Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread.

Moist & flavorful cranberry bread packed with orange zest, light cinnamon streusel, and an orange glaze.

Super-moist cranberry bread with orange zest, orange glaze, and sweet streusel on top! No mixer required for this homemade cranberry bread recipe.

If you’ve ever sunk your teeth into a dry, bland piece of cranberry bread or muffin – I feel your pain. But don’t let that discourage you from the possibility of one fantastic baked good.

I recently visited a local coffee shop and while it’s known to have outstanding lattes and chocolate croissants, their cranberry bread was a flavorless, crumbly mess. I don’t even know why I wasted my $4; I can make this festive loaf at home. And make it even better (and cheaper!), thank you very much.

The next morning, I put my thinking cap on. How can I create a flavorful, moist, tart, sweet cranberry quick bread at home? Surely there must be orange since the flavors pair so wonderfully together. And cinnamon-streusel on top. And glaze. Oh yes, there had to be glaze!

Super-moist cranberry bread with orange zest, orange glaze, and sweet streusel on top! No mixer required for this homemade cranberry bread recipe.

I took a look through my recipe archive and remembered this Cinnamon Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread. You love this recipe! I do too – I look forward to making it again over Thanksgiving. I always need a good cinnamon swirl in my life. 😀

I used that bread as the starter for this cranberry version. When you have a great “base” recipe, it’s easy to build off of it and create new and exciting flavors. To that basic quick bread batter, I added orange zest, tart cranberries, pecans, streusel, and a cascading orange glaze on top. Meet the moistest cranberry bread ever. So lush. So flavorful.

Making this holiday favorite is quite easy. Simple enough to prepare between all your holiday errands, chores, decorating, and Christmas music dancing in your living room. What? You don’t do that?

Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread

Here are a few essentials you’ll need:

  • Chopped cranberries, fresh or frozen OR dried cranberries
  • Orange zest for the bread and the glaze
  • Orange juice (fresh or bottled) for the glaze
  • Homemade cinnamon streusel

Baking science // nerd alert:

Another main ingredient you absolutely 100% need for your bread is buttermilk. Don’t try to substitute the buttermilk with anything! Why Buttermilk is what makes some of my cakes, cupcakes, and breads so darn moist. But that’s not the only reason I use it today: the lactic acid present in buttermilk is what will allow the baking soda to produce the leavening gas (carbon dioxide).

Most people don’t typically keep buttermilk in the house. I know I wouldn’t if I didn’t bake for a living. Save yourself a trip to the store and make a DIY buttermilk at home. Measure 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup. Then, add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.

I like to use oil as the fat in this quick bread recipe, not butter. Butter is a fat that gives unbeatable flavor, but nothing beats the moisture that oil brings – especially to muffins, cakes, and quick breads. There is so much flavor in this bread from the orange, streusel, glaze, and cranberries that the flavor from butter would get lost anyway.

Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread

The streusel is optional. I can’t believe I just typed that. In my world, streusel is never optional. But surprisingly enough, this bread would still be as dazzling without it. Streusel is my middle name (at least it should be), so I took the opportunity to make some. The streusel is only a few everyday ingredients: cold butter, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. That’s all!

The bread can take anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour in the oven. Why the huge gap of time? All ovens are different. Oven air flows, oven hot spots, etc. Breads are thick and having the center baked through properly takes time.

Two tips that are universal to all ovens:

1) Buy an oven thermometer. They’re inexpensive and will control the temperature in your oven. I was shocked to learn that my oven runs almost 20 degrees warmer than what the dial states. That has a HUGE effect on your food baking properly.

2) Cover your bread loosely with aluminum foil. I note that in the instructions below as a reminder. The foil will allow your bread to bake evenly on all sides and prevent the top from getting too brown before the center bakes through.

Super-moist cranberry bread with orange zest, orange glaze, and sweet streusel on top! No mixer required for this homemade cranberry bread recipe.

Next up? Orange glaze. Made from just orange juice, orange zest, and powdered sugar. Drizzle over the bread right before serving.

Like banana bread or carrot cake, I found this bread’s flavors and “moist” factor were more prominent on day 2. Don’t get me wrong… the bread is fan-freaking-tastic the day it’s baked, but I especially enjoyed it the next morning. This makes it a perfect treat to serve to guests. You can make it the evening before, then drizzle immediately before serving the next day. I prefer the bread at room temperature, but it’s just tasty served warm. Or even cold (try it!).

I’m so relieved to have my dry, flavorless cranberry bread memory washed away. This bread fixes it all. Sweet, tart, zingy glaze, cinnamon-y streusel, moist interior. Holiday perfection!

Super-moist cranberry bread with orange zest, orange glaze, and sweet streusel on top! No mixer required for this homemade cranberry bread recipe.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the ingredient list. Most of the ingredients are repeats of each other! And the streusel and glaze are both optional.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes plus cooling

Print Recipe

Moist and tender orange cranberry bread with buttery streusel and a zingy orange glaze. Perfect for guests or with a warm cup of tea in the early morning or afternoon.

