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

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  1. I definitely am going to have to make this when I’m home for Christmas. Not only does this flavor combination sound good to me but I know my mom would LOVE it. Mmm. Thanks for the baking science info… always so informative!

    1. Yeah! I love this bread. You and your mom have to try it Erin.

  2. Haha it’s a VERY long post Tieghan! And thanks for the well wishes today. It’s freezing outside and very windy, of course. My luck.

  3. This is just screaming holiday time!! Love it!

  4. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

    That bread looks like it was made for Christmas!

  5. This looks delicious! I rather be home baking my heart out than working! I always check your blog everyday as my morning routine before I start work. It really puts me in a great mood 🙂

    1. Sharon, that makes my day. Thanks for always visiting my blog!

  6. Erin | The Law Student's Wiferin says:

    Turn on Christmas music and dance around your living room <—my every weeknight from Thanksgiving to New Year's!
    Also, I know you said the streusel/glaze are optional (and I trust you) but seriously…who could resist??

    1. Haha! Erin, I only said streusel and glaze are optional because I have some readers who may think this bread is too sweet. But both are never optional for me. 😉

  7. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate says:

    What festive colours, I love it!

  8. The bread has holidays and this kind of season all wrapped up inside! This is a must to have around the house for sure!!

  9. Oh my gosh these look so yummy!! I’m actually posting this comment wondering if you could help me with something 🙂
    I’m making this weekend some cupcakes that I’ll frost with your vanilla & cinnamon frosting, but I wanted to make them chocolate cupcakes… I’ve seen you have a few chocolate cupcakes recipes but all look so delicious I can’t chose one!! So maybe you could help me telling me which is (are) your favorite? Can’t believe it’s been a while since I’ve been making cupcakes but never made chocolate ones… hahaha.

    1. Hey Martha! Great question. I have three chocolate cupcakes on my website. 1 recipe uses cake mix if you’re in a real pinch. 1 recipe was developed from one of my favorite cookbooks and the other recipe is developed by me! To be honest, I love the cake mix recipe for ease and if you are in a rush. However, I love the taste of “homemade” better and I would go with my own recipe, which is this one: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/07/12/death-by-chocolate-cupcakes/

      They would be great with the cinnamon/vanilla swirl frosting!

      1. Thank you so much for the reply, Sally! I’m baking these this weekend, I’ll tell you how they turn out! I’m glad you mentioned the non-cake mix recipe one because I believe we don’t have those here where I’m from (I’m Spanish!) I can’t wait to bake them, sugar and chocolate are waiting for me :)!

  10. Strusel Optional????

    This looks great! Plan to try with a gluten free flour mix

    1. Streusel is optional, yes (but not in my kitchen!!). Let me know how your GF version works out. Thanks Kristen!

  11. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says:

    I JUST bought cranberries yesterday for a recipe I wanted to make, and I will have leftover cranberries. I think you just told me what I need to make with the rest!

    1. Yeah! Erin, if you try this cranberry loaf – let me know!

  12. So excited to try this recipe. I love the combo of cranberry and orange flavor. I just made cranberry orange scones this weekend that were awesome. Could I use dried cranberries (craisins)? I have a huge bag of them and I’m thinking they would work perfectly fine.

    1. Yep, craisins may be used instead. I just added that into the post so others can know that as well. Thanks Jesse!

  13. Can craisins be used or dried cranberries??? Maybe they woudnt be as moist?

  14. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent says:

    This break looks amazing 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  15. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    Gorgeous bread, wish I had a slice for breakfast!

  16. Sounds yummy. I know what I will be baking at the weekend!

  17. You have totally made my day! I have been looking for The Right sweet tea bread recipe to include in Christmas packages this year and this looks absolutely perfect. Can’t wait to make it – thank you! 🙂

    1. Perfect! Let me know how the bread turns out.

  18. jodye @ whole pure recipes says:

    I do this thing where I “accidentally’ eat all the streusel off the top of quickbreads, coffee cakes, etc., and then everyone gets mad at me. So one time, I just made a big bowl of streusel for everyone to share. That being said, I’d’ totally eat all of this bread. I love the classic combination of cranberries and oranges. Once I start with the cranberries this time of year, I just can’t stop!

