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.

394 Comments

  1. I know I’m a little late to the orange glazed cranberry bread party, but have you ever tried baking these in the smaller paper muffin pans? If so, do you know how the bake time would be affected? I was thinking of giving these away as gifts and have some of the paper pans lying around 🙂

  2. Hi Sally, this looks scrumptious and I’ll be making it tonight as gifts! I saw your earlier reply about how glazed breads will last in the fridge for 3 days. If sitting for that long, will the glaze become soggy? Not sure if I should glaze it if some of the gifts will be given on Thanksgiving Day. Also, you’d mentioned no subs for buttermilk but if I only have sour cream, can I doctor that in some way to get the same effect? Thanks, and wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving! 🙂

  3. I’m so excited to make this receipe. My grandmother used to make cranberry orange bread every year during the holidays and we lost her a week ago. I’m trying to continue on her traditions. However, I will be making the bread at high altitude, do you know what adjustments I should make in such a case?

  4. I made two batches of the cranberry bread. I had rapid rise and overflow each time. Huge mess. Is it possible the baking soda listed in the recipe is supposed to be baking powder? Or possibly the amount of baking soda is too much? 

  5. I made this cranberry bread for Thanksgiving morning and it was delicious. I followed the directions exactly. The bread is very moist and has lots of flavor. The chopped fresh cranberries are so much better than canned or dried. The orange zest and flavor in glaze adds extra flavor. Delicious!!!!! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Oh my goodness!!! this is the best cranberry bread I have ever eaten!! I added about another handful more of the cranberries and I accidently melted my butter for the streusel but I used as is and loved it!!

  7. Bread cooled and glaze added. Just cut off an end piece and thought it needed a little more cranberry. Guessing that I won’t have that problem once I get into the loaf. Otherwise, this is wondrous!

  8. Hi Sally, The first time I made this bread it came out perfect and everyone loved it! But since then every time I make this bread it comes out flat, like it doesn’t rise the way it should, and there is a small hole on top in the middle. What do you could cause this? It is very frustrating because I so love this bread!

      1. I don’t think it’s expired since the Chocolate Chip bread came out perfect, but I’m going to replace it anyway. Thanks!

      2. My third double batch of Orange Cranberry Bread this season and it came out perfect. I will always make sure I have fresh baking soda before I start again! Thanks!! The guys my husband works with ask for it every year.

  9. I just took a batch of Cinnamon Swirl Chocolate Chip bread out of the oven and it rose beautifully and looks wonderful. Can’t wait to taste it! So, I don’t know why my orange cranberry bread is having trouble rising…. all the same ingredients…

  10. I followed the entire recepie with the exception of actually adding a cup of real orange puree with the sugar for a glaze.  As soon as I took the bsked loaf out of the oven, I poked some holes with a fork throughout the entire Streusel top which allowed a bit of glaze to seep in side….not much due to the thick consistency of the glaze.  The glaze formed a really tasty topping – I should know this ’cause as soon as the loaf cooled down  (I put in the fridge for about 10 minutes) I was able to just press a knife through the breadth and cut slices very easily….I had a bite!  Very very very delicious….the crumbs just melting in my mouth.  Oh and the other thing was that I added the cranberries whole.  They were cold sitting in the fridge and about as shriveled as a raisin….i thought that they were the right size and did not chop them up.  Ofcourse when one cuts slices one does cut through the berries.  All in all this loaf turned out well.  I am going to take the advise and pop in back in the fridge and have it tomorrow.  I can now clearly see how the flavors are enhanced by allowing it to chill in the refrigerator overnight!  Thanks for this recepie, I will be baking this again for my next Tuperware party!  Happy New Year!

  11. I also used to purchase cranberry orange bread at my local coffee shop and found your recipe online. I have to say that yours is so much better! Love the streusel topping and freshness the zest and juice add to this bread.  I took a loaf to work for one of our treat days this past Christmas season and it was gone in no time!  I had many tell me how good and “fresh tasting” it was and requested the recipe. I pointed them to your website.  Thanks so much for sharing all of your delicious recipes! (I also LOVE your apple muffins and so does my family!)

