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Orange Cranberry Bread

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posted: 11/10/22

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Orange Cranberry Bread is the perfect quick bread recipe. With just a few simple pantry ingredients, an orange, and some cranberries, you can whip up this deliciously festive bread.

sliced loaf of orange cranberry bread sitting on cutting board for serving.

If you are looking for a great weekend activity, or the perfect neighbor gift, look no further than this quick Orange Cranberry Bread. Made with simple ingredients that are easy to keep on hand, this recipe comes together in a snap. In fact, it is so easy that it is perfect for beginning bakers or kiddos!

How to Make Orange Cranberry Bread

This cranberry orange bread recipe is simple and so delicious. See the steps below for a brief overview of how this quick bread recipe comes together. For the full recipe including all of the measurements, please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Mix together wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, eggs, sugar, butter, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla extract until combined.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing them until they are just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  4. Add cranberries. Stir in the cranberries and pour the batter into the prepared bread pan.
  5. Bake. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out with just a few crumbs. Allow the bread to cool completely before enjoying.

The Best Bread Pan

Whenever someone tells me that my cranberry bread recipe didn’t work for them, the first thing I want to know is what their pan is like. A bread pan – which for many people is only used for banana bread – is the key to any quick bread success. I’ve made this recipe in many different pans, and I can tell you that this pan from USA Baking is by far the best.

TOP PICK

Best Bread Pan

Hands down my favorite bread pan. The results from this pan are perfect every time.
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overhead of orange cranberry bread in bread pan sitting on cutting board for serving. Two mugs of coffee and cranberries sitting beside

Zesting Oranges

This recipe calls for orange zest. If you are new to zesting, it is basically the skin of the orange (or lemon, or lime) grated. The zesting creates really small pieces, so you get a great burst of the citrus flavor without the weird texture of the peel.

When you are zesting, you want to use a quality zester. You can see my recommendation below. You also want to only zest the beautiful orange of the peel. Once you get into the white, stop and move on to a different part of the orange.

TOP PICK

Zester

Affordable and long lasting, this is the perfect little tool to keep on hand.
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Using Frozen Cranberries

This recipe calls for frozen cranberries, which creates some convenience because you can keep them stored in your freezer for anytime you want to whip up a pan of homemade cranberry bread. Fresh cranberries would also work in this recipe. See below to learn more about using dried cranberries for baking.

How to Measure Flour

Measuring your flour correctly is a key part of any baking success. To do this, whisk your flour in the container (or bag) it is stored in. Then, using a large spoon, scoop it into a dry measuring cup. Finally, level it off with the flat edge of a spatula or the flat side of a butter knife.

Measuring this way will prevent the flour from packing, causing you to use more flour than the recipe calls for.

overhead of sliced loaf of orange cranberry bread on a cutting board with cranberries sitting beside.

Tips, Tricks, and Variations

  • Make sure your baking soda and baking powder are fresh. If you don’t have baking soda and baking powder that can do their jobs your bread won’t turn out right. To test the baking soda, drop a little in a small cup of vinegar and make sure it reacts immediately. To test the baking powder, drop a little in a cup of water.
  • Add walnuts. Fold them in when you add the cranberries for an extra crunch.
  • Use a different flavor of yogurt. Any flavored yogurt will work in this recipe. You could use vanilla, or for a fun extra boost of orange, orange yogurt.
  • Swap sour cream for yogurt. If you don’t have yogurt on hand, sour cream will work as a substitute.
  • Make sure your butter is cooled. If you add hot butter to your batter it will actually start cooking the eggs. We want to avoid this.

Storing and Freezing Orange Cranberry Bread

Store your orange cranberry bread in an airtight container on the counter for up to seven days. Do not store it in the bread pan you cooked in it.

This recipe can be frozen as a whole loaf or as pieces. To freeze as a whole loaf let it cool completely. Then wrap it several times in plastic wrap before storing in the freezer. It can be store din the freezer for up to three months. When ready to eat, allow it to thaw on the counter top overnight.

To freeze slices of cranberry orange bread, lay the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze the slices for four to six hours, then transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to three months. Let thaw on the counter when ready to enjoy.

FAQ

Can you freeze cranberry bread?

Yes! You can freeze the entire loaf or as slices in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to three months. See more about freezing orange cranberry bread above.

Can you use dried cranberries?

Yes! There is a ratio difference so for this recipe only use 3/4 cup of dried cranberries. You can also consider soaking your cranberries before using them in juice. This will plump them up and bring a different texture to the bread.

Should frozen cranberries be thawed before baking?

Nope, add them to your batter frozen. Don’t thaw the cranberries.

sliced loaf of orange cranberry bread on a cutting board with cranberries sitting beside.

Other Cranberry Recipes

With their rich red color and sweet-tart flavor, cranberry recipes are vibrant in taste and presentation making them perfect for the holidays. Here are a few great cranberry recipes to try:

If you try this cranberry orange bread recipe or any of my others, please leave a comment and tell me what you think. I love hearing from you!

sliced loaf of orange cranberry bread sitting on cutting board for serving.
No ratings yet

Orange Cranberry Bread

Serves: 10 slices
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Orange Cranberry Bread is the perfect easy quick bread recipe. With just a few simple pantry ingredients, an orange, and some cranberries, you can whip up this delicious festive bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour see notes in the post about measuring
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (read about zesting here)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 inch bread pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • In another medium bowl mix together the yogurt, eggs, sugar, butter, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract.
    1 cup yogurt, 3 eggs, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon orange juice, 2 teaspoons orange zest, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to over-mix. Stir in the frozen cranberries. Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan.
  • Bake the bread for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out with just a few crumbs.
  • After 10 minutes, remove from the bread pan and set on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 1 week.
Serving: 1slice Calories: 304kcal (15%) Carbohydrates: 51g (17%) Protein: 8g (16%) Fat: 8g (12%) Saturated Fat: 4g (25%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 72mg (24%) Sodium: 239mg (10%) Potassium: 93mg (3%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 25g (28%) Vitamin A: 55IU (1%) Vitamin C: 2mg (2%) Calcium: 27mg (3%) Iron: 2mg (11%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
sliced loaf of orange cranberry bread sitting on cutting board for serving.

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Orange Cranberry Bread

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Trish says

    Cranberry orange muffins are my favorite thing about this time of year. I told myself that this year I would find a recipe so I can make them all year round. Thank you for posting this recipe. Can I use this same recipe to make muffins instead of a loaf of break?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I am sure you can, Trish. I just haven’t tested that yet.

  2. Sandy says

    Am assuming the yogurt is plain, right?
    Can you use light yogurt?

    • Lisa Longley says

      You can use low fat yogurt, but I wouldn’t recommend non-fat. You can use plain, vanilla, or get real creative and throw in another flavor you think would be delicious. I usually use plain.

  3. Ahir says

    What should I use as egg substitute? I don’t want to use eggs.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m sorry, I’ve only tested this recipe with eggs.

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