Our Cranberry Orange Bread is the perfect make ahead quick bread to nibble on Christmas morning! It’s loaded with fresh cranberries and bold orange flavor.
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What could be better than waking up Christmas morning and already having a delicious loaf (or two!) of sweet and tart Cranberry Orange Bread ready to nibble on while everyone opens their stockings? This bread is packed full of sweet and tart cranberries, crunchy pecans, and just a hint of orange. You’re going to love this fabulous bread!
Cranberry Orange Bread Ingredient List:
- Fresh or frozen cranberries
- Orange zest and juice
- Pecans (optional)
- LorAnn Orange Bakery Emulsion
- Apple Sauce
- From the pantry: flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, vegetable oil.
Other Items You May Need:
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- Stand Mixer or a Hand Mixer.
- Mixing Bowls (these are my favorite go-to bowls for mixing, measuring and prep!)
- Utensils: Spoonula, Whisk, Microplane
- Loaf Pans
- Cooling Rack
Freshly grated orange zest is wonderful, but to add really big flavor to this Cranberry Orange Bread, I use LorAnn Oils Bakery Emulsions. They are gluten-free concentrated flavorings that are great for making baked goods and candy. It’s a great alternative to extract but a little goes a long way! A good rule of thumb for these bakery emulsions are to use 1/4 teaspoon per cup of butter or shortening and then add to taste as needed.
How to Make Ahead Cranberry Orange Bread
This recipe can be made up to 3 weeks ahead of time. Simply make as directed in the recipe below, then allow the loaves to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap, then slide each loaf into a freezer bag. Label and freeze for up to 3 weeks. To thaw, remove from the freeze and allow to sit on the counter (still wrapped) until ready to serve.
Cranberry Orange Bread Variations
Because we test all our recipes, we recommend that you make them once just as it is without substitutions or changes. Sometimes variations can go awry. Making this Cranberry Orange Bread recipe as we have tested it will yield the best results. If you really want to get creative, here are some ideas for variations that might work well. (Please note, we have not tested these variations).
- Use mini loaf pans and you’ll be able to give a little treat to family, friends and co-workers. This recipe will make 6-8 mini loaves. Bake at 350-degrees F for 20-30 minutes. It’s a great hostess gift, too!
- For chocolate lovers, add 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter which adds another yummy flavor and texture to the bread.
- Combine 1 cup powdered sugar with just enough orange juice to make a thick glaze. Drizzle over the loaves and let set.
More Delicious Cranberry Recipes:
from left to right:
- Cranberry Orange Glazed Monkey Bread
- Cranberry White Chocolate Muffins
- Easy Cranberry Butter
- Cranberry Eggnog French Toast Bake – also easy to make ahead!
Cranberry Orange Bread
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Cranberry Orange Bread
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/2 teaspoon LorAnn Oil Orange Bakery Emulsion
- 1 orange juiced and zested
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup apple sauce
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups pecans chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
- Cut the cranberries in half. In a small bowl, toss the cranberries and raspberries with the orange zest and 1/4 cup of sugar; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the eggs, remaining sugar, orange zest and juice, LorAnn Oil Orange Bakery Emulsion, water, apple sauce and vegetable oil. Mix on low to combine.
- In another small bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda and whisk gently to combine, then add slowly to ingredients in the mixer.
- When the batter is smooth, remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spoonula to gentle incorporate the cranberry mixture and the pecans. Take care not to overmix.
- Grease and flour your loaf pans. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack