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Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe

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Cranberry Orange Bread is THE bread of the holiday season. Loaded with oranges and cranberries, it’s perfect fresh out of the oven.


main image of cranberry orange bread


This is a bread that’ll stay moist for days. It’s perfectly crispy on the outside and sweet with just a hint of tart.

Around the holidays bring on all the cranberry foods: Cranberry Apple Crisp, Orange Cranberry Scones, Cranberry Bars…

Mmmm… Cranberries. The most wonderful time of year indeed!

Orange cranberry bread is perfect for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We love to give this away as gifts for the holidays.

Since it’s a very moist cranberry orange bread, it’ll still be good for a few days while I make enough batches to hand out.

It’s also really simple to make, using pantry ingredients you’ve probably already got on hand.

This cranberry orange bread recipe is also a quick bread. There is no rise time, just the time you need to cook.

Enjoy this delicious perfect treat with all your holiday favorites.


cranberry batter in a mixing bowl


What Ingredients are in Cranberry Orange Bread?

As promised, here are the simple ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious sweet bread.

  • Flour: Use all purpose flour to give the bread structure.
  • Sugar: The sugar is necessary to balance out the tartness of the tart cranberries and oranges.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: You need both to act as a leavening agent and get the right chemical reaction.
  • Salt: The salt brings out the flavors of all the other ingredients.
  • Butter: Make sure your butter is room temperature. It’s so much harder to add cold butter.
  • Sweet Oranges: You need both orange zest and orange juice to flavor the bread.
  • Egg: The egg acts as a binder that holds the whole loaf of bread together.
  • Cranberries: Use either fresh or frozen cranberries. All that Vitamin C too!
  • Walnuts: This is optional but could also be substituted with pecans.

Pro Tips:

  • Cutting the cranberries in half makes them a much more manageable size in the bread.
  • Be sure to zest the orange before you juice it. It’s much harder the other way around.
  • I don’t recommend using cranberry sauce as it will make the bread way too wet.
  • Fresh-squeezed orange juice is better than store bought, but make do with what you have.


cranberry bread batter in a bread pan


How to Make Cranberry Orange Bread

You’ll only be able to find fresh cranberries in the store for such a little time! So enjoy this easy quick bread recipe!

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: Use your stand mixer to slowly add each ingredient, one at a time.
  2. Mix Wet Ingredients: Add in the wet ingredients to the flour mixture.
  3. Fold: Be sure to add the cranberries and nuts these using a wooden spoon to prevent them from being squashed.
  4. Bake: When a toothpick comes out clean, you’re ready to eat your orange loaf. Just don’t burn your taste buds!

Pro Tips:

  • Use parchment paper or non stick foil to cover the bread pan and prevent sticking.
  • Mini loaves are easier to give as gifts but you’ll need to reduce the baking time.
  • Be sure not to overfill the measuring cup. Level the ingredients off.
  • no need to use a separate bowl, just mix right in the large mixing bowl.


fresh baked bread in bread pan, side angle photo


Can You Freeze Cranberry Orange Bread

Yes! You can easily freeze the best cranberry orange bread for later eating.

Be sure to wait for the cranberry orange bread to cool.

Using a wire rack will help them cool faster and then you’re ready to put it in your freezer.

Wrap the bread tightly with plastic wrap for best results at least twice.

Then move the bread to a freezer bag and seal, removing as much air as possible.

The bread will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to eat, simply remove from the freezer and allow it to thaw on the counter.

When the bread is room temperature, dig in!

You could also freeze individual slices by cutting, wrapping, and freezing each one.

Then you can pull out the little bit that you want at a time.

Pro Tip:

  • Write the name and date on the bag so you don’t forget what it is or when to use it!


fresh baked bread in bread pan top looking down


How to Store Cranberry Orange Bread

You can store cranberry orange quick bread on the counter or in the fridge.

If you’ll be consuming the bread within 3 days, feel free to leave it on the counter in an airtight container.

You can keep the bread in the fridge, also covered, for up to a week.

Anything that will take longer than a week to consume should be kept in the freezer.

As always, the more it’s covered and the cooler it is, the longer it will last.


bread removed from bread pan and on cutting board


Can I Add Nuts to Cranberry Orange Bread

Yes! Personally, I love my cranberry orange bread with nuts.

I know some people don’t, and if that’s you, feel free to leave them out.

If you do love nuts, good nuts to chop and use are walnuts, pecans, or almonds.

Another fun treat to mix in is chocolate chips! Maybe not as healthy as nuts but perfectly sweet!

Feel free to mix things up. If you think something will taste good in a loaf cake, it’ll taste good here too!


two slices of bread on cutting board with remaining bread behind.


Can I Use Craisins in Cranberry Orange Bread

Yes, you can use Craisins or other dried cranberries in your cranberry bread recipe.

First, you’ll want to rehydrate the dried cranberries so they aren’t so hard.

Do this by soaking them in warm or boiling water for about 15 minutes.

They should become soft and pliable.

Then add them to the orange bread recipe and use them like regular cranberries.


top view looking down at bread and slices


If you love cranberries try these recipes…

If you love oranges try these recipes…


Cranberry Orange Bread is a quick and easy bread that is a family favorite. We love to give it away, eat it for ourselves, and of course freeze some for later.

Make a batch, or even a couple today and share this seasonal favorite with your friends and family!


Yield: 1 loaf

Orange Cranberry Bread

bread removed from bread pan and on cutting board

Cranberry Orange Bread is THE bread of the holiday season. Loaded with oranges and cranberries, it’s perfect fresh out of the oven.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Line the bottom of a 9" bread pan with parchment paper or non-stick foil. Spray entire pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt & baking soda.
  4. Add butter and mix until mixture is crumbly.
  5. With mixer on, slowly add orange juice, a little at a time until smooth and creamy.
  6. Add zest and egg and blend well.
  7. Fold in cranberries and walnuts (optional).
  8. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.


Nutritional Information is estimated, not exact.

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238Total Fat: 5.4gSaturated Fat: 3.1gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 278mgCarbohydrates: 44.2gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 23gProtein: 3.4g
Originally Posted: August 16, 2016

Photos & Text Updated: November 3, 2018

Photos & Text Updated: September 22, 2022


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Armida Amaya

Thursday 21st of December 2023

I made this bread for Thanksgiving, my family loved it as I did also I am baking some for friends for Christmas. How long do I bake if using 5x3 1/4x 2? Thank you and Merry Christmas.

Sharon Meadows

Wednesday 17th of October 2018

Do you have to chop the cranberrys,can you use whole cranberrys?


Sunday 11th of November 2018

You can use whole cranberries but you'll get big chunks of cranberries scattered throughout the bread. By chopping them you get a more even distribution of the cranberries and fewer big chunks.


Tuesday 1st of November 2016

Can you let me know if it's a 8" or 9 " loaf pan Thank you


Sunday 11th of November 2018

I use a 9" loaf pan. i'll update the recipe to reflect that. Thanks!


Wednesday 17th of August 2016

This looks deliscious! One question about the cranberries: fresh?, dried (craisins)?, frozen? Can't wait to try it. Thanks


Saturday 20th of August 2016

I used fresh. I've updated the recipe to state that! Thank you for pointing that out! It's an important detail!

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