Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf

A Symphony of Sweet and Tart: Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf Bliss

Indulge in the delightful marriage of rich cream cheese and tangy cranberries with our Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf—a moist and flavorful treat that captures the essence of the holidays in every slice. In this extensive guide, we unveil the secrets to creating a loaf that balances the creamy goodness of cream cheese with the burst of tartness from fresh cranberries. Whether you’re a baking novice or a seasoned pro, join us on a journey through the art of crafting this delectable treat that is bound to become a staple in your festive repertoire.


For the Loaf:

  1. All-Purpose Flour – 2 cups: The foundation of the loaf, providing structure and a light texture.
  2. Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon: Baking powder contributes to the leavening, ensuring a perfectly risen loaf.
  3. Salt – 1/2 teaspoon: A pinch of salt enhances the overall flavor profile, balancing the sweetness.
  4. Unsalted Butter – 1/2 cup, softened: Softened butter adds richness and moistness to the loaf.
  5. Granulated Sugar – 1 cup: Sugar sweetens the loaf, complementing the tartness of the cranberries.
  6. Eggs – 2, room temperature: Room temperature eggs incorporate smoothly, contributing to the loaf’s structure.
  7. Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon: Vanilla extract imparts a warm and aromatic flavor, enhancing the overall taste.
  8. Cream Cheese – 8 oz, softened: Softened cream cheese creates a luscious and creamy texture in the loaf.
  9. Whole Milk – 1/4 cup: Whole milk adds moisture to the batter, ensuring a tender crumb.
  10. Fresh Cranberries – 1 cup, coarsely chopped: Coarsely chopped fresh cranberries provide a burst of tartness and vibrant color.

For the Glaze:

  1. Powdered Sugar – 1 cup: Powdered sugar forms the base of the sweet glaze that crowns the loaf.
  2. Orange Juice – 2 tablespoons: Orange juice adds a citrusy brightness to the glaze, complementing the cranberries.
  3. Orange Zest – 1 teaspoon: Orange zest enhances the glaze with its aromatic essence.


  1. Preheat Your Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C), creating the perfect environment for baking perfection.
  2. Prepare the Loaf Pan: Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, ensuring easy release after baking.
  3. Whisk Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Cream Butter, Sugar, and Cream Cheese: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  5. Incorporate Eggs and Vanilla: Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
  6. Alternate Adding Dry Ingredients and Milk: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the whole milk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  7. Fold in Chopped Cranberries: Gently fold in the coarsely chopped fresh cranberries, ensuring an even distribution throughout the batter.
  8. Transfer to Loaf Pan and Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool Before Glazing: Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

For the Glaze:

  1. Prepare the Glaze Mixture: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest until a smooth glaze forms.
  2. Drizzle Over Cooled Loaf: Once the loaf is completely cooled, drizzle the orange glaze over the top, allowing it to cascade down the sides.
  3. Let Glaze Set Before Slicing: Allow the glaze to set for 15-20 minutes before slicing the Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Nutty Addition: Incorporate chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, into the batter for added crunch and flavor.
  • Spiced Twist: Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the dry ingredients for a warm and aromatic undertone.
  • Dried Cranberry Alternative: If fresh cranberries are unavailable, you can use dried cranberries, but reduce the quantity as they are sweeter and more concentrated.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto Version:

  • Substitute almond flour or a keto-friendly baking mix for the all-purpose flour.
  • Replace granulated sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener.
  • Use almond or coconut milk in place of whole milk to reduce carbs.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Opt for a low-carb baking mix instead of all-purpose flour.
  • Choose a low-carb sweetener in place of granulated sugar.
  • Utilize unsweetened almond or coconut milk to decrease the carb content.

In each delectable slice of the Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf, you’ll experience a harmonious blend of creamy richness, tart cranberry bursts, and a citrusy glaze that elevates the entire ensemble. This loaf is not just a recipe; it’s a celebration of seasonal flavors and the joy of baking. Whether you enjoy the classic version or venture into keto and low-carb adaptations, this treat is sure to become a cherished favorite. Share the love and the loaf with friends and family, and let the sweet and tart symphony linger in your heart and on your taste buds. Happy baking!

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