Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze (VIDEO)
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.
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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!
Cranberry Bread Video Tutorial
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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.
Pro Tip: Tossing cranberries in a little flour coats them lightly and prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes. This ensures cranberries are evenly disbursed in the finished loaf.
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.
This sweet bread is total comfort food. All you need is a mug of tea or coffee to go with a thick, fresh slice of cranberry bread.
- 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.
Pro Tip: Cranberries are only available for a season in grocery stores so buy extra and store them in the future so you can keep enjoying this cranberry bread year-round.
More Cranberry Recipes
These are our best cranberry recipes using both fresh and dried cranberries.
- Cranberry Sauce
- Sparkling Cranberry Pineapple Punch
- Cranberry Orange Scones
- Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries
- Cranberry Apple Danish
Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze
Orange Glazed Cranberry bread is loaded with juicy cranberries with a moist and tender crumb. This stays moist for a few days after it’s made so it’s perfect as a homemade Christmas gift.
Cranberry Bread Ingredients
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
- Zest of 1 large orange, divided
- 1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and patted dry
- 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Orange Glaze Ingredients:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, or to reach desired consistency
- 1 tsp orange zest, reserved from the orange above
How to Make Cranberry Orange Bread:
Prep: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter a 6 cup (8 1/2 by 4 1/2 bread loaf pan) then dust with flour, tapping out the excess flour.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together: flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a measuring cup, combine together milk, zest of 1 orange (Reserve 1 tsp zest for the glaze), and orange juice. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar on medium/high speed (2-3 minutes on high speed). It won’t be smooth, just combined. Beat in 2 large eggs, mixing until well incorporated.
Add flour mixture in 2 parts, alternating with the milk mixture and mixing on medium/low speed just until incorporated with each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
Toss cranberries with 1/2 Tbsp flour then fold them into the batter just until incorporated. Spread the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 45-50 min at 350˚F until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10-15 minutes then run a cake release tool or knife around the edges and transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
To Make the Glaze:
In a separate bowl, stir together powdered sugar, orange juice and reserved teaspoon of zest. Stir until smooth. It should have a drizzling consistency. Add more orange juice to thin it out or powdered sugar to make it thicker.