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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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54 Comments

  1. Hi ! May i ask what i can substitute applesauce with ? Also, can i use dried cranberries ?
    Many thanks !

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      You can substitute applesauce with oil. I’ve never tried dried cranberries, but I think it will be ok and doesn’t hurt to try. Do let us know how it goes with your changes so we can have it known for others!

      1. Jamie Bark says:

        I used dried “crasins”- worked pretty well! Not as flavorful, but it did work. Another thing I did was I cut a whole orange in half and put the whole thing in my nutribullet and added it to the mix like that. I had somewhere to be and needed to speed up the process a bit… Worked quite well. I knew this recipe looked very versatile. Will make it often!

  2. This bread is tremendous! After making one loaf, I turned around and made 6 more and froze them for future use. Easy and healthy. Thank you so much!

  3. Consuelo Beck-Sague says:

    Beautiful, moist and very tasty! Took it to a church event, and flew off. Everyone loved it and could not identify any clue that it is vegan. Also, it looked very pretty, would like to emphasize. But can’t upload photos. Wonderful!

  4. this was one of the best breads I have ever made!! so incredibly moist and the cranberries add a delicious bite of tartness!!

  5. This was the moistest bread ever. It was devoured. I’m going to make it for all my neighbors for Christmas. Thank you.

  6. Just made this today, and I would lie if I said that the loaf will make it to tomorrow… So good! Can’t wait to show off at brunch with this wonderful vegan recipe!

  7. Annemarie says:

    I just took it out of the oven. So far so good! You didn’t mention how long to cool in the loaf pan before removing. I’m assuming 10 or 15 minutes? Thanks!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      That’s perfect! Enjoy :)

      1. Annemarie says:

        I brought the Cranberry Orange Bread to a Plant Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG) meeting last night. It was a big hit and I was asked to share the recipe. I made it as you posted (I don’t mess with recipes the first time I make them) and went with your suggestion of adding 1/2 tsp ginger and 2 tsp vanilla. I chopped the large cranberries in half and left the small ones whole. I cut each slice in bite size thirds and it looked so pretty arranged on the plate. It was moist, sweet enough and the cranberries added the perfect slightly tart burst of flavour. An easy to make winner that I will be making again!

        1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

          Yay, so glad it was a hit! Makes my day! :)

        2. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

          Yay, so glad it was a hit! Makes my day! Thank you for all the details you shared, it will surely help others. :)

  8. This looks really good! I want to play around with this recipe and maybe make another batch with blueberries instead. I’m not sure yet haha thank you for the recipe though

  9. Can you use gluten free flour?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, you can use a gluten free flour blend, or oat flour would work too. With the oat flour it just may be a little denser, but still great! Just make sure your baking soda and powder are fresh, and not expired. If you try, please let us know how it goes.

  10. OMG, this is so good! I added orange zest to make it more festive. Thanks for the recipe!

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