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January Gluten Free Baking Challenge 2021

Use up those fresh cranberries in this month’s Gluten Free Baking Challenge! We’re baking a simple recipe that’s quick and easy to make!

Gluten Free Baking Challenge image hosted by What The Fork Food Blog

Ok so, 2020 wasn’t the best year. One of our last baking challenges was in March, back when the world as we knew it changed completely.

The baking challenge was one of those things that I just couldn’t keep going during those strange, unprecedented times. I know you understand and I’m grateful for you sticking with me.

We’re bringing it back for 2021 and I hope you’re just as excited about this small return to normalcy as I am! This month, I wanted to start out with something a little simple. A recipe that I know we can all make successfully while simultaneously using up an ingredient that we may have overbought in November and December.

Are you ready to bake? Let’s go!

The January Gluten Free Baking Challenge Recipe is ….

Gluten Free Cranberry Orange  Quick Bread

Click here for the Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe

This gluten free bread is moist and full of flavor. It’s effortless to make, and you don’t need any special equipment besides a loaf pan. You can also make this recipe as 4 mini-loaves, just bake for 35-40 minutes.

sliced gluten free cranberry orange bread on wax paper

Tips for Making Cranberry Orange Bread

  • WATCH THE VIDEO below to see how the bread is made!
  • 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.
  • Use my Nightshade Free Gluten Free Flour Blend for this recipe. It’s amazing in quick breads and it’s the flour blend I use for every single one of the breads in my cookbook, The Gluten-Free Quick Breads Cookbook.

Can I Make this bread Dairy Free?

Absolutely. Just use unsweetened coconut milk beverage (I like So Delicious) in place of the regular milk. 

Alternate Recipes

If you don’t love the cranberry orange combination, there are two recipes you can choose from as alternate recipes: White Chocolate Cranberry Bread or Cranberry Banana Bread.

The Gluten Free White Chocolate Cranberry Bread is also made with fresh cranberries. But in case you don’t have fresh cranberries and can’t get them, the Gluten Free Cranberry Banana Bread is made with dried cranberries.

Where To Share Your Photos

Share your photos to one or more, mentioned below. Only one is required as an entry for the giveaway so don’t feel like you need to share everywhere!

  1. Instagram – Share your photo of the Gluten Free Baking Challenge recipe to your public Instagram account. (If it’s a private account, I won’t be able to see it.)
    • To qualify, you must use the #gfbakingchallenge and tag @whattheforkfoodblog
    • Then, you must enter the link to your Instagram post in the giveaway form below.
  2. Facebook Group – If you’re a member of the Gluten Free Baking Club Facebook group, you can post your image there.
    • To qualify for the prize, include the #gfbakingchallenge in your post!
    • Once your post is approved, grab the link and to the post and enter it into the giveaway form below.
    • Click here to request to join the group.
  3. Facebook Page – Share your photo to my What The Fork Food Blog Facebook page with the official baking challenge hashtag, #gfbakingchallenge then enter the link to your post into the giveaway form below the recipe.

Gluten Free Cranberry Bread is the perfect holiday loaf! It’s got a dairy-free option too! It’s full of flavor thanks to orange zest and extract and fresh cranberries and can be made with dried cranberries. This gluten free quick bread is easy and simple to make. You’d never know it was gluten free! It’s great for gifting too and can be made as four mini loaves. Gluten free bread recipe from @whattheforkblog - visit for more! #glutenfree #quickbread #glutenfreebread

The January Gluten Free Baking Challenge Prize

This month’s gluten free baking challenge prize is a $50 Amazon eGift Card. Please note, your chance of winning the challenge prize has nothing to do with photo quality. The winner will be randomly drawn from the giveaway form. There will be additional entries to increase your chances of winning.

To be eligible for the prize, you must use the entry form to enter. The giveaway form is located at the end of this post directly after the recipe. If you’re on mobile, click the link provided and it will re-direct you to the entry form.

All winning entries will be verified and winners will be contacted by email.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and hashtag #whattheforkfoodblog or tag @whattheforkfoodblog – I love seeing what you make!
If you love gluten free baking recipes, be sure to follow me on social media so you never miss a post:
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sliced gluten free cranberry orange bread on wax paper

Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Bread

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

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.


  • 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


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan then line it with parchment paper.
  2. Add the granulated sugar and orange zest to a large bowl. Rub the zest into the sugar to release the natural oil.
  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.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, milk, oil, vinegar, orange extract, and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  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.
  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.


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.

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.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

January 2021 Gluten Free Baking Challenge

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Joanne Wessel

Sunday 31st of January 2021

This is one delicious bread! No gumminess, just moist and yummy! I loved the cranberry orange flavors that come through!


Sunday 31st of January 2021

Thanks so much Joanne!

new gluten free baker 2020

Saturday 16th of January 2021

Tried your Cranberry Orange loaf in the January Gluten Free baking challenge. I made one loaf gluten free as written and made a separate loaf with all purpose wheat flour for my son. It was amazing how similar they turned out with the gluten free being ever so slightly "drier". Can't wait to try the next challenge


Monday 18th of January 2021

Thank you for participating in this month's baking challenge!

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