The Best Orange Cranberry Bread
Orange Cranberry Bread– Bright orange citrus and vibrant, pucker-worthy cranberries balanced by moist, sweet quick bread. So yummy, why wait for the Holidays?
It’s exciting to start pulling out cranberry recipes because Holiday entertaining is imminent. Get a jump on party planning with some of our favorite cranberry creations! Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log, White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies, Wild Rice Stuffing With Cranberries And Pecans and don’t miss our Christmas Snack Mix!
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Why You’ll Love This Orange Cranberry Bread Recipe
It’s cranberry season! These tart and tasty red fall berries tease the coming holiday season. Snuggly sweaters, cozy boots, German Mulled Wine, and a crackling fireplace (sigh). Add a tender, sweet quick bread sprinkled with tart cranberries, a holiday flick, your furbaby, and your favorite peep-viola! I’m ready!
- Use fresh or frozen cranberries; even dried cranberries will work in this recipe.
- Cranberry orange bread is quick to make and perfect to enjoy during the busy holiday season.
- A tasty addition to breakfast warmed and slathered in homemade orange honey butter.
- We love this quick bread for breakfast, but it’s great any time of day!
- It’s not the holidays at our house until I make this cranberry bread recipe.
- Makes a great gift!
- Freezes well, make a double batch, and freeze a loaf for later.
Easy Orange Cranberry Bread Recipe Ingredients
Simple to pull together with everyday ingredients and fresh or frozen cranberries.
For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- One Large Orange – juiced and zested.
- Wet Standard Staples – Buttermilk, Melted Butter, a Large Egg, and Vanilla Extract.
- All-Purpose Flour – it is especially important to use the spoon and level method to measure flour to avoid a dry and crumbly cranberry loaf. Use a fork or spoon to lightly fluff up the flour. Then spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup to measure it correctly. Use the back of a knife to level off the top of the measuring cup.
- Dry Pantry Staples – Granulated Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt, & Baking Soda
- Cranberries – chopped fresh or frozen (no need to thaw).
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How To Make The Best Orange Cranberry Bread
Just grab your apron and two mixing bowls, a whisk, a rubber spatula, and a one-pound loaf pan, and let’s bake the best orange cranberry quick bread!
When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.
- Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
- Fold in the cranberries.
- Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Cool loaf in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.
My Favorite Loaf Pan
USA Pan Nonstick Standard Bread Loaf Pan, 1 Pound, Aluminized Steel
TidyMom Recipe Tips And Notes
- Chop fresh cranberries or toss whole cranberries in a bowl with ½ tablespoon flour. This will keep the fruit from floating to the top of the cranberry loaf.
- Some bakers prefer frozen cranberries in quick breads because freezing helps soften the fruit’s texture and lessens the color “bleed” from fresh cranberries. No need to thaw!
- If you decide to use dried cranberries, plump them first, so they don’t draw moisture from the bread batter.
- To zest an orange, use a microplane if you have one. Zesting increases the citrus flavor by actively disrupting and intensifying the oils in the orange peel.
- Bake the loaf on the middle oven rack for even cooking.
- Watch for browning – If the cranberry orange bread begins to brown too quickly, loosely cover the loaf with an aluminum foil tent to prevent over-browning.
- Slice quick bread with a long serrated knife for the best cut.
- Cranberries are only in season from October thru December. Buy extra and freeze them so you can enjoy cranberry quick bread all year long!
How To Store Orange Cranberry Bread
STORE: Wrap cooled loaf and store on the counter for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
FREEZE: Orange cranberry bread freezes beautifully as a loaf or individual slices. Double wrap the cooled loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag, removing excess air. Freeze for up to 3 months, thawing in the refrigerator overnight.
REHEAT: If you prefer warm cranberry orange bread, reheat a slice in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or until the desired temperature.
REHEATING HACK: If my last piece of cranberry bread looks a little dry from the fridge, I’ve got a nice hack! I spread half a dozen drops of water on aluminum foil, fold the bread in it, and put it in the toaster oven for a few minutes. Works like a charm!
Cranberry Bread Loaf FAQs
Fresh cranberries structurally contain four hollow quadrants. (Fancy, eh?) Most people say “air pockets.” Remember those cool Ocean Spray commercials where the guys are standing in the water with all those floating little red orbs glistening in the sun? That’s why many recipes recommend chopping fresh cranberries or cooking them down.
Yes, according to Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association (WSCGA). (Plus, a baker here and there agrees!) It’s not a 1:1 substitute though. It’s recommended to use ¾ cup of dried sweetened cranberries for every cup of fresh cranberries. In this orange cranberry bread recipe, that would be 1 ⅛ cup of dried cranberries.
No, not for this orange cranberry bread recipe! Chopping them up helps them to break down easier while baking, and frozen ones go right in the batter.
Variations and Substitutions
- How about nuts! Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans when you fold the cranberries into the orange cranberry bread batter.
- Want a glaze? In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1.5 tablespoons of orange juice, and one teaspoon of orange zest until smooth. Drizzle over a completely cooled loaf.
- No buttermilk? no problem! You can create a buttermilk substitute by placing 2 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and adding milk to the ⅔ cup fill line. Stir to combine and let sit for 5-10 minutes; then, you are good to go.
- Substitute brown sugar for the granulated sugar.
I love to keep a loaf or two in the freezer for unexpected guests (or gifting). Add a few sugared cranberries to the top for a bakery-style presentation. Orange cranberry bread is wonderful with a hot cup of coffee or warm Cranberry Mulled Wine.
Packaging your quick bread for gift-giving is super easy. You can bake loaves in pretty disposable cardboard pans, place in a clear cellophane bag, tape a thin piece of wrapping paper or ribbon around the loaf, and tie on a tag!
Make the loaf pan part of the gift. Pick up a pretty ceramic pan or several min loaf pans to bake your bread in the pans. Once it’s cooled cover it in plastic wrap or cellophane, wrap a pretty ribbon around it, and add a tag.
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- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw) *see notes
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 9×5-inch (1 pound) loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, stir together the orange juice, buttermilk, butter, egg, orange zest, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the wet ingredients, and whisk to completely combine. Do not overmix.
- Fold in the chopped cranberries.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing. Wrap and store on counter for up to 3 days.
Buttermilk substitute - If you don’t have buttermilk, place 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup, then add milk to the ⅔ cup fill line on the measuring cup. Stir to combine and let sit 5-10 minutes before using.
Want nuts? Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans when adding the cranberries
Watch for browning - If the bread begins to brown too quickly, loosely cover loaf with aluminum foil tent to prevent over-browning.
Want a glaze? In a small bowl mix 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1.5 tablespoons of orange juice, and one teaspoon orange zest until smooth. Drizzle over completely cooled loaf.
Chop the cranberries. This will keep them from floating to the top of the loaf.
Whole cranberries: If you’d prefer to use whole cranberries, instead of chopping them to prevent them from floating to the top, toss the cranberries in a bowl with ½ tablespoon of flour. This will prevent them from floating to the top of the loaf.
STORE: wrap cooled loaf and store on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
FREEZE: Freezes well as a loaf or individual slices. Double wrap the cooled loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag, removing excess air. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in refrigerator overnight.
REHEAT: If you prefer your cranberry orange bread warm, reheat a slice in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or until desired temperature.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 189mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.
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