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.

387 Comments

  1. This bread is amazing! It came out so delicious! I would like to make it again and double it. Do you have any suggestions for success? I was planning on just doubling all of the ingredients, but I know some times you need to adjust the baking soda when doubling quick breads. Thanks for such a lovely recipe!

  2. This is the best Cranberry bread. flavors are outstanding.
    You also talked about muffins. Would this bread bake well for smaller loaves for gifts etc.
    thank you . Enjoy your recipes.

  3. Just made the cranberry bread this morning. I used walnuts instead of pecans. I had no oranges, but I zested tangerines instead.
    Also had to make my own buttermilk.
    This bread took almost 1 hour and 10 minutes to get done.
    Also, I didn’t bother with the glaze as that would be too sweet for me.
    My husband went absolutely crazy about this bread…..I make pumpkin bread, banana bread, blueberry bread, etc…and he said this was the most delicious bread I’ve ever made.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I usually cool my quick breads inside the pan. I’ve found that it does not matter either way, as long as it cools for at least 10 minutes inside the pan. (Then you can remove it to cool on a wire rack, if desired.)

  4. This recipe seems exactly what I am looking for. We celebrate our thanksgiving at the weekend in England. No time off work to cook. May make the muffin version. Will report back on success.

  5. Hi Sally! I am planning to make 15 loaves for gifts for friends this Christmas. Can I put multiple loaves in the oven at the same time on different racks? I have a convection oven to distribute the heat evenly. How would the cooking times change when using convection?

    1. What a nice homemade gift! You can bake multiple loaves at the same time, especially if you are using a convection oven. The cooking time is usually shorter with convection, but it may remain the same as instructed since your oven will be filled with loaves (and the oven has to work harder to cook each one!). I hope this helps.

      1. Wonderful! Thank you! I’m looking forward to blessing all of the sweet ladies that take care of my kids at Bible Study. Thank you for sharing the recipe! It is a hit around here.

  6. I would also like to know the temperature and approximate baking time for mini loaves. If I use dry cranberries, i thought about plumping them in orange liqueur.

    1. Hi Patricia! It depends on the size of your mini loaves. My mini loaf pan yields 8 loaves and they take about 20-25 minutes to cook through. Same oven temperature as the regular loaf. You can use a toothpick to test for doneness.

  7. I made this bread a week ago without the glaze, just the streusel, and it was delicious, very moist and flavorful! No need for the aluminium foil during baking in my oven, but I did keep a close eye on it.

  8. I was going to try dried cranberries. Should I rehydrate them a bit with orange juice and strain them? Thanks!

    1. Hi Dana! You can use dried cranberries without rehydrating. I’ve done it and the bread’s still wonderful. Though, if desired for added flavor, you can rehydrate them in orange juice.

  9. I have a pan that will make 4 small loaves and I want to use for individual gifts. What is the change in the bake time. Also, will these wrap well as gifts with the topping on it. How far ahead can I make them before I pass them out. Will they become too moist if I wrap them in Seran wrap? Sorry for all the questions but I have a party coming up and need to make about 20. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jackie, What thoughtful gifts! Without testing your exact pan or knowing the size of the loaves, I don’t know exactly what the bake time would be. Just watch them closely! As long as they are completely cool before you wrap them there shouldn’t be any steam/condensation to make them too moist. They will stay fresh at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 6-7 days.

  10. Can this loaf be frozen? If not, how long can it be stored in the fridge without drying out? It will be eaten quickly, just planning how far in advance I can bake it.

  11. I made these today and I am in love with it … it’s moist, tangy, sweet and pretty ❤️ Thank you so much for such an amazing recipe..

  12. Hi Sally!

    I have a question! We are hosting Easter at our home and I’m planning the dessert menu! I plan on making at least 7 different desserts. I was debating between this quick bread or the grapefruit Greek yogurt cake.
    I have a jar of vanilla beans I’ve been wanting to use up… in general, what would you say the rule of thumb is for replacing vanilla bean for vanilla extract?
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract = X vanilla bean pod
    1 tsp vanilla extract = X vanilla bean pod
    1.5 tsp vanilla extract = X vanilla bean pod
    2 tsp vanilla extract = X vanilla bean pod

    Two more questions:
    I plan on making (from your website):
    1) Pistachio Cake (FIRST QUESTION: this is an egg white only cake, so I’ll use 4 of the egg yolks to make lemon curd, do you think lemon curd in between layers of the cake would be too much?)
    2) chocolate chip cookie layer cake (I think I’ll use extra cream cheese frosting from pistachio cake)
    3) strawberry swirl choc chip cheesecake bars (because these can be made early and stay fresh)
    4) white chocolate snickerdoodle blondies ( have white chocolate baking chips I would like to use up, and these sound delicious)
    5) grapefruit Greek yogurt cake or this orange cranberry glazed bread
    6) Broken Jello glass (this is the only thing not from your website– it’s a pretty jello dessert)
    7) I’m thinking donuts because those instantly impress guests, Haha!! I’m also debating between cake batter rice krispies, puppy chow, or brownies.

    Anyways, my SECOND QUESTION is how do you approach making a dessert buffet?!?! Like, if you were to take on all these dessert, what order would you go in?
    I will be free to bake Friday and Saturday (hopefully everything is done Sunday).
    Maybe this would be a good idea for a blog post?!?

    I appreciate you for sharing all your recipes in such a detailed way for us home bakers! Your recipes are my GO TO! I have all three of your cookbooks.

    THANK YOU!!!!

    1. Hi Veina! What an incredible round-up of desserts you have selected. Seriously some of my very favorites! Let me do my best to answer. 🙂

      – 1 typical vanilla bean = 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
      Lemon curd would be FANTASTIC inside the pistachio cake!
      – When I bake in bulk for events, I always make ahead and freeze. Cakes, blondies, the cookie cake layers, and baked donuts are great for freezing ahead of time and thaw wonderfully. Frost/glaze on the day of serving for best taste and texture. The cheesecake bars can be made the day ahead. They freeze well too, but truly taste better fresh. You can chill them overnight in the refrigerator.

      Always bake ahead to save time later. You are very welcome! Loved reading this!

      1. I sooo appreciate your response!! I always like to bake things as fresh as I can for crowds, but I gave myself 2 days to bake 8 different things last year for a large lunch we hosted at our home and I was exhausted after!

        I will bake most things during my spring break that begins on April 1!

        I am so lucky to have found your website!!

        Now, the huge challenge I have is deciding between grapefruit cake or this orange cranberry loaf! They both would fit wonderfully on my Easter sweets table!

      2. Sally! The day has come!!! I ended up making your grapefruit cake as a smaller birthday cake in a 9′ springform pan and it turned out AMAZING!!! The grapefruit cake on your website does not have enough recognition.

        I was wondering if I can make this loaf with the topping and glaze in a 9′ springform pan, as well?
        Also, can would this stay fresh if I made it today, with the glaze on (2 days before needed)?

      3. I’m so glad to read this! a 9-inch springform pan should work. I’m unsure of the bake time, but use a toothpick to test for doneness. Bake at 350°F (177°C).

      4. Thank you, Sally! I will make it today and hope it is still fresh at night by Easter Sunday!

        Enjoy your Easter weekend!!!

  13. I made this cake/loaf and it was really the best cranberry cake ever!! And I didnt use the glaze, it was already sweet enough. I’m maling it again as a gift for a friend now. Thanks for this delicous cake, I will definately make more from your site now as the comments are really positive!

  14. Thank you for this recipe, it’s one of our favorites! We just moved from California to Colorado and I’m wondering if you might have any tips for making this at high altitude.

    1. Hi Jessica, I wish I could help, but I have no experience baking at high altitude. I know some readers find this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  15. OK. I can’t rate this recipe yet, because I just took it out of the oven. But, I ran into a few issues. First, I didn’t use nuts, because so many people have allergies or hate them. I substituted cranberries for the nuts. Second, when I zested 6 oranges, the zest didn’t fall delicately onto the cutting board. They were a wet, soggy mass, all of which would easily squish into one tablespoon. I laid them out on paper towels to dry, but in the end, threw the whole thing into the cake batter (I doubled the recipe). One thing that would help is to put the weight in grams next to the measurements. Weighing everything, like the English do, is so accurate and easy. Third, my streusel sort-of melted down. It doesn’t look at all crumbly like the photo. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Vicky, Most of my newer recipes do have the weight measurements and I’m slowly working on updating my older recipes! When you zest your oranges make sure you pat them dry before using the zester if you have washed them, but it’s fine if they are wet from their natural oils. For your streusel make sure the butter is cold (if your kitchen is very warm you can even put the entire bowl back in the refrigerator while your prepare your bread) and make sure it’s in pea size crumbles.

  16. Hi Sally: absolutely love all of your recipes and the information for successful baking. Do you have any suggestions for substituting white all purpose flour with coconut flour as I’m tryint Keto recipes too. thanks

  17. Have been having more difficulty finding fresh cranberries that look good. Was thinking of substituting dried for fresh. Did you mean the sweetened dried cranberries, like craisins? If so, do you recommend reducing the sugar when using them? Thanks in advance. I am looking forward to trying this bread.

  18. This is now my forever go to cranberry bread recipe. I’m not a fan of dense breads & this one is definitely not dense. Do you have or can you make a pumpkin cranberry bread recipe. All the ones i see use baking soda & i feel that makes it dense.
    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes !

  19. Hi Sally,

    This recipe looks great… except I live in Europe, where fresh cranberries are not so easy to come by. I can get dried ones though. Would those work?

    Thanks!

  20. Is powdered buttermilk an option? When I see the option of a buttermilk substitution, it oftentimes isn’t listed…but I was wondering if it’s bc it is actually considered buttermilk or if it is inferior? Thank you!!!!

    1. Hi Bryn, The powder is just fine! You can follow the instructions on the container to make the proper amount of liquid buttermilk for just about any recipe calling for it.

  21. I want to make this bread for our Halloween work party, as well as for a family birthday gathering. I need to avoid white flour and wanted to know if I can substitute the white flour with coconut or almond flour? If so, would the measurements be the same?

  22. Hi Sally, the photography here is amazing….so pretty! Sorry to hijack this post to ask about another recipe, but I know Pie Week is just around the corner. (Although knowing how organized you are, the recipes were probably written in January!!!) In any case, I made the Savory Vegetable Tart last night, and while my son was in charge of preparing the crust, I rolled it out. I know you always list how wide the crust should be, but I’m wondering if you could include the thickness in your recipes as well? I have one of those adjustable rolling pins, I can’t roll out dough evenly to save my life. BTW, we used the entire recipe to make a 13x9x2 tart; the crust was outstanding, SOOOOOO incredibly flaky. I’m normally afraid of pies, but with that amazing crust, I can’t wait to see what wonderful creations you have in store for us next week! The butter is in the freezer, just waiting to be cubed. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisa! I think knowing the thickness of pie crust is definitely important, so I can try incorporating that into future posts. Thank you for the reminder and suggestion! I absolutely love that veggie tart and plan to make it again this holiday season. So good!

      1. Thanks, Sally, that would be so helpful. I put chopped broccoli in the cheese mixture; all of us loved it. Please know I appreciate you always taking the time to respond. So, the good news from Boston is that I can stop shipping your brownies to Denver; my daughter is moving back home next month. Looking forward to baking many of your outstanding recipes with her…..just in time for Cookie Palooza! Can I put a request in for the chocoholics in my life???!!!!

  23. Can I replace the cranberries with any other berry? I’m not a fan of cranberry. Sorry
    But thank you for posting it.
    And I’m super happy.

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