Tart cranberries are paired with orange zest and juice in this classic cranberry orange bread. A simple baked treat with bright flavour! This is a simple, winter-inspired recipe with lots of fresh orange and cranberries. Serve this loaf as a breakfast treat, brunch side, or afternoon snack with hot cocoa or tea.

For some more sweet-tart cranberry recipes, try our cranberry sourdough bread, zesty cranberry orange scones, or festive cranberry pistachio shortbread.

A half-sliced cranberry orange loaf on a coral-pink rectangle platter with rounded corners.
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Ingredients

Cranberry orange bread ingredients with labels.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Orange: lemon and grapefruit are terrific substitutions for orange.
  • Cranberries: use fresh or frozen for this recipe. If using frozen, there's no need to thaw them first.
  • Glaze: if you don't want orange glaze, you could try making a the cranberry glaze from our cranberry scones. Cream cheese frosting would be grea too.
  • Make it dairy-free: use a good vegan butter to replace the dairy butter.

Method

Quick bread steps 1 to 4, mixing the batter.

Step 1: whisk together the dry ingredients and orange zest, then mix in the soft butter.

Step 2: mix orange juice, water, and egg.

Step 3: add the juice mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Step 4: carefully fold the cranberries into the batter.

Cranberry bread steps 5 and 6, before and after baking.

Step 5: spoon the batter into a loaf tin and level out the top.

Step 6: bake the bread for about an hour and cool fully before glazing.

Top Tips

  • Make it less sweet: you can reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe to ¾ cup (150 g) if you want. Don't reduce the sugar any further, or the bread will be dry.
  • Don't over-mix: stir until just combined, and don't beat the batter after the wet ingredients are mixed in. Stirring too much will make for a tough loaf.
  • Zest carefully: the white pith, the white part under the orange peel of an orange, is bitter. Make sure you're only zesting the orange bit and not going too far into the white.

How to Store

Storage: keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to four days. The bread is best served the day it's baked. The glaze might soak in slightly if stored for any length of time.

Freezing: you can freeze a whole loaf, or individual slices, by double wrapping gently but tightly in aluminium foil. The loaf will keep in the freezer for up to one month.

FAQ

Do you have to cook cranberries before baking?

Most of the time, cranberries don't need to be cooked before adding them to baking. The recipe will call for it if needed but rest assured that it's perfectly all right to use raw cranberries in your bakes!

Why is my cranberry bread green?

If you have a green loaf, it'll be due to a reaction between the cranberries and baking powder or soda. You can see this with some other ingredients, too, like sunflower seeds and baking soda.

How can you tell if a cranberry is ripe besides coloring?

The best way to tell if a cranberry is ripe is to look at how red it is, but you can also text by texture. It should be very firm and bouncy.

If you make this Cranberry Orange Bread recipe or any other quick bread recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

A loaf of cranberry bread on a serving dish with three slices cut.
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5 from 1 vote

Cranberry Orange Bread

Tart cranberries are paired with orange zest and juice in this classic cranberry orange bread. A simple baked treat with bright flavour!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Author: Kelly Neil
Yield: 12

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
  • 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf tin
  • Parchment paper
  • Whisk
  • Zester
  • Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  • offset spatula or butter knife
  • Aluminum foil

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened, plus more to grease pan
  • 2 oranges zested and juiced
  • Warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cranberries fresh
  • ½ cup powdered sugar also called icing or confectioner's sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease a standard 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf tin with butter, line it with parchment paper, and set it aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and the zest from one orange.
  • Add the softened butter to the flour mixture and continue to whisk the mixture until the butter breaks into small coarse crumbs, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the juice of one orange to a measuring cup and top it with warm water to the ¾ cup (175 ml) line.
  • Crack in the egg and whisk everything together to combine.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of flour and fold everything together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until no dry bits of flour remain. Fold in the cranberries until well combined.
  • Spoon the cranberry batter into the prepared loaf tin and smooth out the top with a butter knife or offset spatula.
  • Place the loaf in the oven and bake it for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the loaf from the oven, tent it loosely with aluminum foil, and return it to the oven for 15 minutes more.
  • Cool the loaf in the tin on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then lift it out, remove the parchment paper, and let it cool completely.
  • To make the orange glaze mix together the powdered sugar and zest from the second orange.
  • Add orange juice by the ½ teaspoon to your desired thickness, then spoon the glaze over the cooled loaf.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 330mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g

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