Fresh cranberry orange bread is a perfect way to use up those leftover bags of cranberries from turkey day!

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Cranberry orange bread sliced on a wire rack with extra cranberries for decoration

I promise you there’s no leftover turkey recipe in this post, but there are leftover cranberries because who buys just one bag when you eventually see them on sale at the grocery store? I know some food bloggers who buy bags of them and freeze them for next years holiday season.

Food bloggers are always creating and it’s usually recipes that are time sensitive, so we might be making Thanksgiving recipes in August or September when cranberries are hard to find so you have to jump on them when you can!

And when there’s so many recipes right now for cranberry sauce, it’s nice to see something else for a change like this cranberry orange bread. This one is particularly good because it comes from a family recipe which has been tried and tested through the years. My wife’s mom has been making it and usually adds nuts, but this year M took it upon herself to make it (minus the nuts) and it didn’t last long once it came out of the oven!

Making the cranberry orange bread

Even though it has the word “bread” in the title, it’s not like a traditional bread loaf. This has a sweet dense texture almost like a cake but slices perfectly after cooling for a long enough period of time. I would recommend making it the night before you want to serve it or it may crumble slightly on you when you take a knife to it. This is usually always the case when you have a sponge type baked product, they need to cool fully before cutting.

This is a one bowl recipe and uses a 9 x 5 baking tin. Make sure to grease the tin with plenty of butter before you add the batter. You could also use a nonstick cooking spray but why when the butter has much more flavor.

slices of cranberry orange bread

How do I tell if my cranberry orange bread is ready?

You’ll always read to shove a toothpick into the center of a cake to see if it’s done, but I don’t think that’s a very accurate way to do it. If you think about it, when you draw that toothpick out, chances are most of what was on it will be held back as you pull out the toothpick which comes out looking clean.

I like to gently press down on the top of the cake with a fingertip and if the cake feels spongy and springs back then it’s done. If it doesn’t spring back or feel stiff then I’d give it another 5 minutes and test again. I always say the best tools to use while you cook and bake are your hands, so get stuck in!

Can I use frozen cranberries?

You can easily use frozen cranberries and if you don’t like raisins, you can substitute them with more cranberries to have more of a cranberry orange bread. I like the raisins though, it helps keep the bread moist and it reminds me of the fruitcake my mom would bake at Christmas time. Dried cherries would work also.

If you do want to add nuts, I’d recommend replacing the raisins or doing half and half. Pecans or walnuts would work, just chop them up quite small or it’ll be harder to slice the bread.

How should I serve my cranberry orange bread?

I love it with some good quality salted butter spread on top, but other options for something fancier could be spreading a thin orange zest glaze over the top like this one or a thicker cream cheese frosting would be awesome!

You’ll love it!

more cranberry bread sliced Into wedges

more great loaf cakes

Easy Cranberry Orange Bread

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 246kcal
Author: foodnessgracious
This is a great way to use up any leftover cranberries you might have. Cranberry orange bread with juicy raisins is moist and awesome with a hot espresso! 
Print Recipe


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 ½ cups raisins
  • 1 ½ cups cranberries chopped roughly


  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • Grease or butter a 9x5x3 loaf pan generously.
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda into a large bowl and stir with a whisk.
  • Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
  • Add the egg, orange peel, orange juice and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until well mixed.
  • Fold in the raisins and cranberries.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 60 minutes and check to see if done. It may need another 5-10 minutes.
  • Once the loaf is done, let it cool for an hour before removing it from the pan.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 281mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 10.4mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1.6mg