Cranberry Orange Bread, made with fresh cranberries, orange zest, and freshly squeezed orange juice, is a deliciously festive homemade quick bread recipe!
This easy homemade bread is soft and moist in the middle and has a crunchy sweet top. The sweetness is perfectly balanced with the tart flavors of cranberry and orange. If you love the combination of orange and cranberry, you’ll definitely want to make my homemade cranberry sauce or my Upside Down Cranberry Coffee Cake.
This post was made in partnership with Sugar In The Raw ®. All opinions are 100% my own.
‘Tis the season for baking! Nothing says holidays like the smell of freshly baked goods wafting from a warm kitchen.
Everyone loves a good quick bread, and cranberry orange is one of the best flavor combinations you can use this time of year.
Fresh cranberries are notably tart and orange zest can be rather bitter. Nothing a fair amount of sugar can’t fix!
I’ve always loved Sugar In The Raw ® because:
- The Turbinado sugar granules are made exclusively from natural sugar cane
- The hearty golden crystals are made from the first pressing of the cane and never bleached, so they keep their rich flavor and color of their natural molasses
- The granules add that perfect crunch to the top of the bread when used as a finishing sugar but also easily dissolve when mixed into the batter
How to make this festive bread:
- First step is to macerate the sliced fresh cranberries with a few spoonfuls of the Sugar In The Raw ® and the orange zest. This process will release some of the liquid from the cranberries and really infuse all the flavors.
- Next step is to prepare the batter. You’ll whisk together all of the dry ingredients as well as the wet ingredients separately and then combine them. The batter will be thick.
- Fold in most of the sugar-coated cranberries, but reserve some for the top of the bread. Those sugar-coated cranberries on the top of the loaf will not only look exceptionally pretty, but any remaining sugar will create a sweet and crunchy topping.
- I highly recommend using parchment paper. It will allow you to pull the cooked loaf out of the hot pan so that it can cool in the open air. It also makes for easy clean up. If you don’t have any parchment, you can use butter or a non-stick spray.
- If you don’t have a large juicy orange that gives you at least 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice, you should juice a second orange or use bottled orange juice to maximize that orange flavor.
- Always avoid mixing the dry and wet ingredients until you’re ready to bake the bread. This process activates the baking soda and you want that rise to happen while it’s baking.
- Due to the moisture content, it is recommended that you use fresh, not frozen, cranberries for this recipe.
What makes this cranberry orange bread unique?
Using Sugar In The Raw ® most definitely gives this bread not only a unique, molasses, almost caramel-like flavor, but the crunch on top is the best part!
Each bite will give you a flavor combination of tart and sweet that will make your taste buds sing. So many recipes out there are either boring and bland or overly sweet. This recipe has just the right amount of everything you want in a sweet bread.
Not only is this recipe perfect for the holidays, but it freezes extremely well. To freeze, wrap fully cooled loaf tightly in plastic wrap and then again with aluminum foil.
Cranberry Orange Bread
- 8 ounces fresh cranberries (about 2 1/2 cups, cut in half)
- 1 large orange (valencia or naval)
- 4 tablespoons sugar (Sugar in the Raw recommended, used to toss with cranberries)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar (Sugar in the Raw recommended)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup water (amount may vary, will be combined with juice from orange to total 1 cup)
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Slice cranberries in half and place in medium sized bowl. Zest entire orange and combine with cranberries. Add 4 Tablespoons Sugar in the Raw and toss to combine. Allow mixture to sit for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or grease with butter or non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Juice orange into a measuring cup and then add enough water to equal one full cup (I had 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup water).
- In a separate bowl, combine juice/water mixture with egg, melted butter, and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir, just until combined.
- Fold in cranberry mixture, reserving about 1/4 cup for the top of the loaf. Once combined, pour into prepared pan. Top with remaining cranberries, sugar and zest.
- Place loaf pan in center of preheated oven and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then, rotate pan and reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake an additional 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool loaf out of loaf pan on cooling rack until cool enough to handle.