This Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe is so easy to make and perfect for the holidays. The bread loaf is soft and moist and loaded with fresh cranberries and orange zest topped with lemon glaze.

If you love cranberries, the Cranberry Orange Scones and the popular Cranberry Brie Crostini are a must-try.

Cranberry Orange Bread Loaf slices stacked on top of each other next to cranberries, and a spoon.

Cranberry orange bread-

We love sweet bread loaves, I mean truly love them. They are especially wonderful to make around the holidays and give as gifts for the neighbors and teachers.

This bread loaf is not overly sweet. It has the perfect balance of sweetness and tang from the fresh cranberries and the hint of citrus from the orange zest and juices adds so much flavor. Above all, the lemon glaze totally completes the soft and fluffy cake-light loaf.

How to make the cranberry orange bread recipe with fresh cranberries and orange zest.

What you’ll need-

The ingredients for cranberry orange bread and simple and you most likely have most of them on hand in your pantry.

  • Butter- Be sure to use room-temperature butter that’s unsalted.
  • Eggs- Large eggs and room temp or straight out of the fridge will work.
  • Sugar- Granulated sugar, if you like your bread really sweet, add another ¼ cup of sugar.
  • Flour- You can use any all-purpose flour, we like to measure it and then sift the flour.
  • Baking Soda and Powder- The combination of baking powder and soda act as the evening agents giving the bread its beautiful shape.
  • Cranberries- Fresh cranberries are best in this bread.
  • Orange- Both orange juice from a fresh orange and the zest give so much flavor to the bread.
  • Lemon- Fresh lemon juice adds tartness to the loaf.
  • Sour Cream- The sour cream gives the bread loaf a moistness and keeps it from drying.
  • Oil- Just like the sour cream, adds moistness to the loaf. Extra light oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil will all work.
  • Powdered Sugar- The powdered sugar will be used for the glaze.
  • Lemon Juice- We will just need a hit of lemon juice but you can substitute it for orange juice.
  • Milk- The milk will help with consistency in the glaze.
Whole loaf of orange cranberry bread with a lemon glaze on a board.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Bread-

  1. Combine dry ingredients- Start by combining the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  2. Beat eggs and sugar- In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, butter, and sugar until doubled in size, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add wet ingredients- In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice and zest, lemon juice, sour cream, and oil. Pour into the egg mixture and beat on low just until combined.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients- Add half of the flour mixture and carefully fold with a spatula. Add the remaining flour and continue to fold with a spatula until the flour is combined.
  5. Add cranberries- Add the cranberries at once and fold in carefully not to deflate the batter.
  6. Bake loaf- Pout the mixture into a bread pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean if inserted into the center of the loaf. Cool loaf completely.
  7. Make glaze- Whisk together the powdered sugar with lemon juice and milk until a smooth consistency forms. Drizzle the glaze over the bread loaf.
  8. Serve- Serve and Enjoy, friend.

Storing & Freezing:

  • Store: The bread may be stored wrapped at room temperature for 2-3 days, then refrigerated.
  • Freeze: Once the bread is cooled, wrap it tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or refrigerator overnight.
Sweet cranberry bread loaf cut into slices, topped with a sugar glaze and powdered sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions-

Do I Slice the Cranberries?

You can either keep the cranberries whole or slice them in half. I prefer to keep them whole but both will work great.

Can I substitute for Dried Cranberries?

Though we prefer fresh cranberries, you can substitute them for dried cranberries. Use ¾ cup dried cranberry and soak them in water for 5-8 minutes and pat dry.

Can I use Frozen Cranberries?

You sure can and you don’t have to thaw them, just add them to the batter frozen.

Do I have to Use The Glaze?

No, you can just leave out the glaze or just use powdered sugar.

Can I add Nuts?

Yes, you sure can add your favorite nuts. Walnuts or pecans will work great in with cranberry bread.

Can I Use Blueberries Instead?

We already have a delicious Blueberry Loaf recipe HERE.

More Sweet Bread Recipes:

Sweet Bread is a great idea when you want something sweet, here are some of our favorite sweet bread recipes:

The Best Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe

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5 from 3 votes
An easy recipe for the best Cranberry Orange Bread recipe. Soft and moist bread loaf with fresh cranberries, orange zest and a simple lemon glaze.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients

cake-

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, measured then sifted
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp extra light olive oil (or canola oil)

glaze-

Instructions

make loaf batter-

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Prepare a bread pan. Cover with parchment paper and lightly coat with baking spray, dust with flour. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda, set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, butter and sugar 2 minutes, the batter will double in size.
  • In a small bowl, beat the orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, sour cream and oil. Pour into egg mixture. Lightly mix.
  • Add half of the flour, mix. Add remaining flour and beat on low speed. Fold in fresh cranberries with a spatula.
  • Pour mixture into the bread pan. Bake 40-50 minutes (until toothpicks come out clean if inserted into the center of loaf).

prepare glaze-

  • Meanwhile, prepare glaze. Whisk together the lemon juice, powdered sugar and milk.
  • Once bread completely cools, dust with powdered sugar (optional) and drizzle with glaze.

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 118mgPotassium: 140mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 225IUVitamin C: 4.6mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 1.3mg
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)