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
  • 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.
  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, 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 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. Measure 2 teaspoons 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.
  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.

409 Comments

  1. 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.

      1. I always wondered why things sank. I like when they are evenly dispersed like in your recipe. my bread turned out to pretty as well as delicious!

  2. Hi Sally,
    What a wonderful recipe, I am making this today to take to the farmers market. I will share your recipe and blog post on my blog. 🙂

  3. As your post noted, most of these bread recipes tend to be dry. Dry as a bone. When I read in yours that you used oil instead of butter or margarine, I knew you were into something, as well as using buttermilk. Nice touch! I do agree with other posts about the streusel – it didn’t bake in the middle of the loaf as quickly as the rest, so I took the foil off, and that helped. I omitted the glaze, since the bread with the streusel was sweet enough for me. Really fantastic recipe overall. 🙂

  4. Well Sally, I made your Orange Cranberry Bread yesterday and must say it is the best I have ever tasted. I am sure the buttermilk is what made it so moist! I must admit though, I did not have any oranges and made it with red grapefruit….absolutely delicious!!
    I went all the way and added the streusel and glaze. Thank you for the recipe, it will be repeated many times!!

      1. Hi Sally,

        I forgot to tell you that I also did not have pecans in my cupboard but did have some almonds that I toasted before adding them to the dry mixture. What a marriage made in heaven! Thanks again and I will be baking your Banana Bread next as that is my husbands most favorite. I will let you know how it turns out!

  5. I can’t wait to make this, I bought too many cranberries I was looking for something festive. Also, thanks so much for converting the recipe into metric! It saves me a lot of time 🙂

  6. I have baked this bread 4x since you’ve posted it – we all go crazy over these thick, soft, tart, densely moist loaves! I bake a fresh loaf every time we start to run out. I store individually wrapped slices in the freezer for quick breakfasts or snacks in the morning. I even prefer the glazed, cinammon-y/crumbly, orangey-fruity slices over a chcolate baked good! My mom loved this bread at Thanksgiving and it is already on my Xmas baking list. My fiancée is never interested in sweets but he calls this bread “killer”. I have even had people ecstatically compare it to Starbucks Cranberry Bliss bars!

    Speaking of which, I have been refraining from trying any of the copycat recipes for Cranberry Bliss Bars in the hopes that you will someday post your version – I don’t trust most internet recipes but I trust yours to be fabulous! Any chance you could make this happen, pretty please?!

    1. Hi Anna! I am so happy that you love this quick bread recipe. I think I’ll have to agree with your husband. 😉

      I’m not sure I’ll be making cranberry bliss bars any time soon. So many bloggers have done them already and I wouldn’t want to step on any toes if our recipes were too similar. I do love those Starbucks treats though. They are my favorite this time of year. Ok, I have a ton of favorites. Maybe you could make one of the copycat recipes that has a lot of positive reviews?

  7. Can this be made ahead of time and frozen for eating later? Trying to get my baking done ahead of time and would love to give a loaf to each for a gift.

    1. Hi Tiffany! Yes, you may freeze this bread and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. I suggest glazing right before serving. Do not freeze with the glaze.

  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.

    1. Thanks Jeannie! So happy you both love this bread. It’s a family favorite over here too! And yes… hard to share with others. I agree!

      1. I made these into cupcakes with no changes to the recipe. Placed 2T batter in each paper lined cup. Topped with streusel and baked for 15 mins @ 350 and they turned out just fine. Used coated pans.
        These babies are going into the freezer so we can keep them on hand at all times!

  9. Hi Sally!
    MY boyfriend and I have both made this bread a few times now and we’ve both had the same issue with streusel sinking into the middle of the bread or not cooking correctly like yours. In the batch I most recently made I had evenly spread the streusel on top before baking and when I took it from the oven after baking there were chunks here and there. I’m just wondering what we could do to improve on this as I am not sure what I could do differently.

    1. Hi Delaney! To be honest, I haven’t had that issue before. I mean – yes the batter is quite thin but usually the streusel stays on top. Maybe you could bake the bread halfway through and then add the streusel on top? Or just leave it out all together.

      1. The thought of baking the bread half way and then adding stresuel had crossed my mind, but I was worried about compromising the bread. Now that you’ve suggested it I will absolutely give it a try! I’m an avid streusel lover myself, so I wouldn’t dream of leaving it out! Thank you very much for your help Sally. 🙂

  10. I recently found your website and the first thing I tried was this bread. It is AMAZING! I had several family members over and they kept complimenting me on how moist and deliscious it is. Can’t wait to try more recipes, but I plan on making this one again soon, maybe to send with my husband to work for his colleagues, but it may not make it! 😉

    1. Thanks Mary! I appreciate the comment! This bread is incredibly moist and flavorful which is why it’s a favorite with us, too!

      1. can i freeze the cranberry bread,i just made one and would like to make two more if i can freeze them.Thanks rose.

      2. Yes, you may freeze this bread and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. I suggest glazing right before serving. Do not freeze with the glaze.

