An easy-to-make quick bread filled with fresh, juicy cranberries, orange juice and zest, and then topped with a sweet orange glaze. This cranberry orange bread is perfect to make this holiday season!
Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
This cranberry orange bread recipe is a family favorite around Christmas time and is perfect for gift giving too. It’s a quick bread, which means no yeast required, so it doesn’t need time to rise. Just mix up the ingredients and bake for about an hour and you’re good to go!
It even looks festive with those bright red cranberries. I’ve tried this recipe with dried cranberries too, but oh my goodness, what a difference the fresh cranberries make! The bright tartness combined with the sweet, citrusy flavor of the orange is just perfection. There are so many wonderful flavors layered together!
It’s perfect for breakfast on a cold day with a cup of hot chocolate or tea. It also tastes delicious as a dessert, especially if you add in chocolate chips or top with a sweet orange glaze. Every bite is amazing!
- Freeze the cranberries for 5 minutes before adding into the batter so that they don’t burst while mixing.
- It also helps to dust the cranberries with flour before folding them in so that they don’t sink to the bottom.
- Make sure not to over mix the batter, or else the bread won’t be as soft and moist.
- Add a few extra cranberries or chocolate chips on top right before baking. It adds a nice pop of color and makes the bread look extra pretty and festive.
- You can double the recipe to make two loaves – one loaf for enjoying immediately and the other for freezing or gifting.
- If adding glaze, wait until the bread has cooled completely before drizzling on top.
Feel free to make this cranberry orange bread recipe your own! Add in extras like chopped walnuts, pecans or mini chocolate chips for more texture and flavor. Instead of orange glaze, a simple cream cheese glaze or powdered sugar icing would also taste delicious on top. You could even skip the glaze and add a streusel topping!
Glaze for Cranberry Orange Bread
The orange glaze is optional, but boy does it take this bread up a notch. It has a sweet taste, with an extra boost of orange flavor from the fresh orange juice and zest. It’s the perfect finishing touch!
Simply mix together the powdered sugar, fresh orange juice, orange zest and vanilla until smooth, then drizzle it over the top of the cooled loaf. Wait a few minutes before slicing, so that the icing has time to harden. Then slice and enjoy!
Storing + Freezing
- To store: Once cooled, this cranberry bread will stay fresh at room temperature for about 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. You may also store it in the fridge so that it will last a few days longer.
- To freeze: Wrap the loaf in foil or plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag. It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in fridge overnight.
More Holiday Favorites:
- Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Cranberry Banana Bread
- Orange Sweet Rolls
- Apple Cranberry Pie
Cranberry Orange Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter , melted and slightly cooled
- 1 egg , whisked
- 3/4 cups orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest from an orange
- 1 1/2 cups whole fresh cranberries , more for top if desired
Optional: Orange glaze (ingredients and instructions in notes below) and or 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5″ loaf pan with cooking spray. Place the cranberries in a bowl and freeze for 5 minutes.
- Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, using a whisk or a for until well blended.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, orange juice and zest, vanilla extract, and melted butter.
- Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir just until blended – do not over mix. Gently fold in cranberries and chocolate chips (if desired).
- Pour batter evenly into the baking pan. Bake for about 50-60 minutes. It’s done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack, then gently slide a sharp knife around the bread to loosen and remove from the pan. Drizzle orange glaze over top if desired (recipe in notes below). Then slice and enjoy!
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla