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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

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

Scale

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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I had to take the Foil off and cook ten extra minutes because mine was mushy after an hour

    1. Delicious quick bread. I always use frozen whole cranberries. Even though it says no substitutions for the buttermilk, I usually use some sour cream or yogurt thinned with milk and it comes out great. I also toast the pecans first. This takes longer to bake than the recipe says, usually 1+ hours for me

    2. I tried this and the cranberries were so bitter it was inedible. I’ve tried a few recipes and they failed..

    3. If I wanted to make mini loaves (3 total) would I change the baking time and/or oven temp?

      1. Hi Linda, Mini loaf pans vary greatly in size so we can’t say for sure how many you will be able to fill and the exact bake time. Use the same oven temperature and you will know they are finished when a toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out mostly clean!

  2. My wife handed me this recipe. We had a bag of fresh cranberries we wanted to use. As the seasoned baker in this family , I weigh all my ingredients so I was using the metric equivalents. I was getting a little nervous about the weights provided. They are off by the amounts I use for making sourdough and other recipes using King Arthur flour. For instance, I usually use 240g flour for 2 cups. This recipe calls for 250g flour. Still, I stuck to the weights as provided by the recipe. The bread was delicious and perfect. Thank you.

  3. I made this for guests at my bed & breakfast this morning, and they loved it!

  4. This turned out so nice. I used only dark brown sugar because it was all I had. I also used 1/2 c whole wheat flour/ 1.5 c white and added some finely chopped pecans to the batter, as well as some orange extract. I also made it in a glass 10″ pie plate so it was more like a “cake” for my kiddo who asked for “cake”. 🙂 Very delicious and not too sweet. I love your recipes.

  5. This is so yummy! I used 2 c. dried cranberries and 1 c. pecans. No oranges but I used lemon peel and lemon glaze. The variant possibilities are endless. I will add more cinnamon next time, personal preference.

  6. This is, without a doubt ,the best dessert fruit bread that I have ever made and that we have ever enjoyed. It’s tart ,sweet, moist and simply delicious. I have made with both walnuts and pecans and either is fabulous and should not be omitted. Thank you very much.

  7. I love this recipe and want to serve it as part of a meal that I’m preparing for a group next Tuesday. The problem is that I can’t find any cranberries this time of year — not even frozen. Any suggestions for a substitution? Do you think I could use blueberries? Would anything else work?

    1. Hi Mindy, blueberries would be absolutely delicious! Use the same amount as you would cranberries – so 1 cup total.

  8. I recently baked this bread and the taste was excellent, but I got a heavy and very dense bread, no flufiness in it. What went wrong? could it be that my scale isin´t accurate?

    1. Hi Elizabeth, this bread is on the denser side (than say, a yeasted bread) but if you found it overly so, it’s possible that there was too much flour weighing it down, or that the batter was over mixed. Over mixing can over develop the gluten and create a dense, squat bread. Hope these tips are helpful for next time!

  9. This was so fantastic. I decided to add 2 tbsp. of orange juice to the batter. I was afraid the batter would be too dry because I also used walnuts ( a little more than called for). The batter looked very thin but the bread turned out perfectly except the top didn’t brown and I had it covered for half of the baking time like the instructions directed. I had to change to the broiling setting for about 2 min. to get the top brown. Next time I’ll leave off the foil. I had the bread on the middle rack. The bread was so moist and the taste was great with the topping and the glaze. I put glaze on the sides of the servings when they were plated. Perfection. Should be nice Christmas gifts next December.

  10. This was absolutely delicious. My husband and daughter couldn’t stop eating it. Thanks for another amazing recipe.

  11. Wondering if this recipe would work in small loaf pans? Would like to make a few small loaves as Christmas gifts along with cookies.

    1. Hi Nancy, Absolutely! Mini loaf pans vary greatly in size so we can’t say for sure how many you will be able to fill and the exact bake time. Use the same oven temperature and you will know they are finished when a toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out mostly clean!

    2. I made this tonight (with frozen cranberries), but skipped the streusel topping and glaze. I used a mini loaf pan and it turned out great. I didn’t cover with foil and had no issue with uneven or over-browning (for my preference). I checked it at 38 mins, it seemed done w/toothpick check, but I was unsure, so I turned off the oven anf left it in there for another 5 mins and it was perfect.

  12. This bread is so delicious! I have made many cranberry orange breads and this one is definitely the best. It has just the right mixture of sweet and tart. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  13. I made this exactly as written and it is AWESOME! It’s moist and full of flavor. I kept the streusel in the fridge until the bread was ready to go in the oven, so it stayed on top and browned nicely, without any foil. [Bake time was 1 hour at 325, in a glass pan.] I noticed in your Cranberry Bread Ingredients list you say you chop the cranberries, but in your notes, you say you use whole ones. I chopped mine, but maybe next time I’ll leave them whole. there WILL be a next time for this recipe!!

  14. Fantastic! The cranberries I had were huge so I chopped them first. I doubled the recipe and it made 4 medium size pans baked for 45 minutes. I used bread flour by mistake and it made no difference. So moist and full of flavor. I wish I could post a picture because with the drizzled icing they are beautiful!

