Cranberry Orange Bread makes a delicious fall breakfast or side for your Thanksgiving Day meal. It’s moist, slightly tart from the cranberries and has a wonderful nuttiness from the walnuts, with a hint of citrus and balanced out with some sugar for sweetness.
photos and recipe updated December 2019
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Oh hello, November. You snuck up on us rather fast. But seriously, it’s NOVEMBER. And there’s only THREE AND A HALF WEEKS UNTIL THANKSGIVING. I’m sorry if you feel like I’m shouting at you with my excessive caps but I just can’t get over how fast time is flying by. Didn’t the school year just start? Wasn’t it JUST Labor Day?
And not to throw you into a panic or anything, but there are only 7 weekends left before Christmas. Somebody posted it on my Instagram feed and I just about had a heart attack. 7 weekends left! SEVEN. Of course, I’ve got a nice little Christmas list ready but I haven’t thought about anybody else. Ha! (This is an affiliate link but these shoes are at the top of my list, in case you were wondering. Ahem…Adam…mom *wink wink*)
I feel like cranberries are one of those foods associated with holidays. I guess that can be said about a lot of food but cranberries always make their way to pretty much any Thanksgiving Day meal. They also hang on straight through the Christmas season.
Question, do people still string cranberries and popcorn? Is that still a thing? I know in my house, if we strung popcorn and cranberries, Kelsey and my dogs would be fighting over who could eat it faster. It would also probably motivate Mackenzie to crawl because girl loves to eat. So let’s just stick with cranberry orange bread, shall we? Whether you make it for the holidays or year round, enjoy!
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What You Need To Know About This Gluten Free Cranberry Banana Bread Recipe:
This bread makes a great holiday gift! The batter for this bread can also be baked in 4 Mini Loaf Pans which are the perfect size for gifting.
Key Ingredients for Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Bread
- Orange Zest – Orange zest is rubbed into the granulated sugar for a fresh, bright orange flavor!
- Orange Extract – In addition to the orange zest, I add orange extract for a more pronounced orange flavor.
- Cranberries – I use fresh cranberries but an equal amount of dried cranberries can be used instead.
- Walnuts – I love a little bit of walnuts or pecans with cranberries. If you have a nut allergy, just leave them out.
- Vinegar – a little bit of acid in this recipe provides a tender crumb and light texture.
Equipment Needed to Make Gluten Free Quick Breads
- 9 x 5 inch loaf pan – an 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan will work too.
- Mixing Bowls – one for dry the dry ingredients and one for the wet ingredients.
- Measuring cups and spoons – just your standard kitchen tools for baking!
- Parchment Paper – I like to line my loaf pan with parchment paper but for this recipe, it’s optional since there isn’t a streusel topping.
- Microplane Zester/Grater – These are amazing for zesting fresh citrus! I use it for grating parmesan cheese, fresh nutmeg, and ginger too.
How to Make Gluten Free Cranberry Banana Bread
Step 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan then line it with parchment paper.
Step 2. Add the granulated sugar and orange zest to a large bowl. Rub the zest into the sugar to release the natural oil.
Step 3. Add the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine then gently stir in the cranberries and walnuts.
Step 4. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, milk, oil, vinegar, orange extract, and vanilla extract.
Step 5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Step 6. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Step 7. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes then remove from the pan and discard the parchment paper. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Tips for Making Cranberry Orange Bread
- Stir the cranberries and walnuts into the dry ingredients instead of folding them in at the end. It will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf while baking.
- Use room temperature milk and eggs. Using room temperature ingredients mix better.Your loaf will also rise better and bake more evenly.
- Cool the loaf completely before slicing. Warm gluten free quick breads have a tendency to crumble if you try to cut into them while they’re still warm.
Can this Cranberry Orange Bread be made Dairy Free?
Yes! Just use unsweetened coconut milk beverage instead of regular milk. That’s it!
Very simple swap. The dairy free sub is also listed in the recipe card for your convenience.
Other Gluten Free Quick Bread Recipes to Try:
- Cranberry Banana Bread
- The BEST Gluten Free Banana Bread
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
- Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
- There are two different cranberry breads and an entire chapter of seasonal breads in my cookbook, The Gluten-Free Quick Breads Cookbook!
Be sure to follow me on Instagram and hashtag #whattheforkfoodblog or tag @whattheforkfoodblog – I love seeing what you make!
If you love this gluten free cranberry orange bread recipe, be sure to follow me on social media so you never miss a post:
- 1/2 cup (106 g) granulated sugar
- zest from 1 orange
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend contains it)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (103 g) light brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup milk, room temperature (regular or unsweetened coconut milk)
- 1/3 cup avocado oil (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan then line it with parchment paper.
- Add the granulated sugar and orange zest to a large bowl. Rub the zest into the sugar to release the natural oil.
- Add the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine then gently stir in the cranberries and walnuts.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, milk, oil, vinegar, orange extract, and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 20 minutes then remove from the pan and discard the parchment paper. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
I used my Nightshade Free Gluten Free Flour Blend in this recipe. If you use a flour blend that contains xanthan gum, omit the amount called for in the recipe.
Dried cranberries can be used in place of the fresh cranberries. Just be sure to break up any clumps so they get distributed evenly throughout the batter.
Vegetable oil or canola oil can be used in place of the avocado oil.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 253
Nutrition Facts are estimated and aren't always accurate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs.