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Cranberry Swirl Loaf

My mother's made this bread for years, but she uses date filling. I loved her bread so much that I made my own with cranberries for a slightly tart filling with the sweet streusel topping—sometimes I add a simple icing. Each slice reveals an enticing ruby swirl. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 40 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 loaf (16 slices)


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, divided
  • GLAZE (optional):
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons 2% milk


  • In a large bowl, mix sugar, yeast, salt and 1 cup flour. In a small saucepan, heat water, milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine cranberries, brown sugar and water. Cook over medium heat until cranberries are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter, lemon juice and, if desired, walnuts. Cool.
  • Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 20x10-in. rectangle. Spread filling to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Transfer to a greased 9x5-in. loaf pan, arranging in a slight zigzag fashion to fit.
  • For topping, in a small bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in 1 tablespoon butter until crumbly. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Sprinkle with crumb mixture. Cover with a towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Bake until golden brown and dough is cooked through, about 40-45 minutes. Carefully remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. If desired, combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over bread.
Confectioners' Sugar Icing (optional): Mix 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon milk. Drizzle over cooled bread. Cranberry-Caramel Icing (optional): Combine 1-1/2 cups cranberry juice and a cinnamon stick in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Reduce heat; remove cinnamon stick. Whisk in 1 cup Kraft caramel bits, 1/2 cup at a time, until melted. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream; cool. Drizzle over cooled bread.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 210 calories, 9g fat (4g saturated fat), 17mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

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  • nbg5658
    Oct 26, 2020

    if you "roll up, starting with a long side" how does a 20-inch loaf fit into a 9-inch loaf pan???

  • dvierzen
    Dec 14, 2016

    This is a fantastic bread and not too difficult to make. To save time, I used a breadmaker to mix the dough. I made 3 mini loaves with it and will use them for Christmas gifts.

  • annrms
    Dec 6, 2015

    I cheated and used the 'Hearty Six-Grain Mix from King Arthur Flour' and leftover roasted cranberry sauce to which I added chopped walnuts. I kept it savory by choice so skipped the glaze and topping. Inspirationally delicious! Will enjoy it with stew! Will make this again.

  • Kpcyn
    Dec 2, 2015

    I made this to take to work the other day. The loaf of bread was very heavy and I was worried it wasn't going to be good but when my coworker cut into it to try it, she absolutely loved it so I had to have a piece right away and she was right. It was so delicious. I really loved the crumb coating and glaze and it went so well with the tartness of the cranberries and the texture of the bread was very good too. I also loved it with the walnuts. The whole loaf was gone by the end of the day. I will definitely make this again. Thank you for sharing!

  • jpopik
    Mar 14, 2014

    I was just browsing through some old magazines tonight and came across this one. This recipe is fantastic. The bread is so tender and the filling is a little tangy, perfect with the crumb topping.

  • kzdrowak820
    Mar 8, 2014

    This loaf is amazing. I devoted a whole blog post to it so you guys can see the steps in pictures

  • creativedolan
    Jan 19, 2014

    Made this cake for the first time tonight, it's AMAZING!!! Takes a long time to make, but well worth the time. I'm planning on making this bread as Christmas gifts next year. Definitely a keeper!

  • barbarastitz
    Jan 5, 2014

    I haven't made this yet, because I'm not sure which way I should zigzag the dough in the pan. can someone please help me. I have the cranberries ready to go!! It sounds like a 5 star.

  • hwi2001
    Nov 3, 2013

    I'm new to yeast baking and although there are a lot of steps, I was able to easily follow this recipe and the results were excellent! I plan to serve this yummy coffeecake for the holidays as the red filling from the cranberries makes it very festive looking and it tastes delicious. I sliced and froze in ziploc bags. To serve I thawed at room temperature and reheated at very low setting on microwave for 10 seconds or so and it has that just baked flavor.

  • NevadaRose
    Feb 3, 2013

    This had anice flavor, and soft bread. Think next time I will leave out the nuts - they detract from this - at least in my opinion