Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread

This moist & flavorful orange cranberry bread is packed with orange zest and tart cranberries, topped with cinnamon streusel, and finished with orange glaze. It’s one of my favorite quick bread recipes to prepare because it always draws a crowd!

orange cranberry bread

Welcome back, cranberry orange bread! I’ve made this quick bread at least 5x the past month (honestly, I’ve lost count… it’s one of my favorites!) and decided to add a few updates to the original post. By the way, it freezes beautifully.

When I think of the fall season, many flavor duos come to mind, but no flavor combination is more delicious than orange + cranberry. I love tart cranberries paired with sunshine-sweet orange. Over the years I’ve shared recipes for cranberry orange muffins, cranberry orange bundt cake, and cranberry orange scones— all incredible, but nothing rivals today’s quick bread. It’s the original and I recommend making two loaves because trust me, it will disappear quickly!

cranberry orange bread

orange cranberry bread

3 Parts to Orange Cranberry Bread

  1. Bread: To ensure a moist and flavorful bread, we turn to my cinnamon swirl chocolate chip bread recipe– readers love this bread and I do, too. Using that batter as the base, it’s easy to create new and exciting flavors.
  2. Streusel: Homemade cinnamon streusel comes together with simple everyday ingredients and is a welcome addition to this quick bread. You’ll love the textural variation in each bite. While I believe streusel is never optional, this bread is still dazzling without!
  3. Orange Glaze: A drizzle of orange glaze on top heightens the bright orange flavor of this orange cranberry bread.

Craving plain cranberry bread? You can leave off the streusel and/or orange glaze. Same bake time and temperature.

cranberry orange bread batter

orange cranberry bread streusel topping

Cranberry Bread Ingredients

Don’t be overwhelmed by the ingredient list below– you’ll notice most of the ingredients are repeated in each part of the recipe.

  • Flour: All-purpose flour is the base of this quick bread recipe. Because we’re loading it up with lots of add-ins, we need a sturdy flour.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda helps the bread rise.
  • Salt + Vanilla Extract: Salt and vanilla extract add flavor. (Try using homemade vanilla extract.)
  • Cranberries: We use 1 cup of chopped cranberries. I recommend using fresh or frozen cranberries, though dried cranberries will also work. If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw.
  • Pecans or Walnuts: While optional, chopped nuts are a wonderful addition and compliment the flavors of the bread. I always use them!
  • Egg: One egg binds everything together.
  • Sugar: We use both brown sugar and granulated sugar to sweeten this bread.
  • Buttermilk: No substitutions. We use buttermilk for added moisture, but also because the lactic acid in buttermilk is what helps the baking soda do its job. See my recipe note about a DIY alternative.
  • Oil: While butter provides unbelievable flavor, nothing beats the moisture that oil brings. We use oil in this quick bread recipe to produce a moist and soft bread, and also because the flavor of butter would get lost with all of the other flavors.
  • Orange Zest: Orange zest adds a lovely punch of flavor to the bread. Save the juice for the orange glaze!

orange cranberry bread in a loaf pan

How to Make Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread

  1. Make the streusel. Use your hands, two forks, or a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into the other streusel ingredients. The colder the butter, the less likely the streusel will sink down into the cooking bread.
  2. Make the batter. Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients together in another. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until no lumps remain. No electric mixer needed!
  3. Pour into prepared pan. Top with streusel.
  4. Bake. This 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. Quick breads are thick and having the center baked through properly takes time.
  5. Make the glaze. Combine ingredients together and drizzle over cooled bread.
  6. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Similar to banana bread and carrot cake, this bread was even more flavorful and moist on day 2. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it warm out of the oven, but I especially enjoy it the next morning. It’s a perfect treat to serve guests because you can make it the evening before.

