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Easy Cranberry Orange Loaf

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Our Cranberry Orange Loaf recipe features tart cranberries with a burst of citrus flavor. It’s a tasty addition to your Fall and holiday dinners.  

When the holiday season rolls around, many of us are all about the sweets and the breads. These colorful and festive recipes, like Cranberry Orange Cake, put us in the holiday spirit.

And many times, they take us back to favorite childhood memories centered around eating, cooking, and celebrating family holiday traditions. 

3 stacked slices of cranberry orange bread with icing.

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Something about the flavors and scents of the season just takes you to a simpler time. Well, that’s if you have your holiday menu already set and aren’t rushing around to get things done. Check out our Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner to tame the chaos.

Serve Cranberry Orange Bread for dessert, breakfast, snack, or brunch. Or add a few slices to a breakfast charcuterie board. It’s easy to make and you probably already have most of the ingredients in your fridge and pantry. 

And these loaves can be packaged up to hand out as gifts. Wrap in a cello bag, add a ribbon and a gift tag and you’ve got an easy edible gift for neighbors, teachers, hostess gifts or for holiday treat trays.

ingredients for orange cranberry bread in glass bowls on white counter.

Ingredients for the BEST Cranberry Orange Loaf

All-purpose flour 

Sugar – you can use granulated sugar or coconut sugar

Egg – slightly beaten

Orange juice – freshly squeezed adds a flavor bump in the recipe, but if you are in a pinch you can use store-bought

Unsalted butter – this needs to be softened, so be sure to set aside some time. Keep reading for a tip to quickly soften butter. 

Water – you will want to make sure it is hot 

Walnuts – purchase whole ones and chop yourself or just buy the pre-chopped ones from the baking aisle 

Fresh cranberries

Other ingredients: baking soda, baking powder, and salt

Orange Glaze Ingredients 

The glaze is optional, but the sweetness adds a nice contrast to the tart berries so I highly recommend it. You will need powdered sugar, extra fresh-squeezed orange juice, and orange zest.

How To Make Orange Zest Without a Zester? 

If you don’t have a zester, you have a couple of options. You can use the small holes on the side of a cheese grater. But don’t be tempted to use the larger holes that you shred cheese with. Those holes are too big and you’ll end up going too deep into the peel and grabbing the pith which is bitter. 

You can also use a vegetable peeler and make light strokes over the orange. If you are seeing the white portion you have gone too deep and will need to start again. If you are peeling in strips, finely diced until you have a zest. 

cranberry orange loaf next to three slices that have been cut with the top one with butter.

Can I Use Frozen Cranberries? 

Yes! And you don’t even need to thaw them out before using. I like to buy a couple extra bags when they are in season and toss them in the freezer for later use. They’ll keep for a several months in the freezer.

How To Freeze Cranberry Bread

Wrap the cooled loaf in plastic wrap & place in a Ziploc freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

How to Soften Butter Quickly

If you find yourself short on time and you forgot to set your butter out, we’ve got a tip for you. 

Boil a little bit of water, then carefully pour it into a glass. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then pour it out. If you don’t want to use the stove to boil it, use a microwave-safe container instead. Your water will be boiling in about 3-5 minutes.

Stand the stick of butter up on the counter and place the glass upside down over the butter stick. It should soften up in 5-10 minutes.

Can These Cranberry Orange Loaves be Made in Mini Pans? 

Yes! And mini loaves make the sweetest gifts. For some reason baked goods are cuter when made in a smaller size, right?

You’ll want to reduce the cooking time when using mini loaf pans. In general, the cooking time will be reduced by about half. They’re done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

This recipe will make about 3 mini loaves depending on the size of your mini loaf pans and how much batter you put into each pan.

I hope you love this Cranberry Orange Loaf as much as we do. If you make it, be sure to tag me at A Reinvented Mom on Facebook or Instagram. 

**Save Cranberry Orange Loaf Recipe for Later**

Close up of cranberry orange loaf with a slice cut out.
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3 slices of cranberry orange bread stacked topped with icing

Easy Cranberry Orange Loaf

Our Cranberry Orange Loaf recipe features tart cranberries with a burst of citrus flavor. It's a tasty complement to your Fall and holiday dinners.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Baked Goods, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 367kcal
Author: Lori @ A Reinvented Mom


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped finely
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries, chopped finely

For Icing (Optional)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sift for a smoother glaze
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange juice
  • teaspoons orange zest


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare a bread pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, slightly beat the egg.
  • Add orange juice and softened butter. Mix until well combined.
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Chop cranberries and nuts in food processor or with a sharp knife.
  • Add water, chopped nuts and cranberries to mixture and stir until JUST combined (don’t overmix).
  • Spread batter evenly into 1 standard bread pan or mini pans.
  • Bake large pan for 60 minutes or small pans for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pan and continue cooling.
  • If using the optional icing, combine the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon orange juice and the zest and stir. Add additional juice until reaching a spreadable consistency. Drizzle over the cooled loaf and allow it to set up before serving.


  • We like to use fresh-squeezed orange juice for this recipe but you can use store bought if preferred.
  • Store cooled leftovers loosely wrapped, on the counter for 2-3 days. To freeze: wrap cooled loaves in plastic wrap and store in a ziptop freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
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Nutritional Estimate

Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

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