Make cranberry crumb loaves and muffins with dried cranberries and your choice of fresh berries or leftover cranberry sauce to have with breakfast, snacks, or giving as welcomed gifts.
Oh, these cranberry crumb loaves are the most amazingly delicious little loaves! I’ve been making them for years – usually at the holidays because they make such great gifts – and it’s always a case of “Wow, I forgot how good these are!”
You know those simple recipes that use normal pantry ingredients and have not-super-exciting names like ‘cranberry crumb loaves’ but then blow you away with their flavor, texture, and all around yumminess? Yeah, this is that.
And if you’re not feeling the “loaf” part of the recipe, go ahead and make muffins anytime – regular size or mini, they’ll be welcomed at an breakfast or snack. (Affiliate links are included below for your convenience – thanks for your support!)
Make Cranberry Crumb Loaves or Muffins
I’ve always loved that this recipe uses both dried and fresh cranberries because it amps up the tart berry flavor. But I’ve adapted it even more to be able to use up leftover cranberry sauce, too, so there are two ways to make these. These photos all show the bread with a cranberry sauce filling, but in the full printable recipe you’ll find directions on how to use chopped, fresh cranberries instead (you basically fold them gently in with the dried berries, being careful not to get streaks from too much stirring).
The other great thing about this recipe is that you make the topping right along with the quick bread, just scooping out the amount you’ll need before adding the remaining ingredients. Nice.
To use cranberry sauce, simply partially fill the pans with batter, add a spoonful (or more for loaves) of cranberry sauce to the centers and then evenly top with remaining batter. As you can see above, it doesn’t have to cover perfectly – especially because they will be covered with wonderful crumbs!
As much as I don’t like to keep a lot of appliances or one-use gadgets in my kitchen (check out what I do like here), I do love having a little loaf pan which makes it so much easier to bake a number of small loaves. I have used this mini 8-loaf pan in the past (which I think makes perfect sized gift loaves), though for this recipe I was able to use this bigger 4-cup, 4-loaf pan which I have to say I might actually use for smaller loaves of our regular sandwich bread! As our household shrinks, larger loaves tend to go bad or stale before we’re able to finish them, so this is looking like a great option for us right now.
For this recipe, you only fill any pan you use half full (to leave room for the topping), so I was also able to make 6 muffins along with the four loaves (which you’ll also get if you used the 8 mini loaf pan). The recipe will also make 1 standard size muffins, 6 regular disposable mini-loaf pans, or 2 small loaf pans (8″ x 4″) as well, so you’ve got choices!
I like to sprinkle a little sugar on the inside of the pan after greasing – and bottoms of the muffin liners – so the bottoms are just as good as the crumb tops. It’s a little thing that makes sweet breads that much better.
Oh, and that great texture and moistness comes from the addition of sour cream (or yogurt) – doesn’t that look good? While they do make good gifts, it sure is hard to give them away!