Fresh and moist, cranberry orange bread is a sweet and citrusy breakfast, snack, or after-dinner dessert!
This recipe is colorful and tangy with a lightly sweetened (optional) glaze. Perfect to enjoy any time of year, this bread can be baked and frozen in slices for quick snacks.
Sweet & Citrusy
We love all kinds of quick breads because they can be made in less than an hour!
- No yeast or kneading required.
- Can use fresh or frozen cranberries.
- This bread stores and freezes well.
The combination of orange juice, zest, and cranberries makes this bread an excellent grab-and-go snack for school or work! Smear it with cream cheese or our own recipe for honey butter.
Quick breads are made with basic ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, and salt.
ORANGE Our version has orange juice and zest for flavor and extra tang! Orange can be substituted with lemon if you’d like.
If you don’t have fresh orange zest, add a small amount of orange extract.
CRANBERRIES Whole cranberries give it a punch of color and a burst of fresh tartness. Dried cranberries can be used if desired, but the bread won’t be quite as moist.
DAIRY Cream makes the bread super moist, but buttermilk can be used in place.
ADD–INS Feel free to add nuts like walnuts or pecans.
How to Make Cranberry Orange Bread
Cranberry orange loaf has all the right stuff and it’s easy and quick to make!
- Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs, cream & orange juice.
- Whisk together dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture.
- Fold floured cranberries into batter. Pour into prepared pan & bake until lightly browned.
Once baked, move the bread to a cooling rack. Drizzle with glaze once cooled.
Tips for the Best Quick Bread
The following tips apply to all quick bread recipes from zucchini bread to banana bread.
- Avoid overmixing the batter or you’ll end up with dense bread.
- Start with room temperature ingredients (eggs, butter, & cream/milk) to ensure proper blending and to save mixing time!
- Measure flour correctly by spooning the flour into the measuring cup.
- Using flour to lightly coat the cranberries (or any berry in a quick bread recipe) keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the bread and from leaking their juice.
- Ovens and pans can vary slightly. Check your bread at least 10 minutes early to ensure it doesn’t overcook.
PRO TIP: If using any type of nut in a bread recipe, lightly sauté them in a small, dry skillet until they are barely browned and fragrant. This intensifies their flavor and keeps them extra crunchy!
Keep cranberry-orange loaf in an airtight container at room temperature with a slice of bread to absorb excess moisture. It’ll keep for about 3-4 days.
Freeze loaf once cooled. Use a zippered bag with the date labeled on the outside. It will keep for up to 3 months. Let thaw on the counter or heat in a microwave for 15-20 seconds.
Quick Bread Faves
- The Best Zucchini Bread – moist & flavorful
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – perfect afternoon snack
- Pumpkin Bread – freezer friendly
- Homemade Carrot Bread – a family favorite
- Classic Banana Bread – a 5-star recipe
- Strawberry Bread – with a delicious glaze
Did your family love this Cranberry Orange Bread? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below!
Cranberry Orange Bread
- 1 orange
- ½ cup butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- ½ cup light cream or milk
- 1 ½ cups flour + 1 tablespoon for dusting cranberries
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cup cranberries
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease & flour a 8x4 pan.
- Zest the orange and juice it to get 1 tablespoon juice. Set each aside.
- Cream sugar & butter, add in eggs and cream. Stir in 1 tablespoon orange juice.
- In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest.
- Add dry mixture to butter mixture and stir just until combined, do not over mix.
- Set aside 2 tablespoons of cranberries for topping the bread.
- Toss remaining cranberries with 1 tablespoon flour. Remove any excess flour and fold them into the batter. Pour into the prepared pan. Top with reserved cranberries.
- Bake 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack.
- Stir together powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Poke holes all over the loaf (I used a chopstick) and pour glaze over the loaf. Cool completely.
- Avoid overmixing the batter.
- Start with room temperature ingredients!
- Measure flour correctly by spooning the flour into the measuring cup.
- Using flour to lightly coat the cranberries and keep them from sinking to the bottom of the bread.
- Check your bread at least 10 minutes early to ensure it doesn't overcook.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Can I use dried cranberries?
Dried cranberries can be used if desired Katia, but the bread won’t be quite as moist.
Can I add some chopped dates to this recipe and if so how many would you add
I haven’t tried that addition in this bread but I am sure it would be delicious. You could replace some of the cranberries with date, maybe up to half a cup, depending on how much date flavor you want in the bread. Also, keep in mind reducing the cranberries will affect how moist the bread is as well. You will have to let us know how it turns out!
Holly, this is the BEST cranberry bread ever. So easy, light, yummy & beautiful to look at! Followed your recipe exactly, with only one addition which was adding 1/4 tsp. of nutmeg to the batter.
Did not glaze it as it is FANTASTIC without.
THANK YOU for all your hard work in sharing your love of cooking and baking with us all.
So happy to hear that, Ferryal! A little nutmeg does sound like a delicious addition. Thanks for sharing!
Came across this recipe by accident but so glad I did. I’m not a cranberry fan unless it’s juice in my cocktail but hot damn this was good. If you’re debating trying this recipe out just make it. I promise it was the most moist and tasty tart and perfectly sweet bread I’ve had in a long time. Also, it was approved and appreciated by a 4 year old toddler!
My glaze didn’t turn out the way yours looks in the picture. It was just a liquid, never turned white and pretty… not sure why! Any ideas?
Hi Kaylee, you can add a little extra powdered sugar to help thicken it up. Hope that helps!
Kaylee I ended up using 4 tbs. icing sugar to 1 tbs. whole milk. I added JUST a titch of orange extract as I didn’t have an orange around and this seemed to be enough to drizzle around a bit.
Hi, i have frozen some cranberries, if I want to use them in this recipe, do I need to defrost them? Thank you so much.
Hi Ferryal, yes we recommend letting them defrost first, and be sure to toss them with flour (in step 7) before adding them to the batter.
Oh, Holly! I can’t wait to try this. Early in the year I froze fresh cranberries while they were available so now I know how I will use some of them! Looks delicious! Thanks!
You’re welcome, this is a perfect recipe for those cranberries!
can you use dried cranberries?
Hi Bev, as mentioned in the post, dried cranberries can be used if desired, but the bread won’t be quite as moist. Enjoy the bread!
Can cranberries be plumped like raisins before making raisin pie? If so (you’d have to try) maybe you can cheat and still have the same moist bread as fresh. Hope it works.