Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze Recipe

Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze is a delightful treat that combines the tartness of cranberries with the sweet citrus flavor of orange. This recipe is perfect for holiday baking or as a comforting homemade gift.

Introduction to Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze

Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze is more than just a delightful treat; it’s a fusion of vibrant flavors and textures that have captivated bakers and food enthusiasts alike. This recipe, known for its moist, tangy cranberries and sweet, citrusy glaze, has a rich history in holiday and festive baking. Its popularity soars especially during the holiday season, offering a perfect balance of tart and sweet flavors. The unique combination of fresh cranberries and zesty orange glaze not only creates a visually appealing loaf but also an explosion of flavors that dance on the palate. This bread has become a symbol of comfort and celebration, making it a staple in many kitchens around the world.

Ingredients and Substitutions

To create this exquisite Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Fresh Cranberries: The star of the recipe, providing a tart and juicy burst. For more on cranberry nutrition, see Health Benefits of Cranberries.
  • Orange Zest and Juice: For that perfect citrusy touch.
  • All-Purpose Flour: The base of the bread.
  • Granulated Sugar: To sweeten the loaf.
  • Baking Powder: For leavening.
  • Salt: To balance the flavors.
  • Eggs: For structure and richness.
  • Milk: Adds moisture to the bread.
  • Unsalted Butter: For a tender crumb.

Substitutions for common allergens and dietary preferences include:

  • Gluten-Free Flour: For those with gluten intolerance.
  • Plant-Based Milk and Egg Replacers: For a vegan version.
  • Sugar Alternatives: Such as honey or maple syrup for a different sweetness.

When selecting cranberries and oranges, opt for fresh, plump cranberries and oranges with a vibrant color and a firm feel. These choices ensure the bread is packed with natural flavors and aromas.

Step-by-Step Baking Instructions

Creating the perfect Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze involves a few key steps:

  1. Prepare the Cranberry Bread Batter:
    • Cream together butter and sugar.
    • Gradually add eggs, then mix in milk and orange juice.
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
    • Combine the wet and dry ingredients, folding in the cranberries last.
  2. Baking Tips for Perfect Texture:
    • Preheat your oven for even baking.
    • Use the middle rack to avoid over-browning.
    • Don’t overmix the batter to keep the bread light and fluffy.
  3. Ensuring Even Baking:
    • Check the bread with a toothpick inserted in the center; it should come out clean.
    • Rotate the bread halfway through baking for uniform color and texture.
    • Allow the bread to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring it to a wire rack.

Following these steps will help you achieve a Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze that is not only visually stunning but also deliciously satisfying. For detailed baking techniques, visit Essential Baking Techniques.

Preparing the Orange Glaze

The Orange Glaze is a crucial component that adds a delightful citrusy sweetness to the Cranberry Bread. To prepare it, you’ll need:

  • Powdered Sugar: The base of the glaze.
  • Fresh Orange Juice: For flavor and consistency.
  • Orange Zest: For an extra burst of citrus aroma.

Steps to Make the Glaze:

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of orange zest.
  2. Whisk to Perfection: Whisk the ingredients until smooth, ensuring there are no lumps.
  3. Adjust Consistency: If the glaze is too thick, add more orange juice, a teaspoon at a time. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.

Tips for the Right Consistency:

  • The glaze should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but fluid enough to drizzle.
  • Let the glaze sit for a few minutes; it will thicken slightly as it sets.

Assembling and Serving

Glazing the Bread:

  • Once the bread has completely cooled, drizzle the Orange Glaze evenly over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Slice the glazed bread and serve as a delightful dessert or a special breakfast treat.

Beverage Pairings:

  • Pair with a hot cup of coffee or tea for a cozy experience.
  • For a festive touch, serve alongside a glass of mulled wine or a citrus-infused cocktail.

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips

Storing the Cranberry Bread:

  • Wrap the bread in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Freezing and Reheating:

  • To freeze, wrap the bread tightly in aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place in a heavy-duty freezer bag.
  • Thaw overnight at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat in the oven at 350°F for a few minutes if desired.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • The bread can be baked a day in advance and glazed before serving.
  • Prepare and freeze the bread ahead of time, glazing it after thawing for fresh-tasting, convenient serving.

