Cranberry Bread

Cranberry sauce is the emblem and the badge of Thanksgiving dinner. Without the sauce, it isn't T-day, it's just another turkey dinner on a Thursday.

But in the Treasury of Great Recipes, there isn't a single instance of cranberry sauce instructions. It does appear on the menu for Longfellow's Wayside Inn but you'll have to figure it out for yourself.

If you want to get all super authentic, then know that the pilgrims had a choice of berries in November in Massachusetts. Partridge Berries are a wild edible that may be kind of tasteless but would fill up a pie with some color. Purple chokeberries might also have been left on the bush.

New England berries are plentiful in the summer and early fall. The pilgrims ate blackberries, elderberries, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, and shad berries which I think are called Juneberries elsewhere and look like obese blueberries wearing a Jughead hat. Their friendliness with the Wampanoag landowners meant the pilgrims may have had some instruction in which local fruits were good. They probably dried them and may have put them into pies and breads like the one below.

No cranberry sauce, but cranberry bread

However, this series is about bumping your Thanksgiving Dinner game to next level so here's a cool recipe from the last section of the Treasury, titled "Specialties of the House," which were the Price's faves and a quick list of their go-to dishes.

On page 439 is a recipe for Breakfast Breads, which offers a basic sweet bread followed by a short list of variations, one of which is cranberry bread which you bet your ass I'll be baking this November.

Really Vincent Price? Really?

Weirdness obtains in this recipe in two ways. First, what the hell is 'double-acting baking powder'? Why is it hyphenated? Secondly, is there really a difference between streusel bread and cinnamon bread? Thirdly, (did I say two?) the recipe says to divide the dough into four pans then tells you to pour it OVER ingredients for the last two breads which you couldn't do if you'd followed the directions. Obviously, an editing mistake. Be careful. Follow the recipe I've adjusted below and not the one in the book.

Cranberry Bread


  • 8 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups melted shortening or butter
  • Toppings and bottomings
    Cinnamon Nut Bread
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nut meats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnmaon
  • Streusel Bread
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped nut meats
  • Cranberry Bread
  • 2 Cups whole cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • Apple bread
  • butter for greasing the pan
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups sliced apples


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Load the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar for making the bread into a large mixing bowl.
  • Beat the milk and eggs
  • Stir liquid into the flour mixture to create a lumpy batter
  • Stir in your butter or shortening
  • Divide this into 4 greased 8-inch square baking pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove from pans and cool on racks. When cool, wrap and freeze.
  • Reheat in a moderate oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.
    Cinnamon Nut Bread
  • Sprinkle the mixture listed above onto the top of the batter
  • Streusel Bread
  • Sprinkle ingredients on top of the batter
  • Cranberry Bread
  • Bring the mixture listed above to a boil then simmer 5 minutes. Turn the mixture into the bottom of the cake pan THEN add the batter
  • Apple Bread
  • Sprinkle the mixture listed above--minus the apples--onto the bottom of then pan. Then lay the apple rings on top of the mixture.
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is an award-winning author and columnist from Chicago. His newest book is The Full English, a humorous travel memoir. His previous book, Death By Children, was IndieFab's 2013 Humor Book of the Year. Bull is the founder and senior writer for Creative Writer PRO, and the impresario, host, and owner with his wife, Colleen, of Chicago's premier private supper club, Eating Vincent Price.

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