Cranberry Orange Bread & Cranberry Sauce

Written by Recipes

Thanksgiving has come and gone now, and I’m wondering how the heck I ate all that food! My Mother-in-law’s cooking was on point again this year as I filled up with stuffing, mashed potatoes and her signature bacon wrapped turkey breast. Who has time for salad on Thanksgiving?! Not this girl!

The table also contained my cranberry orange bread and scratch made cranberry sauce she requests we bring every year. I found the bread recipe in Real Simple Magazine years ago now, tore it out and put it in a binder (pre-pinterest ya’ll). So I can’t take credit for the recipe, but wanted to share it with you as it’s been one of our families’ holiday/winter favorites every year. I doubled the recipe to make two loafs: one to have with dinner, and one to leave for my in-laws to enjoy later.

The cranberry sauce recipe is very loose. I learned how simple it was to make and have just been experimenting every time I make it and never measure anything. Sometimes I use orange juice, sometimes I just use water. It’s very easy to try new flavors and make it your own! Save this for next year as your ‘guidelines’ to make your own cranberry sauce.

Happy Thanksgiving and now Holiday season to each of you and those you love!


Serves 8
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus some more for the pan

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, eggs, orange zest and vanilla; add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the cranberries.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Tent with tin foil if the top browns too quickly. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

The bread can be made up to 3 days in advance; keep at room temperature, tightly wrapped. If desired, warm in a 375 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


Put 1.5 cups fresh cranberries in a saucepan and add about 1/3 cup water or orange juice. Cook over medium heat and stir frequently. The cranberries should start to pop and breakdown while they simmer, about 10 to 15 minutes. Mix in your desired sweetener of choice to taste. I use a combination of honey and granulated sugar and keep tasting until I’m happy with it.
Remove from heat, transfer to a container and let cool. Can be made well ahead and refrigerated. Once refrigerated, it will take on a more gelatin consistency.

Last modified: September 7, 2017