Gluten-Free Cranberry Bread Recipe

This Gluten-Free Cranberry Bread recipe is one of those great recipes you’ll make again and again. It’s the perfect quick bread with tasty tart cranberries and yummy citrus flavor!

gluten free cranberry bread

One bite and you immediately think holiday season. This gluten-free cranberry orange bread is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. You can quickly and easily make it to keep on hand during the Christmas season or make it as a gift for a friend.

The original recipe this bread is based on was one my mom shared with me a few years ago. That recipe made 2 loaves… perfect to make 1 for home, and 1 to share. Given that most people aren’t making gluten-free loaves of bread for BOTH themselves AND others, I scaled this one down to make just 1 whole loaf.

Frequently Asked Questions About This Gluten-Free Cranberry Bread Recipe

​Can I use orange juice or cranberry juice in place of the milk and heavy cream?

I don’t recommend either one. While you’ll see bloggers use citrus juice in baking quite often, conventional wisdom is that acidic liquids tend to make baked goods tougher than is ideal. I think this bread has plenty of orange flavor, but if you want more, I recommend adding a bit of fresh orange zest. As for cranberry juice, it’s not terribly acidic. But I think the color would be strange. Plus, the heavy cream and milk provide fat that helps keep baked goods moist.

Can I use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar?

I haven’t tested it that way, but it will likely work ok. The bread may be a little moister and darker, but overall should work (maybe).

Can I substitute dried cranberries for fresh cranberries?

I haven’t tested it that way, but it might work. I would recommend rehydrating the dried cranberries first or else they may be a little tough and chewy in the bread. For the best results, combine dried cranberries with some water in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat about 1 minute. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain. 

Why does the batter rest for 30 minutes in this recipe?

I’ve done a good bit of research over the years on gluten-free baking and found the book “How Can It Be Gluten Free” by America’s Test Kitchen to be super helpful. One thing I learned from that book is that gluten-free flours often benefit from a “rest” time before baking. It helps the flours soften, absorbing some liquid, and helps avoid the grittiness often associated with gluten-free baking.

Can this recipe be made into Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Muffins?

​While I haven’t tested muffins, I would anticipate this would easily yield 12 muffins. I recommend baking them at the same temperature, but watch the time. Check them around 25 minutes for doneness.

What’s the best way to store this bread?

Gluten-free quick bread recipes, like most gluten-free baked goods, have a shorter shelf life. They tend to dry out fairly quickly. I recommend storing this bread at room temperature in an airtight container up to 2 or 3 days for best results. (Storing in the refrigerator will dry out most baked goods, including gluten-free.) 

Can I use coconut flour in place of the gluten-free flour blend?

No. No. No. Please never try to use coconut flour in any recipe OTHER THAN a recipe that was specifically developed with coconut flour. It is unique and has very different baking properties.

Do I need to add xanthan gum to this recipe?

Not if you make it as written. The measure-for-measure blend I am recommending already has xanthan. If you’re using a blend that does NOT contain xanthan, I recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon to the dry ingredients.

  • gluten-free flour blend (such as King Arthur Measure-for-Measure)
  • granulated sugar
  • baking powder
  • salt 
  • butter
  • fresh cranberries
  • mandarin oranges
  • large eggs
  • milk
  • heavy whipping cream
  • vanilla extract
  • orange extract
  • cooking spray
loaf of gluten free cranberry bread
gluten free cranberry bread slices stacked
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gluten free cranberry bread

Gluten-Free Cranberry Bread Recipe

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  • Author: Regan Jones, RD
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 min
  • Yield: 1 loaf (8 servings)
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This Gluten-Free Cranberry Bread recipe is one of those great recipes you’ll make again and again. It’s the perfect quick bread with tasty tart cranberries and yummy citrus flavor!


  • 1 1/3 cups (165 g) gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour (such as King Arthur Measure-for-Measure)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • Cooking spray


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix in melted butter until mixture looks crumbly. Stir in cranberries and oranges.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, milk, cream, vanilla and orange extracts. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients; stir until blended. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let batter stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes. (This cooling step in gluten-free baking is important. It helps the bread “set” and not fall apart when taking out of the pan.) Invert bread onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cooling Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 270
  • Sugar: 24 g
  • Sodium: 160 mg
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Other Gluten Free Baking Recipes You’ll Enjoy:

gluten free pear bread

Easy Gluten-Free Pear Bread

low-fodmap pumpkin bread

Gluten-Free (Low-FODMAP) Pumpkin Bread

gluten free leftover cranberry sauce muffins

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins (gluten free)

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