sliced orange cranberry bread on parchment paper

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5 from 26 reviews

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


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)


  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.


*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.