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Gluten-Free Cranberry & Bacon Bread – to add to your festive bread basket
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This gluten-free bread has a combination of sweetness from the cranberries, saltiness and smokiness from the bacon and a crunchy texture from the walnuts.

I have created these small bread loaves using my mini loaf tin, which are then easy to slice and toast to serve with other meals, but feel free to make mini muffins instead.

How to eat cranberry bread:

There are two ways to serve these cranberry mini loaves: warm straight from the oven or sliced thinly and toasted.

  1. As an entire loaf: serve these warm with an assortment of bread to accompany a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.
  2. Alternatively, thinly slice and toast the bread and serve them on a cheese board or as an entree with pâté or a terrine, or simply butter them as a snack or for breakfast.

If you prefer to serve these as a sweet item to accompany coffee, leave out the bacon and brush the tops with melted butter plus sprinkle the warm loaves with a light dusting of combined brown sugar and cinnamon powder.

What bacon cut should I use?:

Select a back bacon cut and remove any hard rind. This cut has more meat and flavour than streaky bacon. Back bacon works well in this bread as its flavour is more noticeable and the texture is less crispy than streaky bacon. 

Gluten-Free Cranberry & Bacon Bread

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
This gluten-free bread has a combination of sweetness from the cranberries, saltiness and smokiness from the bacon and a crunchy texture from the walnuts. I like to make them into small loaves or mini muffins to then add to a mixed bread basket to serve over the holiday season.
Thinly slicing the loaves and toasting them, makes an excellent addition to a cheese board or to enjoy with some pâté.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling down time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course baking, bread, Festive, Kids' Snacks
Cuisine American
Servings 8 small loaves


  • 6 rashers smoked bacon, chopped roughly  (use back bacon, preferably)
  • 300 g store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum  (leave it out if your store-bought flour already has xanthan gum)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 100 g white sugar
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 150 ml  fresh or store-bought orange juice
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted & cooled
  • 100 g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 150 g fresh or frozen cranberries


Preparing the bread mixture:

  • Gather and measure all the ingredients listed.
    Ingredients displayed to make cranberry & bacon bread
  • Chop the bacon rashers into rough pieces, removing any hard rind if present.
  • Fry the bacon without adding any oil to a cold pan and heat to medium, stirring often until the bacon’s fat has rendered out of the bacon and starts to turn slightly golden. Try not to get them too crisp. Set them aside to cool.
  • Sift the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Mix the orange zest, orange juice, eggs and cooled butter in a separate bowl.
  • Create a well in the centre of the sifted mix and pour the orange juice mixture into it.
    Adding the orange juice mixture to the flour
  • Without overmixing, combine the two mixtures.
  • Fold in the walnuts, fresh cranberries, bacon and half of the rendered fat from the bacon.
    Adding the cranberries, walnuts & bacon to the batter
  • Pour the batter into a mini loaf pan (or mini cupcake pan) filling the mixture to the top. The mixture may look slightly dry & stiff, but the cranberries will release some juices while baking and moisten the mixture.
    The cranberry & bacon bread pre baked in the tin


  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Bake for 25 min on the middle shelf.
  • Before removing the bread from the oven, insert a toothpick in the centre of one of the loaves or muffins. It should come out clean. Otherwise, bake for 5 more minutes and test again.
    The cranberry & bacon bread baked in the tin
  • Allow the bread to cool in the baking pan for 10 mins.


  • After 10 minutes, remove the bread and allow to cool further on a wire rack.
    The cranberry & bacon bread cooling on a wire rack
  • Serve straight away with some soft butter or wrap the bread loaves in plastic film once completely cool and cover them with a clean tea towel. They are delicious served warm. Reheat them up for 5 mins covered in foil to prevent the cranberries and walnuts from over-baking.


  • Makes 18-20 mini cupcakes if using a cupcake tray instead of a mini loaf tray.
  • After the first day, it is best to chill the bread (due to the bacon). Keeps for 3 days.
  • Suitable to freeze.
Keyword gluten-free bread, gluten-free sweet bread
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These loaves can be made the day before and reheated in a moderate oven for 5 minutes just before serving. Keep them warm covered with a tea towel.


Serve these cranberry loaves with my easy gluten-free Thanksgiving or Christmas meal
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