Cranberry Sweet Bread with Orange Glaze (Jingle Bell Bread)

I promised I would share some of my favorite holiday dessert recipes with you all. I have a note book dedicated to my baking scribbles stained with vanilla and butter fingerprints from me making constant changes as I go. More sugar here, less flour there.

Let’s talk cranberries. I love these little red tart suckers. They have so much flavor potential. Usually they are used in compotes and relishes especially around this season. But its hidden secret power is how much it complements desserts. They pair well in pastry fillings, cookies, cocktails, and sweet breads. I nicknamed this sweet bread Jingle Bell Bread because the frosted cranberries topping it remind me of holiday ornaments and the sugar makes this poetic ode to the season of snow.

I hand delivered this bread to my neighbor who exclaimed “This is right on time!” I hope this recipe share proves to be equally so.

Sweet Bread Ingredients:

  • All Purpose Flour (2 cups)
  • Baking Powder (1 ½ teaspoon)
  • Baking Soda (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Orange Zest (1 tablespoon)
  • Granulated Sugar (1 cup)
  • Brown Sugar (1/3 cup)
  • Egg (medium to large, 1)
  • Unsalted Butter (1/2 cup)
  • Orange Juice (1/4 cup)
  • Milk (1/2 cup)
  • Sour Cream (2 tablespoons)

Orange Glaze Ingredients:

  • Powdered Sugar (2 cups)
  • Vanilla Extract (1 ½ teaspoon)
  • Orange Zest (1 tablespoon)
  • Milk (2 tablespoons)


  1. In a mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and set aside.
  2. In another bowl cream together butter, orange zest, and sugar.
  3. Add in egg, milk, sour cream, and orange juice.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 °.
  5. Combine the flour mixture with wet ingredients.
  6. Add batter to a floured and oiled loaf pan (9×5).
  7. Cook for 60 minutes.
  8. While loaf is cooling prepare orange glaze.
  9. When loaf has fully cooled pour orange glaze over loaf.

You can top with fresh cranberries or sugared cranberries. I prepared some sugar cranberries to place on top of the glaze. Sugared cranberries can be used for cocktails, snacks or dessert toppings.

Easy Sugared Cranberries:

  • Fresh Cranberries (1 cup)
  • Granulated Sugar (2 cups)


  1. In a medium saucepan add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup water, stirring and cooking until sugar has fully dissolved.
  2. Stir in cranberries until fully covered.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30mins to an hour. * You can prepare these while the loaf is baking to decrease prep and cooking time.
  4. Transfer the cranberries to a bowl and add the remaining sugar, gently mixing to get all the cranberries coated.
  5. Use these cranberry cuties to top the loaf or surround it on a serving plate.

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