Use sweet oranges and tart cranberries for a bit of freshness in this moist and delicious Cranberry Orange Bread topped with a zesty orange glaze. This easy quick bread recipe is fantastic for breakfast or brunch, or even served as a coffee break snack.
If you don’t have fresh oranges or cranberries on hand, no worries. Substitute orange juice and dried or frozen cranberries in the batter for a cranberry orange loaf that is just as tasty any time of year!
Cranberry Orange Bread
This Cranberry Orange quick bread recipe is really easy to make and is always a hit with my family. When cranberries are in season, I like to buy extra to put in the freezer so that I can make this quick bread any time of year, not just during the holidays.
Adding a simple powdered sugar glaze made with fresh orange juice adds just the right amount of sweetness to this tasty loaf. I make my glaze a little thick and wait until the bread has cooled to drizzle it on top.
That way, the glaze stays mostly on top of the loaf. If all the bread isn’t eaten right away, make sure the glaze has set before storing wrapped in plastic wrap.
Quick Bread Tips
- Always preheat the oven before baking the loaf to ensure a good rise.
- Bake the loaf on the middle oven rack for even cooking.
- Like with muffins, it’s important to only stir the ingredients until the dry ingredients are just moistened. A few lump in the batter is actually desirable. Stir the batter too much and the bread texture will be chewy and tough.
- Grease the loaf pan on the bottom and only 1/2 inch up the sides. I also like to place a piece of parchment paper cut to size in the bottom of the pan for guaranteed easy removal.
- Watch that the bread doesn’t brown too fast on the top. Check it a few minutes before the baking time is up and cover loosely with foil if needed.
- Check for doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick near the center of the loaf. It should comes out clean without any crumbs.
- Cool the quick bread for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
- Slice quick bread with a long serrated knife to avoid crumbling if you run into fruit or nuts.
Does Cranberry Orange Bread need to be refrigerated?
There’s no need to refrigerate Cranberry Orange Bread. To store the bread, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or store in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
This quick bread will stay fresh in the freezer for up to two months. To freeze, cool the loaf completely then wrap in plastic wrap and store in a resealable freezer bag.
Can you substitute dried cranberries for fresh?
Absolutely! If using dried cranberries, reduce the amount in the recipe to just 1 cup.
Do I need to cook the cranberries before baking?
There is no need to cook the cranberries before baking in this quick bread recipe. However, do be sure to rinse and dry fresh cranberries well before using in this recipe. If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw before adding to the batter.
More Quick Bread Recipes!
One of the things I like most about quick breads is that they freeze well. Often I will double my quick bread recipe to make two loaves — one for now and one for later. It’s also nice to have an extra loaf in the freezer for last minute sharing with friends.
- Cherry Chocolate Chunk Bread — Made with fresh cherries and topped with a powdered sugar glaze.
- Peppery Cheese Bread — With just the right amount of spice, this quick bread makes a great compliment to red bean chili or taco soup.
- Whole Grain Banana Nut Bread — Moist and delicious! Enjoy it for brunch or on a coffee break.
- Pumpkin Bread — The original recipe from the University of Tennessee bakery.
- Strawberry Bread with Strawberry “Shmear” — A dense, sweet bread with plenty of fruit, this bread smells heavenly straight from the oven.
Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe
My first preference is using fresh oranges and cranberries for this recipe, however it is still tasty if you don’t have fresh available. Here’s how to adjust the recipe to use orange juice and frozen or dried cranberries:
- To substitute orange juice, simply use the same amount as you would for fresh squeezed in the recipe and omit the orange zest.
- To substitute frozen cranberries, do not thaw before adding them to the batter. Toss them with a tablespoon of flour first just like you would with the fresh cranberries.
- To substitute dried cranberries, reduce the amount to just 1 cup, but still toss them with a little flour before folding into the batter.
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- 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (+ 1 tablespoon)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 1 - 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a non-stick 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup orange juice and zest, canola oil, and slightly beaten egg until well combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula just until the dry ingredients are incorporated — do not over mix.
- Toss the cranberries with a tablespoon of flour, then gently fold into the batter.
- Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Add orange juice one tablespoon at a time to the sifted powdered sugar and stir until smooth and the desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla extract, then drizzle or spread on top of the cooled Cranberry Orange Bread.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit into the loaf pan for easy removal.
- If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw.
- To use dried cranberries, reduce the amount in the recipe to just 1 cup.
- Store tightly covered at room temperature for up to three days.
- If desired, garnish with additional orange zest just before serving.
- To freeze, cool completely then wrap in plastic wrap and store in a resealable freezer bag.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 171mg Carbohydrates: 42g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 24g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g
Sheila Thigpen, author of The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. A Southern girl living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters, are active in their church, love to travel, and are over-the-moon excited about becoming grandparents last year. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!