orange cranberry bread

Two Baking Tips

  1. Buy an oven thermometer. Unless you have a brand new or regularly calibrated oven, your oven’s temperature is likely inaccurate. Incorrect temperature ruins baked goods and you waste hours spent on the recipe and money spent on ingredients. The inexpensive remedy to this mess is an oven thermometer. While cheap, they’re irreplaceable in a baker’s kitchen. Place it in your oven so you always know the actual temperature.
  2. Cover your bread with aluminum foil. I note this in the instructions below as a reminder. About halfway through baking, loosely cover the loaf with aluminum foil. This will allow your bread to bake evenly on all sides and prevent the top from getting too brown before the center bakes through.
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orange cranberry bread

Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This is moist and tender orange cranberry bread with buttery streusel and a zingy orange glaze. It’s perfect for guests or with a warm cup of tea in the early morning or afternoon. See notes for freezing instructions.


Ingredients

Streusel

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

Bread

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (105g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, at room temperature*
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 cup (110g) cranberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw)*
  • optional: 1/2 cup (65g) chopped pecans or chopped walnuts

Glaze

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Make the streusel first: Whisk the flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter, your hands, or two forks until mixture resembles pea-size crumbs. It’s important to keep the streusel cold, so place in the refrigerator (covered or uncovered) until ready to use in step 4.
  3. Make the bread: Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and orange zest. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then whisk to completely combine. Avoid over-mixing. Fold in the cranberries and nuts (if using).
  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. Cover 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 usually takes 1 hour. Cool bread completely in the pan set 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. Drizzle over cooled bread.
  7. Slice and serve. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: For longer storage, you can freeze the glazed or unglazed bread for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before glazing (if needed) and serving.
  2. Cranberries: 1 cup dried cranberries may be used instead of fresh/frozen. You can slice the cranberries in half, if desired. I leave them whole.
  3. Buttermilk: Buttermilk (an acid) is required for this quick bread recipe. If you don’t have any, you can make a DIY sour milk substitute. Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 cup. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the bread won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
  4. Muffins: Grease a 12-count muffin pan or line with liners. Prepare streusel and batter in steps 2 + 3. Spoon the batter evenly into each liner, filling each to the top. Press streusel into the tops of each. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 20-22 minutes, give or take. Cool muffins for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Makes 18 muffins.

Keywords: orange cranberry bread

Quick Bread Recipes

I welcome easy recipes around the holidays. What I love most about quick breads is that they’re universally delicious and, best of all, they’re QUICK! Here are a few seasonal quick bread recipes to make next:

See all of my quick bread recipes.

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

388 Comments

  1. So good! …my sun words
    Thank you for this gorgeous recipe…I will try also muffins

  2. This was so good! I doubled the recipe, but I didn’t have buttermilk, or white vinegar or lemon, so I had to use cutie orange juice to make buttermilk…..When I type that it sounds really weird, but it kinda worked. It was still delicious. I also have to use half of the oil, because I didn’t have enough, but again, it still turned out amazing! I also love the streusel on top, but next time, I am going to use a little more butter, and a tiny bit of vanilla. Anyway, I think a recipe is perfect when you don’t have all of the ingredients and it still turns out great. Oh, Also, I didn’t burn it! I am very proud of that detail.
    Thank you so so so so so much!!!
    Madeleine

    1. Loved the recipe.
      I live in Wisconsin where we have many cranberry farms. Purchase in bulk and divide in 2 cup bags.
      This recipe for me made 3 mini loafs. Two I made with black walnuts, nuts came from my back yard.
      Would make this bread again.

  3. I’m trying to be healthier but I’m also a baking addict thanks to you so I made this as written besides swapping the flour out for bobs red mill gluten free flour and I skipped the streusel and glaze. When I put it in the oven, I noticed the recipe for cranberry bread on the bag of cranberries and called for OJ instead of the buttermilk and I got worried the bread wouldn’t have enough orange flavor. Why did I doubt you?! Your bread is perfection. I froze some for when parents visit for the holidays but we’ll see if my willpower lasts that long haha!

