Our fluffy cranberry orange bread is a wonderful holiday loaf that provides a scrumptious snack or sweet treat. Made with fresh orange juice, orange zest, cranberries, and buttermilk for a rich flavor profile and soft cake like quick bread.
Quick breads are a popular holiday menu items because they are traditionally filled with bold spices, fruits and nuts similar to European fruit cakes. We have added chopped walnuts to this cranberry orange bread, but they are optional if you prefer to omit them. The frosting makes a wonderful finish by bringing in a subtle almond flavor that compliments the bright citrus notes of this holiday snack.
We love our winter time treats like Candy Cane Cookies, Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter Truffles, and Homemade Cinnamon Rolls. However, quick breads provide a delicious snack without being quite so dessert like which can be a welcomed option with all of the holiday goodies floating around.
Our family usually enjoys cranberry orange bread for Thanksgiving, but it also makes a fantastic breakfast bread for a Christmas morning menu. It pairs perfectly with a hot beverage and kids love it. Cranberry and orange are quintessential Christmas flavors that enhance the mood of the season so deliciously.
Making extras is always a great idea
The bread itself is easy to make, freezes well unfrosted, and holds wonderfully covered at room temperature for several days. It will stay moist and tender when stored properly, and you can whip up the frosting just before serving for a quick finish.
If you prefer to enjoy it without the frosting, it can be warmed up in the oven or enjoyed at room temperature, whichever you prefer. The texture will stay soft and the flavors hold and even intensify the next day.
Can this recipe be made into cranberry orange muffins?
You can definitely make a batch of muffins from this recipe with ease. When made as directed it should yield rougly 12 full sized muffins. You can top the muffins with the frosting, or make a struesel for a tasty cinnamon sugar finish.
You can also whip together a simple orange glaze if you really love the bright orange flavor.
How can I garnish my cranberry orange bread?
Made as a moist cranberry orange bread, or cranberry orange muffins this makes a beautiful presentation to any holiday tablescape. The pops of color from the cranberries with the contrast of the white frosting create a striking contrast of red and white for the season. Here are some ways to really make a statement at your event.
- Fresh cranberries
- Orange curls
- Chocolate curls
- Sugared cranberries
- Rosemary sprigs and cranberries for a holiday berry look
- Slivered almonds
Whip up several batches of this bread while the cranberry season lasts and store some in your freezer, tightly wrapped in saran wrap, unfrosted, and then place in a ziplock freezer bag. When you need a fast dessert item, pull it out.
Tips to keep your cranberry orange bread from drying out
Being proactive about how you prepare, bake, and store your loaf will prevent it from burning, drying out, and resulting in a dense and chewy slice. Here are some ways to keep the bread moist, fluffy, and tender.
- Make sure the proper ratio of liquid is used, and that the batter is thick but pourable
- Coconut oil will aid in keeping moisture in the loaf, but butter can be used if preferred
- Cooking at the correct temperature and allowing adequate bake time is important. Don’t increase the temperature in an effort to hurry along the process
- Keep the top and edges from burning by covering loosely in foil halfway through baking. This allows the center of the loaf to cook through, without over baking the top and edges
- Allow the loaf to fully cool before covering and storing. If heat and moisture are trapped in the loaf it can result in stale and tough slices
- If you are freezing your bread, make sure it is stored in freezer safe material with all of the air removed to prevent freezer burn
Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe
This recipe is for a single loaf, but can be easily doubled and will turn out very well. We use coconut oil to prepare our loaf pans because it is such an efficiant cooking oil. We never have trouble with our quick breads sticking to the pans when we use coconut oil.
This recipe calls for buttermilk which will give you a rich flavor and wonderful texture, but you can use milk in a pinch. It could change the consistency of the batter, so be watchful and adjust if necessary.
Cranberry Orange Bread Instructions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Grease a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl
- Stir softened coconut oil or butter, buttermilk, orange juice, orange zest, and egg into the flour mixture until well combined
- Fold in cranberries and walnuts stirring until just combined
- Spoon batter into the prepared pan
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack
- Cut when room temperature
- Store in airtight container or bag
How to freeze cranberry orange bread
Make sure the cranberry orange bread loaf has fully cooled. If the loaf is still warm moisture will get trapped and could result in a stale, tough loaf once defrosted. Wrap the cooled, unfrosted loaf tightly in plastic wrap and put into a gallon sized freezer bag. Make sure you label and date the bag clearly, then store in the freezer.
Making the almond frosting
- Pour the powdered sugar into a medium deep mixing bowl
- Mix on low, add the butter, almond extract and cream
- Mix thoroughly and adjust the amount of cream until the constistency is light and spreadable
- Spread or drizzle over your cooled cranberry orange loaf or muffins
Let the frosting harden and then cut the loaf to serve. We recommened keeping the frosted loaf or muffins on a covered platter or cake stand for optimal freshness.
Fat: 13 g
Carbs: 56 g
Protein: 4 g
Cranberry Orange bread is A moist flavorful quick bread full of Holiday flavors. This colorful loaf is topped with a yummy creamy almond flavored frosting. The combination is scrumptious!
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 Cup coconut oil-softened, or butter
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- Juice and zest of one large orange
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 Cup chopped cranberries
- 1/2 Cup chopped walnuts, optional
(For the Optional frosting)
- 1 Cup Powdered sugar
- 11/2 Tablespoon softened butter
- 1 Tsp. Almond Flavoring
- 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.
- Stir softened coconut oil, buttermilk, orange juice, orange zest, and egg into the flour mixture until well combined.
- Fold in cranberries and walnuts. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean about 60 minutes.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Cut when room temperature. Store in airtight container or bag.
TO FREEZE:Wrap tightly in saran wrap and put into a labeled freezer bag
For the frosting:
- Put the powdered sugar into a medium sized deep bowl.
- With an electric mixer on low, add in the butter, flavoring and cream. Mix until throughly combined.
- Adjust the cream to gain the consistency you prefer.
- Frost the top of the bread when it's cooled to room temperature or at serving
To freeze this loaf wrap it tightly in plastic wrap unfrosted. This loaf may be frozen for up to two months. Defrost by letting sit unwrapped at room temperature. Frost as instructed above if desired and serve.
Serving Size1 slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 349
Be sure to check out these other delicious cranberries recipes too!
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