This healthy cranberry bread is a delicious and delightful Thanksgiving and  Christmas treat. The sweet orange glaze paired with the moist and tangy cranberry bread makes a perfect autumn breakfast, snack, or post-dinner dessert!

Autumn is officially here, which means the baking season is in full swing! So, to kick off my favorite cooking season, I’m going to share another recipe with you that I used to bake when I first became a vegan “Cranberry Orange Bread.” 

cranberry orange bread on a white concrete background

This is made with dried or fresh cranberries and orange juice ¾ a quick, moist, tangy, and tasty festive sweet loaf. Cranberry Orange Bread is a great homemade breakfast and a lovely addition to the Christmas tray! 

One of the top ingredients of this cranberry orange bread is of course “cranberries”, a bright red North American fruit. Cranberries, from my point of view, are a holiday food. Although that could be said of a lot of foods, cranberries are a must-have for almost any Thanksgiving Day feast. They also stick around throughout the Christmas season!

They are small, firm, smooth-skinned, and round to oval in shape. Cranberries are high in carbs and fiber. Additionally, they contain numerous essential nutrients, including copper, manganese, vitamins C, E, and K1, several of which have been demonstrated to be beneficial against urinary tract infections.

Native Americans used cranberries as both food and medicine. Cranberries were known to be utilized by sailors and settlers going westward to prevent scurvy. They are abundant in Vitamin C and used as an antioxidant, as we now know.

2 Parts Healthy Cranberry Bread

This recipe consist of two parts:

  1. Bread: The use of gluten-free all-purpose flour, almond flour, and ground flaxseeds makes it a perfect gluten-free bread. It pairs with the perfect cranberry and orange combo. The tartness of fresh cranberries is balanced out by the sweetness of orange juice and zest. Almond extract’s strong, sweet, pleasant flavor blends exceptionally well with cranberries.

Additionally, the use of orange juice and grapeseed oil ensures moist and flavorful bread. All these combinations make a perfect delicious cranberry orange bread.

Plus, it’s easy and simple to create new and innovative flavors by using this batter as a base.

  1. Orange Glaze: This orange cranberry bread’s bright orange flavor is heightened with a drizzle of orange glaze over the top. You can omit the glaze if you don’t like it. It still tastes delicious.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Bread?

It’s very simple and easy to make this Cranberry Orange Bread. It’s merely a matter of combining all of the ingredients. And, don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients below; you’ll notice that more of them repeat in both parts of the recipe.

Additionally, this recipe can easily be customized. You can double (or triple) this recipe; it’ll work great.

ingredients for healthy cranberry bread

Ingredients

For the Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice or apple juice
  • 1/4 cup oil, ( I used grapeseed oil)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup chopped dried or fresh cranberries chopped

For the Orange Glaze (Optional)

  • 1 cup organic powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
making cranberry bread in white bowl

Directions

Let start making the bread first:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9×5 baking pan and set it aside.
  3. Combine gluten-free flour, sugar, almond flour, orange zest, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stir well, and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix orange juice, oil, flaxseeds, and almond extract.
  5. Add wet mixture to dry mixture. Fold in cranberries.
  6. Scoop batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

For making the orange glaze:

  1. Whisk powdered sugar, orange juice, and zest in a medium bowl. Drizzle over cranberry orange bread. Slice it to serve. It tastes great with a cup of tea or coffee.

 

“To be honest, I adore it warm from the oven, but I love it, even more, the next morning for breakfast. It’s a great treat to serve to guests because it can be made the night before.”

baked orange cranberry bread

Storing and freezing cranberry orange bread

For storing, wrap cooled loaves (before glazing) securely in plastic wrap. You can keep it for 3-4 days at room temperature and for up to a week in the fridge.

You can also freeze it. It can be kept frozen for up to 3 months.  Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator or room temperature before using, drizzle glaze (if desired), and serve.

Substitutions and Additions

I used dried cranberries in this recipe; however, you can also substitute them with fresh or frozen cranberries. In addition, you can use store-bought or freshly squeezed orange juice, whichever you like.

Optionally you can also add chopped nuts (Pecans or Walnuts). It’d be a delicious addition that complements the bread’s flavors. Fold in the batter with cranberries.

Pro Tips

  • It’s best to let this bread rest overnight before serving.
  • Lightly coating the cranberries with flour will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the bread and leaking their juice.
  • One secret to making this more flavorful bread is to mix the sugar and orange zest before adding anything else. The sugar extracts the oils from the zest, resulting in orange-infused sugar that imparts a strong orange flavor to the bread. The best trick ever!
  • If you’re going to use any kind of nuts, lightly toast it in a small, dry saucepan until it’s slightly browned and fragrant. This enhances their flavor and maintains their crunchiness!
  • You may also make muffins by spooning the batter into greased muffin molds and baking for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Did you like Healthy Cranberry Bread? Please leave a comment and a rating at the bottom of this post.

Other Holiday Recipes

vegan cranberry bread on white plate on white concrete background

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per portion)
  • Energy: 241 kcal / 1007 kJ
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbs: 36 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 20 min
  • Cooking: 1 h 15 min
  • Ready in: 1 h 35 min
  • For: 8 Servings

Ingredients

Orange Glaze (Optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x5 baking pan and set aside.
  2. Combine gluten-free flour, sugar, almond flour, orange zest, baking powder, salt in a large bowl, stir well and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix orange juice, oil, flaxseeds, almond flavor. Add wet mixture to dry mixture. Fold in cranberries.
  3. Scoop batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

For The Glaze

  1. Whisk powdered sugar, orange juice and zest in a medium bowl. Drizzle over cranberry orange bread.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.