Cranberry orange bread is packed with fresh cranberries, orange zest, crunchy pecans and drizzled with an orange glaze.


cranberry orange bread

Cranberry Orange Bread is a recipe straight from my Mom’s recipe files. It’s the sort of recipe that I grew up on, but never noticed how special it was, until I was living on my own and missed it! I asked my Mom to share her recipe, and of course, I made a few changes by adding pecans and an orange glaze to make it even better.

I love this cranberry orange bread because it uses fresh cranberries! During the week of Thanksgiving, I always buy a few extra, and store them in the freezer for this quick bread all winter long. It makes an awesome breakfast because the tart cranberries and crunchy pecans are so great with the orange flavors from the zest and glaze.

cranberry orange quick bread

A few things to note about this cranberry orange bread: 

If you’ve made a quick bread in a loaf pan before, you’ll find this batter to be thicker than others. While some quick breads have a thin, runny batter, this bread batter is full of so much stuff that it tends to be on the thicker side. Plus, the fresh cranberries soften and release juices in the oven, so the bread will have plenty of moisture while baking, I promise! 

Second thing about this bread is that slicing this many fresh cranberries in half is a bit tedious, but I promise it’s worth the effort! I do have a trick to make it faster, though. If you have two plastic deli lids leftover from the olive bar at a grocery store, you can pile as many cranberries between two of them as you can. Then, press your hand gently on the top of the lids, and cut the cranberries in half all at once. If that sounds complicated, just cut each cranberry in half while listening to a great podcast.
orange cranberry bread

The third thing about this cranberry bread is that it uses my ‘muffin method’ for super tender results. While most cookie and cake recipes call for mixing wet and dry ingredients separately before combining, this recipe calls for the sugar (a wet ingredient) to be mixed in with the flour. This step results in a super soft crumbed bread. This bread melts in your mouth!

How to make cranberry orange bread:

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Then stir in the cranberries and pecans. Coating the cranberries and pecans in flour helps them from sinking to the bottom of the bread while it bakes.
    orange cranberry bread
  2. Next, in a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange juice and zest, vanilla,  and melted butter.
    quick bread with cranberries
  3. Combine the two mixtures, but note it will be a stiff batter. Scrape it in into the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out dry with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
    cranberry quick bread
  4. While the bread cools, make the glaze using the rest of the orange juice and a bit of powered sugar. Drizzle it on top after the bread cools, and then slice and glazed cranberry bread

If you love baking with fresh cranberries, try my chocolate cranberry muffins, cranberry orange pavlova, leftover cranberry sauce bars, and crockpot cranberry sauce.

For dried cranberries, you’ve got to make my small batch white chocolate cranberry cookies.

Yield: 8 slices

Cranberry Orange Bread

cranberry orange quick bread

Cranberry orange bread with orange glaze and crunchy pecans.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cup chopped cranberries (cut in half)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 whole navel orange, zested and juiced
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar


    1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9” loaf pan with cooking spray.

    2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder.

    3. Stir the cranberries and pecans into the flour mixture, and set aside.

    4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons of orange juice, vanilla, melted butter and orange zest.

    5. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir until combined. The batter will be thick.

    6. Scrape the mixture into the loaf pan, and bake for 55 minutes.

    7. Test the bread with a cake tester at 55 minutes, and remove it from the oven if it comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it.

    8. While the bread cools, whisk together the remaining orange juice with the powdered sugar, and drizzle on top of the bread as a glaze.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 250mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 6g

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