Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread

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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

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.

Recipe 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.

Did you make a recipe?

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© 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. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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.


  1. So festive! I love festive foods!
    This bread looks incredibly moist and perfect. I love that you used buttermilk to keep things extra moist, it truly is the secret to almost all moist baked goods!
    Have fun today! I cannot wait to see the photos! Oh and I promise I will get through all of yesterdays post soon. I am halfway through and it’s incredible!

    1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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. 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. 😉

  4. 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:

      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 :)!

  5. 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.

  6. Christmas music playing while you’re baking during the holidays is a MUST in the kitchen. There’s nothing wrong with shaking your boot-ay while baking some cookies and all things delicious 😉

    This bread looks FANTASTIC and, as always, I love any recipe with buttermilk in it whether it’s needed or not!

    1. I just laughed out loud reading “shaking your boot-ay while baking some cookies” – because I am absolutely going to do that this Christmas season. Haha! Thanks Lauren.

    1. Yep, dried cranberries would be fine as well (same amount). The moisture in this bread isn’t necessarily from the fresh (or frozen) cranberries, it’s from the buttermilk, brown sugar, and oil.

  7. 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! 🙂

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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 🙂

  11. 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

  12. “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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally