This quick bread smells just like Christmas! Easy Orange Cranberry Bread is perfectly zesty and sweet. Your family will beg you to make this every holiday season!
Make sure you check out all my Christmas recipes for your holiday baking this year!
Orange Cranberry Bread for Christmas
I love making quick breads for the holidays. They’re called “quick breads” because they don’t use any yeast so there isn’t any rise time which makes them… quicker to make! This Easy Orange Cranberry Bread comes together fast and looks gorgeous after it’s baked. Plus, it cuts like a dream which is always a wonderful plus when serving or giving away slices to family. Make this bread in the morning and people will love coming downstairs to the smell of the bright, happy bread. It’s basically a muffin in a bread pan!
I love cranberries. I know not everyone’s love of cranberries is as intense as mine so pairing cranberries with other flavors is always a great idea. The sweetness is a good partner for the tartness. After Thanksgiving and all those heavy flavors all I want is a slice of this cranberry orange bread! The bright, sweet and zesty orange flavor is a great match for the punch of a cranberry. You can always leave your cranberries in halves (like I did) instead of smaller pieces if you want more of a cranberry taste in the bread. Or even add some walnuts for my old sour friends out there!
Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
Even the batter is just so pretty! I always prefer to use fresh cranberries because they are simple to slice up but you can use frozen cranberries! Just let them thaw and then chop them up! I always line my bread pans with parchment paper. Because when the loaf is baked I can just lift up on the parchment and the bread comes out perfectly! Sometimes I’ll make this in a bundt pan or in mini loaf pans. I just adjust the baking time depending on the thickness of the batter in the pan.
Cranberry Orange Bread for Christmas
I love to line my loaf pans with parchment. Let it hang over a little on the sides and then I spray my favorite baking spray on the sides without parchment. I can just lift the bread out of the pan when it is cooled! It comes out perfectly every time. Oh! Another Pro Tip! I drop a few extra cranberries on top of the batter so that when it bakes up you can still see them. This makes your Easy Orange Cranberry Bread picture perfect every time!
I am a HUGE banana bread fan but when the Christmas season rolls around this cranberry bread is my go-to.
Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe
The orange bread and the red cranberries just look gorgeous together. Can you see the flecks of orange peel in the slices? Dreamy… and tasty. If you want to make the bread sweeter, you can always mix a little fresh orange juice with powdered sugar and drizzle it over the top! Mmm…
In the recipe notes I’ve added an optional Orange Glaze to top the loaf. Add the glaze if you want to make the loaf sweeter and more dessert like. I like omitting a glaze when I plan to wrap up the loaf to give away because I find wrapping glazed breads to be a little messy. Either way, this Easy Orange Cranberry Bread it a HIT and your family will love waking up to the smell of this in the kitchen.
If you’re looking for more quick bread recipes, you’re in luck! I have so many delicious options!
As with all quick-rise breads and muffins you can use a toothpick or a sharp knife to help tell when it’s done baking! Just gently press it into the center of the loaf and if it comes out without any gooey batter on it, it’s done! Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 or so minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
A few variations if you want to play with the recipe: You can swap melted butter for oil, add pecans, add a cream cheese swirl, or do a chocolate glaze or chocolate chips in the batter. Personally, I like keeping this bread pretty simple. A slice of this bright and zingy bread is always a great way to start a December day full of wrapping Christmas presents and watching Hallmark movies.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Easy Orange Cranberry Bread
The perfect zesty and sweet quick bread for the holidays! This Orange Cranberry Bread will make your whole house smell like Christmas!
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- zest of 3 large oranges
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon orange juice fresh
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh cranberries chopped or halved
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a loaf pan with parchment or grease it well.
Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together orange zest, buttermilk, oil, eggs, orange juice and vanilla.
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and gently fold together. Just before it's combined, add in cranberries and stir JUST until combined.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for about an hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
Optional Orange Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
zest of 1 orange, optional
1-2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
-Slowly add in orange juice to powdered sugar and whisk. Only add as much juice as needed to get a thick but pourable consistency.
If you’d like to freeze the bread, wrap it tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap and place in the freezer. It’s a perfect plan for baking ahead for holiday visitors.