Effortless Cranberry Orange Bread

Updated on December 5, 2019

Cranberry Orange Bread with glaze is a moist and tasty Christmas holiday dessert. It is the best sweet cranberry bread recipe for breakfast. The combination of sweet orange glaze with moist and tart cranberry bread makes it a perfect treat for your family!

This fresh cranberry bread is easy to make, no bread machine is needed. Perfect combination of orange and cranberries makes it an ultimate holiday dessert. This is a perfect loaf to make for the Christmas morning or as a Thanksgiving dessert.

Quick bread is one of my favorite recipes, especially during the busy holiday week. Quick bread doesn’t need yeast, so there is no rise time. If you’re scared to make your own bread, I’m sure you can handle this one!

The sweet and sour combination of ingredients with aromatic winter spices makes it a perfect loaf cake. Addition of cranberries and orange makes it a great holiday recipe!Moist and easy Cranberry Orange Bread

You won’t believe how easy it is to prepare a sweet loaf cake that everyone will love! Moreover, you can bring this loaf for a holiday party. It is a perfect Christmas bread for gifts! Feel free to double or triple this orange bread recipe, it’s so tasty and good!

This is a very flavorful sugar-free cranberry bread recipe with sweet orange glaze on top. Best bread for Christmas!

How to make cranberry orange bread

You will need to combine dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and ground aromatic spices – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. To avoid any spice lumps, I suggest to sift them. Superb holiday season mix!

In another bowl combine wet ingredients – whisk eggs, add vegetable oil (I used grape seed oil), freshly squeezed orange juice and yogurt. I also added vanilla flavoring.

Fresh orange juice makes difference, so I don’t recommend to substitute it to store-bought juice. Get the most of orange flavor into the loaf!

Cranberry Orange Bread with orange glaze

Slowly add dry ingredients in wet ingredients and mix until you have a thick batter. In the end gently fold fresh cranberries and zest of the orange. Don’t worry about cranberries drowning into the batter, because it is pretty thick.

If you want a crunch, you can add a handful of chopped pecans or walnuts in this Christmas bread.

Prepare a 9×5 inch (23×12 cm) loaf pan. Smear it with butter or line with parchment paper. It will help to get the baked bread easily.

Add the batter to the pan and bake in the preheated oven. Test with a wooden skewer, inserted in the center, it comes out clean – it is ready. It should take around 40 minutes. The baking time depends on a loaf pan that you use.

Don’t rush and set aside to let it cool in the loaf pan. I know this orange cranberry bread smells amazing, but wait around 10 -20 minutes. Then transfer it to the wire rack and cool completely. This step is important, if you wish to add the glaze!

I haven’t used sugar for this cranberry orange recipe, because, to my mind the sweetness of the glaze is enough. If you don’t plan to add an orange glaze on top, add few tablespoons of sugar to the dry ingredient mix.

How to make orange glaze

To make an orange glaze, you need only two ingredients – sugar and orange juice. Sieve the sugar powder to make the glaze smooth. Slowly add juice into the sugar, mixing until a thick, creamy and spreadable glaze.

Store the glaze covered with a cling film, so no air gets into it. The air will let it to form a crust. Mix well before spreading on cooled cranberry bread.

This glaze is tasty and perfect addition to your holiday baking!A slice of Cranberry Orange Bread

How to store cranberry orange bread

I suggest storing the bread in the fridge for 7 days.

Can you freeze cranberry orange bread

To freeze this bread, rap it in two layers of plastic or foil, then put it in a freezer container and store for 2 months. I suggest freezing it without the glaze. Don’t forget to cool it completely before freezing!

Always on hand frozen treats are great, don’t you think so?

Can you use frozen cranberries or dried cranberries instead

You can use drained and defrosted cranberries, if you can’t find fresh and tart cranberries. However, if you’re using dried cranberries, the bread won’t be so moist.

Cranberry Orange Bread served on the board with fresh cranberries and cinnamon

This orange cranberry bread is perfect for sharing! You can use a muffin pan instead of making bread loaf. Adjust the baking time according, because muffins will need less than 30 minutes.

You should also check other low-sugar no-yeast quick breads like Apple Cinnamon Bread, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and Carrot Cake recipe.

If you’re looking for Christmas dessert recipes, you should check this delicious Christmas fruit pudding and Rustic orange cake.

Cranberry Orange Bread recipe

Cranberry Orange Bread

Cooking Journey
5 from 4 votes
Moist and tasty holiday dessert. Easy sweet and tart loaf cake.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Global cuisine
Servings 8
Calories 516 kcal


  • 2 cups flour / 255 g
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon ground
  • 1 tsp nutmeg ground
  • 1 tsp ginger ground
  • 1/4 tsp cloves ground (4 cloves)
  • 1 cup sugar or alternative (if using)
  • 1 tsp liquid vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh cranberry
  • 1 medium orange for juicing
Orange Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar powder
  • 1/3 cup orange juice


  • Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C.
  • Zest the orange, you will need about 2 tbsp of zest. After that, cut the orange in half and juice it with the citrus juicer.
  • In one bowl combine all the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
  • In another bowl combine wet ingredients. Slightly whip eggs with a hand whisk, then add oil, yogurt, orange juice and vanilla flavoring. Combine until incorporated.
  • Slowly add dry ingredients into wet, mixing in between additions. Add cranberries and orange zest, fold gently. Batter should be thick.
  • Transfer into prepared bread tin, layered with parchment paper or smeared with butter.
  • Bake 40 minutes until inserted wooden skewer comes out clean. Cool it for 15 minutes in bread tin, then transfer to the wired rack.
  • To make orange glaze, slowly add orange juice. You need to have thick and spreadable, smooth glaze. Store it covered with a cling film. Drizzle over the cooled bread.*


*You can sprinkle some orange zest on top of the glaze.
This bread is perfect without sugar, only with glaze on top. But if you have a sweet tooth, add a cup of sugar or alternative to the dry ingredients.
Keyword Christmas, easy, loaf cake, moist, orange glaze, quick bread

19 thoughts on “Effortless Cranberry Orange Bread”

  1. No sugar at all in the cake? I see it in the glaze. I love the yogurt addition, but want to clarify that there is no sugar. Thank you!

  2. Just double checking that there is no sugar in the batter. It seems like it will be very tart with fresh cranberries and no sugar. I wasn’t going to make the glaze but it might be necessary. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Gayle! We think that the glaze is sweet, but bread tart and moist, so it balances the flavor. I’ve edited recipe – 1 cup of sugar is just fine for this bread. But if you have a sweet tooth and plan to make it without the glaze, add more to your taste.

  3. You say no sugar in bread but then 1 cup in dry ingreds. Is there sugar in this bread? If no do you replace with 1cup flour? Then need to adjust leavener?

    1. Hi Paula! Thanks for noticing. I’ve added a note in the recipe card. This bread is perfect without sugar, only with glaze on top. But if you have a sweet tooth, add a cup of sugar or alternative to the dry ingredients. In this recipe sugar affects only the taste of the bread, so you can regulate it to your liking.

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