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!
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, cranberry orange icebox cookies, and cranberry orange scones… and my classic cranberry sauce and these cranberry brie puff pastry tarts both contain a pop of orange flavor, too. 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!
3 Parts to Orange Cranberry Bread
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 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! If you love the combination of cranberries and pecans, you must try my cranberry cake as well.
- 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!
How to Make Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread
- 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.
- 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!
- Pour into prepared pan. Top with streusel.
- 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.
- Make the glaze. Combine ingredients together and drizzle over cooled bread.
- 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.
Two Baking Tips
- 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.
- 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.Print
Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 1 loaf
- 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
- 1–2 Tablespoons orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
- 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.
- 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).
- Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan. Top evenly streusel, pressing the streusel down gently into the top of the bread so it sticks.
- 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.
- 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.
- Slice and serve. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Reader Comments & Reviews
Made this yesterday and loved it. Used coconut oil as I love the slight taste of coconut. Skipped the glaze as I wanted it a little less sweet. It took an hour to cook. Will definitely make this again
HI, can i make the batter ahead of time? Lets say the night before for the next day?
Hi Chris! No, we don’t suggest making the batter ahead of time. The baking soda will activate too quickly and the bread won’t rise when baked.
Made twice to date without changing anything. Simply added a tad more cranberries and walnuts. Streusel topping each time came out beautiful and browned nicely. First time, 55 minutes was perfect. Second time, it was more like 60 to 65 minutes and it rose so much higher. I tried to be extremely accurate in my measurements also….. baking is alchemy.
Awesome. I replaced oil with orange juice. Very moist and flavorful even without glaze. Thank you! Was having trouble finding a good recipe.
Hi. If I use sweetened dried cranberries should I reduce the amount of sugar used in the bread?
Hi Victoria, you can use dried cranberries without making any other changes.
Follow the recipe exactly as written, no need to alter it in any way! This is the best quick bread recipe ever! I made 4 batches at Christmas and it was so delicious I just made another 2 batches today.
I made this recipe once as written and again using vegan substitutes. I substituted in a flax egg, oat milk+lemon juice in place of buttermilk, and used vegan butter in the streusel. I’d argue that the two versions were nearly indistinguishable and they were a total hit both times!
I Love this site! I’ve made several of your recipes, and they never disappoint! I was thrilled this called for brown and white sugars b/c I found I was very low on white sugar. The only change I made was I ground my cranberries and whole oranges together as if making cranberry-orange relish. and used a cup of this mixture instead of the cup of chopped berries. Since there was extra juice from the oranges, I reduced the milk by a quarter cup. I made a triple batch, topped the loaves with the streusel and the glaze, and it was fabulous! I’ll be back again, Sally!
Love this recipe!
Two quick questions:
1. Can I half the sugar?
2. What seed would you suggest so I can make the bread school safe?
Hi Ashley, While you can experiment with reducing the sugar, keep in mind that sugar plays an important role in the texture and moisture of baked goods. Cutting the sugar by half will change the final outcome. You can simply skip the optional nuts instead of replacing them if you wish.
Wow these muffins are divine! I had leftover cranberries from Christmas. I doubled the recipe and also made muffins. So moist and flavourful. The cranberry and orange flavours really go well together. Definitely a keeper!
Excellent! Great flavor and consistency.
Very nice bread, good flavor and texture. However, streusel didn’t brown much. I did cut in the butter completely until small pea sized. I didn’t use aluminum foil since it wasn’t browning. Also, I think I would have used a bit more cranberries since they were a bit sparse. Otherwise good.
Super easy and delicious!! I made muffins because I lent out my loaf pan and forgot I didn’t have it when I went to put the mixture in, so I didn’t use the foil and only baked for 40 minutes. They are perfect! I did half glazed and other half unglazed. I prefer the unglazed as the bread with the streusel is already sweet, but my kids want the extra sugar! I will definitely be making more of these for Christmas!
do i need to cook the cranberries before i use them
No you don’t, Patti!
I had the same issue mentioned above, with the strusel becoming extremely liquid on top.. I’ve never had that happen before and used a pastry blender and blended until it was fully incorporated. The taste is very good, just wish the strusel didn’t liquify as the appearance isn’t very pretty.
