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Favorite Cranberry Orange Bread

Moist and healthy, this easy Cranberry Orange Bread recipe is naturally vegan, made with fresh cranberries and orange juice, and is the best holiday breakfast or snack bread!

top down view of sliced cranberry orange bread on parchment paper.

I’m currently working my way through a big bag of fresh cranberries and this is the second recipe of the season using cranberries. The first was this warm and delicious Apple-Cranberry Crisp.

Also, from the archives are these clean eating, no-bake Cinnamon Cranberry Energy Bites, and this Roasted Delicata Squash & Cranberry Salad, using fresh cranberries as well. So if you ever have a bag of cranberries on hand, you have a few great recipes to try out!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • Easy, one bowl recipe. Made with just 7 ingredients and prepped in 1 bowl, makes this vegan quick bread is a cinch to make and clean up!
  • It’s healthy and vegan. This sweet orange bread, bursting with tart, juicy cranberries, is completely oil-free, egg-free, and dairy-free with no butter.
  • Great for gifting! If you like making edible gifts this cranberry orange bread is perfect for holiday or everyday gift giving. I would be delighted to be given a loaf of this flavorful bread for the holidays!
side by side photos of cranberries and orange.

Ingredient Notes

Made with simple plant-based ingredients this cranberry orange bread bakes into a wonderful vegan quick bread that is absolutely delicious!

Here is everything you will need, plus variations:

  • flour – light spelt, white whole wheat or all-purpose
  • organic pure cane sugar – or use your favorite such as coconut sugar or monk fruit sweetener for a low-sugar recipe.
  • orange juice – use fresh squeezed or bottled
  • applesauce – pref unsweetened, use store bought or make homemade Applesauce
  • cranberries – fresh or frozen
  • baking powder + baking soda
  • salt

Tasty Optional Add-Ins

  • 1 – 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon or ginger powder
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons orange zest
side by side photos showing the process of making cranberry orange bread.

How To Make Vegan Cranberry Orange Bread

Here is a quick overview of the process with photos for reference. (Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post)

  • Gather your dry ingredients (flour, organic pure cane sugar, baking powder and baking soda) and combine together in a bowl (shown above).
  • Next add the wet ingredients (applesauce, orange juice and optional vanilla extract) and stir to mix, just until flour is incorporated, add the cranberries, and mix again.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan (shown below), add a few more cranberries to the top.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for 50 – 55 minutes. Once done, let cool and enjoy this moist, delicious quick bread!

Top Tips

  • I left my cranberries whole, feel free to slice them in half.
  • For the applesauce, if you don’t make your own, it’s so handy to have the store bought to-go cups on hand, pref. unsweetened. They are 1/2 cup serving size, making them the perfect size for this recipe.
  • This bread will get even better the next day, once it’s had time to rest, it will moisten up and the flavors will enhance. Also, it will slice much cleaner once completely cooled, but I know it’s so tempting to cut a slice right away, just know that it will not slice as clean and that’s normal.
  • I’ve made this recipe with King Arthur’s white whole wheat bread flour, as shown here, and it was perfect. Also, I’ve used whole spelt flour with great results as well.
side by side photos of batter in loaf pan before and after baking.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I make this cranberry orange bread gluten-free? Absolutely! You can use any gluten-free flour blend or buckwheat flour, replacing 1 – 1 the amount of flour called for. I don’t recommend using coconut flour by itself, as it’s a tricky flour for vegan baking.

Can I make this recipe without baking soda? Yes! Oftentimes I will only use 2 heaping teaspoons of baking powder with great results!

Can I freeze this quick bread? Sure thing! It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months if stored in a freezer-safe container or bag. Simply let thaw in the refrigerator before eating. Quick bread can also be stored, covered, on the counter for up to 3 – 4 days. Or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Can I make muffins out of this quick bread recipe? Yep! Head on over to the Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffin recipe and give it a try. They are so delicious and portable!

More Quick Bread Recipes!

Because you can never have too many quick bread recipes on hand. Try these other various bread for a change of pace!

top down view of sliced cranberry orange bread on parchment paper.

