Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf

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Treat yourself to a delightful slice of Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf, a perfect balance of tart cranberries, rich cream cheese, and tender cake. This recipe combines the tanginess of cranberries with the creamy goodness of cream cheese to create a moist and flavorful loaf that’s ideal for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. Whether you’re entertaining guests or simply indulging in a cozy treat at home, this loaf is sure to impress. Let’s dive into the recipe!


For the Loaf:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 18 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Pan

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside.

Step 3: Cream the Butter, Cream Cheese, and Sugar

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter, cream cheese, and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 4: Add the Eggs and Vanilla

  1. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Then, mix in the vanilla extract until smooth.

Step 5: Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients

  1. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Step 6: Fold in the Cranberries

  1. Gently fold the cranberries into the batter until evenly distributed. Be careful not to crush the cranberries too much.

Step 7: Bake the Loaf

  1. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step 8: Cool and Serve

  1. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  2. Once cooled, slice the Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf and serve. Enjoy it as is or with a dollop of whipped cream or cream cheese frosting, if desired.

Cook’s Notes and Variations

  • Frozen Cranberries: If using frozen cranberries, there’s no need to thaw them before adding them to the batter. Simply fold them in straight from the freezer.
  • Nuts: For added crunch and flavor, consider adding chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts to the batter.
  • Glaze: Drizzle the cooled loaf with a simple glaze made from powdered sugar and milk for an extra touch of sweetness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use dried cranberries instead of fresh or frozen? A: While fresh or frozen cranberries provide a burst of tartness and moisture, you can certainly use dried cranberries if that’s what you have on hand. Keep in mind that dried cranberries are sweeter and may alter the texture of the loaf slightly.

Q: Can I make this loaf ahead of time? A: Yes, you can bake the loaf ahead of time and store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the cooled loaf for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Q: Can I use reduced-fat cream cheese in this recipe? A: While full-fat cream cheese provides the richest flavor and texture, you can use reduced-fat cream cheese if you prefer. Just note that the texture of the loaf may be slightly lighter and less dense.

Q: Can I omit the cream cheese from the recipe? A: The cream cheese adds richness and moisture to the loaf, but if you prefer, you can omit it from the recipe. However, the texture and flavor of the final loaf will be different.

Indulge in the irresistible combination of tart cranberries and creamy goodness with this Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf. Whether enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, this moist and flavorful loaf is sure to become a favorite in your baking repertoire. Treat yourself and your loved ones to a slice of this delicious homemade treat!

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