Cranberry Bread Grandma Zelda Style

Cranberrys in the shape of a heart.

During my childhood we would visit my grandparents in Argyle, WI two or three times a year. Mom and Dad would pack us five girls into the station wagon with pillows, blankets, food, and luggage to make the trip south. Elvis Presley or Johnny Cash would croon to us from Dad’s 8-track tape for the next three hours.

Grandma Zelda loved to bake and was quite particular in the kitchen. She taught me to bake chocolate cake from scratch, fried donuts, and a variety of Norwegian pastries.

When I was 10 years old Grandma taught me to make cranberry bread using her family recipe. It turned out to be my favorite of all her recipes.


a plate with two slices of cranberry bread

Zelda’s Cranberry Bread

Turn oven on at 350 degrees for bread or 400 degrees for muffins.


2 c. raw cranberries–washed

1 1/2 c. sugar

4 c. flour

1/2 t. salt

2 egg

1 t. soda

1 1/2 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. butter–melted



Chop up the cranberries and add the sugar; let stand.

Mix flour, salt, and soda. Add egg, butter and buttermilk. Do not over mix!

Fold in cranberries and sugar.

Grease and flour two bread pans. Pour half the batter into each pan. For muffins, line 2 muffin tins and fill each cup 2/3 full with batter. You should have 20-24 muffins.

Bake bread for 1 hour and muffins for 20-25 minutes.

Cool thoroughly before serving. Enjoy!


A cranberry muffin.


Grandma lived to be 98 years old and kept her wits about her until the end. I bake her cranberry bread every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. While I carefully follow her recipe it seems as though she is right here with me, making sure I am chopping the cranberries enough and measuring each ingredient precisely. I know she is with me in spirit. Who knew cranberry bread could hold so many precious memories?


As an afterword I have to share my son Zach’s comment on this post after he read my blog post on Facebook. As you can tell by his words, Grandma’s cranberry bread is his favorite of all holiday goodies!

This bread is a balm for the soul–that tender warm embrace which encompasses the nostalgia of family and the joyful abandon of the holidays. I tell my loved ones I come for them, but really… it’s for the cranberry bread.

13/10 — my favorite baked good.

Words fail to suffice in appropriately recommending.

Bake immediately and rejoice for the holidays.


I hope you find this recipe as delicious as I believe it is! I would love to hear about your favorite recipe handed down by a family member in the comments below. Or let me know your thoughts after trying this recipe!


Check out our Easy Pumpkin Dessert Recipe here.

Till next time, Sandra


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23 thoughts on “Cranberry Bread Grandma Zelda Style

  • November 8, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Yum! This recipe sounds absolutely delicious! I am definitely interested in trying this out- thank you for sharing. Im from WI, and love traveling to my grandmas- they have the best recipes don’t they? 🙂

  • November 8, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Goodness, that bread looks amazing! And I love that your Grandma’s name is Zelda!

  • November 8, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Aww, I love that you make it twice a year. I feel the same way about mini pecan pies, my grandma used to make those just for me. I can’t make them like she could though. That muffin looks tasty!

    • November 9, 2017 at 12:14 am

      I agree, it never turns out quite as good!

  • November 9, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Wow! This sounds amazing and just in time for the holidays! Thanks!

  • November 12, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Printing this recipe right now! Can’t wait to make it for the holidays. Thank you for sharing

  • November 15, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Such a simple recipe for something that looks so good! YUM! Hats off to Aunt Zelda 🙂

  • November 15, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    I haven’t made any dish with cranberry, this dish looks very interesting. Will definitely try to make it.

  • November 16, 2017 at 9:46 am

    That looks delicious! I love cranberry anything and it’s just in time for the holiday !

  • Pingback: Easy Pumpkin Dessert ~

  • December 16, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes! Love your blog!

    • December 16, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      Julie Kay,
      Thanks for stopping by and your kind words!


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