the instructions below for halving the cranberries, and then tossing them with a tablespoon of the dry ingredients before folding them into the batter. It helps them stay put during baking.

A close up of 2 slices of cranberry bread on a white background

This classic holiday quick bread should be on every table this season. To make it into a cranberry-orange quick bread, add the zest of one small orange to the batter. For even more orange flavor, squeeze the juice out of that orange, too, and use it to replace some of the milk in the recipe. The batter may look a bit curdled, but it will bake beautifully.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 loaf cranberry bread


6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour  (I used my Better Than Cup4Cup blend once, and Mock Better Batter another – both came out great)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

10 ounces fresh cranberries, halved

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature*

1/2 cup (108 g) sour cream, at room temperature*

*The milk and sour cream together can be replaced by 1 cup (227 g) plain whole milk yogurt, or with 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) real buttermilk.


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line a standard 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and set it aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, place the butter. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the 1 cup of granulated sugar and the eggs, beating well after each addition.

  • In a separate, medium-size bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. Place the cranberry halves in a separate, small bowl. Add about one tablespoon of the dry ingredients to the cranberries, and toss to coat. Set the cranberries aside. To the bowl with the butter and sugar mixture, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk and sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. The mixture will be thick but smooth. Add the cranberries and reserved dry ingredients, and mix gently into the batter until evenly distributed throughout.

  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top. It will nearly fill the pan. Smooth the top with a wet spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 1 hour). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.

  • Original recipe posted in 2013. Recipe scaled down to make a slightly smaller loaf, and provide alternative ingredient recommendations.


Comments are closed.

  • Ella-maye
    January 15, 2017 at 1:04 PM

    I have this in the oven right now but am very concerned its not “right” the texture was like a very thick glue. I followed the instructions verbatim and double checked all of my measurements and made no substitutions. I used your mock BB flour. Any idea what went wrong?

    • January 16, 2017 at 9:43 AM

      As you can see from the photos, Ella-maye, it’s quite a thick batter. It doesn’t sound like anything went wrong.

  • Glenna Gayle
    November 18, 2016 at 5:55 PM

    Can I add half cup orange juice instead of milk?

    • January 16, 2017 at 9:43 AM

      Definitely worth a try, Glenna!

  • Cheryl Balcom
    November 13, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it for Thanksgiving! I have a non-gf pumpkin cranberry-nut bread recipe that I love but have struggled to make it gluten free and taste good. Would it be possible you think to add in some pumpkin here somewhere to this recipe? Any suggestions?

    • November 13, 2016 at 12:12 PM

      I have a better solution, I think, Cheryl! Use my recipe for gluten free pumpkin bread, and mix in some halved fresh cranberries and nuts at the end.

      • Cheryl Balcom
        November 13, 2016 at 12:33 PM

        Well, this looks fabulous too! I am new to your blog so I had not seen this recipe. I have to tell you I was won over by your gluten free pumpkin roll recipe – my family LOVES it! Excited to try some more! ? Thank you!

  • Donna
    November 10, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    I have made this a few times in last year or two and it is awesome! Thanks for great rcipe.

  • Karen Doran
    November 10, 2016 at 6:25 AM

    Thank you! Grain free is easy enough to work with but sugar free gives me my biggest challenge. I have used the coconut sugar. I’ll have to see how brave I feel. A lot of ingredients to waste if it does not work. Will let you know if I try it though. Thank you again.

    • Victoria Donaldson
      November 28, 2016 at 6:33 AM

      I have successfully used coconut sugar in recipes very similar to this, as I can’t eat refined sugar. Can even try cutting it down by 1/3. Hope that helps.

  • Kelli Brown
    November 9, 2016 at 4:53 PM

    If I want to use frozen cranberries do I defrost them first so I can cut them in half? They tend to go very soggy.

    • November 9, 2016 at 6:20 PM

      Great question, Kelli! Definitely don’t defrost them. You can cut them in half while they’re still frozen. By the time you finish slicing them, they’ll have begun to defrost a bit but not too much. Then, toss them in the dry ingredients and you’ll be all set.

      • Kelli Brown
        November 10, 2016 at 12:54 AM

        Thanks so much Nicole. I’ll do that. It’s hard to get fresh cranberries here in Australia. :)

  • Judy Morin
    November 9, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    Have you seen (and tried) the new (to me) extra fine almond flour from Bob’s Red Mill? And I found a different G-F flour from the same people that doesn’t have the bean flour in it. Have you tried it out also? Both were at Sam’s Club and extremely inexpensive compared to other brands.

    • Karen Doran
      November 9, 2016 at 2:18 PM

      I use a brand from CostCo because it is more affordable and Bob’s . I continue to use Bob’s almond meal. I don’t belong to Sam’s but will check it out. Thank you so much for the suggestion

    • November 9, 2016 at 4:04 PM

      Hi, Judy, I am very familiar with the Bob’s all purpose GF flour that is rice-based. It will not work in my recipes, I’m afraid. It’s an unbalanced blend and the rice flour is very gritty. Bob’s products are inexpensive because they source from wherever is the cheapest at any given time. Sorry!

      • Judy Morin
        November 11, 2016 at 7:18 AM

        Sorry, I thought it was a new one since it didn’t have the bean flour, but sorghum flour.

  • Karen
    November 9, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    Really want to try this quick bread! Any suggestions for substitutes of the milk, sour cream and sugar? I’m sure almond milk will work and maybe coconut cream but would you think raw honey will work in place of sugar? I’m worried about the liquid to dry replacement. Thank you!

    • November 9, 2016 at 4:06 PM

      Those are quite a lot of substitutions, Karen! I would actually try almond milk for the cow’s milk and nondairy sour cream for the sour cream. I do not recommend coconut cream in this recipe, no. And you can’t use a liquid sweetener in place of a granulated one. If you are trying to replace granulated sugar with an unrefined sugar, you can try coconut palm sugar, which is granulated. You’ll have to experiment though, as I haven’t tried those substitutions. And you’re making quite a few at once, so I really can’t promise results!

    • November 18, 2016 at 3:13 PM

      I would recommend using dairy free buttermilk ( 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar) in place of the milk and sour cream.

  • November 27, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    […] Gluten-free Cranberry Bread […]

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  • […] awhile back, and we weren’t sure what to do with them. Paul started researching and found this recipe. It seemed easy enough, and the only ingredient we needed to buy was sour cream, so it was a […]

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