Orange Cranberry Bread is made with oil and yogurt which creates an incredibly moist and flavorful cake. This quick bread tastes of bright citrus that is balanced with tart cranberries and then topped with a sweet orange glaze. A dessert or breakfast that is very easy to make and no mixer is required.
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What is a Quick Bread
Quick Bread is a type of bread recipe made without yeast, but rather with baking soda or baking powder. These types of breads can be sweet or savory. Also, there is no need to knead or proof the bread which makes for a much quicker final product.
Ingredients Needed for Orange Cranberry Bread
- All Purpose Flour– Used for the quick bread dough and for coating the cranberries.
- Baking Powder– Helps to give the quick bread its rise and fluffiness.
- Salt– Salt is important for enhancing the flavor of the other ingredients and balancing the sweetness of the quick bread.
- Eggs– The darker yolks of pasture raised eggs helps to give the dough a slight orange color.
- Oil– My go to oil for both baking and high heat cooking is avocado oil because of its wonderful health benefits. Note: Costco has the best value on Chosen Foods avocado oil. However, Amazon has come out with their own version at a very affordable price.
- Yogurt– Whole milk Greek yogurt gives this quick bread the most amazing texture. However, a 6 container of flavored yogurt (no fruit on the bottom) may be used also.
- Granulated Sugar
- Orange Zest, Extract and Juice– Orange zest and orange extract gives the bread a bright citrusy flavor. Additionally, orange juice and extract is perfect for giving the glaze the tasty orange flavor.
- Cranberries– For the best results use fresh cranberries that are washed, dried and then coated with 1 tablespoon of flour. Dried cranberries may be used but does not give the bread the same luscious flavor and texture.
- Powdered Sugar– Used along with orange juice and orange extract to make a bright citrusy glaze.
Glass Loaf Pan vs Metal
Although they may seem the same, glass and metal pans have different baking characteristics that can impact the quality of quick breads. For this recipe I highly recommend using a metal loaf pan because of the even baking that it provides.
Unfortunately, glass loaf pans tend to bake the outside of the quick bread first resulting in edges that are overdone by the time the center bakes.
How To Make
Lining the Loaf Pan
Lining the loaf pan allows for very easy removal of the quick bread. Additionally, it catches any excess glaze that may fall off.
- To line the pan cut a large piece of parchment paper that is approximately 20 x 15 inches.
- Cut a long strip off of the larger size. This will go along the length of the loaf pan.
- Trim the remaining piece to fit the width of the loaf pan.
- Lightly spray the sides of the loaf pan. This will help the parchment to stay in place while pouring in the batter.
Making Orange Cranberry Bread
- Preheat oven to 325℉.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a separate larger mixing bowl mix together eggs, oil, yogurt, sugar, zest and extract. Set aside.
- Rinse, dry and add cranberries to a small mixing bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon of flour. Set aside.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir until just incorporated.
- To the dough batter add in 3/4 of the floured cranberries and stir until just incorporated.
- Pour batter into loaf pan.
- Add remaining cranberries to the top of loaf and gently push just under the surface of the batter.
- Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour to 30 minutes. The quick bread is done when it springs back when lightly touched.
- At the end of baking turn off oven, leave loaf cake in oven and leave door ajar for 20 minutes. The residual heat will ensure the center of this very moist quick bread bakes fully.
Cooling the Quick Bread
- Once the quick bread has sat in the turned off oven, remove and let cool at room temperature for 10 minutes and then remove from loaf pan.
- Let cool completely at room temperature before icing, about 2 hours.
- Working in two batches, place 1/2 cup of powdered sugar along with 1 teaspoon of orange extract and 3-4 teaspoons of orange juice into a small mixing bowl.
- Whisk until the glaze is smooth and all the lumps are removed.
- Pour over the top of the the quick bread.
- Using a small bowl scraper, evenly spread the glaze.
- Let dry completely, about 1 hour and then repeat the process with the remaining glaze ingredients.
Top Tips for a Luxurious Bread
- If available, Cara Cara oranges add an amazing flavor to this quick bread.
- The consensus in our house is that fresh cranberries are far superior to dried cranberries for this recipe.
- Whole milk Greek yogurt gives this quick bread phenomenal taste and texture. Using a kitchen scale is the most accurate way to measure yogurt. However, 6 ounces of yogurt is equivalent to 3/4 of a cup.
