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With its tender texture, fruit sprinkled into each bite and a crumb topping, this bread just can’t be beat! It would be a great addition to any holiday brunch or wrapped up as a yummy gift!

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Two slices of Cranberry Apple Bread stacked on a wooden board.

I’m so excited to share this new quick bread recipe with you! It’s moist, tender, loaded with apples and cranberries and topped with a delicious crumb topping and icing. It’s such a pretty bread and makes for perfect gifts for coworkers, teachers, etc.

So what makes a quick bread a “quick bread?” It’s basically any type of bread that doesn’t use yeast. It’s called a “quick bread” because you don’t have to wait for the dough to rise like you do a yeast bread. Instead of using yeast, a leavening agent such as baking powder and/or baking soda is used which permits the bread to be baked right away.

A sliced up loaf of cranberry apple bread on a wooden board, surrounded by cranberries.

What are the best apples to bake with?

I have two favorites to bake with – Jonathans/Jonagolds and Braeburns! A few reasons why these are my favorites:

  • The shape holds up to the heat. Instead of becoming mush in your bread, pie or crisp, they keep their shape.
  • They bake up nice and juicy!
  • The flavor is a perfect blend of sweetness and tartness.

Other commonly used baking apples:

  • Honeycrisp – Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE honeycrisp apples. However, they’re just SO good to eat raw, that I would prefer to eat them that way. (Especially when they’re typically at least twice the price as other apples!)
  • Granny Smith – In my opinion, granny smith apples are just a bit too tart. I like a little more sweetness in a baking apple, but to each their own! I’ve mixed granny smith apples with sweeter varieties in the past and really liked how that turns out!
  • Golden Delicious – These are a little too one-dimentional for me. They’re sweet, but lack the tartness makes them less aPEELing to me. (see what I did there?! ;))
A close up shot of the icing on a slice of bread.

How long does a quick bread last?

It really depends on what kind of quick bread you’re making.  This Cranberry Apple Bread, for example, won’t last more than 3 days on the counter.  Why?  Because the apples and cranberries have so much moisture, it doesn’t take long for mold to begin to grow.  If you have a drier bread like cornbread, it’ll last a couple days longer before it goes bad. 

This Cranberry Apple Bread, though, never lasts that long in our house!  It’s easy to devour in a short amount of time. 😊  If I’m not sure if we’ll be able to finish the whole loaf in a couple days, it’s easy to freeze and save for another time!

A close up image of the top of the iced bread.
There’s just something about a crumbly topping + icing that makes me want to devour the entire loaf!

Does Cranberry Apple Bread freeze well?

It does! You’ll want to make sure it’s completely cool. Then, wrap them up in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. I would recommend freezing these whole (waiting to cut when you’re ready to eat) as they’ll stay better longer. Freeze for up to 3 months, then let them thaw out on the counter before slicing and eating!

Two loaves of bread with one wrapped up in parchment with a bow.

Perfect for the holidays!

One of my coworkers always gifts us a cute little (delicious!) loaf of bread for the holidays.  Although she certainly doesn’t need to gift us anything, it’s such a sweet homemade treat and different from the chocolate platters that tend to come into the office by the dozens (although those are great too haha).

Instead of using a large loaf pan, just use smaller loaf pans (one batch made 8 little loaves in my pan). Of course, you’ll want to be sure to decrease the baking time – keep a close eye on them!

Once they’re cooled and ready to be packaged, wrap them up in plastic wrap, then beautify them however you’d like! I think a simple “Merry Christmas” tag is simple and does the trick! Then, distribute to coworkers, friends, teachers, dance teachers, school bus drivers…..oh and keep one for yourself! 🙂

On over head shot of a loaf of bread wrapped up with a ribbon.

Some of my other favorite quick breads:

Pumpkin Churro Mini Muffins – These pumpkin mini muffins are super moist, loaded with fall flavors and coated in a “churro” coating. They’re cute, pop-able and nearly impossible to have “just one!”

Banana Crumb Muffins – These banana crumb muffins are moist and tender and have a cinnamon crumb topping. They’re easy to put together and even easier to eat! 😉

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – This bread has a beautiful chocolate swirl throughout, which is a fun twist on a classic banana bread!

Smores Bread – Yep, we’re making smores into a bread and there’s no shame in eating it for breakfast! 😉

Cranberry Apple Bread Slices
4.58 from 7 votes

Cranberry Apple Bread

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
16 slices
This Cranberry Apple Bread is delicate, moist and chock-full of fresh cranberries and apples! Oh – and the topping will have you coming back for more again & again!