  15. I loved this. Didn’t even need the glaze. Soft, moist , sweet. Delicious!

  16. This is a decent, easy-to-make cranberry bread, but WOW the sugar content is way too high. I made this a second time using half the amount of sugar called for in the bread, which worked well, but the bread is still overly sweet. (I also substituted half the white flour for equal parts oat bran and whole wheat flour, which also improved the taste.) Since I’d prefer something heartier and healthier where I can actually appreciate the taste of cranberries and not overwork my pancreas, I’ll be looking for a different recipe.

  17. This cranberry, orange and pecan bread is absolutely phenomenal. I used dried cranberries and added toasted pecans. I also added 1/2 tsp. Cardamom to the dry ingredients before mixing in with the wet. Baked for 55 minutes at 350F. The bread is moist and just full of amazing flavours. I love cranberries, orange and pecan together; and now my house smells amazing. This recipe is an absolute favourite in our house. Thank you

  18. I made this with a Gluten free flour blend. My egg and Buttermilk was right from the refrigerator. I used extra cranberries because I love them.Walnuts just added to the goodness. I never use foil on my baked goods.i made a cranberry glaze instead of an orange glaze. I absolutely love this!!!!!

  19. This bread is so so delicious!! I thought it was perfect without the glaze. My whole family really loved it!

  20. Absolutely delicious! Followed recipe exactly. Used fresh cranberries and added chopped walnuts. Will definitely be making this again!

  21. I have made this like 4 times in the last 2.5 weeks and it just keeps getting better. My coworkers have raves about it. I have raved about it. It literally makes me feel like I am winning a best baker award.
    I am allergic to eggs, but I like to see how things come out when baked as written so I followed the instructions for the first two times, and the subbed a flax egg the last two times (1T ground flax/flax meal and 2.5 T of water). I much prefer the flax egg. It adds a very subtle nutty flavor that compliments the recipe. My partner also spilled the last of my buttermilk on my last try recipe, so I mixed 1 cup of 2% milk and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, mixed and let it sit for 5 minutes, and oh boy it was delicious.
    PS- as much as possible please give us some egg substitutions for recipes. I bake a lot, but still don’t quite understand the science of egg substitutes, and retrying recipes too many times is a mega burden, but easier if you offer a few decent substitutions per recipe- even if you haven’t tried it.

  22. Tastes delicious but my bread had a raw spot down the middle. I baked for about an hour and 15 minutes. And it still ended up raw on the middle but the bottom started to burn so I couldn’t cook it more. I was using a 9×5 silicone load pan.

    1. Hi Kelleigh! We haven’t tested this recipe in a silicone pan so would guess that would be where the issue could be. Thank you for giving this recipe a try!

  23. Truly the best cranberry bread I have made! I used to make the recipe on the cranberry bag and it was just meh. This loaf is moist with a hint of orange and the topping and glaze take it over the top! I use the King Arthur tea loaf pan which makes a longer loaf resulting in easier to slice and the cooking time is reduced so no worries about over browning

  24. I made the cake nearly exactly as directed. The two additions I made were tossing the cranberries in a tablespoon of flour to increase the likelihood of the berries staying up in the cake and I toasted the pecans I added. What’s delicious cake! I love the cake and the bursts of tart cranberries. I am not a lover of sweet things and I don’t think it was too sweet at all – it was exactly right. Thank you for a perfect breakfast and tea cake!

    PS: I have come to check your website first when I’m in the mood to bake. The recipes never fail and I enjoy all the explanations for why ingredients are selected and when and when not to substitute. Two thumbs way up for you!

  25. I made 2. One the streusel cooperated and looks lovely, the other it sunk in the cake batter, disappearing from view!

  26. This tasted -Amazing! Unfortunately, I somehow made more batter than I thought and put the whole thing in the pan like a ding-dong. Of course it spilled over. I had a feeling that would happen too. Oh well, love and learn.

  27. I have left over cranberry orange relish which I plan to use up either in muffins or a quick bread. I’ll be using your recipe as a base.I hope it will turn out OK.

    1. Hi Ines, We haven’t tested it but you may be able to swirl it in much the same way we swirl blueberry jam in our blueberry muffin bread. Mixing it in the batter would likely cause the batter to be too wet. Let us know if you try it!

  28. Love this! A big hit with my whole family. Unfortunately, I didn’t have buttermilk so I substituted almond milk and lemon juice. It still turned out perfectly!

  29. Make it! It’s incredibly moist and cakelike. I used lemon juice/almond milk bc that was all I had and it still worked wonderfully. Absolutely delicious!

  30. This is a well written recipe. I really appreciate the tips and advice on freezing and storage without which I would eat the entire loaf out of the oven. Seriously, my wife and I liked the loaf but for us it works only as a dessert. The streusel and glaze were over the top for me, just too sweet for my current taste.

    I used dried cranberries which I soaked in hot water for 15 minutes and they worked great. The dried cranberries were sweet enough to munch on out of the bag and worked great in the quick bread.

    Look forward to trying other recipes given how well written they are.

    Thanks!

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