    1. A big bowl of streusel? You’re my hero. Seriously. Why is it so darn good? Probably the butter and sugar.

  19. Ally @ The Cheery Baker says:

    I completely agree with you, sometimes you come across a lot of dry cranberry bread that it starts to steer you away from it all together. But this is so much cheaper to make than buying it at the store, I love this idea. Looks delicious once again, Sally!

    1. Ally @ The Cheery Baker says:

      And I’m SO glad I’m not alone in already dancing around my house to Christmas music 🙂

      1. Hahahaha. I admit, I love Christmas music in the month of November. 25 days in December is not enough!

  20. Cate @ Chez CateyLou says:

    This bread looks so festive, and so good! Dry quick breads are the worst!! What a disappointment that must have been at the coffee shop – good thing you knew how to fix that problem! Have fun Christmas music dancing 🙂

    1. “Have fun Christmas music dancing” – oh I will!

  21. Yay! Grams as well as cups. Thank you! 🙂

  22. Oh yummy – I have such fond memories of cranberry/orange bread from my childhood. I cannot wait to try this one! ~smile~

  23. This bread looks FABULOUS and im dreading the next few hours i have to get through before i can make this!! already took the eggs outs 🙂 thank you for another amazing looking recipe sally

    1. Great! Let me know how your bread turns (turned?) out, Anna!

  24. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    “flavorless, crumbly mess. I don’t even know why I wasted my $4” – That is the story of my life with MOST things I buy out, to the point I rarely bother anymore. I was just in Vegas and paid $7 for a hotel cup of coffee with an add shot of espresso. And it was a small, gross cup. For $7 i could have bought a whole CAN of coffee and brewed at home for a month and for $4 you can make a whole loaf of bread..yeah girl, I know!

    This bread is gorg! Last week I made Cranberry White Choc Cake and tomorrow I have another cran recipe. I love this season. I love how moist, soft, and fluffy your bread is, Sally! Pinned!

    1. Hotel coffee is SO overpriced and it’s not even that good!

      Thanks for the kind word about my loaf Averie – and thanks for pinning!

  25. I haven’t tried cranberries and orange together in a baked good, I’ve only used it in my homemade mincemeat and my homemade cranberry jam. So need to try it, looks delicious Sally! Btw what photo editing programmes do you use?

    1. Hi Laura! I use Adobe Lightroom as my editing software.

  26. Beth @ bethcakes says:

    This bread is so pretty! I just love the visual pop of color cranberries add, in addition to the flavor. I love that you just went home and totally showed up that crummy cranberry bread. Go you! 🙂 This makes me want to bake with cranberries as soon as I get home!

  27. Jennie @themessybakerblog says:

    Sally, that is one purdy loaf of bread. I love all the baking science you sprinkle in (I’m such a science nerd). And that glaze looks wicked good. Pinned.

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only science nerd around these parts, Jennie. 😉 Thanks for pinning!

  28. Loveeee this bread Sally! I am on a HUGE cranberry / orange kick right now. I’ve made cookies, scones, granola bars…. cupcakes are in the oven as I’m writing this …. but no bread. That clearly needs to change : ) Plus, I feel like this would be totally acceptable for breakfast, right?? lol

    1. cranberry/orange cupcakes?!?!?! Must see those when you post them Ashley!

    2. PS: YES! This is 100% breakfast food in my opinion. It’s fruity and has orange juice.

  29. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    I love orange and cranberry together. This sounds great!

  30. This bread is absolutely stunning! The fresh orange zest combined with the cranberries … *swoon* Pinning! Oh, and your last post was incredibly helpful. I’ve always wondered how much money big bloggers made in the beginning and it was nice to have tangible numbers to look at. All your recommendations and sources were detailed and I really appreciate how much time you spent on that post. Well, all your posts really! You always prepare us readers to be successful with your recipes!

    1. Thanks Mary, I appreciate it! I know when I read cookbooks for example, I like a lot of detail so I can learn to make the recipe the best way. Even though some may think I provide *too much information* – I personally think it’s helpful to know as much as possible. Anyway, I’m rambling. Thanks for pinning this loaf!

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