Ingredients
 

Bread

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped apples (peeled & cored) about 1/4" squares
  • 1 cup halved fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup flour (to be mixed with fruit)

Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted

Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×5" loaf pan**.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • In a small bowl, combine the apples, cranberries and 1/4 c flour. Having the flour on the fruit will help it from sinking right to the bottom of the loaf pan.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until almost combined.
  • Add the fruit mixture and continue to stir until completely combined. Pour into the prepared loaf pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and oats. Then use a fork to stir in the melted butter. Sprinkle over the loaf.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick pressed into the center of the loaf comes out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs are okay.
  • Let the bread cool for 5 minutes and remove from the pan, and let cool on a wire rack.
  • While the bread is cooling, combine the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Drizzle over the bread, slice, and enjoy!!

Notes

*White whole wheat flour can be substituted
**Smaller loaf pan sizes can also be used; time will need to be adjusted

Nutrition

Calories: 273.44kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.42g | Protein: 2.86g | Fat: 23.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.83g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.78g | Cholesterol: 26.2mg | Sodium: 96.75mg | Fiber: 1.14g | Sugar: 23.83g | Calcium: 15.49mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe added to the Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday.

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Recipe Rating




22 Comments

  1. They look fabulous, Kelsey, and I love your photography and styling too – they would be perfect for as a holiday treat! Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. You’re too kind!! Thank you so much – made my day! 🙂

    2. 5 stars
      This is delicious. I’ve made a lot of apple breads in my life and this is hands down my new favorite. The only change I made was to increase the fruit by 50% and omit the sugar drizzle. It was fabulous. Thank you for posting!

  2. Is the 1/4 c flour to fruit in addition to the 1 3/4c or subtracted from the1 3/4c which would be 1 1/2 c and the 1/4 c for fruit or 1 3/4c and add another 1/4c? Already baked for 1 hr and not done!

    1. Hi Pam – The 1/4 cup of flour used to mix with the fruit is IN ADDITION to the 1 3/4 cup for the bread batter.
      Hope that helps!
      Kelsey

  3. 5 stars
    Can I use dried cranberries that I have soaked in hot water and drained?

    1. I’ve never tried it, but I would imagine that would work okay! If you try, let me know how it turns out! -Kelsey

  4. MC Vrabec says:

    Can the apples be grated in food processor or hand grated instead of chopped into 1/4″ chunks?

  5. MC Vrabec says:

    Can dried cranberries be used as long as they are rehydrated, “plumped up” in warm water for half hour before?

  6. MC Vrabec says:

    Can apples be grated using food processor blade or hand grater instead of chopping apples into 1/4″ chunks?

  7. Gail Smith says:

    5 stars
    2nd time made this in a week. Probably added more cranberry and apple than called for. I agree it does take longer to cook, at least int oven.
    Very yummy

  8. Absolutely Perfect! Ty! God Bless!!

  9. 5 stars
    Yum easy and delish tastes like fall!

  10. 3 stars
    I made 4 loaves of this. Taste was good.
    But following recipe to tee. The breads all collapsed in center upon cooling.
    Did have to bake 50 min.

  11. Mary Rhynearson says:

    Awesome recipe! Only addition I made was adding 2tbls of pure maple syrup to icing. This is definitely a keeper recipe! Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. I just made this… there was no pouring into loaf pans… I had to scoop out like cookie dough… now baking. Fingers crossed!

  13. Rocky Top says:

    4 stars
    This is very good, my family really enjoys it. I have made it a number of times. Keep in mind that the dough is VERY thick. It’s like cookie dough. The part about mixing the fruit with 1/4 cup flour is completely unnecessary because the fruit couldn’t sink to the bottom even if it tried really, really hard. I skip the crumb topping and the glaze as those add another 1 1/4 cups of sugar to a bread that is already pleasantly sweet. I also skip peeling the apples. Lovely with a cup of coffee/tea in mid afternoon.

  14. Hi I have a question. I made the recipe and my ingredients are not pouring into a bread pan. I have to scoop the contents into the bread pan. Am I missing something?

    1. Hi Nancy – it’s a pretty thick batter so that’s totally fine!! 🙂

  15. 5 stars
    Loved the bread. Would just use cinnamon sugar for the topping next time as oatmeal pieces fall off when cutting. Delicous, even with icing!!!

  16. This was SO good! I am making it again tonight. I made the following changes:
    – made it vegan by simply substituting the eggs for flax eggs
    – used frozen cranberries instead of fresh (still halved them)
    – added zest and juice of 1/2 lemon to the fruit
    – added a hefty pinch of cards mom
    – instead of the crumble topping I simply sprinkled some extra sugar on top. Made for a nice crisp tripping with zero effort
    – my batter seemed a little thick/dry when I started incorporating the dry, so I added a couple tablespoons soy milk
    – maybe because I added some extra wet ingredients and a bit more fruit than called for, plus the frozen cranberry situation, I found it needed a longer bake time than suggested. Mine ended up taking around 70 minutes, I just checked every 3-5 minutes until the top looked set and it came out perfect.

    Highly recommend this recipe!