Ingredients:

Streusel

  • 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, cold

Bread

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (accurately measured)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (110g) chopped cranberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw)1
  • optional: 1/2 cup (65g) chopped pecans
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature2
  • 1/2 cup (105g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk (no substitutions)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil (or canola; or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons orange zest

Glaze

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • as much orange zest as you want

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. I prefer a dark metal loaf pan, which seems to help brown quick breads more evenly.
  2. Make the streusel first: Toss the flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter, your hands, or two forks. Go for pea-size crumbs.
  3. Make the bread: In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, salt, cranberries, and pecans together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until combined. Make sure there are no brown sugar lumps remaining. Whisk in the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and orange zest. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk until there are no more lumps. Do not overmix.
  4. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan. Top evenly streusel, pressing the streusel down gently into the top of the bread so it sticks.
  5. Bake the bread for 45 minutes to 1 hour, covering loosely with foil about halfway through to ensure even browning. Poke the center of the bread with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. Oven times will vary between ovens. My bread took 59 minutes exactly. Allow bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  6. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar and orange juice together. Add more orange juice depending how thick you want the glaze. Whisk in orange zest and drizzle over cooled bread.
  7. Slice and serve. Bread stays fresh at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 6-7 days.
  8. Make ahead tip: For longer storage, you can freeze the unglazed bread for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before glazing and serving.

Additional Notes:

  1. 1 cup dried cranberries may be used instead of fresh/frozen.
  2. Room temperature egg is highly suggested for this bread. It will disburse more evenly when mixed. To bring the egg to room temperature quickly, place in a cup of warm water for 5 minutes.

Make muffins! You can make muffins with this cranberry orange quick bread batter. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for around 20 minutes.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

A few more of my favorite recipes to enjoy this time of year…

Cinnamon Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread

Cinnamon-Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread

Orange Sweet Rolls— every Christmas morning!

Copycat Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls. Gooey, fluffy, and dripping with orange glaze!

Salted Pecan Pie Tarts – I can’t get enough. LOVE these.

Salted Pecan Pie Tarts

Today Kevin and I are having our engagement photos taken! I’ll be sure to share some when our photographer is finished with them. I can’t wait.

Super-moist cranberry bread with orange zest, orange glaze, and sweet streusel on top! No mixer required for this homemade cranberry bread recipe.
Super-moist cranberry bread with orange zest, orange glaze, and sweet streusel on top! No mixer required for this homemade cranberry bread recipe.
Super-moist cranberry bread with orange zest, orange glaze, and sweet streusel on top! No mixer required for this homemade cranberry bread recipe.
Super-moist cranberry bread with orange zest, orange glaze, and sweet streusel on top! No mixer required for this homemade cranberry bread recipe.
   

237 Responses to “Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread.”

  1. #
    121
    Wendyposted November 16, 2015 at 1:06 am

    This recipes is AMAZING!!! I made it tonight and it was a joy to make as well as I love all the components (streusel topping, the moist flavorful bread and the glaze….excellent combination!!) I do have a question though, I baked for 48 min and did the tester stick and it came out clean, however after it cooled the middle sunk a little and when I cut into it the very middle was not quite done. Do you know if I should have waited til it pulled away from the sides of the pan to really know it was done? I am at 4600 feet in elevation so that may be a factor and need to bake longer anyway. Thanks again for the amazing recipe!!

    Reply

  2. #
    122
    M.posted November 22, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    WOW!  I made this for yesterday’s breakfast and the entire loaf went right away.  This is an excellent recipe.  Thanks, Sally!  Happy Thanksgiving.

    Reply

  3. #
    123
    Blair A.posted November 24, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I know I’m a little late to the orange glazed cranberry bread party, but have you ever tried baking these in the smaller paper muffin pans? If so, do you know how the bake time would be affected? I was thinking of giving these away as gifts and have some of the paper pans lying around 🙂

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 24th, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      I sure have! About 20-22 minutes for standard size muffins.

      Reply

  4. #
    124
    Katherineposted November 24, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Sally, this looks scrumptious and I’ll be making it tonight as gifts! I saw your earlier reply about how glazed breads will last in the fridge for 3 days. If sitting for that long, will the glaze become soggy? Not sure if I should glaze it if some of the gifts will be given on Thanksgiving Day. Also, you’d mentioned no subs for buttermilk but if I only have sour cream, can I doctor that in some way to get the same effect? Thanks, and wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving! 🙂

    Reply

  5. #
    125
    Tavaposted November 25, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I’m so excited to make this receipe. My grandmother used to make cranberry orange bread every year during the holidays and we lost her a week ago. I’m trying to continue on her traditions. However, I will be making the bread at high altitude, do you know what adjustments I should make in such a case?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 25th, 2015 at 11:21 am

      Tava, I am so sorry for your loss. Here is a handy chart I send to my readers at high altitude since I have little experience above sea level myself.

