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.



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


  • 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


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


  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.

209 Responses to “Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread.”

  1. #
    Kayleneposted November 22, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    If I were to bake these in smaller bread loaf pans, or a mini loaf pan, what would you recommend for how long?


  2. #
    Sarahposted November 22, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I did not read all of the comments, but I plan to make this bread today, but will substitute orange with lemon. Hopefully it will turn out.

    PS- I made your brownies and added your salted caramel to them. Perfect and the best recipe so far for brownies. I will make those again for sure!



  3. #
    stephanieposted November 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    I made this a couple of weeks ago and OMG sooooo good! I actually thought it tasted better the next day!

    I was wondering if its possible to use whole wheat flour in this as opposed to all purpose; and if so do I/should I adust measurments and/or baking times.

    Thanks in advance!


    • Sallyreplied on November 23rd, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Stephanie, if you were to use whole wheat flour, I would use whole wheat pastry flour. And only sub half of the all-purpose flour for it.


  4. #
    Nadiaposted November 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I made these and they are AMAZING. I don’t like streusel so I omitted it. Thank you so much.


  5. #
    Sharonposted November 30, 2014 at 11:58 am

    De-freaking-licious! My house smells like divinity. I was too lazy to make the streusel and I’m waiting til tomorrow to glaze, but I just had to sample it fresh out of the oven — and even without the extra toppings it is perfection!
    I am fairly new to baking so this might be an obvious question, but I was a little disappointed at how much it shrunk down. Did I do something wrong? Or is hight a necessary sacrifice for the moistness? Either way it’s fabulous!


  6. #
    Chrisposted December 2, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    I just made this bread….delish! So nice for fall/Christmas! I didn’t have buttermilk but I did have sour cream….I used one cup of light sour cream and it came out perfect! So, you CAN substitute with success!!!


  7. #
    Lizposted December 5, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Hi, I really want to try this recipe but I always make my bread in 2s and I use a medium size loaf pan. Is there any way you can post the measurements one or two medium loaf pans instead of a large. Thanks! :)


  8. #
    Sharynposted December 9, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Great recipe! I’ve never baked with fresh cranberries until I made this bread today. It is awesome. I like the idea in a comment above to use sour cream instead of buttermilk since I now have a ton of buttermilk left that will eventually be discarded.


  9. #
    Lorieposted December 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Can I substitute butter for canola oil?
    This looks delicious!


    • Sallyreplied on December 11th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      I don’t suggest it.


  10. #
    Katherine McFarlaneposted December 12, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I don’t usually post comments (usually no time). I just had to for this bread!
    Sally, this bread is the BEST Orange cranberry bread EVER! I make bread every year for gifts and I think cranberries make bread look so pretty! However it is usually prettier than it tastes. Not this time, this is truly the most moist delicious flavorful Orange Cranberry Bread on the face of the earth(I am a bit dramatic) but seriously, deliciousness! Thanks for the recipe, IT IS A KEEPER!


  11. #
    Leslie Bryantposted January 3, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Hi Sally. I plan on making this loaf today to use up some cranberries I have. Do you think it would be ok to use cake and pastry flour instead of regular flour? I’ve made many loaves using the pastry flour and though dense, they have all turned out incredibly moist. Thoughts?


    • Sallyreplied on January 3rd, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      That should be fine, Leslie.


  12. #
    Anuposted January 9, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    How come you have mentioned Coconut oil (tahts stays solid at room temperature) or canola oil ( which is liquid at room temp) ?
    Would using coconut oil have solid coconut oil pieces in the cake? My family LOVES the taste of coconut oil so I would like to use it but wanted to make sure the oil will be thoroughly mixed in and solid frozen oil pieces won’t show.


    • Sallyreplied on January 9th, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Anu- if using coconut oil, make sure it is melted. It will not solidify after being baked in the bread.


  13. #
    Lauraposted January 12, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Being overly ambitious, I purchased fresh cranberries before Christmas. I spent a lot of time baking, but I ran out of time and energy before using the cranberries! Yesterday I perused your site looking for recipes using fresh cranberries. Wow! The bread is a winner! It is moist, flavorful, and out of this world good. Out of self preservation, I brought most of the bread to work today. Needless to say, the container is now empty! Thank you for another awesome recipe.


  14. #
    Carlaposted March 5, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Hi Sally,
    This sounds delicious!! Need to make this soon :-)
    Is Baking soda Same as bicarb soda? Or baking powder…


    • Sallyreplied on March 5th, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      Baking soda is bicarb soda.


  15. #
    Donnaposted March 18, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    A few days ago, I was hoping that a Google search for “recipe+cranberry+orange+quick bread” would lead me to a great, easy recipe. Clicked on your website link and was thrilled with the result! Absolutely fabulous recipe–loved it! Will make it many times over, including again this weekend to take to friends to share. Returned to your website today to see what else I might find and I’m simply overwhelmed by how many recipes I want to try! Your photography is to die for! I rarely post commentary, but I just couldn’t ignore the opportunity to tell you how happy I am to have found your site! Thank you so much for having the energy and generosity it takes to share your creative gift freely with others!


    • Sallyreplied on March 18th, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you so much Donna! This was so nice to read. Let me know any other recipes you try.


  16. #
    Katie Mposted March 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    As a beginner baker, this has been the softest, moistest bread I have baked yet! :) I love the fresh, fruity flavour the orange zest gives it. I did make a couple minor changes — I used 3/4 cup of a mix of coconut sugar and brown sugar, and mostly whole wheat flour to give it an extra nutrition boost.

    What is the best way to store this bread without having it go dry?


    • Sallyreplied on March 26th, 2015 at 7:19 am

      Thanks for reporting back Katie. Here are the storing instructions from the recipe. Make sure it’s covered tightly: Unglazed bread stays fresh covered tightly at room temperature for 5 days or in the refrigerator for 6-7 days. Glazed bread must be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  17. #
    Daveposted April 26, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Found your site looking for a cranberry bread recipe. Yours sounded really tasty. Decided to make three loaves, one for me and my finance and each of our mom’s. Toothpick came out clean on all three, let them cool. As they cooled, the center of all three loaves sunk in. Cutting a couple slices off one loaf, they are indeed done and quite delicious. The only thing I can think of for the sinking is too much streusel or it was too cold. I kept the streusel in the fridge to keep the butter from melting while I made the three loaves. Have your loaves ever sunk in the middle?
    That said, I see a lot of stiff to try here. Glad I found your website.


    • Sallyreplied on April 27th, 2015 at 9:07 am

      Dave, the sinking in the middle is usually a sign that the bread is not cooked through. However, that’s not the only reason and certainly does not apply to your loaves as you describe them. It could mean that your leavener had expired or was too weak. Or that the oven’s door was opened/closed too often and there was not even heat throughout the bake time. I truly don’t think the cold streusel has anything to do with it. Glad you like the bread though!


  18. #
    carolyn kauffmannposted June 16, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Hallo! Thanks for this delicious recipe. Can I make this bread using  a eggsubstitute and which would you suggest? Thanks.


  19. #
    Rachaelposted August 3, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    What do you think about adding toasted coconut to this recipe? Maybe sprinkled on top of the glaze? Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on August 4th, 2015 at 7:04 am

      That sounds amazing to me!


Leave a Comment