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A baked loaf of cranberry poppy seed bread on a decorative plate garnished with fresh cranberries

Best Cranberry Poppy Seed Bread Recipe

  • Author: Mindee
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Loaf or 3 Mini Loaves 1x
  • Category: Quick Breads
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


It's that time of year that we love to share treats with neighbors and friends for the holiday season!  It only takes 10 minutes to whip up a loaf of this poppy seed bread speckled with tart cranberries and topped with a sweet crumbly topping!  


  • 10 Tbs. Butter (Softened)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Halved Raw Cranberries
  • 1 Tbs. Poppy Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 2 Cups Flour

Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 Cup+ 1 Tbs. Flour
  • 3 Tbs. Sugar
  • 2 Tbs Butter (softened)


  1. For best results, adjust your oven rack to be a little lower than the center of the oven.  The top of your bread loaf should at the center of the oven. This helps it bake evenly all the way through the center of the bread.
  2. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a loaf pan with non stick cooking spray.  I like to line mine with parchment paper before spraying so I can lift the entire loaf out easily.  I also use office clips to hold the parchment paper in place.
  3. Cut the whole cranberries into halves and set them aside.
  4. NOTE - I prefer to use hand beaters and a large mixing bowl for this recipe instead of a stand mixer just because the last part of the recipe needs to be mixed in by hand.
  5. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. 
  6. Add the almond extract and eggs.
  7. Beat in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  8. Whisk together the sour cream and milk in a measuring cup.
  9. Add 1/3 of the flour to the batter.
  10. Add 1/2 the sour cream/milk mixture.
  11. Add another 1/3 of the flour.
  12. Add the last of the sour cream/milk mixture.
  13. Scrape down the side of the bowl well.
  14. Sprinkle the remaining flour on the top of the batter. 
  15. Dump the cranberries and poppy seeds onto top of the flour.
  16. Fold the cranberries into the batter with the last bit of flour and the poppy seeds. This absorbs any cranberry juice without turning your batter pink. Mix just until combined.
  17. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  18. Use a rubber spatula to spread it out evenly.
  19. Prepare the crumb topping by stirring the flour and sugar together with a fork and then cut in the butter until it is crumbly.  OR put the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse until it is crumbly.
  20. Sprinkle the crumb topping on the bread batter.
  21. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes tenting with foil for the last 15 minutes.  A toothpick should come out clean.
  22. Cool for at least 30 minutes on a wire rack before removing the bread from the pan to finishing cooling.
  23. Do not slice until completely cool.


  • To be able to lift the loaf out of the bread pans easily you can line it with parchment paper before spraying the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • To get the parchment paper to stay in place clip the parchment paper to the edges of the bread pan with office clips.
  • Butter- either unsalted butter or salted butter works.
  • Cranberries - You must use fresh cranberries (I prefer Ocean Spray brand), never canned cranberries or dried cranberries for this recipe. If you bought some fresh cranberries and tossed the bag in the freezer to use later that's fine. Let the frozen cranberries thaw out on the countertop though before using.
  • Sour Cream - full fat sour cream works best, but low fat sour cream may be used. You can also substitute plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
  • Flour - Always all purpose flour, not cake flour, bread flour and never self rising flour.

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