Best Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe

A perfect combination of sweet oranges and tart cranberries come together to make a loaf of delicious and festive Cranberry Orange Bread.

This is my favorite time of year and one of my favorite recipes for the Christmas and Holiday Season-Cranberry Orange Bread with a simple Orange Glaze. Everything about this bread is so easy and delicious. I enjoy it with a cup of coffee in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings as dessert.

Sliced Cranberry Orange Bread on a cutting board with text overlay.

This quick bread is full of plump, juicy, fresh cranberries and flavored with lots of orange zest. It’s moist, not too sweet, and incredibly flavorful. I use fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest to ensure this bread is packed full of freshness and orange flavor. Adding a simple powdered sugar glaze over the top gives this loaf the right amount of sweetness.

The bright berries give this bread a festive look and would make a nice gift for the holidays. In addition, your friends, coworkers, and neighbors would enjoy a loaf to share with their families.

If you are a fan of fresh cranberries, try my homemade cranberry sauce. It’s fantastic and full of flavor.

Cranberry Orange Bread with sugared cranberries, with text overlay.

Tips and Variations for this Easy Quick Bread Recipe

  • With cranberries in season, I like to buy a few extra bags of fresh cranberries for the freezer. Cranberry season is short, and there are so many cranberry recipes to make year round.
  • Add some pecans or walnuts to the recipe.
  • Fresh or frozen cranberries will work nicely.
  • Zest your orange before juicing. 
  • Bake on the middle oven rack for even cooking.
  • All ovens cook differently. If your bread is browning too fast, make a tent with aluminum foil and place it loosely over the top of the bread.
  • Check for doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick near the center of the loaf. It should come out clean.
  • I prefer to store my loaf in the refrigerator so the glaze doesn’t get soft, but it will be fine stored at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Giving this as a gift? This is a great recipe and makes a wonderful gift. Add some parchment paper to the bottom of the loaf then wrap it in a clear food-safe bag with some festive tissue paper, a bow, and a gift tag. 

 Key Ingredients for Cranberry Orange Bread

For a complete list, see the recipe card below.

Ingredients for Cranberry Orange Bread with text overlay.

Cranberries– Fresh or frozen cranberries will work for this recipe.

Orange Juice and Zest– Fresh orange juice and orange zest take this bread over the top. 

Butter-Adds extra layers of flavor and richness.

All Purpose Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, and Sugar– All staple ingredients

Eggs– Eggs bind everything together.

Milk– Just a little bit of liquid for mixing.

Powdered Sugar– Adds sweetness to the glaze.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe

This is a straightforward and easy recipe. It comes together quickly. See the recipe card for complete instructions.

  1. Preheat the oven and Prepare the Loaf Pan.
  2. Juice and Zest Oranges. You will need some zest and juice for both the batter and the glaze. Divide accordingly.
  3. Make the Batter. Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients.
  4. Toss in Cranberries.
  5. Bake Cranberry Orange Bread and Cool. Test with a toothpick to check for doneness. 
  6. Make the Glaze. While the bread is cooling on a wire rack, make the glaze. Once cooled, glaze the top of the sweet bread.
Steps for making Cranberry Quick Bread.

How to Make Orange Glaze

This yummy glaze tops this bread making it even more delicious. It’s flavored with powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. 

  1. In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, orange juice, and reserved zest. Stir until smooth. It should have a drizzling consistency. 

 Add more orange juice to thin it out or powdered sugar to make it thicker.

Fresh or Frozen Cranberries

Fresh Cranberries are seasonal. If you can not find fresh, frozen cranberries work well for this recipe. I like to buy several bags and store them in the freezer to use in recipes throughout the year.

How to Store Orange Quick Bread

Store the orange bread in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. I prefer to store mine in the refrigerator so the glaze doesn’t get soft and sticky, but it will be fine stored on the kitchen counter at room temperature for several days.

How To Serve:

This quick sweet bread recipe is absolutely delicious and one of the best cranberry orange loaves you will ever taste. Slice the loaf into individual slices and serve. 

You might even add:

  • Extra glaze to each piece.
  • Add a scoop of ice cream to the side.
  • Add a few chocolate chips to each slice and warm slightly in the microwave until the chocolate chips have melted.
Sliced Cranberry Orange Bread with text overlay.


No. The cranberries will cook as the bread cooks.

I like to keep this bread in the refrigerator, but this is a personal preference. This bread will be fine left on the counter for several days, covered with plastic wrap to keep it fresh.

More Bread Recipes to Enjoy

Banana Bread— This is the only recipe you will need for Banana Nut Bread. It’s that good. So easy to make and tastes amazing! Sugar, shortening, eggs, bananas, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pecans.

Strawberry Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze— Strawberry Rolls are loaded with sweet strawberries and topped with a cream cheese glaze. Super soft, fluffy, and full of strawberry flavor. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.

Cranberry Orange Bread with sugared cranberries on top.

Best Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe

Gina Abernathy
A perfect combination of sweet oranges and tart cranberries come together to make a loaf of delicious and festive Cranberry Orange Bread.
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings



  • cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 large orange (juice and zest) zest (save 1 teaspoon for glaze)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 6 tablespoons butter softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • cups fresh cranberries rinsed and patted dry
  • ½ tablespoon all purpose flour
  • Optional: orange slices and cranberries for garnish

Orange Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • tablespoons orange juice more if needed to thin
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest


  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a loaf pan (9" x 5")
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together: flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Combine milk, orange zest (Reserve 1 tsp zest for the glaze), and orange juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Use a stand mixer and cream butter and sugar at medium speed for 3 minutes. Beat in 2 large eggs, mixing well. 
  • Add flour mixture in 2 parts, alternating with the milk mixture and mixing on medium/low speed until incorporated with each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Toss cranberries with 1/2 Tbsp flour, then fold them into the batter, stirring until incorporated. Spread the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 45-50 min at 350˚F until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes; run a knife around the edges and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing. 

To Make the Glaze:

  • In a separate bowl, stir together powdered sugar, orange juice, and reserved zest. Stir until smooth. It should have a drizzling consistency. Add more orange juice to thin it out or powdered sugar to make it thicker.


For sugared cranberries for topping:
To a saucepan, add 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Stir and bring to a simmer until all sugar has melted. Drop a cup of cranberries into the liquid and stir for 2 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and remove cranberries with a slotted spoon from the liquid to a parchment lined baking sheet. Drop cranberries (a few at a time) into a bowl of sugar, roll around coating well. Place on a cooling rack (not touching) until dry and the sugar has hardened.
Keyword Best Cranberry Orange Bread


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