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Closeup of slice of cranberry orange bread.

Cranberry Orange Loaf Cake

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1 9x5-inch loaf 1x
  • Category: dessert, holiday


A perfect holiday sweet bread with orange, tart cranberries, and a crunchy cinnamon top.



For the Cake:

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200 grans) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries

For the Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup (31 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) powdered sugar and a splash of milk for an optional glaze


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.  Line loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on each side. Grease the parchment paper and dust with flour on all sides.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add chunks of butter and work the butter into the flour with your fingers.  Try to blend the butter into each bit of the dry ingredients.  The mixture will resemble a coarse meal with a few tiny butter bits.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir together to incorporate.  Add the cranberries and fold into the batter.
  5. To make the topping combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle with topping.  Place in the oven and allow to bake until the cake is golden brown and the center is cooked through. Don’t shift or move the cake for at least 30 minutes through baking. It can be fragile as it rises. Insert a skewer into the center of the cake to ensure that it’s cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Use the parchment paper to lift the loaf from the pan and allow to cool further on a wire rack.
  8. For the glaze I whisked together 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and just a splash of milk.  I drizzled it over the cooled coffee cake.