Christmas Cranberry Mini Loaf Gift Bread Recipe

Cranberry mini loaf gift breads recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 6 to 9 servings
Yield: 3 mini loaves
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
379 Calories
16g Fat
54g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 9
Amount per serving
Calories 379
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 79mg 26%
Sodium 317mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 153mg 12%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 124mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Handing out sweet bread loaves during the holidays is a tradition kept in many families, especially when it comes to Christmas gift-giving. Although these delicious mini loaves require a little bit of work, they are not difficult to make and can also be great for a novice cook looking for an easy loaf of quick bread. Filled with cranberries and a fragrant touch of cinnamon, this recipe doesn't require any difficult-to-find ingredients and after a good mix, the batter is ready to go into the oven for one hour. The hands-on work is short, and the wait is worth it, as this moist and perfectly sweet bread makes a great coffee break companion, and of course a fantastic holiday gift. Besides, the small size of the mini loaf guarantees that it's going to be eaten in its entirety and not left to dry on a counter.

If the holidays are approaching and fresh cranberries are aplenty in the produce section of the supermarket, give this bread a try. Most people only eat cranberries during the holidays, and only in the form of an overly sweet cranberry sauce that is served with classic dishes like roasted turkey and mashed potatoes. But cranberries are a powerhouse of flavor and nutrition on their own and don't need a load of sugar to taste great. Our recipe highlights their acidic notes and adds enough sugar to make them shine without overpowering your palate. An easy glaze makes a pretty addition to the loaf.

The recipe does contain eggs and dairy, so if you're giving them away, do make a cute little tag that points out the ingredients so the recipient knows what's in it. For a dairy-free version, you could replace the butter with vegan margarine and the milk with a plant-based option like oat milk. There are many baking tricks for replacing eggs, such as using bananas, applesauce, flax or chia seeds instead, so you can always try and make your own allergy-friendly loaf. For our recipe, you need three small loaf tins. Plan ahead, as the loaves need to cool off completely before being wrapped for gifting. Cellophane bags and a little bow make a pretty package.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 2/3 cup (10 2/3 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cranberry mini loaf gift breads
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 3 mini loaf pans.

    Grease loaf pans
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. In large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

    Mix together flour, baking powder
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Cut butter into thin slices and add to bowl. Break butter into mixture with fingers until mixture is crumbly.

    Cut butter
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Stir in the brown sugar.

    Stir in brown sugar
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Add chopped cranberries, milk, and eggs and stir. The batter should be thick, but not dry. If necessary, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time.

    Add chopped cranberries
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  7. Scrape batter into the greased mini loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour or until done.

    Scrape batter in pans
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  8. Turn loaves out and let cool on rack.

    Turn loaves out
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  9. In small bowl, mix the confectioners' sugar with a small amount of water to make the icing.

    Mix confectioner's sugar
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  10. Drizzle icing over the breads. Let icing harden before moving the breads.

    Drizzle icing
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  11. Serve and enjoy.

    Cut slices
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack