This homemade cranberry bread is a wonderful blend of tart and sweet in a delicious treat. Featuring fresh cranberries, orange zest, and an orange glaze that perfectly complements this sweet bread.
Take a look at some of our other popular quick bread recipes. This easy chocolate chip banana bread is always a hit, this doubly chocolate zucchini bread is loaded with yumminess and this applesauce bread is so amazing!
WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?
Enter your email below and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox! (plus more new recipes sent weekly!)
Cranberry Orange Bread
Quick breads are so perfect for an easy dessert or to have with your morning cup of coffee or afternoon tea. This moist cranberry bread recipe is ideal for anyone craving a fruity twist to traditional bread. The tartness of the fresh cranberries combined with orange flavor, sweetness in the bread and the glaze creates such a wonderful blend of flavors.
Perfect for the holiday season or as a delicious treat year-round, this easy bread recipe is sure to become a family favorite. The ingredients are simple and it is quick to make too.
You can also make it in mini loaf pans to give to friends and neighbors or for a bake sale. Just adjust the baking time to 35-40 minutes before checking with a toothpick for doneness.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe. Scroll down to the full recipe card for the amounts needed.
- All purpose flour: provides structure and texture to the bread. Use a gluten free one-to-one flour if you’d like. I like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten free flour.
- Baking powder: helps the bread rise.
- Salt: enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Granulated sugar: for the sweetness in this bread. You can also use a blend of ½ brown sugar and ½ white sugar if you’d like.
- Butter: adds richness and moisture. I used salted but you use unsalted as well.
- Orange zest: adds a citrusy flavor that complements the cranberries so nicely.
- Eggs: 2 large eggs at room temperature.
- Vanilla extract: for added aromatic flavor.
- Sour cream: I use full fat sour cream for moisture and a slight tanginess. Feel free to substitute Greek yogurt.
- Orange juice: for a nice citrusy flavor. I like using pulp free orange juice. You can also use freshly squeezed orange juice.
- Fresh cranberries: adds a wonderful tart flavor that contrasts with the sweetness of the bread.
- Powdered sugar: for the sweetness in the glaze.
- Dried cranberries and orange zest (optional): for an extra burst of flavor as garnish.
1. Add ½ – 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans.
2. Use dried cranberries instead of fresh cranberries. If you do use them, reduce the amount of sugar in the bread batter to ¾ cup since dry cranberries are sweetened.
3. Replace the orange zest with lemon or lime zest.
4. Add a mix of orange and lemon zest.
5. Add honey or maple syrup in place of some of the granulated sugar
6. Mix in cream cheese with the powdered sugar to make a cream cheese glaze.
7. Use lemon juice instead of orange juice for a tangy lemon glaze.
8. Add a drop of vanilla extract to the glaze for an extra layer of flavor.
9. Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg in the batter for a subtle spice flavor
How to Make this Cranberry Bread Recipe
Make the bread:
Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease two 9×5 loaf pans.
Step 2 – In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Step 3 – In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar and blend with an electric mixer until creamy.
Step 4 – Add the eggs one at a time, blending after each one is added, then add the vanilla extract with the last egg.
Step 5 – Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until barely incorporated.
Step 6 – Add the sour cream, orange juice, and orange zest, and blend in.
Step 7 – Add the remaining dry ingredients and blend just until there are no large lumps of flour remaining. Be careful not to overmix or the bread will become dense.
Step 8 – Finally, add the cranberries and gently stir in with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Step 9 – Pour the batter evenly into each prepared bread pan.
Step 10 – Bake the bread for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step 11 – Allow the bread to cool for about 20 minutes in the pans, then remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).
Make the glaze:
Step 1 – In a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest and mix well.
Step 2 – Place parchment paper, (or aluminum foil or plastic wrap), until the bread to catch any drips.
Step 3 – Spread the glaze evenly over top of each loaf of bread.
Step 4 – Sprinkle the top of the bread with chopped dried cranberries and additional orange zest if desired.
- Be sure to measure the flour accurately. Too much flour can make the bread dry and dense. Spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level off with flat side of a butter knife. Or use a food scale for most accurate amounts.
- Mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined. Overmixing can lead to more dense bread.
- Be sure the eggs, butter and sour cream are at room temperature to ensure they mix well. Leaving them on the counter for about 30 minutes is perfect.
- When zesting an orange, make sure to only get the orange part and avoid the white pith, as it can be bitter.
- Be sure to cool the bread completely before adding the glaze so it does become more runny.
- Use a toothpick to check for doneness. Insert it into the center of the bread; it should come out clean or with just a few crumbs.
Yes, you can use frozen cranberries, but be sure to thaw them and pat them dry with a paper towel before using.
Store the cranberry bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Yes, you can freeze cranberry bread. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap in aluminum foil for extra protection. You can also freeze individual slices in plastic wrap if you’d like. Place it in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let in thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight.
For the bread:
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter salted softened
- 3 teaspoons orange zest
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 ½ cups fresh cranberries
For the glaze-
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons orange zest plus more for garnish if desired
Optional for garnish-
- 1-2 teaspoons orange zest
- ¼ cup dried cranberries chopped
Make the bread
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease two 9×5 loaf pans.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt.2 ½ cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large mixing bowl, add the butter, sugar and orange zest and blend with an electric mixer until creamy.1 ½ cups granulated sugar, 1 cup butter, 3 teaspoons orange zest
- Add the eggs one at a time, blending after each one is added and then add the vanilla extract with the last egg.3 large eggs, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until barely incorporated.
- Then add in the sour cream and orange juice and blend in.¾ cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons orange juice
- Add in remaining dry ingredients and blend just until there are no large lumps of flour remaining. Be careful not to overmix or the bread will become more dense.
- Finally, add the cranberries and gently stir in with a wooden spoon or spatula.2 ½ cups fresh cranberries
- Pour the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pans.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool for about 20 minutes in the pans, then remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack. (about 30 minutes)
Make the glaze:
- In a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest and mix well.1 ½ cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 2 teaspoons orange zest
- Place parchment paper, (or aluminum foil or plastic wrap, until the bread to catch any drips.
- Spread the glaze evenly over top of each loaf of bread.
- Sprinkle with chopped dried cranberries and orange zest if desired.1-2 teaspoons orange zest, ¼ cup dried cranberries
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
Sharing of this recipe to social media is both encouraged and appreciated. Please share the direct link back to the recipe. Copy/Pasting and/or screenshots of the recipe to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected