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.

396 Comments

  1. This bread is completely and utterly amazing! So moist, so festive, and so delicious! I have made 80 loaves of this bread in 2 weeks for people wanting me to make it for them. Yes, 80 loaves! And I have 20 more to make Monday. People are loving it! Thank you for the recipe!

  2. My wife and I made 10 loaves at once! Simply multiplied everything by ten, dragged out all of our biggest mixing bowls and stock pots and went at it. Crazy good cranberry bread! We kept a loaf just for us in the refrigerator – carve a slice, dot with butter, warm in microwave, close eyes, big bite … so moist, a heavenly Christmas flavor!

    *** A few tips if you make a lot of these at once: 1) The orange zest takes a lot of time. For us, each loaf needed the zest from one big navel orange so you might want to do this the day before you bake. 2) Cutting 10 cups of frozen cranberries is pretty funny – little red marbles running all over the counter! So I coralled them with a couple of rolled-up towels, then put down two heavy chopping boards side by side with a little space between, herded cranberries into the slot, then split with a long chef’s knife. Pretty easy work after you get a system. Splitting the berries is better rather than shredding them in a processor, IMO. Nice flavor explosions and good mouth feel! 3) Fill bread pans about 3/4 for a full loaf but you can make them shallower, too. After cooling I wrapped ours in 2 layers of plastic wrap and put in frig. Stayed really moist even after several days. Thank you for a fabulous recipe, Sally!

  3. Made mini breads and they look and smell wonderful. Haven’t tasted them yet as they are made for gifts. Would you leave them in the tins and wrap with parchment paper or take them out of the tins? Will they stick to the paper out if the tins?

  4. Hi Sally! Love your blog!! For the first time, I am using a microplane to zest navel oranges, being careful to remove top orange layer of peel only and avoid the pith layer beneath. Even so, the small shreds taste bitter. (I washed the oranges with soap and water first, to remove any wax, and then rinsed them throughly.) Is this normal? I am worried that adding the zest to the bread and glaze will make them bitter. Could the zest be eliminated altogether for a good result? Thanks for your help, and Merry Christmas!!

    1. Oh you want that great orange flavour to pair with the cranberries… to leave it out would be like having bread without butter. It will not taste bitter when it is combined with everything else-both in the cake and the glaze. Try it!

  5. Hi Sally, I made a trial run of this to get ready for Christmas morning. It is DELICIOUS, but my streusel kind of just melted away into the bread. I used very cold butter and the streusel was in pea-sized crumbs. It doesn’t look like your picture with the clumps of streusel, just kind of like some sugar was sprinkled on top. Any thoughts on what I might have done wrong? Was thinking about maybe putting the streusel in the freezer while I prepare batter – do you think that would help? Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  6. Love your blog! I made this recipe and found that the dry ingredients stuck inside the chopped cranberries. What are some ideas to avoid this? It didn’t really impact the taste, but it didn’t look very nice. Thanks!

  7. Hi, Sally! I tried this recipe last weekend and it is delicious. But instead of APF, I used bread flour as it was all I had available. The bread was a little dense. Any tips how to fix this? Thanks.

  8. This recipe is awesome! Turned out very moist. I ended up baking mine for 52 min, putting foil on top after 35.

    Only things I would change – double the amount of cranberries and vanilla. I love pure tart things and chose to forgo the streusel and pecans.

  9. Hi Sally i am going to try baking this very soon. I only have a 22x10cm loaf pan..its slightly smaller than the 9x5inch you use…will this overflow?
    also, when baking banana bread i use light color pan and it gets brown at different time each time i bake them..i read somewhere that using a darker pan will make it hot and burn faster…i guess its not true? so many questions!! haha love your blog and books :)) thank you

  10. I had been eyeing this bread for awhile and I made it yesterday into jumbo muffins and did your trick of 5 minutes @ 425 and 20 minutes @ 350. They were so delicious. I use that trick on all of my muffins now, no matter the recipe. I love the combo of orange and cranberry together. Thanks again for helping me with a last minute breakfast idea. I can always rely on your recipes.

