Cranberry-Walnut Bread & Muffins

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whole grain
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 loaf or 12 muffins

Recipe photo

Cranberry nut bread is a Thanksgiving standby, a must-have in the bread basket. Cranberry nut muffins are a welcome way to start the festivities first thing in the morning. This recipe can be poured into a loaf pan, or scooped into the wells of a muffin tin; double the recipe, and you can do both!

Cranberry-Walnut Bread & Muffins

star rating (12) rate this recipe »
whole grain
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 loaf or 12 muffins
Published: 08/18/2011

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt, full-fat or low fat-preferred
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Premium Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • coarse white sparkling sugar or Demerara sugar, optional, for topping

Tips from our bakers

  • For a nice hint of orange, substitute 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia flavor (to taste) for the vanilla and almond extracts. For stronger orange flavor, stir in the grated rind of 1 large orange, omitting the almond extract.
  • Want to make this bread (or muffins) without whole wheat flour? Substitute 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour for the whole wheat flour.
  • If you prefer a bolder cranberry statement, leave the dried berries whole, rather than chopping them up.

Directions

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1) Preheat the oven to 425°F for muffins, or 350°F for a loaf. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Or line with 12 paper muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely. If you're baking a loaf, lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.

2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth.

3) Add the eggs, beating to combine.

4) Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, the vanilla and almond extracts, and the yogurt or sour cream.

5) Place the flours in a food processor with the dried cranberries. Process until the berries are coarsely chopped. Add the nuts (if they're not chopped), and process briefly, just until the nuts are chopped up a bit.

6) Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, mixing just until everything is thoroughly combined.

7) Divide the batter among the wells of the muffin tin, filling each one about 3/4 full. Or scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle muffins or loaf with coarse white sparkling sugar or Demerara sugar, if desired.

8) Bake the muffins for 14 to 15 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into one of the center muffins comes out clean. Bake the loaf for 45 to 55 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

9) Remove the muffins or bread from the oven. Tilt the muffins in the pan to cool a bit, then transfer them to a rack to finish cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. For best results, don't slice until completely cool. Store muffins or bread well wrapped, at room temperature, for 2 to 3 days; freeze for longer storage.

10) Store muffins or bread well wrapped, at room temperature, for 2 to 3 days; freeze for longer storage.

Yield: 12 muffins or 1 loaf.

Reviews

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  • star rating 01/04/2015
  • laurelarta from massachusetts
  • I think this is a great breakfast muffin - the whole wheat makes it hearty and wholesome -tasting, and the hint of cinnamon gives it a coffee cake kind of flavor. I made 18 using standard muffin tins. Just a tad dry - although I prefer this to very moist. I did sift the flours before measuring - next time I think I will lower temp a bit - from 425 to maybe 400 or bake for less time - 12-13 min instead of 14.
  • star rating 02/10/2014
  • Val from Harrisburg, PA
  • Excellent result! I baked the loaf at 350 for an hour. I tested it earlier and it needed the extra time. I used coconut oil and butter, added a handful of fresh frozen cranberries in the food processor, lowered the sugars to 1/4 cup each, as we prefer less sweet, and added the almond extract. I used Fage 2% Greek yogurt. Moist, tender, delicious loaf. I am definitely making this bread again!
  • star rating 12/17/2013
  • bullwinkle from Iowa City, IA
  • I made a bunch of these to give friends, clients, colleagues something fun for the holidays. I doubled my batches (tripling was a bit much for my KitchenAid to handle) and used KAF's paper baking loaf pans, which perfectly held 5 scoops of the blue cupcake scoop also sold by KAF. So, roughly, my yield from each double batch of batter was 6 loaf pans. (To give you an idea of how nuts I went, I made 36 loaves total.) I did add the almond extract - I love its scent and flavor. I also used fresh cranberries instead of dried. I baked the loaves for 30 minutes in a convection oven. They turned out beautifully and I'm getting enthusiastic "thank yous!" from the recipients this morning.
  • star rating 11/26/2013
  • Paula from WB, Va
  • This recipe was a very nice surprise! I have used the same recipe for years and wanted to try something different! After reading some reviews I almost didnt try it but glad I did. I only added 2 tbl of orange peel since mine called for it and we like that. I doubled it and cooked 2 loaves at 350 and set timer for 40 min and 5 more at a time for about an hour total. Thank you so much for my new holiday cranberry bread recipe!
  • star rating 09/01/2012
  • John from Chicago, IL
  • I made the load and the recipe should be changed to either a lower oven temperature or much much shorter time. I set the timer for 45 minutes and left the room - my mistake - I smelled it burning at about 43 minutes. Bottom is all black and loaf just crumbles as you attempt to cut it. Would otherwise be a nicely flavored loaf.
  • star rating 05/14/2012
  • Rose Is Rose from KAF Community
  • Mother's Day weekend and I'm still using up holiday dried cranberries! I followed the recipe exactly, except I did turn my electric oven down to 400 degrees. They were delicious and raised up very nicely! Thanks for the recipe.
  • star rating 02/22/2012
  • mukki from KAF Community
  • I'm not crazy for the super sweetness of dried cranberries -so, I used frozen. I saw this in a scone recipe and the cranberries 'pop' and are just perfect in these recipes. But, I suppose you really need to love tart and sharp flavors. I made the loaf and baked until wooden skewer came out clean, It was probably an extra 10 minutes due to the added moisture of the whole popping berries. The tart cranberries are perfect for me and the loaf was very good.
  • star rating 11/30/2011
  • Kay Monje from Holland Michigan
  • Excellent flavor and texture as a loaf. I found that using a serrated knife to slice the bread after it is thoroughly cooled makes all the difference. I also added some orange peel which added just the right amount of moisture. That was my only deviation from the recipe as written, as well as leaving out the almond flavoring. Just might give these as Christmas gifts to very special people.
  • star rating 11/19/2011
  • dawnbrown from KAF Community
  • Made this recipe today as muffins they had a great flavor but thought they were a little dry. Would definitely make them again if I can figure out how to make them moister.
    If you measure your flour by dipping your cup directly into the bag, you can end up with more flour than you need. We recommend measuring flour this way to get the best results in your baked goods: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/measuring-flour.html. You may want to also try baking them 1-2 minutes less next time, as long as a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Or, give us a call on the Baker's Hotline and we'll be happy to troubleshoot! ~Mel
  • star rating 11/10/2011
  • samintx from KAF Community
  • Just made this. Great taste. Added some almond with the vanilla. I made the tea bread but it came out of the pan fine but breaks apart. Too much whole wheat flour? I'm going to try it once more with only 1/2 c ww flour. I like the idea of whole wheat but don't like not being able to cut it (yes, it had cooled)
    Did you use all whole wheat flour? If yes, you'll need to add at least 1 Tablespoon more liquid to your recipe. Otherwise, give us a call on the Baker's Hotline and we'll be happy to help troubleshoot! ~Mel
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