Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

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Cranberry Orange Quick Bread is a flavorful quick bread, with hints of citrus and tart cranberries, and topped with an orange glaze. This moist, tender, delicious bread is going to be the hit of your holiday season.

I love quick breads, they are so easy to make and because they lack yeast, you can have a warm loaf of bread ready to eat in no time. Try my Award Winning Banana Bread, Blueberry Zucchini Bread with a Lemon Glaze and Strawberry Banana Bread whenever you crave a slice of amazing bread.

orange cran quick bread slices.

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

While I love all the cookies, treats, and sweets of the holidays, one of my favorite things to bake, and gift this time of year, are quick breads. They are super simple and everyone loves to get and eat bread! This cranberry orange bread is exceptionally festive during the holiday season. The red of the cranberries adds such a seasonal look. Wrap one up with a nice bow and you’ll be the favorite gift of the season.

Last week I made the most delicious cranberry orange scones I have ever eaten. I seriously could not stop myself from eating “just one more”  and the orange glaze on top was divine. This bread reminds me those scones. Cranberry and orange just go together. The tart from the cranberry compliments the zingy citrus of the orange and surround with a tender sweet bread is just luscious. The two ingredient glaze just makes it that much better. You need to make this loaf today!

Cranberry Orange Bread Ingredients

Although winter is peak season for both oranges and cranberries, you can use frozen cranberries and make this year round. If you have it, fresh orange juice is always best, giving it a fresh deep flavor. But you can certainly use orange juice already made up from concentrate or buy from the store. Either way will still deliver an impeccable flavor.

  • Cranberries: Fresh or frozen chopped
  • Sugar: This is for rolling the cranberries in.
  • Flour: All purpose flour works well.
  • Baking Soda: Your leavening agent to help your bread be light and fluffy.
  • Salt: Gives essential flavor and balance to your bread.
  • Vegetable Oil: I used canola oil.
  • Sugar: Yes more sugar, this goes in the bread mix.
  • Zest of one Orange: Adds intense orange flavor you don’t want to leave out.
  • Eggs: Large or extra large eggs lighten beaten.
  • Orange Juice: Fresh is best but can use other.


  • Fresh Orange Juice: Again Fresh is best but you can use other.
  • Powdered Sugar: Essential ingredient for glazing.
  • Grated Orange Peel: This optional.

Making this Cranberry Orange Bread

Like most quick breads this is pretty simple to throw together, and then you let the oven do the hard work. In no time your home will be filled with the most amazing aroma. A fresh citrusy sweet smell that will also make your mouth water. Hang on, the bread’s coming!

  1. Cranberries: Wash and chop fresh or frozen cranberries and mix in the ¼ cup of granulated sugar and set aside.
  2. Mix: In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Stir: In another bowl stir the oil, 2 cups of sugar and orange zest. Mix well.
  4. Combine: Combine the flour mixture with the sugar mixture. Slowly add in the eggs and orange juice and mix till just combined.
  5. Fold: Gently stir in the cranberries, don’t over mix.
  6. Bake: In 4 mini greased loaf pans or 2 regular greased loaf pans pour the batter in. Bake for 35-40 min at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Glaze: While the bread cools whisk the glaze ingredients together. Use more or less amount of powdered sugar based on desired consistency. Glaze slightly warm bread and garnish with candied orange peel if desired.

cran orange bread in a pan fresh out of the oven.

What is Quick Bread?

Quick breads are any breads that are leavened with baking soda or baking powder or both instead of yeast. They include muffins, scones, biscuits, corn bread, quick loaf breads and even pancakes. They are referred to as quick because you need to take extra time to let the leavening, or yeast in most cases, proof or rise. Both baking soda and baking powder will have chemical reactions with the other ingredients creating a rise. You do not usually want to over mix quick bread types because it will deflate the chemical reaction that allows it to fluff. Also bake as soon as you mix your ingredients. Don’t let it the mixture sit, this will also cause deflation.

Glaze ingredients

Why Cranberries?

I could say why not cranberries?!  They have such a unique tart flavor, but because they can be quite sour, they are usually never eaten raw. Mixed with other fruits, sugars and heated helps to soften the sour and are a beloved berry around the holidays. Cranberries are very good for you! And yes we do coat them in sugar (to help with the sour taste and so they don’t sink in the batter) but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have more than one slice. I hope!