      Reply

  6. #
    126
    Raquelposted November 26, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I made two batches of the cranberry bread. I had rapid rise and overflow each time. Huge mess. Is it possible the baking soda listed in the recipe is supposed to be baking powder? Or possibly the amount of baking soda is too much? 

    Reply

  7. #
    127
    Peggy Rposted November 30, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I made this cranberry bread for Thanksgiving morning and it was delicious. I followed the directions exactly. The bread is very moist and has lots of flavor. The chopped fresh cranberries are so much better than canned or dried. The orange zest and flavor in glaze adds extra flavor. Delicious!!!!! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

  8. #
    128
    Kposted December 6, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Oh my goodness!!! this is the best cranberry bread I have ever eaten!! I added about another handful more of the cranberries and I accidently melted my butter for the streusel but I used as is and loved it!!

    Reply

  9. #
    129
    nancy wakelyposted December 12, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Bread cooled and glaze added. Just cut off an end piece and thought it needed a little more cranberry. Guessing that I won’t have that problem once I get into the loaf. Otherwise, this is wondrous!

    Reply

  10. #
    130
    Maureenposted December 18, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Hi Sally, The first time I made this bread it came out perfect and everyone loved it! But since then every time I make this bread it comes out flat, like it doesn’t rise the way it should, and there is a small hole on top in the middle. What do you could cause this? It is very frustrating because I so love this bread!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on December 18th, 2015 at 8:35 am

      So happy you loved this bread!

      Is your baking soda expired? I always replace mine every 3 months.

      Reply

      • Maureenreplied on December 19th, 2015 at 3:15 pm

        I don’t think it’s expired since the Chocolate Chip bread came out perfect, but I’m going to replace it anyway. Thanks!

      • Maureenreplied on December 20th, 2015 at 9:46 pm

        My third double batch of Orange Cranberry Bread this season and it came out perfect. I will always make sure I have fresh baking soda before I start again! Thanks!! The guys my husband works with ask for it every year.

  11. #
    131
    Maureenposted December 18, 2015 at 12:27 am

    I just took a batch of Cinnamon Swirl Chocolate Chip bread out of the oven and it rose beautifully and looks wonderful. Can’t wait to taste it! So, I don’t know why my orange cranberry bread is having trouble rising…. all the same ingredients…

    Reply

  12. #
    132
    Motiposted January 4, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I followed the entire recepie with the exception of actually adding a cup of real orange puree with the sugar for a glaze.  As soon as I took the bsked loaf out of the oven, I poked some holes with a fork throughout the entire Streusel top which allowed a bit of glaze to seep in side….not much due to the thick consistency of the glaze.  The glaze formed a really tasty topping – I should know this ’cause as soon as the loaf cooled down  (I put in the fridge for about 10 minutes) I was able to just press a knife through the breadth and cut slices very easily….I had a bite!  Very very very delicious….the crumbs just melting in my mouth.  Oh and the other thing was that I added the cranberries whole.  They were cold sitting in the fridge and about as shriveled as a raisin….i thought that they were the right size and did not chop them up.  Ofcourse when one cuts slices one does cut through the berries.  All in all this loaf turned out well.  I am going to take the advise and pop in back in the fridge and have it tomorrow.  I can now clearly see how the flavors are enhanced by allowing it to chill in the refrigerator overnight!  Thanks for this recepie, I will be baking this again for my next Tuperware party!  Happy New Year!

    Reply

  13. #
    133
    B Valeriaposted January 6, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I also used to purchase cranberry orange bread at my local coffee shop and found your recipe online. I have to say that yours is so much better! Love the streusel topping and freshness the zest and juice add to this bread.  I took a loaf to work for one of our treat days this past Christmas season and it was gone in no time!  I had many tell me how good and “fresh tasting” it was and requested the recipe. I pointed them to your website.  Thanks so much for sharing all of your delicious recipes! (I also LOVE your apple muffins and so does my family!)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on January 6th, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      I’m so glad you love my recipes and share them with others! This is one of my favorite Christmas recipes for sure.

      Reply

  14. #
    134
    Katelynposted January 11, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Yummy! I made this without the glaze and it was perfect! I was afraid it wasn’t going to be sweet enough without the glaze but it was plenty sweet! I also froze it for like a month before eating it and it was still delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  15. #
    135
    George Garciaposted June 2, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    To Raquel .  If you accidentally use self rising flour instead of regular flour then you are using twice the rising agents.   Check your flour.

    Reply

  16. #
    136
    Teri Corralesposted June 24, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Can I add shredded zucchini to this bread or would it not work? I’m trying to find things to add to zucchini bread

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 25th, 2016 at 10:08 am

      I would use a basic zucchini recipe (here’s my favorite) and add the cranberries and orange zest.

      Reply

  17. #
    137
    Debbyposted September 21, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    This is just the best sweet bread recipe that I have found. Thank you, Sally.
    I made this bread, but made the following changes:
    I substituted stevia with the brown sugar and left out white sugar.
    Walnuts instead of pecans.
    Used the juice of one orange and added 1T melted butter to the runny glaze. I poked holes in the bread and drenched the bread.

    Reply

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