Cranberry orange bread is packed with fresh cranberries, orange zest, crunchy pecans and drizzled with an orange glaze.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- Next, in a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange juice and zest, vanilla, and melted butter.
- 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.
- 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 serve.
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 or my cranberry orange cookies!
Cranberry Orange Bread
Cranberry orange bread with orange glaze and crunchy pecans.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 cup chopped cranberries (cut in half)
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 1 whole navel orange, zested and juiced
- ⅔ 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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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 250mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 6g
Can I use frozen cranberries for this loaf?
Anita Rich says
Curious, can I double this recipe for 2 loaf pans? I made it today, did it twice, it’s yummy
Is it possible to use baking soda in this recipe since it already has the orange juice in there (acid)
Christina Lane says
I haven't tested it that way. This is a very dense bread dough (lots of fillers--nuts, fruit, etc.), so you need lots of lift. You might have a slightly squatter loaf, if that's okay with you?
Just made this and boy is it delicious! Have been searching for a while for one similar to what my mom used to make and this fits the bill! Thanks very much!
I made this today with cranberries leftover from the holidays. It was absolutely delicious! So moist and tasty. The family devoured it. Thanks for a keeper!
Have you done this bread in a Bundt pan or a mini Bundt pan?