Cranberry Orange Bread (with orange glaze)

This cranberry orange bread is a deliciously sweet and tangy sweet bread with a combination of orange juice, fresh cranberries and a sweet, zesty orange glaze spread on top. This festive sweet bread is the perfect option for using up cranberries during the holidays and is also a sure, but simple way to impress your guests and family. This cranberry orange bread is dairy free, making it the perfect dessert/side for those who need to avoid dairy! For additional holiday favorites, be sure to scroll below the recipe card for a list of our family holiday favorites.

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Cranberry orange sweet bread with orange glaze

Cranberry Orange Bread (with orange glaze)

marilynpeight
This sweet and tangy orange cranberry bread is the perfect Christmas sweet bread with its citrusy notes from the orange glaze, paired with the sweet and sour flavor of the plump, juicy cranberries tucked inside!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Bread, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf

Equipment

  • bread pan (linked below)
  • Mixing bowl (linked below)
  • measuring cups (linked below)
  • Parchment paper (linked below)

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 3/4 cup orange juice *see note
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries halved
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (finely grated orange peel)

For the orange glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Instructions
 

Preheat oven to 350:

  • Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-large mixing bowl, then whisk in the beaten egg, orange juice and vegetable oil until the batter is smooth. Fold in the halved cranberries and orange zest, mixing just until combined (be careful not to overmix this sweet bread batter).
  • Fit an 8 by 4 inch bread pan with parchment paper, then pour the bread batter into the pan, smoothing the batter with a spatula if needed. Bake the cranberry orange bread for 45-50 minutes until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • While the sweet bread is baking, combine the confectioner's sugar, orange zest and orange juice until smooth, adding just enough orange juice to get a drizzling consistency *see note below.
  • Remove the baked sweet bread from the loaf pan and allow to cool completely, then spread the orange glaze over top. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

You can use freshly squeezed or store bought orange juice in the sweet bread batter. For the best tasting glaze, use freshly squeezed orange juice. 
If the glaze turns out too thin, you can mix in more confectioner’s sugar before spreading the glaze onto the bread. If the glaze is too thick, add a little more orange juice until the glaze has a drizzling consistency and is spreadable. For my orange glaze I added roughly 2 1/2 tablespoons of orange juice to one cup of powdered sugar. 
Additional notes and step by step photos below. 
Keyword Orange cranberry bread, orange glaze, fresh cranberries, Christmas bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Equipment needed for this cranberry orange bread recipe:

  • Bread pan/loaf pan An 8 by 4 inch is a good size to use for this cranberry orange sweet bread. You can also use a 9 inch bread pan, but the loaf may not be as tall or domed on the top.
  • Mixing bowls You will need a medium-large sized mixing bowl for combining the cranberry orange sweet bread batter, and also a smaller mixing bowl for mixing up the orange glaze.
  • Measuring cups Measuring cups are needed to ensure you get an accurate measurement of the ingredients listed. Measuring spoons are also helpful for measuring out the leavening agents and spices.
  • Parchment paper Parchment paper makes removing the freshly baked sweet bread from the loaf pan so much easier!

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Other family favorite holiday recipes you may enjoy:

Ingredients for this cranberry orange sweet bread with orange glaze: orange juice, orange (for orange zest and freshly squeezed juice in the glaze), egg, baking soda, salt, baking powder, oil, fresh cranberries, all purpose flour, confectioner’s sugar and granulated sugar.

Can walnuts or pecans be added to this cranberry sweet bread?

Yes, you can add walnuts and/or pecans to this cranberry orange sweet bread. Add 1/2 cup of nuts, then fold them in when you fold in the orange zest and sliced cranberries.

Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-large mixing bowl, then whisk in the beaten egg, orange juice and vegetable oil until the batter is smooth and lump free. Fold in the halved cranberries and orange zest, mixing just until combined (be careful not to overmix this sweet bread batter).

Why do you need to be careful not to overmix this sweet bread batter?

Just like overmixing muffin batter, overmixing sweet bread batter can cause the batter to bake unevenly and the sweet bread to turn out tough and doughy from overmixing the gluten in the batter. Only mix the wet ingredients into the dry until combined and mostly smooth, then gently fold in the other add-ins until just so combined.

Step 2: Fit an 8 by 4 inch bread pan with parchment paper, then pour the bread batter into the pan, smoothing the batter with a spatula if needed. Bake the cranberry orange bread for 45-50 minutes until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step 3-4: While the sweet bread is baking, combine the confectioner’s sugar, orange zest and orange juice until smooth, adding just enough orange juice to get a spreadable consistency. Remove the baked sweet bread from the loaf pan and allow to cool completely, then spread the orange glaze over top. Slice and enjoy!

How do I know if the glaze is the right consistency?

One way to tell if the glaze is the right consistency is to drizzle some of the glaze from a spoon back into the bowl. If the glaze drizzles off the spoon in a thin ribbon and leaves a trail that soon settles back into the glaze, then it is ready to spread onto the cooled bread. If the glaze is too runny or too thick it will not glaze the bread as well and will either be too thick and cumbersome to spread or then too thin to stay on the top of the cooled sweet bread. Be sure to cool the sweet bread completely (the bottom of the loaf should feel cool to touch as well) before spreading the glaze onto the top of the loaf.

Storage notes for this cranberry orange sweet bread:

Sweet breads freeze well and can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You can also store the sweet bread at room temperature for several days, or keep it refrigerated for up to five days.

Feel free to pin this recipe for later and tag me on Instagram to show off a photo of your own creation of this cranberry orange bread. Thank you for your support!

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