  4. Patricia Eshleman says:

    Loved this recipe…made just as written! As Sally says, this freezes well!

  5. I have a thermometer in my oven that can be put into anything. What should the temp be set in for cranberry orange bread? Thank you. Can’t wait to make this

  6. Hi Sally,
    Can you use orange peel spice for the orange zest in this recipe?

    1. Hi Janice! I can’t see why not, though it is my understanding that orange peel spice is more potent than fresh orange zest, so I would reduce down to 1/2 teaspoon.

  7. Linda G Mason says:

    Made this per recipe using fresh cranberries. It was a beautiful loaf and delicious. This will be my hostess gift of choice this year!

  8. Hi Sally,

    Love your recipes and excited to try this one. I’d like to divide this into smaller loaf pans. Would the baking time be decreased?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Ingrid, Yes the bake time would be less in smaller pans! I’m unsure of the size of your pans so I can’t recommend the exact time, but poke the center of the bread with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the bread is done!

  9. Thank you Sally for this very delicious cranberry bread. I skipped the orange glaze, and it still came out so perfect! I shared with some colleagues, and they all ranted and raved about it. Definitely making this again. BTW – would you have the nutritional information for this bread?

    1. I’m so happy the bread was a hit, Cynthia! I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  10. I have been a professional Baker for over 10 years and I must say that this recipe is wonderful. I adjusted the amount of cranberry and added orange zest to the glaze and “BAM” the perfect bread came out of it. Thank you for this recipe as my family will enjoy it for many, many years to come.

  11. I am so thankful for this recipe! My family loves it and it’s the perfect addition to any holiday party. One thing that though now that I’ve made it a few times is that I noticed my streusel topping (although icy cold and in pea-size crumbles) was melting right into the bread every time. This last time I made it, I decided to add my streusel topping when there were 20 minutes left to bake and it was perfect. Streusel topping added the perfect crunch at that point. We loved it!

  12. Just made the orange glazed cranberry bread this morning and must say DELISH! It is not overly sweet and the glaze gives it just enough sweetness. Also love the fact that I don’t have to haul out my kitchen aid mixer, so easy to throw together. Going to try making mini loaves to give as little gifts but thought I will cut berries in half as whole ones might be too much for the small (3 x 5 1/2) pans. Thanks for all your great recipes.

  13. I made this in mini loafs and handed them out for neighbor Christmas treats. I got so many compliments and people asking for the recipe!

  14. The best recipe ever! Very moist and flavorful. Highly recommend trying this out!

  15. I made this bread today. Can you tell me why the very center of the bread collapsed a bit?

    1. Hi Terri! Usually baked goods that collapse in the center aren’t fully baked. Or the leaveners used were expired. I recommend tenting the bread with foil after 30 minutes and baking for a few extra minutes.

  16. I can always trust my sweets will come out great when I follow your recipes. I looovve this one. I had bought cranberry orange muffins from Costco and I thought about them all year. Then, I got busy. So, I made them myself. Yours are far better. I used 5 mini loafs ( 5 5/8 x 3 3/16 × 1 15/16) and cooked for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Perfectly moist! I did not have brown sugar so I just added more plain sugar. I am sure it will be even better next time. And I agree, the struessel always makes it better.

    1. Thanks, M! That’s my mini loaf pan size. How full did you fill the mini loaf pans? I’m new to baking, and I seem to screw this up when I convert from a large loaf to mini loaves. 🙂

  17. so so good! I made 3 loaves for Christmas – 2 as teacher gifts and one for a family party. They were a huge hit! For one loaf, I subbed white choc. chips instead of nuts and left off the glaze. AMAZING! Thanks for always bringing the quality recipes that I know I can trust to be great!

  18. Emily M. Gomez says:

    Hey Sally! I just made this and i want to say how amazing this is! Very delicious and refreshing with the orange glaze. I can’t stop eating!