  12. Yummy! I made this without the glaze and it was perfect! I was afraid it wasn’t going to be sweet enough without the glaze but it was plenty sweet! I also froze it for like a month before eating it and it was still delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. To Raquel .  If you accidentally use self rising flour instead of regular flour then you are using twice the rising agents.   Check your flour.

  14. Can I add shredded zucchini to this bread or would it not work? I’m trying to find things to add to zucchini bread

  15. This is just the best sweet bread recipe that I have found. Thank you, Sally.
    I made this bread, but made the following changes:
    I substituted stevia with the brown sugar and left out white sugar.
    Walnuts instead of pecans.
    Used the juice of one orange and added 1T melted butter to the runny glaze. I poked holes in the bread and drenched the bread.

  16. Oh.My.Word.
    I made this yesterday after chatting with my Mom about our holiday cranberry Prague bread recipe that always turns out dry. I turned to my superior baking guru and lo and behold, she had a recipe to solve the moisture problem. This is a WINNER! So, so moist and flavorful. Thank you Sally!

  17. Hi Sally! I was wondering if I can replace the orange with lemon and cranberries with blueberries to be a lemon blueberry loaf? Thanks! 

  18. My husband walked into the house from being outside in the yard and said…”Something smells good!” I just finished making this Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread (without the Orange Glaze) and could hardly wait to enjoy it with a cup of coffee. My first bite and I knew I had a keeper! Thanks for such a great recipe!

  19. Hi again Sally! So I tried the lemon blueberry combo and it turned out soooo delicious! Very moist and flavuorful just like you said, my family already loves it so much haha! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe:)

  20. Hello Sally,
    This sounds delicious and is on my list to make! I was wondering if you had come up with a recipe for Cranberry Bliss bars? Like the ones at Starbucks. Id love to make some of those too!
    -Jacquelyn

  21. This is delicious!!   The only thing I will do differently is add more cranberries–maybe another 1/2 cup.  The cranberries are so great contrasted with the sweet orange.  Definitely plan to make these for Christmas gifts. Thanks for the recipe!!

  22. This is a fabulous recipe, I tweaked it with another post suggestion.  I added 1/2 cup more of fresh cranberries and 1 pat melted butter to the glaze.  Thank you for the recipe. My new fav.

  23. Hi Sally! Could this recipe work for a bundt cake or would the ingredients have to be changed up a bit? Thanks for all of your mouth watering recipes! 

  24. Great recipe, as my standby Betty Crocker recipe called for orange juice and butter, and I didn’t have juice and was saving the butter for sugar cookies.  I made this recipe in mini muffin pans. One I simply spayed with Pam and the other I put in mini cupcake paper liners.  13 minutes & they were done!  So cute for gifts or to freeze until Christmas.   Thanks for the recipe.

  25. Tried this recipe last weekend. OMG!!! YUMMY!!!!!! Takes some time to get the recipe put all together but the end result is fantastic. I doubled the recipe and gave 2 loaves away, and now I can of regret that I gave up so much yummy-ness 🙂 Definitely a repeat performance will be required. Now when I see a bag of cranberries I won’t think turkey……………….I’ll think SBA Orange Cranberry Bread!!! Thanks Sally!!!

  26. Hi Sally! I’m wondering if / how I can make this in an 8″ cake pan. I’d like to bake it for Christmas and think it might look a little fancier as a round cake. Should I use the same amount of batter and just adjust the baking time? Or would you recommend any other baking dish other than just the loaf (i.e. square, bundt)? Thanks so much for all that you do!!

  27. I would like to make five mini loaves instead of one large loaf. Should I make a double batch of batter? Do I fill the pans to the top. or should I leave some room for rising? It looks delicious, and I want to do it justice.

    1. If your mini loaves are large enough, I would make a double batch of batter. Or make 2 batters, yes. I would fill them 3/4 full.

  28. Loved this recipe, raised ordinary to really good. Baked 5 mini loaves with 2 batches, yes that’s perfect. Funny cook fail story though. I live in Hawaii and my coconut oil is always liquid. Chose it for the bread without thinking, broke the eggs in and added cold buttermilk from the fridge. Voila! Solid coconut oil. Eggs in there so can’t microwave. Took me about a half an hour (which of course I didn’t have) to thaw it in a larger pan full of hot water. I’ve learned my lesson. But the bread was yummy…Thanks for the recipe.

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