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

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 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: 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.
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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

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.

389 Comments

  1. Hi Sally
    This recipe looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it, along with the other zillion recipes of yours I want to try. Would dried cranberries work just as well with this? It’s not very easy to get fresh or frozen cranberries in the UK.

    1. Hi Alice! Yes, 1 cup of dried cranberries would be just fine. Enjoy!

      1. Just saw the * next to it on the ingredients list. Whoops! Thanks, Sally.

  2. Emily @ Life on Food says:

    I feel like I have never had a good, moist cranberry baked good. This looks delicious. I would love to wake up to this loaf on Thanksgiving morning.

  3. Oh my gosh, Sally, you just made my day :D. Cranberry and orange is one of my favorite combinations ever!! I would take cranberry, orange, lemon, lime, coconut, or any kind of berry over chocolate of any kind, every time! I can’t even tell you how gorgeous these pictures are and how much I want to make this bread! Tartness and fruitiness rock my world. Beautiful colors, too. 🙂 Thank you!!

    1. I knew you’d love this recipe Caley!! Let me know if you try it. 😀

  4. Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} says:

    I absolutely LOVE the flavor combination of cranberry and orange! Oh yum. I will have to do some experimenting and attempt to come up with a vegan version of this, because it is just incredible looking!

    1. I have no doubt you could make this vegan Anna!

  5. Heather @ French Press says:

    my mom, sister, and I would always make cranberry loaves to gift at the holidays, but I don’t think I have made it since. What a delicious bread Sally

  6. That cranberry bread looks delicious! I’ve never seen crumb topping on cranberry bread before, but that’s a completely genius idea (crumb topping makes everything better, right?). I will definitely be trying this over Christmas break!

  7. 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.

    1. SO happy you love this bread Leslie!

  8. What a beautiful bread. This would definitely brighten the Thanksgiving Day table. Can’t wait to see those sparkly shoes and smiling faces!

    1. Thanks Eileen! I’ll be sure to post a few photos from the session.

  9. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says:

    Cranberry orange bread is one of my holiday favorites, but the glaze on this is extra special!

  10. Rochelle @ Oh So Sweet Baker says:

    This bread is soooo beautiful. It really is. The love orange hues with that pop of red. Definitely a Christmas loaf

  11. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    I LOVE this quickbread! It would be so perfect to wrap these up with a cute little bow and give them to friends and family for the holidays!

    1. A cute little bow would be perfect with this colorful bread. Love your gift-giving idea Chung-Ah.

  12. 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.

  13. Amy, you took the words right out of my mouth. We DO have higher expectations as bakers!

  14. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) says:

    Sally “Streusel” McKenney. Has a great ring to it! 😉 I like it.

    This bread looks fantastic! And these photos are so vibrant and beautiful. I love anything with orange and cranberry this time of year. A flavor combination that can’t be beat!

    PS. Totally feel you on the bad baked goods out at cafes/coffee shops. I always end up regretting those!

    1. Hahaha yes, that’s totally my name. 😉 I don’t even know why I bought that piece of cranberry bread. It looked irresistible though and I was starving. Lesson learned!

  15. Yankee Kitchen Ninja (Julianne) says:

    I freakin’ love cranberry bread — and the streusel will NOT be optional when I make this. 🙂 In the past, I have had issues with the cranberries’ acidity discoloring the metal loaf pan. Since your photos show a metal, unlined pan, have you ever had the same issue and/or a fix? Thx.

    1. To be honest, I have never had an issue with the cranberries bleeding! Perhaps because this loaf doesn’t use *too* many? Just 1 cup for the whole loaf. But no, I’ve never had any issues!

  16. Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry says:

    This bread looks delicious! Plus, I love how you added two different toppings.

  17. Melissa @ Treats With a Twist says:

    I wore sparkly shoes for my wedding! It was a definite must! Enjoy your photo shoot. I’ll always treasure the memories I have from ours.
    The bread sounds amazing. I live for a crumble topping! And cranberry and orange just belong together, right? Love. I hate spending money on a coffee shop pastry and finding out I could’ve made it better (almost always the case). Glad you were so inspired 🙂

    1. Melissa, I don’t even know why I wasted my money at the coffee shop. It looked deceivingly good though! Anyway, I love that you wore sparkly shoes on your wedding day. Because if you can’t wear them that day – when can you!!??

  18. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen says:

    Cranberries and orange zest are so heavenly together! I love baking with this combo this time of year. Such great tips for everyday baking, too. Thanks for sharing, Sally!

  19. 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!

    1. Gabi, I’m so glad to hear it! Thank you for reporting back. I love this quick bread so much.

  20. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain says:

    This bread is the most amazing example of “lush” I could imagine! It looks so moist and flavorful, Sally. I’m thinking this would be the best breakfast bread to whip up for the week of Thanksgiving! 😀

    1. Yes! I plan to make it the week of Thanksgiving again. Thanks Jess!

  21. I lost my loaf pan in a recent move and was wondering if I could bake this in any other types of pans?

    1. Hi Whitney – this batter may be made as muffins or mini loaves or perhaps even a 9-inch cake baked at 350F, but I am unsure of the baking times since I usually just make it as a loaf.

  22. Richard Randall says:

    That is a great looking bread. Very festive. It’s now on my Christmas baking list.

  23. 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! 🙂

  24. Love this colorful bread! Adding to a recipe round up 🙂

    1. Thanks for including my recipe Marla! xo

  25. Hi Sally!

    I love your site/blog! Can you please tell me what the baking time would be if I were to make mini loaves?

    Like these: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0045Y17Q8/ref=asc_df_B0045Y17Q82834584?smid=A1THOOYIFSR7I&tag=nextagusmp0355885-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395105&creativeASIN=B0045Y17Q8

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Nicole! I can’t say exactly without trying it myself. I would keep an eye on them and poke them in the centers with a toothpick until they come out clean – that is when they’d be done.

  26. 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!

    1. Aimee, I’m the same way. I never, ever make a “new” recipe for guests. I am always testing it. Must be perfect, right? I’m happy this bread was a winner for you! Maybe you could put the foil on the bread if you see the top browning next time.

  27. Tell us your favorite: the fresh cranberries or frozen? I have only ever used craisins in my cranberry bread so I’m wondering about the others and which to try.

    1. Hi Sheila! I’ve baked this bread with both fresh and frozen and truthfully have no preference. I typically always have cranberries in the freezer and don’t really keep fresh on hand. So it’s usually frozen for me. It’s just easier!

  28. This bread certainly looks perfect!! I can’t wait to try it out 🙂 I love these flavors

  29. Hi Glenn! I am beyond excited that you tried (and loved!) this bread. It’s truly one of the best quick breads I’ve ever had. I love its flavors! Happy your little changes worked out perfectly as well. And I love those oatmeal lemon bars too!

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

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