Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Easy Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

This orange quick bread has the perfect balance of tart and sweet flavors, and it’s SO moist! Make this cranberry orange bread for holiday gifts.

Title text (shown on a board): simple cranberry orange bread
Fresh citrus and juicy cranberries are combined into one irresistible loaf!

My 4-Ingredient Root Beer Bread is another quick bread recipe that’s great for an easy breakfast or snack.

For something lightly sweet and perfect for dessert, make Ice Cream Bread with just 2 ingredients or add sliced fruit for a strawberry version.

Or, try Bacon Cheddar Beer Bread for a savory option! It’s great on its own or as an easy side dish to any meal.

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

This is an easy quick bread recipe. Quick breads are a great way to make bread without using yeast.
Because there’s no yeast in the bread, the dough can be put into the oven right away, without any kneading or waiting for it to rise.

These are also sometimes referred to as loaf cakes, because the consistency is more like cake than a yeast bread.
sliced cranberry orange quick bread on a board

How To Make Orange Quick Bread

Combine the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then combine and fold in the cranberries.
Then, pour the batter into the loaf pan, top with more cranberries, and bake. It’s that simple!

Helpful Tips and Tricks

  • Zest First: Always zest your citrus before juicing so the rind is still firm. Then, roll the fruit on the counter while pressing lightly with your palm to release the liquid for easier juicing.
  • Make Extra: This recipe can easily be doubled to make an extra loaf. Or, divide the batter into smaller pans and give them as easy holiday gifts! Be sure to reduce the baking time by about half for smaller loaves.
  • Easy Removal: Place a piece of parchment in the pan so it covers just the bottom and longer sides. Leave a little bit hanging over so you can lift the bread straight out of the pan without having to tip it over.
  • Add A Glaze: You can make a simple glaze by mixing 1 cup powdered sugar with a little zest and enough orange juice to get the right consistency. Drizzle over the cranberry orange loaf once it has cooled.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
  • 9x5 Bread Pan - Keep in mind that glass and dark bread pans bake hotter. So, you may want to lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees if using one of these.
  • Mixing Bowls - I like a variety of mixing bowls and prep bowls and this set has them all.
  • Whisk - These have held up for over 10 years and are still as good as the day I bought them.
  • Microplane/Zester - Not only is it great for zesting citrus, I like to use it to grate garlic as well.
  • Citrus Juicer - This gets every last drop out, which makes juicing oranges so much easier.

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread FAQ

Store covered or in a sealed container to keep the loaf moist. Enjoy within 3-4 days for best results.

cranberry and orange quick bread sliced on cutting board


Can I freeze cranberry orange bread?
Yes, quick bread freezes beautifully. Once cooled, wrap the entire loaf in layers of plastic wrap and foil and store for up to 3 months.

For easier snacking, wrap individual slices or separate them with a piece of parchment or wax paper before placing them in a zippered storage bag.

Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter before serving.

What can I use instead of buttermilk?
Buttermilk gives the orange bread both texture and moisture, so we don't have a substitute to recommend.

However, you can easily make a buttermilk substitute by combining regular milk and either lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar.

Can I use frozen cranberries instead of fresh?
Absolutely! In fact, you don’t even need to thaw them first. Just toss the frozen cranberries right in the orange bread batter and bake.

If neither is available, you can rehydrate dried cranberries in orange juice or use them as is. Just know that the final result won’t turn out quite the same.

How do I convert this quick bread recipe to muffins?
Mix the batter exactly the same, then divide into a greased muffin pan. Bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

One loaf is equal to about 15 muffins.


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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quick bread on a serving board

Yield: 999
Author: Donna Elick
Super Quick Cranberry Orange Bread

Super Quick Cranberry Orange Bread

Orange cranberry bread has the perfect balance of tart and sweet flavors, and it’s SO moist! Make this quick bread recipe for holiday gifts.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 Hour & 10 Minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, divided


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a 9x5 loaf pan with baking spray.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, 1 tablespoon of the orange juice and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until completely combined.
  5. Fold in 1 cup of the fresh cranberries.
  6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cranberries on top of the batter.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool completely. Serve and enjoy!

cranberry orange bread sliced on a board

Originally published November 2020


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  1. Can’t wait to try this recipe, have all ingredients except the buttermilk. Yummy looks so good with a cup of coffee, can’t wait!👍

  2. Donna, what type of 9x5 loaf pan do you prefer to make loaf breads? Thank you.
    Debbie Homa

  3. I make this bread every Christmas season. I've not tried it with buttermilk. If I can find a pint of BM I'll get it. Your's looks moist and delicious. I'm freezing mini loafs this year so we can enjoy them in the months to come. Thank you.

  4. Followed the recipe, but my texture was off - denser, closer structure (still tastes great). Deviated by i) using the paddle instead of the whisk attachment, and ii) tripling the recipe for several mini loaves. Would either of those have changed the texture that much?


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