  11. Made bread using disposable aluminum tins.  Didn’t realize they were smaller.  Mixture ran over the sides as it cooked.  Plus kept checking for doneness.  50 went to 60 went to 70 and even though I put aluminum foil on top the top over cooked some.  I was determined to rescue this bread.  Thank you very much for the glaze receipe.  I trimmed top to get rid of my well done crunch dark top.  And am going to make your glaze to hide the multitudes of sin.  Your glaze saved me.  Thank you!

  12. The bread looks amazing. I plan on making a couple loaves for Thanksgiving. I was planning on getting fresh cranberries but I am concerned they will not get done. Can you let me know if the temperature or baking time needs to be adjusted to ensure that the cranberries are soft.
    Thank you.

  13. Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit. It was more orange than I thought it would be but absolutely loved it. Will definitely make again.

  14. I have made this bread multiple times and follow the recipe exactly and I always get overwhelming compliments on how amazing it is and I have to agree! In fact, anytime I need a dessert for a church function or family event I only follow Sally’s Baking Addiction because it never fails! I can not rave enough on how impressive every single recipe is. At least the ones I’ve done.

  15. I served this bread (sans the pecans) to my co-workers to rave reviews! Said one man, “My Mother-in-Law makes Cranberry Bread every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don’t like it. However, I REALLY like this version, especially with the orange flavor!” I replied, “I won’t tell your Mother-in-Law,” with a wink and a smile. Thanks for another great recipe, Sally! 😉

    p.s. I made a double batch of the bread, and since I had about 5 oz of cranberries left over, I made this Cranberry Sauce with Orange & Honey…so good, and no processed sugar!

     https://natashaskitchen.com/2017/11/18/cranberry-sauce-recipe-with-orange-honey/comment-page-3/#comment-678905

  16. Thank you so much fir the recipe!  This bread turned out amazing!
    My streusel did melt into the batter though.  I substituted spelt flour for 1/2 of the flour & it was delicious.  I gave it away as a gift & now people are asking for more… dangerous stuff. 😉

  17. I’m baking this bread right now and it’s the first time I’ve followed a recipe when it recommended putting foil on top (loosely) . However, the crust stuck to the foil and ruined the top.

  18. This is currently baking in my oven as I’m typing and my whole house smells so amazing. I have two in the oven and about to make another two. I cannot wait to gift these to people for Christmas!! I’m curious, how do you think some chocolate chips would go in this recipe?? I know orange and chocolate can go pretty good together surprisingly so I’m really curious if it would be good or not!! 

    1. It’s so wonderful that you are baking for others! Personally I love chocolate and orange together so I think they would be great!

  19. This recipe was so successful last year, I made a double batch twice this year. The loaves are in the freezer for Christmas morning. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  20. I never post comments, but I need to express just how delicious this bread is! Thank you so much for this recipe! This bread is insanely delicious !! 

  21. I just made this bread and let me tell you it is the best. I looked for different recipes and I found yours to be the winner. I will be trying your other recipes. Thank you so much.

  22. I made some homemade unsweetened cranberry juice as I am on KETO. I didn’t want to throw away the cranberries afterward (all I did was cook 1 1/2 c frozen cranberries with 5 c water over low heat for 45 min and then strain for the juice) and it was mentioned at the end of the recipe for the juice that I could use the left over cranberries in muffins or bread. So that being said, since these are already cooked would it still be OK to use these in the recipe? I’ve got 1 cup. Thank you!

  23. Hi Sally! I bought frozen cranberries and wanted to know if I’m supposed to have these chopped? Or keep them whole as is from the bag.

    Thanks!

  24. Hi Sally! I bought a bag of frozen cranberries tonight. Do those need to be chopped as well? Or just throw it in the batter whole, as is.

    Thank you!

  25. This bread is in the oven now. I want to make another batch but I have no more oranges for zest. (It’s snowing out and I live quite far from a grocery store). Can I use orange juice instead? If so, how much?

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