This cranberry bread is a sweet and tender quick bread loaded with fresh cranberries and topped with a tangy orange glaze. Cranberry bread is perfect for dessert, an after school snack, or served with a cup of tea.

I love a good quick bread – pumpkin chocolate chip bread and blueberry banana bread are some of our all time favorites. This sweet and tart cranberry bread is the perfect treat during the winter months when fresh cranberries are in season!

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Sliced cranberry bread on a serving plate.

When cranberries are widely available at the store, I try to cook with them as much as possible. Once they’re gone for the season, you have to wait a whole year to get them again! This cranberry bread is a super moist loaf with plenty of cranberry flavor and a hint of orange. It’s quick to make and totally delicious.

How do you make cranberry bread?

This bread is a one bowl recipe made with sugar, flour, egg, cranberries, buttermilk and orange zest. The dry ingredients go into the bowl first, followed by the wet ingredients. The final step is to fold in fresh cranberries. I give the cranberries a light coating of flour before I add them to the batter so that they won’t sink to the bottom of the loaf.

After the bread has baked and cooled, it’s time to add the glaze, which is simply powdered sugar mixed with orange juice. Add a generous amount of the glaze to your cranberry bread, then serve and enjoy.

Orange batter topped with a pile of fresh cranberries in a mixing bowl.

Can cranberry bread be made ahead of time?

This bread will keep covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. I prefer to eat it on the first day when it’s freshly baked, but any leftover slices will still be delicious on day 2 and day 3. You can store the bread in the refrigerator for a little longer, up to 5 day. I recommend bringing refrigerated bread to room temperature, or you can heat it in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds to make it taste like it was freshly baked.

Ccranberry bread batter spread into a loaf pan.

Can you freeze cranberry bread?

Cranberry bread makes an excellent candidate for the freezer. You can freeze the entire loaf, or freeze individual slices covered in plastic wrap. If you’re planning to make your bread in advance and freeze it, I prefer to leave the glaze off, then add the glaze later on after the bread is thawed and ready to eat. The glaze can become a bit sticky when frozen and thawed, and the presentation is not as attractive.

A baked loaf of fresh cranberry bread.

Can you use frozen cranberries?

You can absolutely use frozen cranberries for this recipe, although fresh is my preference because the frozen berries can be a bit watery when thawed. You can also substitute dried cranberries in a pinch, although the end result will be a little sweeter since dried cranberries contain added sugar.

A plate with two slices of cranberry bread and fresh cranberries for garnish.

Cranberry Bread Variations

While this bread is delicious as-is, you can add other ingredients to switch up the flavor profile.

  • White Chocolate: Add 1/2 cup white chocolate chips to the batter.
  • Ginger: Add 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger to the recipe.
  • Lime: Swap out the orange zest for lime zest and use lime juice in the glaze.
  • Coconut: Add 1/3 cup flaked coconut to the dry ingredients.
  • Apple: Add 1 diced, peeled apple to the recipe.
  • Dark Chocolate: Add 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks to the batter.

Slices of cranberry bread topped with orange glaze.

This bread is sure to be a hit with all the cranberry lovers in your life – you need to love that sweet-tart flavor combination to enjoy this one!

More sweet treats

5 from 14 votes

Cranberry Bread

AuthorSara Welch
Sliced cranberry bread on a serving plate.
This cranberry bread is a sweet and tender quick bread loaded with fresh cranberries and topped with a tangy orange glaze. Cranberry bread is perfect for dessert, an after school snack, or served with a cup of tea.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Serves 10


For the bread

  • 2 cups all purpose flour + more to toss with cranberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • cooking spray

For the glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9" x 5" loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and granulated sugar in a large bowl; whisk to combine.
  • Add the butter, egg, buttermilk and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
  • Toss the cranberries with 1 tablespoon of flour. Add the cranberries and orange zest to the batter and gently stir until just mixed.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
  • Run a thin knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the bread. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes, then carefully invert onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
  • After the bread is cool, make the glaze. Place the powdered sugar and orange juice in a bowl and stir until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the bread.
  • Let the glaze set, then slice and serve.


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 3.8mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1.3mg

This post was originally published on November 7, 2018 and was updated on November 12, 2019 with new content.

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Recipe Rating


  1. So, do we wash the fresh berries and put them into the batter whole? What’s the texture of the berries in the finished product? Are they moist or a bit chewy? This looks like a good recipe to “replace” the good old Thomas’ Cranberry Bread that used to be one of our favorite holiday treats before they stopped its availability!
    It’s been about 30 or more years since I’ve baked anything using fresh cranberries, so I need a refresher here, I guess!

    Thanks, and God Bless!

  2. Being at home, so I decided to bake again this awesome buttermilk cranberry bread, a great lift during confinement.
    I can’t wait for tomorsrow Morning for a rayl treat at breakfast.

    Mathieu Duguay
    Eastern Canada

  3. Can I make this without the buttermilk? I’m lactose intolerant and was wondering what would be a good substitute for the buttermilk?

  4. 5 stars
    I feel like cranberries are so underrated but I LOVE to use them in sweet and savory dishes! This looks so good! Making it asap!

  5. 5 stars
    I can almost never get enough cranberries, and this bread looks divine! I’ll be making this recipe this weekend, for sure! Yum!

  6. 5 stars
    I have a whole batch of cranberries and I cannot wait to try this! I love the sweet and tart combo…such a lovely holiday loaf!

  7. 5 stars
    What a sweet and savory bread! And that glaze is hands-down perfect! Can’t wait to serve this again around Christmas!

  8. 5 stars
    I am waiting for the weekend. I already printed this recipe and I am going to make this on weekend. Thanks for sharing the recipe for Cranberry bread.

  9. 5 stars
    This cranberry bread looks delicious! I love that it’s topped with a glaze. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  10. Your cranberry bread is beautiful! It looks delicious and so pretty too. Perfect for the holidays or just for a nice fall or wintertime dessert.

  11. 5 stars
    How yummy this bread looks like. I absolutely love its color and the look of cranberries in the bread. This looks every tantalizing and the topping is just so yummy. Would be just perfect for breakfast.