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

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

sliced loaf of 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 in a glass bowl

2 images of 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 complement 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: We use buttermilk for added moisture, but also because the lactic acid in buttermilk is what helps the baking soda do its job. Want to use sour cream and milk instead? You definitely can. See my cinnamon swirl quick bread, which is another favorite recipe of mine. This bread batter recipe is similar and you can use 1/3 cup sour cream and 2/3 cup whole milk here too.
  • 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.

If you’re looking for another fall quick bread recipe, this apple cinnamon bread is a tried-and-true favorite.

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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. Another option is to use sour cream and milk instead of buttermilk. See my cinnamon swirl quick bread. This bread batter recipe is similar and you can use 1/3 cup sour cream and 2/3 cup whole milk here too.
  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.

slices of cranberry orange bread on a plate

208 Comments

  1. Made this cranberry bread today. What a treat! And, by the way. the streusel and glaze are not optional. They are a must. Thank you.

  2. Hi Sally,
    This bread brought me out of lurking. I made this bread yesterday with an HUGE succes. Even my husband who hates everything orangey taste loved it. It’s truly an amazing recipe. Thank you!

  3. I made this the other night and it was fabulous! My only problem (and it really wasn’t a problem) was that my streusel sunk to the bottom of my bread. It made the neatest little “smile” shape when I cut into it. It still tasted great and the glaze on top kept it looking wonderful, but it was a little weird. I guess there’s a chance I didn’t cut the butter into small enough pieces with my pastry cutter and it was just too heavy to stay on top. That, or it had something to do with the fact that I used “heavy duty” aluminum foil, which is thicker… so maybe the heat couldn’t get into the center of the bread fast enough, causing the streusel to sink… Either way, the bread tasted GREAT! 🙂 Another hit! Keep ’em coming! 🙂

  4. I saw this recipe and immediately thought of making it for guests we are having for Christmas! Since I usually never make a brand new recipe for guests, I thought I would give it a try last night! This bread is AMAZING!! I love making breads and I have to say that this is the best one yet! So delicious! My only flaw was covering it loosely with foil. I found after an hour it was not cooked at all. I left the foil off, but still had to bake it for 15-18 mins more mins before it was done. I think next time, I wouldn’t use the foil on top. This recipe is definitely making it on my meal planning list for our Christmas company! Great recipe!

  5. I made this for my family this past weekend… and they requested it again on Thanksgiving! Thanks for the great recipe! 🙂

  6. I made this today: it is delicious BUT the cranberries in the flour was a mistake! I got those annoying bits of flour that did not mix-in properly. Next time I would add the cranberries to the wet ingredients.

    Your recipes rock, by the way. I’ve made at least 10 in the past few months and this is the first minor glitch 🙂

    1. Thanks Sarah, you’re so sweet. I’m glad to hear how much you love my recipes! I like to mix the cranberries in with the dry ingredients so they won’t sink. You could sift your flour next time or just add with the wet.

  7. This cranberry bread was amazing. The icing really makes it. Will make it again.

  8. Well I have made this twice myself! My husband has about foundered on it, too. He has not been willing to share with the neighbors either. It is our new favorite! Thanks for sharing your baking passion with us.

  9. Hi Sally,

    I would like to make the orange cranberry bread in small loaves for neighbors. Can you tell me baking time and degrees for small loaves.
    Thanks,
    Mary Ann

    1. Hi Mary Ann. Same oven temperature, but I’m unsure of the bake time since I don’t have a small loaf pan. However, this batter can be baked into any shapes – muffins, mini muffins, mini loaves. I’m just unsure of the exact time.

  10. Anna Anderson says:

    If you put the streusel topping on it, how do you turn it out of the loaf pan and keep the topping on it intact? Can you/do you lift it out when it cools completely? I’ve always turned the pan upside down for baked cakes, breads, etc.

    1. Hey Anna! The streusel bakes into the top of the bread, so it really isn’t loose.

  11. I made this for my family for Christmas and everyone LOVED it! My husband even said it’s the best he has ever had, of these kinds of sweet/fruit breads. I used a bit extra on the cranberries, orange zest, and fresh squeezed juice, and it turned out amazing! Thank you for this recipe!

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

  13. 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!

  14. Katherine McFarlane says:

    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!

  15. 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.

  16. I just tried your cranberry orange bread and I was absolutely thrilled with how very good it is. I had tried the streusel topping somewhat against my judgment. But, I must admit, it really did enhance the taste experience. I did not use the glaze, perhaps the next time. Meanwhile, as soon as this loaf is finished, I will be baking another! Very good! Thank you for sharing your wonderful, creative recipes with those of us whom God has not gifted with such an ability, But, I can follow a recipe. Thanks again! I will be trying some other things on your site.

  17. 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!!

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

  19. 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 🙂

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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!!

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. Teri Corrales says:

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

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

  25. 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.

  26. My husband walked into the house from being outside in the yard and said…”Something smells good!” I just finished making this Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread (without the Orange Glaze) and could hardly wait to enjoy it with a cup of coffee. My first bite and I knew I had a keeper! Thanks for such a great recipe!

  27. This is delicious!!   The only thing I will do differently is add more cranberries–maybe another 1/2 cup.  The cranberries are so great contrasted with the sweet orange.  Definitely plan to make these for Christmas gifts. Thanks for the recipe!!

  28. These are amazing!!!!! So moist and flavorful. I just love them! Thank you for another winner ❤️

  29. Tried this recipe last weekend. OMG!!! YUMMY!!!!!! Takes some time to get the recipe put all together but the end result is fantastic. I doubled the recipe and gave 2 loaves away, and now I can of regret that I gave up so much yummy-ness 🙂 Definitely a repeat performance will be required. Now when I see a bag of cranberries I won’t think turkey……………….I’ll think SBA Orange Cranberry Bread!!! Thanks Sally!!!

  30. Hi Sally! I’m wondering if / how I can make this in an 8″ cake pan. I’d like to bake it for Christmas and think it might look a little fancier as a round cake. Should I use the same amount of batter and just adjust the baking time? Or would you recommend any other baking dish other than just the loaf (i.e. square, bundt)? Thanks so much for all that you do!!

    1. Hi Sallie! Do you have a 9-inch cake pan? I feel like the 8inch would be too small. Or do you have a 9-inch square pan?

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