This cranberry orange zucchini bread recipe is super easy, moist, and full of festive flavors. The orange juice in the recipe gives the bread a slight tartness that balances out the sweetness of the bread. This recipe is perfect for any fall gathering or to have as a snack!
⭐ Why this recipe works
Orange zucchini bread is an easy recipe to make for any home cook. It takes just over an hour from start to finish and only requires a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
This bread is also incredibly moist and full of flavor. The cranberries and the brown sugar sweetness match well with the festive notes of cinnamon, vanilla, and orange.
It's the perfect sweet bread for breakfast or a snack, and it would also be great to serve at a Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering.
With just a mixing bowl and a loaf tin, you can have this orange zucchini bread on your table in no time - any leftovers will stay fresh for up to a week because of the natural ingredients and the grated zucchini.
The orange flavor zucchini bread is affordable for families on a budget, and the recipe is versatile - you can add different fruits or nuts to change it up. For instance, my delicious zucchini bread with walnuts is a great variation to enjoy with your family.
🍽 Key Ingredients
The key to perfect orange zucchini bread is the quantity of zucchini - too much, and the bread will be dense, too little, and it will become dry.
Oranges - Use the orange zest and juice for a strong orange flavor.
Zucchini - Grate fresh zucchini to add moisture and texture to the bread.
Flour mixture - Use all-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda to give the bread lift.
Eggs - Bind the ingredients and help the bread to rise.
Sugar - To give the bread a little sweetness, use brown and white sugar.
Flavorings - Vanilla extract, cinnamon, and ground ginger give the bread a depth of flavor.
Vegetable oil - Makes the bread moist.
You could substitute the vegetable oil for canola oil or melted butter.
🔪 How to make
This orange zucchini bread recipe makes two loan pans, and it takes over an hour to make with my easy-to-follow instructions and helpful cooking tips.
Grate the zucchini into a bowl using the large holes of a box grater.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) and grease two loaf pans lined with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, vanilla, sugars, oil, and fresh orange zest.
- Gradually add the flour to the wet mixture, alternating with the orange juice, mixing just enough to combine after each addition.
- In a small bowl, toss the cranberries together with 1 tablespoon of flour to coat them.
- Stir in the shredded zucchini and the floured cranberries, then pour the mixture into each prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, let cool in pans for about 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
💭 Cooking tips
Room temperature eggs
Let the eggs come to room temperature before you start baking. Room temperature ingredients mix together more easily and produce a more consistent batter.
Be careful not to overmix the batter. Overmixing can result in tough orange zucchini bread.
Strain before mixing
If you're using fresh orange juice, be sure to strain it before adding it to the batter. This will help prevent any pulp from ending up in your bread.
💭 Recipe Variations
Orange zucchini bread is delicious, and the ingredients are easily changeable for other flavors, like these three creative variations.
Lemon zucchini bread
Give your bread some zing substitute lemon juice and zest for the orange juice and zest.
Chocolate zucchini bread
If you love chocolate, why not add ½ cup of chocolate chips to the batter or a combination of white and dark.
Blueberry and orange zucchini bread
Add ½ cup of blueberries to the batter for a fun and fruity variation.
🥗 What to serve with
This bread is lovely on its own or toasted with some butter. It also goes well with breakfast dishes like eggs, pancakes, or oatmeal. If you're looking for a more dessert-like treat, try serving it with a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of maple syrup, or ice cream.
Who doesn't love pancakes for breakfast? These buttermilk pancakes are fluffy and delicious - and take just 20 minutes to make while you're waiting for the zucchini bread to bake. I also recommend you to try my easy and quick aunt jemima pancake recipe.
Serve a slice of zucchini bread with eggs, bacon, and cheese muffins for a complete breakfast.
🙋 Frequently Asked Questions
What to do if my zucchini bread is dry?
If your orange zucchini bread is a little dry, you can make an orange glaze and pour it over the bread once it has cooled, and it will soak it up to become moist.
Should you squeeze water out of zucchini for bread?
No. If you remove the moisture from the zucchini, it will make your bread dense instead of nice and moist.
Can I use frozen zucchini for zucchini bread?
Yes, you can! If using frozen zucchini, let it thaw out completely and then pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture before adding it to the batter.
Zucchini orange bread is great for making ahead and storing in the fridge or freezer.
Room temperature - To prevent drying out, cover the zucchini bread with foil or plastic wrap place it in a dark place, like a bread bin, for up to 3 days.
Refrigerated - Transfer the leftover sweet bread to an airtight container. This will help keep it fresh for up to 1 week in the fridge.
Frozen - Slice the zucchini bread and place it in a freezer bag labeled with the date. Frozen zucchini bread will last for 3 months.
🍳 Related Zucchini Recipes
If you like my Cranberry Orange Zucchini Bread recipe then you must try one my delicious recipes with zucchini as a main ingredient.
👪 Serving size
This zucchini orange bread recipe will provide 2 loaves that will give you approximately 20 slices (1 serving size is 1 slice). You can scale the recipe up or down depending on how much you want to make.
I love zucchini bread, and it's the perfect way to use up all that summer zucchini. The addition of orange zest and juice gives the bread a fresh citrus flavor that's perfect for summer or fall.
Love this breakfast recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Try one of my comfort breakfast recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Cranberry Orange Zucchini Bread
- 3 ¼ all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 medium oranges - zest and juice
- 2 cups zucchini - finely shredded, unpeeled
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and grease two baking pans, line the bottoms with baking paper, then grease the paper.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In another bowl, beat together the eggs, vanilla, sugars, oil and orange peel.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the orange juice, mixing just enough to combine after each addition.
- In a small bowl, toss the cranberries together with the 1 tablespoon of flour, to coat them.
- Stir in the zucchini and the floured cranberries, then pour the mixture into the prepared baking pans.
- Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick test comes out clean, let cool in pans for about 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.