Nothing brightens up a winter day like a slice of bright and bold Orange Cranberry Bread. This quick bread is moist and flavorful, the simple streusel topping adds another layer of texture and sweetness, making it a wonderful pairing with coffee in the morning and at the end of a meal.
My favorite thing to do during the holidays is to spend time with family and watch our favorite reruns of holiday movies. A slice of this delicious cranberry orange bread paired with a mug of hot chocolate will complete our movie night.
How to make Orange Cranberry Bread
This cranberry bread recipe is very easy. The flavor is bright and bold, with a perfect combination of sweet and tart. And it stays moist for days.
The streusel topping for this cranberry bread recipe is super simple, made with just three ingredients — flour, sugar, and unsalted butter.
- Combine flour and sugar in a small bowl with a whisk.
- Add cubes of very cold butter.
- Cut with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form.
A few alternatives to a pastry blender would be using a fork or two butter knives to cut the butter into the flour. You can also use your fingers to work the butter as if making scones. Or use a food processor.
I kept the streusel simple to let the cranberry and orange flavor in the bread shine. But a couple of ways to spruce up the streusel could be to mix in a bit of ground cinnamon or add some orange zest to up the orange flavor even more.
The quick cranberry bread batter
This no fuss quick cranberry bread batter is simply flavored with lots of fresh orange zest, and made entirely by hand.
- Mix together sugar and orange zest. I like to use zest from one large Navel orange. You can use any type of orange available, but I find Navel Orange zest to have a very strong fragrance.
- Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into the bowl and add the salt. Stir to combine.
- Toss the cranberries in the flour mixture and set aside.
- Add sour cream, egg, oil, and vanilla extract in another bowl.
- Beat with a whisk until smooth.
- Fold in the flour mixture until just combined.
- Transfer the quick bread batter to a buttered and parchment-lined loaf pan.
- Sprinkle streusel over the top and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Be sure to let your bread cool down for about 10 minutes before removing it from the loaf pan. This will allow the residual heat to finish baking the bread, and the exterior to set so when you lift it out of the pan it won’t fall apart.
Other tips for making cranberry orange bread
- You can use both fresh and frozen cranberries for this recipe. If using frozen cranberries, don’t defrost them. You may need to increase baking time by 5 – 10 minutes.
- Use fresh orange zest for the best orange flavor. You could also add orange extract, or orange essential oil to boost the flavor or in place of orange zest in a pinch.
- Most types of oil will work in this recipe: vegetable oil, canola oil or olive oil. I especially love the tangerine infused olive oil I used in these Tangerine Olive Oil Cakes for this recipe.
- You can substitute sour cream with plain yogurt.
- Slice up the orange and serve it with the bread, or use the juice to make an orange glaze to drizzle over the bread. Though I don’t think a glaze is necessary at all.
- You can also dollop leftover cranberry sauce in the middle of the batter to create a marbled cranberry orange bread.
- Make sure to butter the loaf pan well, line it with parchment paper, and then butter the parchment paper as well. This will ensure easy release of the bread from the pan after baking.
More sweets baked in a loaf pan!
If you’re hosting family for the holidays, this amazing cranberry orange bread will be perfect for both brunch and dessert. So make an extra loaf to ensure you don’t run out!
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
Orange Cranberry Bread
- 6 tablespoon all-purpose flour (45 g)
- 6 tablespoon granulated sugar (50 g)
- 1 ½ oz unsalted butter (cold & cubed)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 g)
- Zest of 1 large orange
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (225 g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup of fresh cranberries (rinsed and dried)
- 1 cup sour cream (236g)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- ⅓ cup oil (canola, vegetable or olive oil, 67 g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Melted butter or non-stick spray for loaf pan
- To make the streusel, combine flour, and sugar in a small bowl, mix together thoroughly with a whisk. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add to the dry mixture. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry mixture until coarse crumbs form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Brush a loaf pan with melted butter and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the sides. Brush the parchment paper with more butter. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add sugar and orange zest, rub together with your fingers or mix with a whisk to release the oil. Sift in the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add the kosher salt and whisk the mixture until evenly distributed. Toss the cranberries in the flour mixture, and set aside.
- Add sour cream, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and beat together with a hand whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just incorporated with a few streaks of flour remaining.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan, sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top, and bake for 55 - 65 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached, but no wet batter.
- Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 5 - 10 minutes before removing it from the pan and let it cool further on a wire rack. Best served slightly warm.
- You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe. If using frozen cranberries you may need to increase baking time by 5 - 10 minutes
- Any type of oil will work such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or olive oil. I would avoid coconut oil because the flavor might come through.
This post was originally published on 11/24/2014. The recipe has been updated and republished on 12/05/2019 with the latest improvements, extra tips, and process photos to help you in the kitchen.