  11. Hi Sally, I made this yesterday and it was the most moist orange cranberry I’ve ever made. My go to recipe for years has been from the joy of baking site: http://m.joyofbaking.com/quickbreads/CranberryOrangeBread.html

    It has a great taste but is too dry. I love your bread but I do miss the extra orange flavor from the orange juice that is used in this other recipe–3/4 cup. I am a plain jane and do not like strusel or icing so the strong orange taste in the bread is important. I was wondering, do you think I could do 3/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup OJ or 1/2 and 1/2? Just wondering if u think that would turn out okay. Thanks for answering if u have time! Patti

    1. Hi Patti! So happy you love how moist this bread is. That’s why I love it! If you want a stronger orange flavor – with no streusel or glaze – you can definitely do 1/2 OJ and 1/2 buttermilk. That shouldn’t be a problem at all. Maybe add a bit more zest too.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Sally, I have a grandson with dairy/casein allergies. Have you ever tried to make buttermilk with coconut, rice, almond, or soy milk, or is lactic acid in milk the key?

  15. Win, Win, One Hundred times Win!

    The orange, the cinnamon, the cranberry swirl on my taste buds so deliciously perfect!

    This is the first recipe I’ve tried, but you can be darned sure Imma try some more!!!

  16. Holy leavening agent, batman, my bread rose up and over the sides. Next time I I will fill them 2/3 full instead of 3/4. I added orange juice to the mix. Delicious!!!

  17. God almighty, this is the best bread I’ve ever had! It’s more like a cross between a cake and a bread. By all means add the streusel and glaze. My daughter and I gobbled up almost the whole loaf on 30 minutes!

  18. I don’t bake. At all. I found this website yesterday while looking for a magic bar recipe (to wrangle my friend into baking for me!) But the beatiful pictures and fun, accessible writing lulled into thinking I could do this myself. Then I got distracted (oooh, shiny!) by the glazed orange cranberry bread. Next thing I knew, I was at the store buying ingredients. Last night I made buttermilk! And strussel! AND BREAD! I dutifully waited until this morning to glaze and test-drive my little creation…and proceeded to eat half the loaf!

    This is bad. Being able to make this bread at-will is dangerous. Next I’m going to make magic bars (oh! And no-bake peanut butter/chocolate bars!) This is your fault, Sally. I blame you.

    1. Hi Katherine! So glad you found my website. And I love those magic bars and the no-bake PB/chocolate bars. Those no-bake bars are my fiance’s favorite. But this bread? It’s amazing. I agree with you! Thanks for reporting back. I love hearing about it!

  19. This bread is awesome!!! I will admit, I did sub the buttermilk… I used kefir instead, figuring they are similar, and it turned out great 🙂 I have a stoneware mini loaf pan that makes 4 loaves, in place of 1 large- not sure on the baking time, 35-45 mins maybe (just keep an eye on it after 30 and test)? Anyway, this bread was so good, I am in love! It was a definite winner in this house- kids and husband all enjoyed it. Now I am off to bake some more to share the delicousness with others! Thanks for the superb recipe!

  20. This loaf is sooooo delicious and good-looking! After reading about how it remains fresh and moist for a few days, I decided to make this loaf to bring with me to Germany for Christmas with my boyfriend’s family. His aunt had never had fresh cranberries, only dried (fresh cranberries are rare in Germany, and if any, they’re crazy expensive). It was a complete hit with his aunt and the rest of the family.

    I substituted the buttermilk with 3/4 cup of yogurt + 1/4 cup cream. It worked out wonderfully. I did have to bake 10 mins longer (total 1 hr 10 mins).

    Thank you for this recipe!

  21. I know you already have a plethora of compliments on this bread, but this is seriously one of the best things I’ve baked! I have made it several times over the holidays, and I’m going to be so sad when the last two bags of cranberries I have in the fridge are gone and I won’t have any frozen to use during the rest of the year to make this. Thanks SO much for the amazing recipe!

  22. This is the first recipe of yours that I have tried and it is irresistible. So flavourful and moist. And this is without the streusel or the glaze! I can only imagine how amazing it will be with the glaze tomorrow! Thank you for sharing and I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    1. Enjoy the bread today with the glaze, Jenny! Love this recipe so much. Made it a few times over the holidays. Always a hit!

  23. I’ve made this several times now and love it!! I changed it up a bit using pistachios and switching to 2 3×7 pans – all the better for sharing! I wasn’t sure if I would like the struesel but it is perfect and would be a little flat without it. Thanks for sharing!!

  24. I just finished making 2 loaves of this.. replacing cranberries with raisins and cashew nuts since cranberries are expensive here in PH..
    the batter itself was really tasty and i love the citrus flavor of it…. yummm!!.. ill be tasting them tomorrow morning.. it smells great…cant wait to get a slice.. hehe…
    Such a refreshing bread sally.. keep it up..

  25. 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!

  26. Hello Sally! This bread looks so lovely! I happen to be stuck with a can of orange segments in juice (my English girlfriend misunderstood my ambrosia salad shopping list somewhat tragically), and I’m looking for a recipe to use at least some of them up in. Do you think I could try it here, or would the acid/liquid ratio of the whole bread get thrown off? Am I better off making an orange upside down cake (http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1510659/sticky-orange-upsidedown-cake) or some such?

    Thanks for the lovely recipe, well-organize blog, and any tips you might be able to offer!
    Erin

    1. Hey Erin! Your orange upside down cake sounds incredible. 🙂 you could also make this bread. Drain the orange segments and put some in this bread batter. Maybe about 1/2 cup of them? You can use the juice in the glaze, too!

      1. Thanks so much, I tried this amendment and it worked a charm! Just a slightly longer cooking time.

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