- This is a very moist quick bread. Because of this it is highly recommended to use this professional bakery secret of turning the oven off at the end of baking but leave the loaf in the oven with the door ajar for 20 minutes. This will help ensure that the center becomes fully baked.
- Let the quick bread cool completely before icing.
- For a professional looking iced topping use half of the glaze ingredients to ice the quick bread and let fully dry. Repeat the process with the remaining icing ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does this quick bread not have butter?
Although butter has an amazing taste, oil creates a far superior texture in sweet baked cakes and quick breads. Because of the intense flavor of orange and cranberries, butter is not needed.
What is the purpose of coating the cranberries with flour?
The flour helps to absorb some of the cranberries liquid which prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the quick bread.
Does this bread need to be refrigerated?
This Orange Cranberry Bread does not need to be refrigerated. However, it taste amazes cold from the refrigerator with a cup of hot coffee.
Room Temperature Storage
Store in an air tight container or loosely wrapped in plastic wrap for 3 days at room temperature.
Store in an air tight container or loosely wrapped in plastic wrap for up to one week in the refrigerator.
Can this bread be frozen?
Yes, this Orange Cranberry Bread can be frozen when wrapped in plastic wrap and placed into an airtight freezer container for up to 3 months. When using this quick bread at a later date, it is best to wait to ice until before serving.
Where can I find frozen cranberries?
Some of the larger grocery chains will carry frozen cranberries year round. However, it can be rather hit and miss trying to find them.
The best way to ensure that you will have frozen cranberries later in the year is to freeze them yourself. To do so rinse the cranberries well and let drain in a colander. Lay out a kitchen towel on your countertop and transfer the cranberries to the towel. Gently roll the cranberries on the towel to dry. Once dry, transfer to a freezer bag and remove as much air out of the bag as possible. Freeze up to 1 year.
Can orange oil be used in place of orange extract?
Orange oil can absolutely replace orange extract in this recipe. The most important element to remember is that orange oil is very concentrated compared to orange extract. Use 2-3 drops of oil to replace 1 teaspoon.
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Orange Cranberry Bread
Dry Ingredients for Quick Bread
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Wet Ingredients for Quick Bread
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup oil
- 6 ounces whole milk Greek Yogurt *see Note #1 below
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon orange zest *from about 3 medium sized oranges
- 2 teaspoons orange extract
Cranberries for Quick Bread
- 1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries *see Note #2 below
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar *divided, see Note #3 below
- 2 teaspoons orange extract *divided
- 6-8 teaspoons orange juice *divided
Lining Loaf Pan
- Lightly spray the sides and bottom of a 9 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. See Note #4 below.
- Using a large piece of parchment paper (approximately 15 x 20 inches) cut a long strip off of the larger size. Place that strip along the length of the loaf pan.
- Trim the remaining piece to fit the width of the loaf pan
- Lightly spray the lined pan with cooking spray. See Note # 5 below.
- Preheat oven to 325℉.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, oil, yogurt, sugar, orange zest and orange extract. Set aside.
- If using fresh cranberries rinse, drain and dry with a dry cloth. Add cranberries to a small mixing bowl along with 1 tablespoon of flour. Set aside.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through mixing. See Note # 6 below.
- Remove approximately 1/4 cup of the cranberries and set aside. Mix in the rest of the cranberries to the batter.Transfer batter to loaf pan.
- Scatter the remaining 1/4 cup of cranberries over the top of the quick bread and gently press the cranberries just below the surface of the dough.
- Bake the quick bread for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the bread springs back in the center when lightly touched. (It may take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes depending on your oven.)Once baked, turn off oven and crack the oven door open. Leave the quick bread in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. See Note # 7 below.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Using the parchment, lift the quick bread from the pan and let fully cool to room temperature.
- In a small mixing bowl add 1/2 cup powdered sugar along with 1 teaspoon of orange extract. Whisk in 2 teaspoons of orange juice and slowly add more until a thick smooth consistency is reached. See Note # 3 below.
- Pour over the top of the fully cooled quick bread and spread evenly. Let dry for 30 minutes to 1 hour and the repeat the process with the remaining glaze ingredients.