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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 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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.




  • 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


  • 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


  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons orange juice


  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.


  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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi Sally – I made a double recipe today (without glaze) – soured regular milk (a technique that took me back to childhood baking), used whole frozen cranberries, macadamia nuts (what I had on hand), and cut the sugar in both the dough and streusel by 1/3. A double recipe yielded 1 large and 3 small loaf pans – at 350 degrees, the small loaves took 45-50 minutes, and the larger the full hour. Reducing the sugar produced a tart loaf, with just a hint of sweetness close to the top half with the streusel – which appeals to my family’s tastebuds. Great recipe, and I’ll definitely make again.

  2. Hi. Got confused and had the foil on it for 45 minutes and then re-read the instructions and whipped off the foil. It is now browning up, but just wanted to recommend that others read the directions carefully. It is a packed page of instructions and easy to overlook things.

  3. Not to long ago I tried a recipe from the Taste of Home Cranraisin orange bread. Okay but left me wanted more from the bread. I just made 3 loaves and tried a barely warm slice with all the goodness of the streusel and glaze. It is absolutely heavenly. We have a family get together this summer and this will go great with a continental breakfasts.

    I love baking and someone else mention using the juice of cuties to add to the milk. I usually do the vinegar but like the flavor of the orange in the bread. I tried it too 2 tablespoons orange juices and 1 teaspoon vinegar to the cup of milk as a sub for buttermilk. I don’t know at this point if it adds more orange flavor or not but it couldn’t hurt. Either way I don’t want to try it without it because it is so wonderful. My home smells so warm and welcoming right now. I wish someone would drop in for coffee.

  4. Just made this in mini-loaves, and it is wonderful! May I make a suggestion to add to the instructions? My streusel melted into the top of the bread. I re-read through the post and I see that your recommendation is to keep the streusel/butter-in-the-streusel as cold as possible so this doesn’t happen. Your instructions say to make the streusel first (I’m assuming that’s so the batter doesn’t sit around while you’re making the streusel?). Maybe add to the instructions to put the streusel in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to put it on the bread so the butter stays cold? I’m not very quick at putting ingredients together, so the butter became warm while I was working on the rest of the bread. Maybe this will help other, slower/lesser-skilled bakers as well?
    But the bread is AMAZING nonetheless. I’m going to make it again tonight and freeze the streusel before I put it on the bread (and add more cranberries!). Thank you!

  5. I’ve been working from home since March and after years of not baking, I’ve turned into the mad baker! This is, by far, the best recipe yet! It was still warm when my husband and I tasted it. I was a little worried because the batter seemed a little runny so I checked the ingredients to make sure I had the right amount. Perfect! There are no fresh cranberries in the stores now so I had to use frozen, so I have more for the next batch. Thank you!!

  6. Delicious!! This is a fabulous recipe just as it is…
    I am, however, a Floridian, and really like to punch up the orange flavor. Also, Sally and King Arthur are my number one trusted baking resources and I hardly look elsewhere for baking recipes. I’ve found Sally’s Cranberry Orange to be better in taste and texture, but I do prefer more orange flavor.
    To really amp up the orange, take 1/2 cup of good OJ and reduce it by half, giving 1/4 cup. Replace 1/4 cup of the buttermilk with the reduced OJ. If, like me, dried cranberries are easier to come by for much of the year, go ahead and use dried, BUT, simmer them in orange juice until they plump. Drain and cool before using in the recipe. I also prefer this recipe with what I think of as a white streusel… so, I omit the cinnamon in the topping, adding just a half teaspoon of orange zest. Oh… and I also use REDUCED orange juice in the glaze, again, to bring that bright sunshiny flavor forward.
    Again, Sally’s recipe is perfect as it stands, but if you want to amp up the orange as I do, these tips do the trick.

  7. Hi sally!

    A coworker just made this and brought it in to work – it’s AMAZING. was wondering if you have a loaf pan and that you love and would recommend?

  8. What a wonderful quick bread! I was browsing cranberry recipes since that’s one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving and have decided that I NEED this bread! Thanks for sharing!

  9. 10/29/2020 Needed to do some stress baking and I had extra buttermilk and found this recipe – amazing. I doubled the recipe – as I am making this for my husband’s co-workers, I did have to have a nibble – so yummy. I will be honest, I did not do the glaze, normally that is to sweet for me – prefect without the glaze. This will be a regular for me to make.

  10. Made this just as the recipe says. My husband does not like cranberries but I do, so I made just for me. I made 3 mini loaves & he finished off one by himself. I froze the others. He only left me one bite! Absolutely fantastic.

  11. Hi Sally! Your recipes make my mouth water! So yummy looking! Can gluten free flour be substituted? For the gluten challenged folks out here!

    1. Hi Ellen, we haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flour, but some readers report success using 1:1 GF flour substitutes (like Cup4Cup or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1). Let us know if you try anything!

  12. I haven’t made this yet. Is there any way to use home made cranberry sauce? I have leftover from thanksgiving (Canadian).

    1. Hi Kathy, You can try swirling your cranberry sauce through the batter but we haven’t tested it this way. The bread may be very sweet if your cranberry sauce is made with a lot of sugar. You can also try to make a swirl/layer like we do in this Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake. Let us know what you try!

  13. Question: in my country we don´t have Cranberries. There are no fresh or frozen. I found dried in a zip bag. Can I use these? Do I have to soak them first? or straight out of the packet?

    1. Hi Sandra, Yes, 1 cup of dried cranberries would be just fine. You can use dried cranberries without rehydrating. We’ve done it and the bread’s still wonderful. Though, if desired for added flavor, you can rehydrate them in orange juice. Enjoy!