  • Super high in antioxidants and vitamins C and A, they are really good for you.
  • They also contain a plant compound shown to help prevent and heal UTI’s.
  • They are also high in fiber.

glaze dripping off a spoon into a red mug.

Tips for the Best Cranberry Orange Bread

  • Mix: Remember don’t overmix the batter. It will cause your bread to sink and be flat and dense instead of light and airy.
  • Bake: This can also be cooked in muffin tins, adjust your cooking time as needed. Every oven is different so start at the minimum time and if not done add 5 min at a time till done.
  • More: Double this recipe to make extra loaves to give away or freeze
  • Add: Add in chopped pecans or pistachios for nutty flavor and texture
  • Sweet: Try adding White Chocolate chips for a buttery sweet treat to this extraordinary bread.

orange-zest in a white dish.


This bread stores well which is great, but I doubt you’ll have much to save. It shouldn’t last long. It didn’t last long at our house.

  • Store: This will keep in a plastic bag or an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. And about 7-9 days in the fridge.
  • Freeze: This bread freezes beautifully. Let it cool completely, don’t glaze it. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and then place in a freezer safe bag. It will keep for 2-3 months. Glaze once you’ve thawed it on your counter or overnight in your fridge.

Mini loaf orange-cran quick bread finished.


More Quick Recipes to Try

We all love things that can be made quickly, that means we get to save time, and still put something amazing on the table and in our loved ones bellies. Whether it’s a dessert, main dish or side dish, we love it fast! Try these the next time you need something fast.


Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

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A flavorful quick bread, with hints of citrus and tart cranberries, and topped with an orange glaze. This moist, tender, delicious bread is going to be the hit of your holiday season.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 24 slices


  • 4 cups cranberries chopped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar for tossing the cranberries in
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar Yes, I have sugar listed already, this goes in the bread, that sugar coats the cranberries, I like having it listed separately
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups orange juice fresh is best (just use the orange you zested)


  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  • 2 tbs grated orange peel optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Wash and chop fresh (or frozen) cranberries, and with ¼ cup granulated sugar, and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl mix together together oil, 2 cups sugar, and orange zest, mix well
  • Combine your flour mixture with your sugar mixture, then slowly add the egg and orange juice
  • Mix until just combined.
  • Fold in cranberries.
  • Pour into 4 greased mini loaf pans, and bake 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes
  • Remove from pan, and let cool completely.
  • Combine glaze ingredients and whisk together, adjust amount of powdered sugar used based on desired consistency. More will lead to a thicker glaze
  • Pour glaze over bread and add orange peel (or candied orange peel) for garnish!
  • Enjoy.


Serves: 24

Calories234kcal (12%)Carbohydrates42g (14%)Protein3g (6%)Fat7g (11%)Saturated Fat5g (25%)Cholesterol14mg (5%)Sodium243mg (10%)Potassium88mg (3%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar24g (27%)Vitamin A78IU (2%)Vitamin C15mg (18%)Calcium10mg (1%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword bread recipe, cranberry orange quick bread, quick bread recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic


Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. I can’t believe December’s halfway over already either! This quick bread is a real stunner (cranberries and orange go SO well together) – love this! 🙂

  2. This looks really yummy! My only YIKE aspect is that it has a LOT of sugar; two cups! Hmm….I think I would have to reduce that amount and try only 1 cup… 🙂

  3. I found the 2 cups of orange juice made the bread too sticky – I cut it down to 1 3/4 cup. Otherwise great tasting and beautiful bread – just what I was looking for

  4. Just wondering how far ahead this can be made before serving (you mentioned you give it as a gift so I’m assuming it’ll last a day or two?)? We have a horde coming for the holidays and I’d like to get some baking done in advance but I don’t want to serve ‘stale’ baked goods!

  5. Recipe was great and only changed a few things. I cut the sugar to 1 1/4 cups and added a couple spoonfuls of applesauce. Might try a couple more spoonfuls and cut the oil down next time. On the glaze I used Orange juice and powdered sugar. Was heaven. Thanks for the recipe.

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