This moist gluten-free cranberry orange bread has tart cranberries and hints of sweet orange in every bite! Make it with either a gluten-free flour blend OR all-purpose flour. Bake it as one large loaf or 4 mini loaves for gifts and attach one of the free printable gift tags included!
Here's a versatile festive bread for the holidays! It's a traditional cranberry bread that I serve for Christmas brunch every year. Topped with a sweet orange glaze that balances the tart cranberries, this is a favorite in my home.
Make this one the way you like, it always turns out!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Choose your flour: I've made this recipe for many years, always with regular unbleached all-purpose flour. This year I decided to make it with a gluten-free flour blend and I'm glad I did. I used Cup4Cup gluten-free flour blend, and it turned out beautifully, just as I remember it.
- Make it mini . . . or not: I like this recipe for making mini loaves of cranberry bread. They make great gifts when you wrap them up. They also freeze beautifully, a perfect option when you won't need a whole loaf at once.
- Glaze it or leave it plain: I've shown different ways of decorating this bread in the photos. You can leave it perfectly plain (delicious), dust it lightly with confectioner's sugar, drizzle it with a simple orange glaze, or glaze it completely. You do you!
- Save them or gift them: Save these mini cranberry orange loaves to cut into small squares to add to your cookie assortment platters, or wrap them up and give them as neighbor gifts. Scroll to the bottom of the post to download your free Cranberry Orange Bread gift tags!
Cranberry-orange and cranberry-lemon are classic flavor combinations that simply work well together! If you're following a keto diet, you'll love these Gluten-Free Cranberry-Lemon Muffins, sweetened with Monkfruit sweetener and made with almond flour.
- Before we get to the full recipe for Cranberry Orange Loaf here are a few notes about some of the ingredients.
- flour: use either all-purpose flour or a gluten-free flour blend. (I use Cup4Cup gluten-free flour blend to make this recipe as it has a neutral taste.) I also like Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour.
- cranberries: use fresh or frozen, no need to thaw them.
- orange: you'll need the zest of one large orange as well as ¾ cup of orange juice. A large orange should yield ½ cup of juice, so just add water to make ¾ cup.
- nuts: walnuts or pecans are both delicious in this cranberry bread, but you can leave them out if you like.
- butter: softened but not melted
- egg: at room temperature
- After preheating your oven to 350°F. line either ONE 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan OR four mini loaf pans (5-inch by 3.5-inch) with parchment paper. The easiest way to line a loaf pan is to create a "sling" with the paper, then use a little coconut oil or butter to grease the ends of the pan.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then stir in the orange zest, cranberries, and walnuts.
- In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the egg and beat until smooth. Stir in the orange juice.
- Add the flour mixture and stir until just moistened.
- Transfer to the lined pans.
- Bake. You'll find baking times based on the size of the loaf you're making below.
- Once completely cool, you can drizzle with a simple orange glaze.
⏰ Baking Times
Preheat your oven to 350°F. and bake for the times below, depending on the size of your pan(s).
- 9×5 inch loaf pan, bake for 60 - 70 minutes;
- Bake 12 muffins in a standard-size muffin tin for 18-20 minutes.
- Bake mini loaf pans for 30 - 35 minutes.
👍🏼 Helpful tips
Getting exactly the right amount of flour is crucial for recipes for loaves and muffins. Too much and they'll be dry, too little and they'll sink and be mucky. The best way is to use the "spoon and level" method. Spoon the flour into a measuring cup, then level it off with a spatula or knife.
Don't overfill the baking pans. Fill them about ¾ full, with ¾ to 1-inch space between the top of the batter and the top of the pan.
If you are using a metal baking pan, the baking time may be a little shorter as metal pans conduct heat more efficiently than glass or ceramic baking pans when baking loaves and muffins. Check at 28 minutes. The top should spring back and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle should come out clean or with a few crumbs.
🔁 Possible Variations
- As I outlined above, you can use either all-purpose flour or a gluten-free flour blend in this recipe. You can also use fresh or frozen cranberries.
- Switch the nuts, or leave them out. I've made this cranberry bread many times with pecans instead of walnuts.
- Make them mini! Bake in a 9 x 5 loaf pan or fill 4 mini loaf pans. Bake, glaze, then wrap, tie with a ribbon, add a gift tag and you'll have four hostess or neighbor gifts to share!
🥶Storage and Freezing Instructions
Store at room temperature for a day or two, then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
This cranberry orange bread with orange glaze freezes well! Wrap loaves tightly in plastic wrap, then store them in an airtight container. They will last for three months.
🍽 Serving suggestions
A slice or two of this simple cranberry orange bread makes a delicious addition to your morning coffee time on chilly winter mornings. It's a perfect addition to your holiday brunch, too.
🗒More recipes you might like
When you make this cranberry orange loaf, please leave a comment and a rating below. I love hearing how my recipes turned out for you, or what adaptations you made. Thanks in advance! Subscribe to my weekly newsletter and have new recipes delivered straight to your inbox.
Cranberry Orange Bread - Gluten-Free
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum like Cup4Cup, OR all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, gluten-free if necessary
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, finely grated
- 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- ¾ cup orange juice
- ½ cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line either one 9 inch by 5-inch loaf pan OR four mini loaf pans (5 inch by 3.5 inch) with parchment paper. See the post for the easiest way to do this.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then stir in the orange zest, cranberries and walnuts.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the egg and stir until smooth. Stir in the orange juice.
- Add the flour mixture and stir until just moistened and no traces of flour remain. Avoid overmixing.
- Transfer to the lined pan. If using mini loaf pans, divide the mixture evenly, smoothing the batter to the edges. Don't fill the pans more than ¾ full.
- Bake a 9 x 5-inch loaf for 60 to 70 minutes, or mini loaves for 30 - 35 minutes. Loaf should spring back when pressed and a toothpick inserted should come out clean or with a few crumbs.
- Cool completely before adding the glaze.
- Measure ½ cup confectioner's sugar. Add 1 tablespoon orange juice, a few drops at a time until you have achieved the consistency you like. A thinner glaze will dribble down the sides; a thicker glaze will remain on top of the loaf. Both will be delicious!
- Drizzle with a spoon or simply spread with an offset spatula (or a knife) over the top of the loaf. Let the glaze set completely before wrapping.