Cranberry Orange Bread – Budget Bytes

Cranberry Orange Bread is a wintertime classic. The tart cranberries and sweet citrus are both in season and they offer such a bright and welcome contrast to the usually heavy foods of winter. In our house, this was a staple every Thanksgiving and Christmas morning, but it’s great to have a slice with coffee any day of the year. And since this Cranberry Orange Bread freezes beautifully, you can take a slice out and warm it up whenever you need a little taste of sunshine. 🙂

Front view of a sliced loaf of cranberry orange bread.

If you love to have a little sweet baked treat along with your homemade cup of coffee, this cranberry orange bread recipe is going to be your new fav. The loaf is sweet, rich, filled with orange essence, and dotted with fresh tart cranberries. The sweet glaze on top makes the perfect juxtaposition to the tart cranberries and the whole thing is absolutely addictive!

Here’s what you’ll need to make a loaf of this delicious cranberry orange bread:

  • Butter: Butter keeps the loaf rich, moist, and dessert-like. We use salted butter because it’s easier to keep just one kind of butter in your fridge!
  • Sugar: This recipe uses granulated sugar in the bread to sweeten everything up, and powdered sugar to create the thick orange glaze on top.
  • Eggs: Eggs help leaven the loaf and give it strength so it doesn’t collapse after baking.
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream is added to give the loaf moisture, richness, and even more flavor.
  • Orange: We use both the orange juice and zest in this bread, in the batter and in the icing that is drizzled over top.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Would it be “bread” without flour? Regular all-purpose flour is used to give the loaf body and strength.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda: Because of the acidic ingredients in the batter (sour cream, orange juice, and cranberries), we use a combination of both baking powder AND baking soda to leaven the bread.
  • Salt: A little salt always helps make the individual flavors pop and allows you to taste every element.
  • Cranberries: You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this bread. If using frozen, allow them to thaw before folding into the batter.

How to Store Leftovers

This cranberry orange bread will stay good in the refrigerator for about five days, or you can freeze it for longer storage. To freeze, slice the bread and then stack the slices with parchment between each slice. Place the stacked bread in an air-tight container, like a freezer bag, and then store it in the freezer. You can take out one or as many slices as needed and thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving or microwave until warm.

Overhead view of sliced cranberry orange bread on a cooling rack.


Cranberry Orange Bread

This Cranberry Orange Bread recipe is a sweet dessert loaf featuring tart cranberries, sweet orange, and a citrus zest glaze.

Author: Beth – Budget Bytes

Front view of a sliced loaf of orange cranberry bread.

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • 1 orange ($0.99)
  • 8 Tbsp salted butter, room temperature ($1.00)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar ($0.36)
  • 1 large egg ($0.09)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (0.63)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour ($0.38)
  • 1 tsp baking powder ($0.06)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.03)
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries ($1.33)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar ($1.02)
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Zest and juice the orange. You’ll need about ⅓ cup juice (divided) and a ¼ tsp zest for this recipe. Wash and slice the cranberries in half.

  • In a large bowl beat together the butter, sugar, and ¼ tsp orange zest with a hand mixer or stand mixer on high until the mixture is soft and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg and beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes).

  • Add the sour cream and ¼ cup of the orange juice to the batter and beat again for about 2 minutes. Save the remainder of the orange juice to make the glaze later.

  • In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

  • Add about half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat with low speed until combined. Add the rest and beat until combined again. Finally, fold the sliced cranberries into the batter.

  • Grease an 8.5 x 4.5-inch bread pan and then dust lightly with flour. Spread the cranberry bread batter into the bread pan and smooth out the surface.

  • Bake the cranberry orange bread for 60 minutes in the preheated 350ºF oven, or until it is browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay, just no wet batter).

  • Allow the bread to cool in the bread pan while you make the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar with just enough orange juice to create a thick glaze (about 1.5 to 2 Tbsp). You can add a pinch of orange zest to the glaze, if desired.

  • When the bread has mostly cooled, use a knife to loosen the edges, then remove it from the bread pan. Drizzle the glaze over top, then slice and serve.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 315kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 3gFat: 10gSodium: 294mgFiber: 1g

Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.

Side view of slices of cranberry orange bread fallen like dominos.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Bread – Step by Step Photos

One orange zested and juiced on a cutting board.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Zest and juice one orange. For the bread batter and icing you’ll need about ⅓ cup juice (divided) and about ¼ tsp zest (or more if desired). Wash and slice 2 cups of fresh cranberries in half.

Creamed butter and sugar in a bowl with eggs added.

Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat together 8 Tbsp room-temperature salted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and ¼ tsp orange zest on high until soft and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add one large egg and beat together until smooth and creamy (another 2 minutes).

Orange juice and sour cream added to egg, sugar, and butter.

Add ¼ cup orange juice and ½ cup sour cream, then beat together until smooth and creamy once again.

Dry ingredients for cranberry orange bread in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt.

Dry ingredients folded into batter.

Add about half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat them together on low speed until incorporated. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat on low speed until a smooth batter forms. Do not overmix.

Sliced cranberries being folded into the bread.

Fold the sliced cranberries into the batter.

Cranberry bread batter being smoothed into a bread pan.

Grease an 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan, then dust it lightly with flour. Spread the bread batter into the loaf pan.

baked cranberry orange bread in the bread pan.

Bake the bread in the preheated 350ºF oven for 60 minutes or until it is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (it may have a few crumbs but should not have wet batter coating it). Allow the cranberry bread to cool in the pan.

Icing being poured over the cranberry orange bread.

When the bread is mostly cool, prepare the icing. Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar with 1.5-2 Tbsp orange juice, and a pinch of orange zest if desired. Add just enough orange juice to create a thick glaze. Remove the bread from the pan, then drizzle the glaze over top.

Overhead view of a sliced loaf of cranberry orange bread on a cooling rack.

Slice, serve, and enjoy!

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