Gluten-Free Cranberry Bread Recipe

Gluten free cranberry bread
Gluten-free cranberry bread for the holidays.

Christmas and cranberries. The two go together like Beatles and Sunday. Brad and Angie. Milk and cookies. I was imagining a tea bread that might work for gluten-free French toast, you see. The sort of breakfast you'd like to wake up to on Christmas morning. Something warm with melting butter and cozy cinnamon. Something festive. Special. Not your average grab-on-the-go with coffee nosh. A gluten-free bread worthy of a holiday.

That's how it all started.

When it dawned me. Cranberry bread. Why not? It's simple. And not too sweet. It flirts magically with maple syrup. So I started daydreaming about the tart little berry that is a bog's ruby jewel.

And a gluten-free cranberry bread recipe was born.

Photo of gluten free cranberry bread with nuts
Light and tender cranberry bread recipe.

Gluten-Free Cranberry Bread Recipe

You can make this tender gluten-free cranberry bread with or without nuts, and with or without eggs. It's flexible. I like that in a recipe. Don't you?

Originally posted December 2010.

Preheat your oven to 350º F. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper. I cut the paper so it rises up the longer sides of the pan. This makes it super easy to grip and remove the whole loaf for complete cooling.


1 cup sorghum flour or brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour)
1/2 cup almond flour or millet flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup applesauce or plain yogurt
1/3 cup light olive oil or Canola oil
1 free-range organic egg white, or egg replacer (1/8 cup liquid)
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla
1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, tapioca starch, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in the brown sugar.

Add the applesauce (or yogurt), oil, egg white or egg replacer, and vanilla. Beat to combine and continue to beat on medium high until the batter is smooth- about a minute or two.

Add in the chopped cranberries and nuts, and stir by hand to distribute evenly.
Scrape and spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and using a small silicone spatula, even out the top of the loaf.

Bake in the center of a preheated oven until the top is golden and firm, yet feels slightly springy. This may take anywhere from 55 to 60 minutes. It took 60 minutes for my cranberry bread to bake- I think it was because the cranberries were still quite cold. Test with a thin sharp knife or a wooden pick- either should emerge with no crumbs or stickiness.

Note on the pan: I use a ceramic loaf pan- if you are using a metal bread pan, you may need to adjust baking time- check sooner for doneness. Dark metal pans bake gluten-free breads faster on the outside.

Place the pan on a wire rack to cool a bit. When the loaf has cooled enough to handle (and not too fragile) loosen both ends from the pan with a thin knife and using the long sides of the parchment paper, grip and lift the loaf up out of the pan and set it on the wire rack to continue cooling. This keeps it from steaming in the hot pan and getting soggy.

Photo of gluten free cranberry bread
A stack of gluten-free cranberry bread slices, waiting for tea.

This cranberry tea bread is delicious slightly warm with a dab of vegan butter- but I also like it cool. The texture improves with cooling, I think.

As always, I wrapped leftover slices in foil, bagged and froze them for future breakfast treats. I bet this bread would fabulous lightly grilled in a little vegan butter.

Makes 8 to 10 slices. 

 photo Print-Recipe.png

Recipe Source:

All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you. 

Recipe Notes:

If you are using frozen berries, their chill will cool the batter down, so the bread may take longer to bake through.

As mentioned, I think this bread would be fabulous as French toast. I'd soak the slices in the egg mixture only briefly.

If you don't care for cranberries, try blueberries.

Reader GFMLE reports she made this recipe as muffins- and they rose beautifully.
For substitutions, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.

More recipe ideas from food bloggers:

Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Loaf at The Baking Beauties
Gluten-Free Cranberry Walnut Bread at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free


  1. Another beautiful recipe. I believe I may have mentioned this (lol!) but I am in awe of your baking talent.

  2. Gorgeousness! Cranberries are so much a part of holiday food traditions here in New England.

  3. You just cheered up an upstate New Yorker steeped in the early-winter blues. This looks amazing. Just knowing I have all the ingredients on hand has lifted my spirits ♥ Thanks Karina

  4. This looks so good.

  5. This is just what I needed to see! Thank you so much!

  6. I have to say I love flexability in a recipe! Blueberries are easier to find than cranberries here in Aus, but I will look for frozen ones. Yumm...

  7. Yum! I've got some raisin bread in the oven right now - I think I've been dreaming about the same Christmas french toast you were talking about!

  8. Yum! Looks so good! I've never tried french toast out of a tea bread...mmmmm

  9. Looks delicious and so festive with the glossy red cranberries. Bet it makes amazing toast too

  10. Nina Herbert05:25

    This looks so delicious. My 4 y.o. girl saw the computer screen and said, "Mummy, can you make that please? It looks soo good". :)

  11. Wow! This is yet another impressive recipe! Unfortunately, we have to import tapioca flour/starch, because we live in Eastern Europe. I may try this some time with less of the starch and add a different starch to fill it in, like potato, arrowroot or vegetable. Which one do you think would work best?

