Orange and cranberries go so well together for creating this irresistible Spiced Orange Cranberry Bread with lots of orange zest and fresh cranberries for that sweet-tart flavor.
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There is nothing better than the smell of this bread baking in your oven, especially when it is a slice of this tasty, warm, glazed cranberry bread; it's just delicious. There are a lot of orange cranberry bread recipes, but this recipe is a winner.
Mixing oranges and cranberries together is like a color explosion, and the flavor combination says bake me for those great fall flavors and holiday parties.
Honestly, this bread is a family favorite, and it gets baked on a pretty regular basis. We are cranberry fanatics. No wonder there are so many cranberry recipes on the blog, like these Orange Cranberry Scones, which are perfect for breakfast and snacks. Bake these Cranberry and Pear Puff-Pastry Pinwheels the next time you need an appetizer; they are the first to go.
Cranberries are tart
If you are not familiar with cranberries, they are tart and have a very low sugar content compared to most fruits. Even with them being tart, you can eat them raw. They are delicious in salads like this Winter Cranberry Fruit Salad that is full of fresh fruits and topped with a sweet orange-mint dressing.
- Flour - I use all-purpose flour
- Sugar-white works best
- Baking Soda
- Large Egg
- Orange - use for the juice and the zest
- Cranberries - fresh or frozen. If using frozen, let them thaw at room temperature
- Powdered Sugar - for the icing
How to flavor sugar
Orange zest is the secret to making this sweet, fruity bread flavorful, so try this technique: mix the sugar and orange zest together before adding it to the batter so it flavors the sugar. I actually like making more of this to sprinkle on top of the bread before I put it in the oven. Or, if you don't want to glaze the bread, sprinkle this orange sugar on top right after you remove it from the oven.
This Mandarin Orange Bundt Cake uses this orange-scented sugar to add extra citrus flavor. And you can use lemon zest to make lemon-scented sugar for this Lemon Bundt Cake. Both are bursting with delicious citrus flavors.
One of my favorite kitchen tools is a citrus zester. This tool is a must-have for zesting. Next time you want to add some orange, lemon, or even lime flavor to your cooked dishes or baked goods, toss in the fresh citrus zest to liven things up with citrusy flavors.
🥣Easy baking instructions
No yeast is required here. This cranberry bread recipe is quick bread, so it uses baking soda as the leavening agent. And, no mixer, woohoo, use a good wooden spoon.
Pull out your favorite mixing bowl and turn on your oven; it's time to bake. I promise your kitchen is going to smell like oranges and spice.
Step 1. In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and the zest of one orange and mix this with your hands until combined. Doing this releases the oils in the zest and flavors the sugar. See pro tip #1 above.
Step 2. Next, add the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices to the bowl. Stir these ingredients together.
Step 3. Mix the egg, melted butter, and orange juice in a small bowl, then add to the other ingredients and stir well to combine, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and ensuring the flour is incorporated. The batter will be thick.
Step 4. Place the cranberries in a food chopper or a food processor and chop, then add the cranberries to the batter and gently fold them into the batter.
When mixing in the cranberries, do it very gently until they are mixed; this way, your batter won't turn pink.
Step 5. Spoon the batter into a greased 8" x 5" loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F. for 60 minutes.
Step 6. Add a sweet orange glaze to the bread to make it more festive. In a small mixing bowl add the powdered sugar, melted butter, orange juice, and orange zest, then stir this mixture until it is smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bread with a spoon.
Step 7. If you have leftover bread, store it in an airtight container for several days.
- If you are feeling a bit nutty, add chopped pecans, walnuts, or pistachios.
- For a little zing, add chopped ginger to this recipe.
- Tangerines can be substituted for oranges.
- Replace the cardamom with cinnamon for another spicy flavor.
- Add chopped dried cranberries along with the fresh cranberries
Yes, you can. Because cranberries have a short season, stock up on cranberries and just put the bag in the freezer; they keep perfectly well this way. Having cranberries in the freezer means cranberry scones in May, cranberries in your oatmeal all year long, or a cranberry brie appetizer for a summer party. So, while those cranberries are in the store, buy several bags.
Yes, and this bread freezes beautifully. Let the bread cool completely, wrap it in foil, and place it in a freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to three months.
Fall Favorite Recipes
Nothing says fall like a warm and cozy spice; plenty of them are in this Pumpkin Sheet Cake.
Candy Corn Gelatin Cups are deliciously colorful and perfect for parties.
More to make and eat!
Spiced Orange Cranberry Bread
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Spiced Orange Cranberry Bread Ingredients
Orange Zest Glaze Ingredients
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
Making the bread
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of an 8" x 5" loaf pan.
- Put the sugar in a large mixing bowl and add the zest of one orange. With your fingers combine the sugar and the zest to mix.
- Add all the other dry ingredients to the bowl with the orange/sugar mixture and mix to combine with a spoon or spatula
- Mix the egg, butter, and orange juice together in a small bowl, then add to the dry ingredients. Stir till just combined, then scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Using a food processor or a food chopper, chop the whole cranberries then gently fold them into the batter until incorporated. Do not over mix the cranberries or your batter will become pink.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 60 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove the bread from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pan. Finish cooling on a wire rack.
Glazing the Bread
- In a small bowl add the powdered sugar and stir with a whisk to remove lumps.
- Mix in the melted butter, orange juice, and orange zest to make a smooth icing. If your glaze is too thick add additional orange juice. If it is too runny add additional powdered sugar.
- Spoon the glaze over the cooled Orange Cranberry Bread
Storing leftovers and freezing
- Store any leftover bread covered in an airtight container for several days.
- Freeze the whole loaf of bread by wrapping the cooled loaf in foil then place it in a plastic bag. Freeze for up to three months.
First published: Dec. 4, 2018, Last updated: Oct. 20, 2021, for better readability.
There is nothing better than the right cup of tea and your favorite dessert.
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.