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This cranberry orange bread recipe is citrusy, moist, and studded with tangy berries! Drizzle this classic with a simple sweet glaze.

Cranberry Orange Bread

What’s more classic in the winter than a good Cranberry Orange Bread? This cozy quick bread has everything going for it: it’s moist and citrusy, studded with orange zest and pops of tangy berries. It’s simple and sweet, drizzled with a tasty sweet orange glaze. Every time we make this, it goes over incredibly well! (Oddly enough, we might like it even better than banana bread.) It’s ideal for the holidays or anytime you need a tasty berry-filled pick-me-up.

Ingredients in cranberry orange bread

This cranberry orange bread recipe uses simple ingredients to make a symphony of flavor. It comes out perfectly moist due to some secret ingredients: Greek yogurt and honey, which also add depth and complexity to the flavor. If you don’t stock Greek yogurt you can also use sour cream, which gives an even richer body to this bread. It’s ideal for fall and winter holidays like Thanksgiving or at Christmas breakfast. Here’s what you’ll need for cranberry bread:

  • Fresh cranberries*
  • All purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Eggs
  • Honey
  • Neutral oil
  • Greek yogurt
  • Milk
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Orange zest
Cranberry Orange Bread

Tips for baking cranberry bread

This cranberry bread recipe is easier than most: because it’s made with oil, you don’t need to use a mixer to cream together butter and sugar. It’s modeled after our cranberry orange muffins, which use similar ingredients. Here are a few tips for baking cranberry bread:

  • Use an aluminum baking pan for best results. Ceramic and glass pans don’t cook as evenly for quick breads. Use aluminum if you can! We make this bread with a 9-inch loaf pan, but you can use an 8-inch pan too: increase the bake time slightly since the bread will be thicker.
  • Don’t overmix. Overmixing a quick bread batter leads to holes in the texture of the crumb. Mix until the batter is combined and there are no dry spots remaining.
  • Cover loosely with aluminum foil at 30 minutes. Add a bit of foil to prevent the top from browning too much.
  • Don’t overbake! Pull the bread just when a toothpick comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes (ours is usually 55 minutes). The internal temperature should be between 200°F and 205°F.
Cranberry Orange Bread

Can you use frozen cranberries?

The flavor of this cranberry bread recipe is best with fresh cranberries. However, you can use frozen berries as a substitute. Keep in mind: don’t thaw the berries before using! You can place them right into the batter frozen. This helps them from bleeding into the batter.

Tips for the icing glaze

Cranberry orange bread is complete without the icing glaze: it adds just the right pop of sweetness! It’s like adding a few more pinches of salt to a savory dish to bring out the flavor even more. Here are a few things to know about the icing:

  • It’s just 2 ingredients: powdered sugar and orange juice! Then mix them into a thick icing. Use the fresh juice from one of the oranges you zested for the muffins, or milk works too.
  • If it’s too thick or thin, adjust. If it’s too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, add a few more drops of juice (a little goes a long way!).
  • Let the bread cool completely before drizzling the icing to avoid melting.
  • A fork makes the best icing drizzle. Don’t use a spoon! Using a fork makes the best drizzly icing lines.
Cranberry Orange Bread

Cranberry orange bread storage

How to store this homemade cranberry orange bread once you’ve baked up a loaf? The icing makes storage slightly tricky. Here’s what to know:

  • Cranberry bread lasts 3 to 4 days at room temperature wrapped in aluminum foil.
  • Store refrigerated for 10 days wrapped in aluminum foil, making sure to bring the slice to room temperature before enjoying.
  • Freeze un-iced bread for up to 3 months. Slice it into pieces and wrap it in plastic wrap then a freezer-safe bag or container.

More cranberry recipes

Love cranberries? Here are a few more tasty cranberry recipes to make using this seasonal berry:

This cranberry orange bread recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Cranberry Orange Bread

Cranberry Orange Bread


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

This cranberry orange bread recipe is citrusy, moist, and studded with tangy berries! Drizzle this classic with a simple sweet glaze.


Ingredients

Scale

For the cranberry orange bread

  • 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour, plus ½ tablespoon
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (zest from 2 medium oranges)
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries*, rinsed and patted dry (or substitute frozen, not thawed), plus 1 handful extra for the top

For the orange glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch aluminum loaf pan.
  2. Make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the honey, vegetable oil, yogurt, milk, apple cider vinegar, and orange zest until smooth. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a spatula until it just comes together into a thick batter. 
  3. Mix the cranberries with ½ tablespoon flour. Fold the cranberries into the batter with a spatula. 
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top with a sprinkle of a handful of cranberries, pressing them into the top. Then sprinkle with additional granulated sugar. 
  5. Bake: Bake 50 to 60 minutes, covering loosely with aluminum foil at 40 minutes if it is starting to become very brown. Bake until the top springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted comes out with a few clinging crumbs. The exact timing will depend on your oven and baking pan.
  6. Cool: Cool the bread in the pan for 30 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge and invert the loaf onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully to room temperature (about 30 minutes to 1 hour).
  7. Add glaze: Mix the powdered sugar and orange zest in a small bowl until it comes together into a smooth icing (if it is too runny add a bit more powdered sugar; if it’s too thick add a few drops more orange juice). Use a fork to drizzle the top of the bread with the icing.
  8. Storage info: The bread lasts 3 to 4 days at room temperature wrapped in aluminum foil or refrigerated for 10 days wrapped in foil (bring to room temperature before enjoying). You can also freeze un-iced bread for up to 3 months (slice it into pieces and wrap it in plastic wrap then a freezer-safe bag or container).

Notes

*We recommend using fresh cranberries in this recipe. If desired you can substitute frozen cranberries, but do not thaw before using.

  • Category: Quick bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Bread
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Cranberry orange bread, orange cranberry bread, cranberry orange bread recipe, cranberry bread recipe, cranberry bread

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you for responding. We have been enjoying the bread & noticed when getting closer to the center the texture is soft like a quick bread. Next time I will stir just to incorporate the flour & not be concerned about lumps. Also I think I would try baking at 350 degree for a longer period of time.

  2. I made the cranberry bread last night & had it this morning. The texture is more like homemade bread with air holes, not like a quick bread. I wonder if I stirred too much with the spatula to remove lumps for a “smooth” batter. I used Greek yogurt & grapeseed oil. I baked it in a nonstick loaf pan, but will get an aluminum one. I followed the instructions & love that this recipe is for one loaf & no mixer needed. I baked it for 60 minutes, but could have covered with foil the last 15 minutes instead of 5. It was too pale to cover at the 30 minute mark. I am experienced with baking quick breads, but wondering about the texture or reduce the baking time? Will try again.

    1. Thanks for letting us know! The texture may have a few holes like shown in the photo, but was yours much larger holes? I updated the recipe to indicate to stir until the batter just comes together. The baking time should not affect the interior texture unless it is underbaked — 50 to 60 minutes is a good guide but you can go slightly longer if the top is not set and springing back. We typically cover with foil around 30 minutes but I changed the instruction slightly that you can cover if it is starting to become very brown. Let me know if this answers your question!

  3. Made this for work and it was a hit!! Even my husband who doesn’t “like” cranberries thought it was great. Added some almonds. Thanks!!!

  4. Cranberry orange bread tastes amazing! So easy to make – friends and family love it. Thank you.