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The Best Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe

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This Cranberry Orange Bread is a simple and flavorful quick bread that is moist and delicious. For the holidays, this loaf of bread never fails to please thanks to its bright citrus flavor and pockets of sweet tartness. Use it as a snack or in the morning.

This orange cranberry bread is sweet and tangy and can be made without a mixer. It’s the perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas bread because cranberries are in season in the fall. Adding oranges and cranberries elevates this bread to the level of a holiday centerpiece. Since there is no rising time involved thanks to the absence of yeast, this loaf can be prepared in a pinch for unexpected guests.

Materials Required for This Recipe

  • Bread flour works great in this recipe for cranberry and orange bread. You’ll need strong flour to support the weight of the cranberries.
  • Bread raising agent, also known as baking powder. Verify that the baking powder has not passed its expiration date.
  • Milk — If you want a richer flavor, swap out the water for milk. Bread made with milk has a subtle sweetness and a smooth, creamy texture.
  • The secret ingredient is vegetable oil to get a moist, tender, and soft loaf of orange cranberry bread. Canola oil is a good substitute if you’re out of vegetable oil.
  • Orange — both the juice and the zest are required to achieve that refreshing citrus taste. You can substitute orange juice from a bottle, but the orange zest is essential to the bread’s flavor.
  • Vanilla — whenever possible, use actual vanilla extract rather than imitation vanilla.


For the Cranberry-Orange Bread

  • ▢2 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
  • ▢1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • ▢1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ▢½ teaspoon salt
  • ▢½ cup milk (120mL)
  • ▢½ cup vegetable oil (120mL)
  • ▢zest of 1 orange
  • ▢2 tablespoons orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
  • ▢1 large egg
  • ▢2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ▢1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

For the Orange Glaze

  • ▢1½ cups powdered sugar sifted
  • ▢3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice
  • ▢¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ▢orange zest


  • Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a large bowl.
  • Milk, oil, orange zest and juice, an egg, and vanilla extract should be mixed together in a separate large bowl.
  • Mix the liquids with a whisk.
  • The milk mixture is then added to the flour and stirred together until just combined.
  • Add the cranberries and mix well.
  • Place the batter in a 9×5-inch loaf pan that has been greased. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with a few moist crumbs after 55 minutes in the oven.
  • Sugar, orange juice, and vanilla extract should be whisked together in a small bowl until the mixture reaches the desired consistency.
  • Once the cranberry orange bread has cooled, drizzle it with the glaze. Before cutting, sprinkle with orange zest for an extra special touch.


  • Over-mixing the batter with an electric mixer can lead to a dense loaf or large holes in the crumb, so it’s best to avoid doing that. Use a spatula to stir the ingredients together until they are evenly distributed.
  • Zesting the orange first makes juicing it much less of a hassle.
  • Make sure the eggs and milk are at room temperature before adding them to the batter.
  • Use the right amount of flour. If you use too much flour, cranberry bread will be heavy. Using a scale to measure flour is the most accurate and convenient method. If you don’t have a flour sifter, you can use a spoon to aerate the flour before sprinkling it into a measuring cup and then leveling it off with a knife.
  • Sifting the powdered sugar before whisking it into a glaze ensures a uniform consistency.
    Protect the loaf from over-browning by placing a sheet of aluminum foil over the baking dish.
    You can get more juice out of an orange by rolling it under your palm on the counter.



If you want to make cranberry bread from frozen cranberries, don’t thaw them first. The batter won’t be able to hold its shape if the color bleeds in. Since the fruit is cold, to begin with, the total baking time may need to be extended by a minute or two.


Sprinkle a spoonful of flour over the cranberries and toss to coat if you’re worried about them sinking to the bottom of your cranberry quick bread.

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