Cranberry Orange Loaf Cake

Moist homemade cranberry orange loaf cake with a sweet orange glaze! A fun addition to any breakfast, brunch or dessert!

Moist homemade cranberry orange loaf cake with a sweet orange glaze recipe from @bakedbyrachel A fun addition to any breakfast, brunch or dessert!

At this point you probably have all of your cookies planned out for the week ahead, or maybe even made! I can’t say I’m entirely in that boat just yet. I do have dough prepped and ready to go though! So, since cookies are basically set, it’s time to think about breakfast and brunch for the holiday weekends ahead!

Cranberry and orange is one of those classic holiday flavor combinations. It’s a perfect mix of sweet and tart. Enjoy in cookies, cake and so much more! I’ve been using these flavors in cookies for decades every Christmas. A favorite cookie around here: cranberry-orange pinwheel cookie recipe.

But since we’re talking about breakfast, it was time to turn that wonderful flavor combo into something new. I’m a huge fan of loaf cakes. They can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, snack or dessert! An all day treat! So, it seemed only right to make a cranberry-orange loaf cake!

Moist homemade cranberry orange loaf cake with a sweet orange glaze recipe from @bakedbyrachel A fun addition to any breakfast, brunch or dessert!

This cranberry-orange loaf cake is bursting with fresh flavors! A super moist orange loaf cake with fresh tart cranberries throughout and a sweet orange glaze. It’s absolutely heavenly! If you’re a fan of cranberry-orange baked goods, then this is an absolute must make!

The best part, you can make this ahead! Less work on Christmas morning of New Year’s day! Enjoy with or without the glaze, but I highly recommend the glaze. It adds that perfect extra something to the cake.

If you’re not a fan of cranberries, you can leave them out entirely and make an orange loaf cake.

Looking for something similar? Try my glazed lemon loaf recipe or my gingerbread latte loaf with cream cheese frosting. They’re all delicious in their own ways and all family favorites! I’m positive your family will love each of these just as much as my family does!

Be sure to add this moist cranberry-orange loaf cake to your baking plans this week!

Moist homemade cranberry orange loaf cake with a sweet orange glaze recipe from @bakedbyrachel A fun addition to any breakfast, brunch or dessert!

Tips tricks and questions answered…

Can I make cream cheese frosting instead?
Absolutely! Follow the directions for this lemon cream cheese frosting recipe. You will have extra frosting if using for a single loaf. Substitute orange or vanilla for the lemon in this frosting recipe.

Can I make this into a cake instead?
This recipe was written specifically for a loaf pan and has not been tested in other pans.

Can I use a different flour?
If you don’t have access to all purpose flour, you can typically substitute whole wheat white flour 1:1 with all purpose. The same applies with certain gluten free flours which state substitutions of a 1:1. Any other variety may need some adjustments with the flour amount used.

Can I make substitutions to the ingredients?
Yes and no. Baking is a science. This recipe works with the exact measurements listed. Altering one or several of those can cause the recipe to fail. If you’re familiar with baking substitutions, go for it! Outside of any alterations I’ve already mentioned, for specific substitution questions, ask in the comments below.

How many will this serve?
This recipe will serve 8-12 depending on how thick you slice it. If you want to stretch it even further, you can cut each slice in half, serving up to 16-24.

How should this be stored?
Store at room temperature for up to several days in an airtight container. It may also be stored in the refrigerator and eaten chilled or brought to room temperature prior to serving.

Can I freeze this loaf?
Absolutely! Cool completely and wrap well before freezing. For best results, glaze after thawing fully.

What size pan should I use?
A 1lb loaf pan or roughly 9×5.

Can I skip the glaze?
Absolutely. While the glaze adds a nice pop of flavor, it can be skipped if you prefer.

Moist homemade cranberry orange loaf cake with a sweet orange glaze recipe from @bakedbyrachel A fun addition to any breakfast, brunch or dessert!

Cranberry Orange Loaf Cake

Moist homemade cranberry orange loaf cake with a sweet orange glaze! A fun addition to any breakfast, brunch or dessert!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake
Servings: 8



  • 3/4 C unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract optional
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/4 C orange juice
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 1 1/2 C fresh cranberries


  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 1lb loaf pan (9x5-inches) with baking spray. (*See notes) or butter and coat with flour, discarding any flour that does not stick. Line prepared pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on two sides. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in one egg at a time, scraping bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla and optional orange extract, orange zest, baking powder and salt. Alternate additions of flour, orange juice and sour cream until fully combined and no streaks remain. Stir in cranberries by hand.
  • Carefully pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Use a small offset spatula to level off the top.
  • Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake for an additional 60-70 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs. *Cake should be golden brown when done. If it's browning too fast, loosely tent with foil.
  • Cool in pan for at least 10-15 minutes. Using parchment overhang, carefully pull up and outwards to remove the cake from the pan. Transfer loaf cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When completely cool, remove loaf from parchment paper. Place cooled loaf cake on a wire rack, set over a large baking sheet. This will catch any glaze that drips.
  • Prepare glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth. Slowly pour over spoon glaze over the top of the loaf cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the glaze out evenly. Allow loaf cake to rest until glaze has completely set.
  • Slice and store remaining slices in an airtight container for up to several days.


Recipe yields 1: 9x5-inch loaf, serving 8-12.
*Use spray meant for baking. This will include flour. Do not use cooking spray or olive oil.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

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8 Responses to “Cranberry Orange Loaf Cake”

  1. #
    mpotter — December 21, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    This seems delicious! I make a cranberry nut bread, which is great for holiday breakfasts. But this extra orange glaze really sounds like a great addition. Can’t wait to try it and compare the 2. I already know my daughter will prefer this version. Not only because of the glaze, but also yours comes without walnuts!

    Merry Christmas & Happy Healthy New Year!!

    • #
      Rachel — December 22, 2021 at 5:55 am

      Enjoy! :)

  2. #
    Dee — December 23, 2021 at 11:05 am

    Can I substitute frozen cranberries for fresh?

    • #
      Rachel — December 23, 2021 at 5:49 pm

      That should work fine. Just be sure to use them frozen and not thawed.

  3. #
    Ruchi Patil — November 22, 2022 at 6:07 am

    Substitution for egg?

    • #
      Rachel — November 22, 2022 at 7:21 am

      Some have success substituting applesauce or bananas for their eggs. Since this has a higher number of eggs, I can’t promise that’ll work with this recipe but it’s certainly worth trying.

  4. #
    Maria — December 8, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    I baked this loaf a couple of days ago to try it out. Fantastic!! My family loved it.
    I will be baking several of these loaves now as gifts for teachers, doctors etc. I will decorate them with glazed cherries, or perhaps glazed cranberries if I figure out how to do it LOL
    I followed the recipe faithfully with the exception that I added the zest to the butter and sugar right away; I have read that this method leaves more time for the zest to release its oils. Thank you Rachel for an excellent recipe.

    • #
      Rachel — December 9, 2022 at 5:34 am

      So glad you enjoyed it, Maria! Thanks for sharing.

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