The flavors of citrus and tanginess marry together in this moist Orange Cranberry Quick Bread recipe.
Several years ago, when we moved to Alaska from North Carolina, I was very excited about the change. We had been stationed at Fort Bragg for 12 years and had grown to see it as home, but a new adventure was ahead of us.
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After all those years in one place, we were going to miss all of the usual things – our home, our friends (12 years is a lifetime in military time!) But some of the things I was going to miss were things others might not think of.
One of those was being able to pick the wild blackberries that grow in abundance in the Carolinas.
I would pick gallons and gallons of them every summer in my special “secret berry patch.” And each summer, I would make blackberry jelly, preserves, gobs of cobblers and other desserts.
Like everything else that comes with a military move, we learn and adapt to our new environment, community and home.
The first summer we spent in Alaska, my husband was deployed for the 5th time to Iraq, and I was really anxious to get out there and partake in the natural bounty of the Alaskan tundra.
I had made a new dear friend by the name of Mary. Mary and I loaded up one day with the kiddos and headed for the wilderness. We were after berries. Not the fat, shiny blackberries of the Carolinas, no, these were small, deeply flavored wild blueberries!
We spent the whole afternoon picking these amazingly flavorful berries. We worked our way along the mountainside, surrounded by breathtaking views – and keeping a sharp eye out for the bears that loved the berries, too!
A few short weeks later, after the first frost in August this same mountainside was again the destination for a day of berry picking. This time it wasn’t for blueberries, but for the blood red wild cranberries that grew all over the tundra as well.
As is always prone to happen with military life, Mary moved away to Fort Campbell. I didn’t find myself without a berry-picking partner for long though, as a few months later, I had a new neighbor by the name of Erain. She shared with me a great wild red raspberry patch, and I shared with her my blueberry and cranberry spot.
Erain was a great neighbor, and was just adventurous as I was about taking advantage of natural abundance and finding ways to put it to use or preserve it. I made many things with the wild berries we picked; blueberry muffins, homemade cranberry sauce, jellies made with a mix of berries, orange cranberry bread, and other goodies.
We loved our time in Alaska, and every time I make a cranberry recipe, I think fondly of those days out on the remote mountainsides.
To Make Cranberry Orange Bread You Will Need:
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- unsalted butter
- vanilla extract
- dried or fresh cranberries
- turbinado sugar
- loaf pan
- mixing bowls
- rubber spatula
- cooling rack
Watch a baking video of this recipe here:
This orange cranberry bread can be made using fresh or dried cranberries. If you choose to use fresh ones, simply cut them in half with a small knife. Unless of course you live in a northern area with those rich and small wild cranberries.
If you use dried cranberries, you can use sweetened or unsweetened, whichever you prefer.
To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease & flour a standard loaf pan. (Or coat it with my Baking Spray Replacement) Set it aside for now.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk them together and set this aside for now.
In your mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat until they are creamy.
Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well.
Add in orange juice, orange zest and vanilla extract. Mix them all together.
Add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture. Mix well.
Fold in cranberries.
Spread the thick batter into your prepared loaf pan.
Sprinkle the turbinado sugar all over the top.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the loaf tests done with a wooden toothpick.
Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
Cool and enjoy!
Cranberry Orange Bread
- 2 c all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 c butter, unsalted, room temperature
- 1 c granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c fresh orange juice
- 3 Tb fresh orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 c cranberries, dried or fresh, see note
- 1 Tb turbinado sugar
- To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Grease & flour a standard loaf pan. (Or coat it with my Baking Spray Replacement.) Set it aside for now.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk them together and set this aside for now.
- In your mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until they are creamy.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well.
- Add in the orange juice, orange zest and vanilla extract. Mix them all together.
- Add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture. Mix well.
- Fold in the cranberries.
- Spread the thick batter into your prepared loaf pan.
- Sprinkle the turbinado sugar all over the top.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the loaf tests done with a wooden toothpick.
- Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
- Cool and enjoy!
Nutritional information is auto-generated and the accuracy is not guaranteed.
I originally published this recipe in 2013, and updated it in 2021.