Easy Cranberry Orange Quick Bread, with tart, fresh cranberries, bright orange zest, and rich Southern pecans, is outrageously delicious! With vibrant flavors, this simple recipe is a crowd-pleaser that even the most novice bakers can master and is the perfect addition to any holiday menu.
I am not gonna lie. Cooking and baking during the holiday season can be slightly stressful, to say the least. I know this all too well, which is why I love easy recipes, like Cranberry Orange bread, that use simple, flavorful ingredients. This recipe takes its inspiration from the South, infusing classic quick bread with the citrusy zing of oranges, tart cranberries, and the richness of pecans and buttermilk.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Homemade Treat
- It has an incredibly flavorful combination of fresh cranberries and oranges that provide citrusy brightness that’s refreshing and zesty.
- With a moist and tender texture, this bread has a light, airy crumb that practically melts in your mouth.
- It’s a simple recipe that’s great for a beginner baker or a seasoned cook.
- With traditional holiday flavors of cranberry and warm spices, it’s sure to put you in a festive mood!
What Makes A Quick Bread “Quick?”
Instead of using a leavening agent like yeast or sourdough, quick breads use baking soda, so you don’t have to wait for anything to rise or do any extra mixing with ingredients. A good quick bread recipe, like my Zucchini Cheese Quick Bread or Blueberry Quick Bread, is one of life’s little secrets to baking!
Ingredients For Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe
- All Purpose flour: The best type of flour to use for a bread recipe like this.
- Baking soda: This is used instead of yeast to help make this a “quick” bread.
- Salt: A must-have in all good bread recipes.
- Spices: Ground cloves and nutmeg as I use in Eggnog Pound Cake, add the perfect earthy and warm notes without being too overbearing.
- Egg: I like to use a large egg, which helps mix the ingredients and hold everything together.
- Brown sugar: Just enough to add sweetness.
- Vegetable oil: Some recipes call for butter, but in this recipe, vegetable oil helps create a more tender and soft bread.
- Grated orange zest: The secret ingredient of this bread is the orange zest.
- Vanilla extract: You only need a bit to add a subtle vanilla flavor.
- Buttermilk: This activates the baking soda and balances the tangy, sweet, you’ll find in Buttermilk Pound Cake.
- Fresh or frozen cranberries: Either works the same in a recipe like this. Use whichever you prefer.
- Chopped pecans: Add a bit of soft crunch to this bread using chopped pecans.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and measurements.
How To Make Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
- Whisk egg, brown sugar, oil, zest, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Add buttermilk and whisk.
- Add wet and dry ingredients and mix until just combined – do not overmix.
- Once the batter is mixed, fold in the cranberries and chopped pecans.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about an hour to 1 hour/10 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cent comes out clean.
- Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Tips For The Best Cranberry Quick Bread
- Don’t overmix the batter. It’s ok if you have a few lumps.
- Use fresh cranberries for that burst of sweet, tart flavor.
- The orange zest adds so much flavor, so don’t skip it.
- Let the bread cool completely before glazing and slicing for the best texture.
How To Serve Orange Cranberry Quick Bread
This bread is so delicious with a drizzle of sweet orange glaze. Mix powdered sugar and orange juice together until smooth, then drizzle over the cooled cake. That’s it! You are ready to slice and serve.
Questions And Answers
Yes, and you do not need to thaw the frozen cranberries. The only thing to be mindful of when using frozen cranberries is the bread may need to cook a little longer. Test with a toothpick to ensure it is done in the center.
Absolutely! Once it’s made, it can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days. It can be refrigerated for up to a week. And if frozen, it will keep up to 3 months. Just be sure it is frozen in a freezer-safe bag and put in the fridge to thaw the night before serving.
You can store any leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil on the counter for up to 4 days.
More Holiday Recipes You’ll Love
If you tried this Cranberry Orange Quick Bread Recipe or any other recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. Thanks!
Easy Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 – 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Once the batter is mixed, fold in the cranberries and chopped pecans.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out to a cooling rack.
- Mix together the powdered sugar and the orange juice until smooth then drizzle over the cooled cake.
- Slice and serve.
- I recommend using a 9×5 inch loaf pan for this recipe.
- If using frozen cranberries, you do not need to thaw them. The only thing to be mindful of when using frozen cranberries is the bread may need to cook a little longer. Test with a toothpick to ensure it is done in the center.
- You can store any leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil on the counter for up to 4 days.