  19. Trudie Wilson says:

    Made this Orange Cranberry Bread today and baked it in 4 small loaf pans (better to freeze and give away). Absolutely delicious! Very light and moist.

    1. How long did you bake the small loafs?

      1. Hi Majlax, a 9×5 inch loaf pan takes 45 minutes to 1 hour to bake. You can make this in multiple smaller loaf pans but I’m unsure of the bake time.

  20. Hi Sally, do you think dried cranberries would work? Thanks!

    1. Absolutely!

  21. Love this!!! It’s delicious and my family loves it

  22. Hi Sally – I made these with Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free flour – 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup of gluten free oats, due to Celiac. I omitted the flour in the streusel and used oats instead for that. I didn’t have vegetable oil, but I did have walnut oil on hand, which complimented the walnuts I opted to add. The cake came out super delicious and really moist. I baked them as you noted – 5 mins @ 425 degrees F, then a bit more for 18 mins (vs 15-17) @ 350 degrees F. The recipe yielded 20 muffins.

  23. Amazing recipe, just perfect! I made this for the first time 2 days ago, but will definitely not be the last. The streusel is a great addition along with the glaze. I agree with some other comments, can’t stop eating this! Moist, not crumbly, and delicious.

  24. Do you think powdered buttermilk mixed with water to equal the recipe yields the same results? The label ingredients include lactic acid. Just wondering also about moistness and richness of the bread using this. Thanks

    1. Hi Connie, Yes you can use the powdered buttermilk!

  25. Hi Sally – I made a double recipe today (without glaze) – soured regular milk (a technique that took me back to childhood baking), used whole frozen cranberries, macadamia nuts (what I had on hand), and cut the sugar in both the dough and streusel by 1/3. A double recipe yielded 1 large and 3 small loaf pans – at 350 degrees, the small loaves took 45-50 minutes, and the larger the full hour. Reducing the sugar produced a tart loaf, with just a hint of sweetness close to the top half with the streusel – which appeals to my family’s tastebuds. Great recipe, and I’ll definitely make again.

  26. Julie Moyes says:

    Hi. Got confused and had the foil on it for 45 minutes and then re-read the instructions and whipped off the foil. It is now browning up, but just wanted to recommend that others read the directions carefully. It is a packed page of instructions and easy to overlook things.

  27. Aunt Foo Foo says:

    Not to long ago I tried a recipe from the Taste of Home Cranraisin orange bread. Okay but left me wanted more from the bread. I just made 3 loaves and tried a barely warm slice with all the goodness of the streusel and glaze. It is absolutely heavenly. We have a family get together this summer and this will go great with a continental breakfasts.

    I love baking and someone else mention using the juice of cuties to add to the milk. I usually do the vinegar but like the flavor of the orange in the bread. I tried it too 2 tablespoons orange juices and 1 teaspoon vinegar to the cup of milk as a sub for buttermilk. I don’t know at this point if it adds more orange flavor or not but it couldn’t hurt. Either way I don’t want to try it without it because it is so wonderful. My home smells so warm and welcoming right now. I wish someone would drop in for coffee.

  28. Just made this in mini-loaves, and it is wonderful! May I make a suggestion to add to the instructions? My streusel melted into the top of the bread. I re-read through the post and I see that your recommendation is to keep the streusel/butter-in-the-streusel as cold as possible so this doesn’t happen. Your instructions say to make the streusel first (I’m assuming that’s so the batter doesn’t sit around while you’re making the streusel?). Maybe add to the instructions to put the streusel in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to put it on the bread so the butter stays cold? I’m not very quick at putting ingredients together, so the butter became warm while I was working on the rest of the bread. Maybe this will help other, slower/lesser-skilled bakers as well?
    But the bread is AMAZING nonetheless. I’m going to make it again tonight and freeze the streusel before I put it on the bread (and add more cranberries!). Thank you!

    1. What a great suggestion. Thanks so much, Jamie! Glad you enjoyed this recipe.

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