Cranberry Orange Quick Bread | The Recipe Critic

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Cranberry orange quick bread is a flavorful quick bread with hints of citrus and tart cranberries and topped with an orange glaze. This moist, tender, delicious bread is going to be the hit of your holiday season.

I love a good quick bread! They are so easy to make and because they lack yeast, you can have a warm loaf of bread ready to eat in no time. Try my banana, blueberry zucchini, and strawberry banana bread whenever you crave a slice of amazing bread.

A loaf of sliced cranberry orange bread.

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

While I love all the cookies, treats, and sweets of the holidays, one of my favorite things to bake, and gift this time of year, are quick bread. They are super simple and everyone loves to get and eat bread! This cranberry orange bread is exceptionally festive during the holiday season. The red of the cranberries add such a seasonal look. Wrap one up with a nice bow and you’ll be the favorite gift of the season.

Last week I made the most delicious cranberry orange scones I have ever eaten. I seriously could not stop myself from eating “just one more”  and the orange glaze on top was divine. This bread reminds me of those scones. Cranberry and orange just go together. The tart from the cranberry compliments the zingy citrus of the orange and surround with a tender sweet bread that is just luscious. The two-ingredient glaze just makes it that much better. You need to make this loaf today!

Ingredients in Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

Although winter is the peak season for both oranges and cranberries, you can use frozen cranberries and make this year-round. If you have it, fresh orange juice is always best, giving it a fresh deep flavor. But you can certainly use orange juice already made up from concentrate or buy from the store. Either way will still deliver an impeccable flavor.

  • Cranberries: Fresh or frozen cranberries work.
  • Sugar: This is for rolling the cranberries in.
  • Flour: All purpose flour works well.
  • Baking soda: Your leavening agent to help your bread be light and fluffy.
  • Salt: Gives essential flavor and balance to your bread.
  • Vegetable oil: I used canola oil.
  • Sugar: Yes more sugar, this goes in the bread mix.
  • Orange zest: Adds intense orange flavor you don’t want to leave out.
  • Eggs: Large or extra large eggs lighten beaten.
  • Orange juice: Fresh is best but you can use concentrate or pre-made orange juice when that is easier.

Glaze

  • Orange juice: Again, fresh is best!
  • Powdered sugar: This dissolves will which helps make the glaze super smooth.
  • Grated orange peel: This optional but it really adds a fresh taste to the glaze.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

This cranberry orange quick bread is pretty simple to throw together and then you let the oven do the hard work. In no time your home will be filled with the most amazing aroma. A fresh citrusy sweet smell that will also make your mouth water. Hang on, the bread’s coming!

  1. Preheat and prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 5×7 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Mix dry ingredients: In a medium sized bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients: In another bowl mix together oil, sugar, and orange zest.
  4. Mix everything together: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Slowly add in the effort and orange juice.
  5. Toss in cranberries: In a small bowl toss the cranberries with the 2 T Sugar and fold into the batter until combined.
  6. Pour and bake: Pour into your loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted is clean. Remove from the pan and let it cool completely.
  7. Whisk and drizzle: In a small bowl whisk the orange juice and the powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency or orange juice for a thinner consistency if desired. Drizzle on top of cooled bread.
6 pictures showing steps on how to make bread dough, cut up cranberries and mix it to pour into the dough pans.

Quick Breads

  • What is quick bread? Quick breads are any loaves of bread that are leavened with baking soda or baking powder or both instead of yeast. Both baking soda and baking powder will have chemical reactions with the other ingredients creating a rise without using yeast. This cranberry orange quickbread is one of them!
  • More quick breads: Some other quick breads are muffins, scones, biscuits, cornbread, and even pancakes.
  • Don’t overmix: You do not usually want to over mix quick bread types because it will deflate the chemical reaction that allows it to fluff. Also, bake as soon as you mix your ingredients. Don’t let the mixture sit, this will also cause deflation.

A glaze being drizzled on a loaf of bread.

Tips for the Best Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

  • Don’t Overmix: Remember don’t overmix the batter. It will cause your bread to sink and be flat and dense instead of light and airy.
  • Use a muffin tin instead: This can also be cooked in muffin tins, adjust your cooking time as needed. Every oven is different so start at the minimum time and if it’s not done then add 5 minutes at a time until it’s till done.
  • Double the recipe! Double this recipe to make extra loaves to give away or you can freeze it for later!
  • Toppings or mix-ins: Add in chopped pecans or pistachios for nutty flavor and texture.
  • Add some sweet flavor: Try adding white chocolate chips for a buttery sweet treat to this extraordinary bread.

A zoomed in picture showing the inside of cranberry orange quick bread.

How to Store Leftovers

This bread stores well which is great, but I doubt you’ll have much to save. It’s so good that it didn’t last long at our house.

  • On the counter or in the fridge:  This will keep in a plastic bag or an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. And about 7-9 days in the fridge.
  • Freeze: This bread freezes beautifully. Let it cool completely, don’t glaze it. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and then place in a freezer safe bag. It will keep for 2-3 months. Glaze once you’ve thawed it on your counter or overnight in your fridge.

A slice of cranberry orange quick bread.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 5×7 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

  • In another bowl mix together oil, sugar, and orange zest.

  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Slowly add in the effort and orange juice.

  • In a small bowl toss the cranberries with the 2 Tablespoon sugar and fold into the batter until combined.

  • Pour into your loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the toothpick inserted is clean. Remove from the pan and let it cool completely.


Updated on December 18, 2021
Originally Posted on December 11. 2015

Serves: 12

Calories211kcal (11%)Carbohydrates49g (16%)Protein3g (6%)Fat1g (2%)Saturated Fat1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat1gMonounsaturated Fat1gTrans Fat1gCholesterol16mg (5%)Sodium195mg (8%)Potassium90mg (3%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar31g (34%)Vitamin A80IU (2%)Vitamin C14mg (17%)Calcium10mg (1%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Breakfast, Side Dish

Cuisine American

Keyword bread recipe, cranberry orange quick bread, quick bread recipe





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