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Cranberry-Orange Christmas Bread

Cranberry-Orange Christmas BreadScore 96%Score 96%

Cranberry-Orange Christmas Bread

The source for today’s recipe is ROMANTIC HOMES Magazine. Love this magazine! Back to the recipe: Flavorful, healthy, and moist. Pops with orange zest. At first glance, this recipe appears too sugary. The bread is not overly sweet at all. Cranberries give a tart taste while orange juice/zest adds  a burst of flavor. Very affordable recipe to bake this time of year. Organic cranberries are on sale for $1.50 a bag at Kroger and organic oranges are on sale at Earthfare! Great presentation for entertaining!! Perfect party pleaser!!!

Yields: 1 loaf

  • Bread Loaf
  • 1+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 large orange (save 1 tsp for glaze)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 TBSP fresh orange juice (from orange)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh, chopped cranberries (or 1/2 cup of dried cranberries)
  • Orange Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1+1/2 TBSP fresh orange juice (from tested orange)
  • 1 tsp fresh orange zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray loaf pan(s) with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and fresh orange zest. Use your fingers to rub the two together until the sugar becomes fragrant and turns a very pale shade of orange. (this is my favorite part! It's so fragrant and smells soooo good!) Whisk the sugar mixture into the flour mixture. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, add the wet ingredients. Whisk together until combined thoroughly.
  5. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Fold in the cranberries using a spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan(s).
  6. Bake according to the pan size you've selected (see below) or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. If necessary, loosely drape a piece of tin foil over the loaf pan to prevent over-browning during the last 10 minutes of baking.
  7. Remove the bread from the the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan. Loosen the bread from the sides of the cavity using a knife or small spatula. Carefully lift and remove the loaf from the pan. Cool it completely on the wire rack.
  8. Prepare the orange glaze while the loaf cools. Combine the powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest in a small bowl. Whisk these ingredients together until smooth. Add more orange juice if necessary until an icing consistency is reached. Use a spoon or small whisk to drizzle the glaze onto the cooled bread. Slice and serve.
  9. If packaging for food gifts, allow the glaze to dry and harden (20-30 minutes) before wrapping in plastic wrap. Bread can be stored for two to three days in an airtight container or in plastic wrap. Makes (A) 1 - 8 1/2 x 4 1/2" loaf pan (I used something similar to this Wilton Medium Loaf Pan) (B) or 1 - 9 cavity 2 1/2" x 3 3/8" petite loaf pan (I used this Wilton 9-cavity petite loaf pan) Baking Times (may vary depending on finish of loaf pans) (A) - 70-75 minutes (B) - 20-30 minute
  • Total time: 30 minutes


Recipe Review



About The Author


The author enjoys baking, cooking, and entertaining friends. From Spring luncheons to Sunday dinners, she celebrates loved ones with healthy and nourishing food. And, yes, always ends with a cup of coffee and dessert!


  1. Les Kefauver

    In a poll of a group of 4, please be advised that the results on the cranberry-orange bread were overwhelmingly positive, as follows: 1) It was very good 2) Please give my address to the baker so she can send me a whole one when she makes it 3) It was good 4) I really loved it. Congratulations on a successful baking adventure!

    • mm

      Thank you for your “poll” input! The baker thanks you as well!!

  2. Katy

    I just discovered your blog, and it is January. Can we turn back the clock to December so I can make this for Christmas? I don’t want to wait a whole year! It looks fabulous!


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