    Toasting this bread sounds amazing! Hmmm...maybe it's worth it to use the full amount in the recipe from our tapioca starch supply?? Will have to think about it.. :D

  12. Anonymous08:39

    Oh Karina how I love you! You are SO amazing! Thank you for sharing. You have made a mommy with a 5 yr. old son of 43 food allergies so very happy with all your recipes. You are a true life saver! And your recipes are always so delicious :) Thank you from the bottom of my heart and keep sharing!

  13. oo! Sub raisins!? I have been missing the cinnamon raisin bread my Dad bakes... I will have to try both a raisin and a cranberry version!
    Thanks for once again helping make the season bright!

  14. Looks so very yummy! Will definately have to try it!

  15. I just discovered your blog, and have made a couple of your recipes this weekend. They were both a hit with the whole family. Just this morning I was thinking about a cranberry cookie or something cranberry full of yummy goodness, and here you have it! Can't wait to try it!

  16. I was wondering what to do with that left over bag of cranberris in the fridge...and now I know!

    I'm new to gf living and I'm so pleased that I came across your blog several months ago.

  17. *drool* this looks so good. How good? It looks "who needs a man" good ;-)

  18. I want to eat this right now! :-) I wish I had everything, I'd make it this second. Hugs, Spunky

  19. I made this today, and the flavor was good, but I must have done something wrong because it was really dry. Any suggestions? I would love to try it again.

  20. Perhaps it was baked too long for your oven? Did you use a metal pan (breads cook faster on the outside in a metal pan- I used a ceramic pan)?. Karina

  21. Oh, Karina. The photo made my heart swoon and the recipe made my tummy happily rumble. Thank you for sharing your love-inspired food art

  22. Hungry! Will make this for breakfast.

  23. This looks absolutely amazing! Great recipe!

  24. GFMLE22:39

    Made this bread tonight (as muffins)- with blueberries and walnuts and it came out to 12 beautiful well risen yummy perfect looking muffins! Thank you!

  25. Marty03:23

    Karina: Your site is a blessing, for a GF vegan! My husband is allergic to apples, could I use pear sauce as a substitute? I don't want to use banana's because they're hard on my digestion, if that would be a substitute. Thank you!

  26. Kalyn, Lydia, Stacey, Suzanne, Carol, Cathy, Marty, Mandy, Bendy Tree, Trishtator, EMB, Katy, Nina, Claire, GFDigest, Meghann, Spunky, Karen--- Thank you, Beauties, for the comment love! You're the BEST. xox

    GFMLE- Thanks for the muffin tip- will add your tip into the recipe post! xox

    Marty- Yes, pear sauce or apricot sauce would be delicious! xox

    Cllaire- You could sub rice flour for some of the tapioca- if that's what you use. Or potato starch. xox

    Spring- You could use raisins, yes. This isn't a yeast bread (I always liked yeasted cinnamon raisin toast) though. So it would be good- maybe not great. I'm working on a raisin bread recipe- will post soon. xox


  27. So delicious looking! Perfect for the season!

  28. Laura15:50

    Hi Karina,

    You really have the best muffin and breads recipes. I just made this bread this morning, and it turned out wonderfully. Very light and scrumptious but with a nice crust on top. I used maple syrup instead of the brown sugar, and it turned out perfectly sweet enough.

    I really appreciate how many of your baked goods recipes use simple, cheaper flours.... I usually always have enough on hand, so your recipes help me to use up my random assortment of gf flours.

    Happy Holidays!
    ~ Laura

  29. I just made this and it is soooooo good! thank you!

  30. Just had my first slice and it is scream from the hilltops good! French toast for Christmas breakfast will be wonderful! I had frozen cherries on hand so used those. Off to look for your pound cake recipe so I can make trifle for tomorrow's dinner as some traditions can't be broken!

  31. Marissa16:15

    I made it this morning it tastes fantastic!

    I substituted yogurt for coconut yogurt- because i'm allergic to dairy- and ended up just using 2 1/2 cups of the Bobs Red Mill flour mix because I didn't have any sorghum flour. It still tasted fabulous. Moist and not dry at all. The best part it was super quick and easy!

    Thank you!

  32. We love this bread, I made it so many times in the last few weeks, brought it to get toghethers, made it for brunch when we had friends over, it was excellent. I can't wait to try more of your recipes. I posted my version on my blog, thank you for sharing.

  33. Wow--new to gluten free baking and making this has boosted my confidence. Thanks for working out the kinks, b/c it turned out perfectly on my first try! ha ha. can't say the same for some recipes i've baked WITH gluten!

  34. Thank you for this recipe! I'm looking forward to trying it today to bring to a holiday gathering. :) :) Karina, I'm new to GF lifestyle and consequently, your blog. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes that encourage me with this transition!

  35. HI Karina,
    Try as I might, I don't often get the lift or the crumb that you're loaves seem to have. I don't have a ceramic loaf pan (soon though) I do have double walled loaf pans and one ceramic/cast iron one.
    Am I over mixing do you think? I think my loaves are a tad too dense??
    Anyway, getting up in the morning to make two of the carrot chai and one of this cranberry loaf....they may be a tad dense, but it's not stopping me.
    Thanks for all you're wonderful work.
    Solstice Blessings, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas oh and yes....Happy Kwanza....(I think I've covered everyone!)