  14. Once AGAIN, just made a double batch, 4 smaller loaves, and they are delicious!
    Mental health day baking with Sally’s recipes

  15. I think that I now have “Sally’s baking addiction” and there’s no cure for it! Time after time your recipes are spot-on and I really appreciate your thorough explanations and advice with each recipe. Today, alone, I made the “magic chocolate pie” and the orange cranberry bread. Will try others this month.
    Thank you so much!

  16. This bread is so delicious. I want to eat it every day!! Thank you for such a simple, delicious, balanced recipe! Tips for other bakers (I love reading others experiences.) I overworked the streusel, but it was fine. I used 2% milk and lemon juice for the buttermilk. I used all the zest from the two oranges I had, fresh cranberries, and chopped pecans. I’d probably increase the pecans by about 50% next time (we love them). I measured by weight for everything. For the glaze, I did need a tiny bit extra orange juice to be able to drizzle it, but you won’t hear any complaints here about more orange flavor!

  17. Thank you for the recipe. I did a test loaf and rehydrated dried cranberries in orange juice. That worked well!

    I baked the loaf for 45 minutes in a convection oven and had to give it 8 more minutes according to the cake tester. It was a bit dry, but very tasty. I am going to get a new thermometer, but the last one said I was OK.

    I wondered if the bread was more moist with the milk/sour cream combination as opposed to the buttermilk? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jeff, Thank you for trying this recipe! All of the recipes on this site are written for conventional settings. If you have the choice, we recommend conventional settings when baking cakes, breads, etc. The flow of air from convection heat can cause baked goods to rise and bake unevenly and it also pulls moisture out of the oven, which could be why your bread tasted dry. If you do use convection settings for baking, the general rule is to lower your temperature by 25 degrees F.

    1. Hi Sarah, You can divide this batter between smaller loaf pans. I’m unsure of the exact bake time but use the same oven temperature and you will know they are finished when a toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out mostly clean!

  18. Moist and delicous. Not like other cranberry breads that I have tried which often came out dry. This is a fantastic recipe. Thank you!

  19. Hi Sally!!! This recipe nada my day… it was delicious and didn’t last much… we had a hard time looking for cranberries, because I live in Brazil. and your tip to rehydrate with orange juice was great!!! Tanks so much for the recipe

  20. I have not made this yet, pouring over a few recipes, but one thing I did notice and checked on – I would use 1 Tablespoon of vinegar and or 3 teaspoons of vinegar for the buttermilk
    This has worked well for me. I dont know if 2 teaspoons would be enough

  21. In the Cranberry Bread Ingredients section above the recipe it says to use a cup of chopped cranberries, while in the recipe it says to use a cup of cranberries. I’m wondering whether to chop or not, and if so, how fine do I chop and do I measure before or after chopping? Sounds delicious! Thanks!

    1. Hi Trip, No need to chop the cranberries for this cranberry bread. (You certainly could, but it’s not necessary.) If you do chop them you can just chop them in half – personally I love the big bursts of juicy cranberries!

  22. I’ve made a cranberry orange bread every year for forty years. This is by far the best recipe. Very moist and flavorful. Thanks!

  23. Hi,
    I made this bread and it turned out great. However, I should’ve taken it out at around 50-55mins rather than letting it bake for 1 hour ( I checked at 45 mins, it was not baked enough). Nevertheless, it indeed is a great holiday baking bread!
    The flavors came out good- I chopped the cranberries, but, probably, next time I’ll use whole or just halves. However, there’s one thing I personally would like in this bread- a little more orange flavor in it. Could you suggest any substitution/addition to enhance that orange flavor?

    1. Increase orange zest. I added almost 2x as much. Also there is orange extract. You don’t need much.Maybe some orange juice? Maybe experiment. Make a few muffins and see. Before you make a whole loaf.

    1. Hi Christie, did you alter anything in the bread batter recipe itself? The thinner the batter, the less likely it will support that streusel on top.

  24. This is delicious! I didn’t have buttermilk or whole milk. I used sour cream and 1%. I made mini Loaves and I think I over baked them a bit. Or the lack of whole milk made them a tiny bit dryer. Mine were ugly. But delicious! I found my butter melted a little too quickly when I tried to make topping so I popped in freezer and then took it out and made crumble Pieces again. I think my pieces were too big. It looks ugly on top. But omg its so good! I expected to use more butter in this recipe actually. Only topping has butter. The cake has oil. It feels more unhealthy than it is. I cut 1/2 of fresh cranberries In 1/2. Left some whole And added extra cranberries and extra orange zest. Don’t skimp on the zest for sure.

  25. I’m in charge of ‘cranberry-related items’ every Thanksgiving and so do some version of cranberry orange bread every year. This one is THE clear winner. I’d add a few more cranberries though — say a cup and a half total. I used sour cream plus half and half instead of whole milk. Bread was super moist. Love the reduced orange juice idea above too. For those that don’t bake often and crave more precision than the clean toothpick test, your bread is done when a kitchen thermometer inserted in the center reads 195 to 200 degrees F.

  26. This cranberry bread is absolutely divine! It has everything….loads of cranberries, streusel topping and glaze. In addition, the buttermilk ensures that the texture is light and moist, and the orange is the perfect enhancement for the flavor.
    I gave my friend a loaf to be served at a holiday brunch, and she called before the meal was even completed to rave about how much everyone loved this bread.
    I don’t think I have ever had better cranberry bread.

  27. I needed a use for my Thanksgiving leftover cranberry relish (made with oranges). I subbed non fat greek yogurt and a bit of unsweetened almond milk for the buttermilk and oil, and added ground flaxseed. Super delicious! My husband thought it tasted very German.

  28. Made the bread exactly as written. It was delicious. The streusel topping and icing I debated about, but went with it in the end. They both added an interesting contrast to the fresh cranberries. This is a keeper.

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