Orange-glazed Cranberry bread has a moist and tender crumb and is loaded with juicy cranberries. It has the perfect balance of sweet and tangy and just like our famous Banana Bread, this loaf stays moist for a few days (in case you needed a homemade Christmas gift idea).
This is a copycat version of my favorite bakery’s cranberry loaf and this one turned out even better – more cranberries and the orange glaze makes it truly special. You’ll love every bite.
We love cranberry recipes during the holidays like Sugared Cranberries, Cranberry Bundt Cake, and of course this Cranberry Bread recipe. If you love tangy and juicy cranberries, this recipe is a must-try!
Ingredients for Cranberry Orange Bread
- Flour – use all-purpose to give the bread structure
- Baking powder – leavening to make the loaf rise
- Salt – balances the sweetness
- Milk – best at room temperature
- Orange zest and juice – be sure to zest the orange before juicing it. Reserve a teaspoon of zest for the glaze.
- Butter – Adds moisture to the loaf. Use unsalted butter softened at room temperature.
- Sugar – to balance the tanginess of the cranberries
- Eggs – give the bread a moist, tender crumb
- Cranberries – rinsed and dried then tossed in 1/2 Tbsp of flour to keep them from sinking in the batter (see substitution options in common questions section)
How to Make Cranberry Bread
- Whisk dry ingredients – whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Combine wet ingredients – in a measuring cup, stir together milk, orange juice and zest.
- Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl then beat in eggs until well combined.
- Combine batter – Add flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the milk mixture, mixing just until combined.
- Flour cranberries – rinse and dry cranberries then toss them with 1/2 Tbsp flour to coat. Fold in cranberries just until incorporated. Spread batter into buttered and floured 8.5×4.5 bread pan.
- Bake the bread for 45-50 minutes until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
The Best Glaze for Cranberry Bread
Orange and cranberry are complimentarily flavored just like peanut butter and jelly. Topping the cranberry bread with orange juice and the orange zest-infused glaze makes this bread irresistible. I’m not sure if it’s breakfast or dessert but I’ve served it both ways. All you need for this easy 3-ingredient glaze is:
- Powdered sugar – I spoon it into the cup and level the top for a consistent measure.
- Orange juice – Freshly squeezed is best and don’t worry about straining. A little pulp won’t hurt the bread.
- Orange zest – do not skip the zest. It adds deep orange floral notes to the glaze.
Yes, you can use frozen cranberries in the same quantity and add them frozen (do not thaw). You may need to bake just a few minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
You can substitute with 2/3 cup dried cranberries and reduce the sugar in the recipe to 2/3 cup since dried cranberries aren’t as tart. The dried cranberries will be juicer if you soak them in very warm water for 10 minutes then drain and pat dry before using.
You can make this a cranberry nut bread by folding in 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans when adding the cranberries to the batter.
- Room Temperature – wrap cranberry bread loosely in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Refrigerate – you can cover and store the loaf in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Freezing – cool the loaf completely to room temperature then place in a freezer-safe zip bag, removing any excess air. Freeze up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.