Nutritional Information

Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze is not only a treat for the taste buds but also offers some nutritional benefits. A typical slice contains:

  • Calories: Approximately 200-250 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Around 40g, primarily from flour and sugar
  • Proteins: About 3-4g, contributed by eggs and milk
  • Fats: Roughly 5-7g, from butter and eggs

Health Benefits:

  • Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, particularly Vitamin C.
  • Oranges provide Vitamin C and flavonoids, promoting immune health.
  • Eggs and Milk offer protein and calcium, essential for bone health.


Can I use frozen cranberries instead of fresh?

  • Yes, frozen cranberries can be used without thawing. They might slightly increase the baking time.

How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

  • Substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Ensure other ingredients like baking powder are gluten-free.

Can I add nuts to the recipe?

  • Absolutely! Walnuts or pecans can be folded into the batter for added texture and flavor.

Tips for Making the Bread Moist:

  • Avoid overbaking; check for doneness a few minutes before the recipe’s suggested time.
  • Use room temperature ingredients for a more even texture.

Variations of the Recipe for Different Occasions:

  • Add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg for a spiced version during the holidays.
  • Incorporate chocolate chips for a sweeter, more decadent loaf.


Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze Recipe

Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze Recipe

This Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze is a delightful treat that combines the tartness of fresh cranberries with the sweet, citrusy flavor of orange. Perfect for breakfast, dessert, or as a festive holiday gift, this bread boasts a moist texture and a delectable glaze that adds an extra layer of flavor.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Holiday
Servings 1 loaf (8 servings)
Calories 300 kcal


  • 8.5x4.5 inch loaf pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Electric mixer (optional, for creaming butter and sugar)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wire rack for cooling


For the Bread:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup milk at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries

For the Orange Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest reserved from the orange used for the bread



  • Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour an 8.5x4.5 inch loaf pan.
  • Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine milk, orange zest, and orange juice.
  • Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Combine Mixtures: Add the flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the milk mixture, mixing just until incorporated.
  • Add Cranberries: Toss the cranberries in a small amount of flour to coat them (this prevents them from sinking in the batter). Gently fold the cranberries into the batter.
  • Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool: Let the bread cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Orange Glaze:

  • Mix Ingredients: In a bowl, combine powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. Stir until smooth.
  • Adjust Consistency: If the glaze is too thick, add a bit more juice. If it's too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
  • Glaze the Bread: Once the bread is cool, drizzle the glaze over the top.

Serving and Storage

  • Serve the bread once the glaze has set, either as a dessert or a special breakfast treat.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for longer storage.


  • For a healthier version, substitute half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
  • If cranberries are too tart, you can lightly coat them in sugar before adding to the batter.
  • The bread can be made a day ahead and glazed before serving for enhanced flavor.
Keyword Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze Recipe

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Karen Elliot

Written by Karen Elliot

Hi, I'm Karen Elliot is a food blogger who founded to make cooking easier. Growing up on a farm in Spain, Karen was inspired by exquisite dishes prepared using simple ingredients. Karen Elliot is particularly known for making anyone can cook.


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  1. 5 stars
    I couldn’t find fresh cranberries so I used the dried cranberries and soaked them in warm oj on the stove. I used the cranberry infused juice for the glaze. I also added in a little vanilla. This was the absolute best cranberry Orange bread recipe! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was a hit! My whole family loved it and we were able to enjoy it over the course of several days. This is really worth making!

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe came out amazing! The bread was super moist, flavorful, and not overly sweet. I’ve made it with and without the glaze, both are delicious. I use frozen cranberries and also triple the amount (~3 cups) for some extra tartness, which is perfect if you love cranberries!

  4. 5 stars
    Very good but I did add walnuts as I’d chopped them for another reason I’ve used becel instead of butter and added some blueberry I needed to use up. Glazed with orange juice and 1 tbsp granulated sugar…ran out of icing sugar

  5. 5 stars
    I made this in the fall and my husband LOVES IT! Problem, I can only find frozen cranberries. Do you think they will work? Any suggestions? Thanks . We loves your recipes!

  6. 5 stars
    Incredible recipe! My husband and I ate the whole loaf in one day! This Spring I want to try it with blueberries instead of cranberries, and lemon juice and zest instead of orange.

  7. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday to have for New Years breakfast…..soooo good!!! My husband wasn’t very excited about having it, but he ended up loving it as much as I did!! I accidentally bought a huge bag of fresh cranberries, so I froze the rest of them…when I make this again, would I thaw them or not? I know you say do not thaw frozen, but wasn’t sure if that was for the ones you buy frozen or that included fresh ones I froze…? Thanks so much for the recipe!!!

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