If you try this easy quick bread recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

FAVORITE CRANBERRY ORANGE BREAD

Made with fresh cranberries, orange juice and applesauce in place of oil, it’s the ultimate, easy holiday breakfast or snack bread!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10min
  • Cook Time: 55 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 810 Slices 1x
  • Category: Quick Bread, Snack
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups (240 g) flour (light spelt, white whole wheat or all-purpose)
  • 2/3 cup (133 g) organic pure cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 heaping cup (129 g) fresh or frozen cranberries, plus more for the top*

Tasty optional add-ins:

  • 12 teaspoons vanilla (add with orange juice)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon or ginger powder (add with dry ingredients)
  • 12 tablespoons orange zest, optional (add with cranberries)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir to combine.
  3. Add in the applesauce, orange juice and optional vanilla, mix until flour is incorporated, don’t over mix, stir in the cranberries and optional orange zest, give a few extra stirs.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, strategically arrange a few more cranberries on top, and place on center rack in the oven, bake for  50 – 55 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy.

Store, covered, on the counter for up to 3 days, or keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Also, you can freeze your bread, stored in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months, let thaw in the refrigerator.

Notes

*I left my cranberries whole, feel free to slice them in half. If using frozen cranberries, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a few hours before using.

For the applesauce, if you don’t make your own, it’s so handy to have the store bought to-go cups on hand, pref. unsweetened. They are 1/2 cup serving size, making them the perfect size for this recipe.

This bread will only get better the next day, once it’s had time to rest, it will moisten up and the flavor will greatly enhance. Also, it will slice much cleaner once completely cooled, but I know it’s so tempting to cut a slice right away, just know that it will not slice as clean and that’s normal.

I’ve made this recipe with King Arthur’s white whole wheat bread flour, as shown here, and it was perfect. Also, I’ve used whole spelt flour with great results as well.

If you don’t have applesauce on hand, use 1/3 cup light flavored olive oil or your favorite neutral cooking oil.

Conversion: For weight conversion, I recommend double-checking the King Arthur Ingredient Weight Chart for your specific ingredient.

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47 Comments

  1. Delicious and easy to make! I love the orange and cranberry flavors. I used the zest, cinnamon, and vanilla. I juiced a bag of oranges to make the 2 loaves and it was worth it.

  2. Can you swapp the cranberries for other fresh fruit? 😊

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      I have not tried using other fruits in this recipe, but I imagine it would work ok. Do let us know how it goes as it will super helpful for others! :)

  3. Su Cheen Theng says:

    I made it and it was delicious! Can I sub the applesauce with olive oil?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, you can swap the applesauce with oil. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  4. made this with sweetened dried cranberries instead of fresh/frozen and apple juice instead of orange juice.

    would not recommend putting dried cranberries on top as they tasted a teeny bit burned

    i definitely think orange juice and some orange zest would have been better with the sweetness of the sweetened dried cranberries but they turned out fine, a bit too sweet but still edible. if i used unsweetened cranberries (dried or not) the apple juice probably would have been fine but the double sweetness was not preferable.

  5. This is the second time I’m making this recipe-easy, quick and delicious. It is sure to be a big hit this Christmas.

  6. Is it better to use the weights or the cup measures? They are not accurate on the recipe. Example: 150 g of sugar is 3/4 cup, not 2/3 cup.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Liz! You are correct, and I have fixed the issues (along with the flour). Also, I added a note in the recipe card to the King Arthur Conversion chart that I recommend double-checking your specific ingredients since various flour, especially, have different weights. Use whatever method is best for you! I hope that helps, and enjoy the bread!

  7. This recipe was a hit! A Great balance between the tart cranberries and the sweet orange juice. I loved the texture because I used a 50/50 mix of spelt flour and all purpose flour It was perfect and I must say that I wish other recipes online turned out as good as this. I was always a little nervous about making an orange cranberry bread because of that delicate balance between the opposing sweet & tart flavor . But it was great

  8. Came out great. I added 1/2 tsp ground ginger and drizzled with some melted dark chocolate!

  9. Can this be made with dried cranberries instead of fresh?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, you can use dried cranberries. I would use anywhere between 1/2 – 1 cup (or more if you like). Enjoy the cranberry orange bread!

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