I was looking for a new cranberry bread. I have alway had great luck with sally’s baking addition. However i am very disappointed in this recipe. I made this recipe 3 times and each time the bread fell in the middle. This recipe is now in file 13.
Hi Brian! So sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you. Usually when quick bread caves in it has been under-baked. Try baking a bit longer next time and use a toothpick to determine when it is cooked through.
Yummy recipe! Do your cranberries rise to the top when baking? I have made this twice and all the cranberries keep rising to top so there are no cranberries distributed throughout. Any ideas?
Hi Andrea! Try lightly chopping the cranberries before folding them in, this should help prevent them from rising to the top.
Yes, all my cranberries rose to the top, too! I thought I did something wrong, but then I noticed in Sally’s photos, all her cranberries were also at the top! I am thinking of trying to find a batter that is a bit thicker?
Thank you for this delicious recipe. It is the best! I baked five mini loaves with this amount of batter, and it makes such a nice addition to a holiday gift basket.
This is one of the best cranberry breads I’ve ever made! It’s moist and so tasty. I made one change due to ingredients. I only had 3/4 cup of buttermilk so I added orange to fill the cup.
It really is delicious? Thanks
I made this several times as written and it was delicious. But to cut down on sugar, I experimented by replacing all the white sugar (including in the crumble topping) with Stevia, following the proportions recommended for sugar replacement; replaced the half cup brown sugar with honey (could probably replace that with Stevia as well), and replaced the powdered sugar in the orange glaze with sucralose/corn starch. It was still absolutely delicious and we all felt a lot less guilty eating it! BTW it was closer to 1 hour 20 minutes in my oven.
I would like to make mini loaves of this recipe for gifts. Do I need to change something? How long is the baking time?
Made these as muffins, and they are to die for!!! I didn’t use the glaze as my husband doesn’t like things extra sweet, but they are plenty sweet on their own. I will absolutely be making these again!
I made muffins as well and prefer those unglazed. They are perfect! I love the crunchy streusel topping!
This bread is fantastic! I love the whole cranberries and the crumble top. I will definitely be making this again.
To up the orange flavor in any recipe , I use frozen orange juice concentrate to replace some of the liquid in the recipe – in this one, I replaced the orange juice with 2 Tbl of frozen OJ concentrate in the glaze.
Made this yesterday and it is amazing!!! I added the entire bag of cranberries a lot more nuts than the recipe called for (more to get rid of some ingredients) and it was amazing. Fabulous recipe…thank you!!!
So good! I wish the orange flavor came through more so I might do more zest next time. However, my streusel basically melted into the bread – any suggestions?
I never tried or made cranberry bread before. After researching different recipes, I kept coming back to this recipe because of the streusel topping. I made the recipe exactly. The only ingredient I didn’t have was the orange zest, but I made it anyway. This recipe was delicious, and it was not dry at all. My whole family loved it! I would definitely keep this recipe (thank you Sally!). The only issue I had was the streusel seemed a bit liquidy on top of the bread (must have been the butter), and it sank and disappeared like the previous reply from Christie on 11/25/20. My preparation of the streusel was perfect, and I kept it in the refrigerator as called for. It took 55 minutes. The glaze was delicious as well. It complemented the bread. I drizzled it over each piece I cut instead of on top. I gave the rating 4 stars just because the streusel looked ugly on top. I will make this again making sure I have the orange zest included, and I will master the topping!
I made the Cranberry bread. Really dry. Was not done at 55 mins. Tested at 65 minutes. Will overbaking make it dry? The top was perfect. Flavor was good.
Made this last night, for hot cocoa visit with a friend today. I will be using this one again. Due to serving with cocoa, passed on the streusel and glaze. Bread was moist and yummy. Next new to me, is your red velvet cake. First red velvet recipe I found with real ingredients, not a bunch of weird stuff. I’m hooked, you have replaced Martha and Ina as my go to for baked goodies. ❤️
I made this bread last week and did not change a thing about the recipe. I used chopped pecans. It was so delicious, moist and tasty!! My family is begging me to make it again and I am baking it again this weekend! What a find, thank you!!!