Cranberry swirl bread

Cranberry swirl bread

Recipe by Rachel Zammit Cutajar

Photo by Rachel Zammit Cutajar

This cranberry swirl bread just screams Christmas. The perfect afternoon treat with a sweet yet tart and tangy centre and dusted with icing sugar. If there’s any leftover the following day, pop a slice in the toaster and serve with lashings of butter. This may become a breakfast staple over the Christmas period!

Cranberry swirl bread

Serves 8


  • 70g sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 450g bread flour
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • 75g butter

Cranberry filling

  • 200g cranberries
  • 50g packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 15g butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Sugared or fresh cranberries (optional)


  1. In a stand mixer, fitted with the hook attachment, mix the sugar, flour, yeast and salt and 130g of the flour.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the milk and water. Allow to cool until lukewarm. 
  3. Add the liquid to the sugar and flour mix and mix on low speed until combined.
  4. Add the remaining flour, approx. 100g at a time.
  5. Knead until a smooth dough forms. If the dough is too sticky add a bit more flour, if it’s too dry, add a bit of olive oil. 
  6. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and allow to rise in a warm space for approx. 1 hour until doubled in size.
  7. While the dough is rising, place the cranberries, sugar and water into a saucepan and allow to simmer for 10 mins until thick. 
  8. Remove from the heat and add the butter and lemon juice, mix in and allow to cool.
  9. Punch down the dough and, on a lightly floured surface, roll into a 25cm x 50cm rectangle.
  10. Starting from the short side, tightly roll up, pinching the edges as you go. 
  11. With the seam at the bottom, carefully cut lengthways all the way through.
  12. Braid the dough carefully and transfer to a lightly greased loaf pan.
  13. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for 30-40 mins.
  14. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  15. Bake in the oven for 40-45 mins until golden brown.
  16. Allow to cool for 10 mins in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  17. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with fresh or sugared cranberries. 

Related Posts