Cranberry Orange Bread is so delicious and easy to make! This quick bread recipe is packed with cranberries, nuts, orange juice and orange zest. It’s a total crowd favorite for breakfast, brunch or a snack.
Sweet and tart blend perfectly for a fresh flavored sweet bread you’ll enjoy anytime.
Cranberry Orange Bread – A Great Quick Bread recipe
Quick breads do not need any yeast and they are fast to make.
All the ingredients are quickly mixed together and then baked in a loaf pan.
No fussy rising cycles and careful treatment required.
They are perfect for beginning bakers and those with more experience too.
This recipe is no exception. You’ll be able to whip up the batter and get it into the oven in about 10 minutes.
It can be made with fresh cranberries OR dried cranberries too so is a recipe great any time of the year.
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
All Purpose Flour. Regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure can be used (we’ve tested both!). For making the quick bread gluten-free we used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
Baking Powder. Makes the bread rise and gives a cakey softness.
Salt. We recommend kosher salt if possible which is a less salty tasting salt. Any salt will work though.
Granulated Sugar. This sweetens the bread.
Orange Zest. Gives a wonderful orange flavor due to the oils in the skin. When zesting do not remove any of the bitter white pith just below the skin. Here is my favorite zester that does a great job.
Egg. Binds the ingredients and creates a structure for rising.
Milk. We used dairy milk (whole milk) and any fat content will work. Though we have not tested nut milks or other plant milks they should work as well.
Orange juice. Freshly squeezed or store orange juice will work. I recommend zesting the orange first then juicing it!
Unsalted Butter. The butter will be melted for the recipe so no need to soften it.
Cranberries. You can use fresh cranberries or dried cranberries for this cranberry bread. If using fresh you’ll slice them in half first. Fresh cranberries will be a bit more tart.
Fresh cranberries are typically only available in the winter months. Grab some extra bags when they are on sale and put them in your freezer so you can use them any time of the year.
Nuts. They add a delicious crunch and some healthy fats. We recommend chopped walnuts or pecans which both are delicious with the cranberry and orange flavors.
How to Make it – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Preparation.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
STEP 2. Make the cranberry orange bread batter.
In a mixing bowl whish together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar (photo 1).
In a second large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer combine the wet ingredients. beat or Whisk together the orange zest, egg, milk, orange juice and melted butter (photo 2).
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (photo 3). Mix just until combined and smooth. DO NOT OVERMIX.
Fold in the cranberries and nuts by hand (photo 4).
STEP 3. Bake the quick bread.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan (photo 5). Bake for 55-60 minutes until done or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (photo 6).
NOTE: the top will develop a deep golden crust (see photo 6 below). If you prefer less browning, add a piece of foil on the top of the bread halfway through baking.
It does not need to folded over the bread and secured; just tent it to cover the top.
Cool the loaf in the pan until it is easily handled. Turn out onto a cooling wire rack and allow to cool fully before slicing.
Recipe FAQs + Pro Tips
Can I use fresh cranberries when making a quick bread?
Yes! You can use either fresh cranberries or dried cranberries. Fresh cranberries will add more tartness. Dried cranberries are sweeter and are available all year.
Can I use frozen cranberries in this recipe?
Yes! However to maintain the baking time thaw them before adding to the recipe.
Do not overmix the batter: This is one of the most common mistakes when making quick bread and the main reason your quick bread might come out crumbly, dry or tough.
Cover with foil if it starts to brown too quickly: Quick breads take a while to bake. If yours is looking too brown on the surface but it’s still not done cover with aluminum foil to prevent burning.
Let the cranberry orange bread cool completely. Wrap with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.
It can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Ensure the quick bread is tightly wrapped as it can dry out in the refrigerator.
Once you are ready to eat it you can just pop it in the microwave or toaster oven to make it taste just as freshly baked.
Can I freeze this Cranberry Bread?
Yes! After the bread has cooled wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil or place it in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
For convenience freeze individual slices so they can be removed and eaten whenever desired.
Wrap each slice in plastic wrap and place the wrapped sliced in a freezer bag or container.
Thaw in the refrigerator or using the Defrost setting of a microwave.
More Recipes You’ll Love!
- Spicy Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce
- Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Cranberry Salsa
- Sparkling Cranberry-Orange Cava cocktail
Cranberry Orange Bread
- 2 cups all purpose flour regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoons orange zest about 2 large oranges worth
- 1 egg beaten
- ¾ cup milk I used whole milk
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 1/2 cup halved fresh cranberries or 1 cup of dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour or spray with non-stick cooking spray a standard loaf pan (9-inch by 5-inch by 2-inch).
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- In a mixing bowl or bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the orange zest, egg, milk, orange juice, and butter.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until fully combined and smooth. NOTE: Do not overmix the batter.
- Stir in the cranberries and nuts by hand.
- Spoon into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55-minutes to 1 hour until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. NOTE: if the bread begins to over brown, set a piece of foil over the top (doesn't need to be secured to the pan) halfway through baking.
- Cool in the pan until able to turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Cool before slicing.