Stock up on fresh cranberries during the winter to make this easy cranberry bread recipe at any time of the year. This bread is quick and easy to put together with ingredients you probably have in your pantry.
This is a tart and sweet bread with the perfect balance of flavors and a hint of orange that will have you craving all the flavors of the holiday season. No rising time is needed so you can pop it in the oven as soon as it's mixed up and you can go fold your laundry while it bakes.
When I used to work in Georgetown, DC, one of my favorite thing to buy from Mrs. Fields' cookie shop was cranberry muffins. This cranberry quick bread channels all of the energy of a muffin into one easy-to-bake loaf. Cranberry season is short, but you can make easy bread recipes any time of the year if you have a freezer full of Ocean Spray cranberries.
💌Why you'll love this recipe
- This recipe only takes 10 minutes to put together.
- You can give it away as a gift for the holidays. Try pairing it with gourmet tea and a nice mug.
- It has a great tart cranberry flavor.
- You can make it in advance and have a slice for breakfast on the run.
- It freezes beautifully.
- Fresh whole Cranberries or frozen cranberries
- orange zest
- sparkling sugar
- baking powder
See the recipe card for quantities.Jump to Recipe
🥣How to make this ocean spray cranberry bread recipe
This cranberry bread recipe comes together quickly. All you need is a large mixing bowl and a sturdy spoon or spatula.
Combine the dry ingredients, orange peel, eggs, and milk in a medium mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. But don't overmix or the bread will have large holes in the crumb after it bakes.
Fold in the cranberries and spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Just before placing the loaf pan in the preheated oven, sprinkle the top with sparkling sugar. Bake until golden brown.
The bread is bursting with flavor and the sparkling sugar helps cut the tartness of the cranberries.
Hint: As you can see, the tart cranberries are all at the top of the bread. If you want your cranberries to be more evenly distributed throughout the bread, you can cut the cranberries in half before adding them to the batter. Whole cranberries have lots of air pockets, so they tend to rise in the batter. You won't have that issue with halved cranberries because the batter will fill the air pockets.
This delicious cranberry bread is great as-is, but here are a few ideas to make it your own.
- Spice it up - add 2 teaspoons of ground ginger for a slightly different flavor
- Give as a gift- divide the batter into smaller loaf pans and give them away as gifts. The baking time will depend on the size of loaf pan you use, so look for mini loaf pan recipes to guide you as far as time and temperature are concerned. I have not tested a mini loaves version of this recipe yet.
- Make a sweet orange glaze by mixing a cup of powdered sugar and enough fresh orange juice to get a runny glaze consistency. Drizzle it over the top of the bread. If you plan on making the glaze, then there is no need to add the sparkling sugar to the top of the bread before you bake it.
- Turn this into ocean spray cranberry nut bread by adding a cup of chopped pecans or walnuts. The nuts add a wonderful flavor to the bread.
❄️Can I freeze cranberry bread?
Store any leftover bread in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Pop slices in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to warm them up.
You can also freeze the bread for up to a month. I like to slice the bread and place the slices in a freezer bag with parchment paper in between each slice. That way you can just take out one slice of cranberry bread at a time without having to pull and defrost the whole loaf.
Don't overmix the bread. Once you add the wet ingredients, just mix until you don't see any more dry pockets of flour.
📖Printable Recipe Card
Cranberry Orange Bread
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 9x5 " loaf pan non-stick or glass
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 egg
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 Tablespoon sparkling sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ and prepare 9x5 loaf pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and orange zest until combined.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk, melted butter, egg. Stir the liquid ingredients with a fork until the egg is blended, then with a sturdy spatula mix all the ingredients until there are no more streaks of flour remaining.
- Add the fresh cranberries and fold into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the sparkling sugar on top.
- Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Slice with a serrated knife into 8 slices and serve.