Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread

I’ve partnered with Halos Mandarins to create this Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread.  Loaded with cranberries + mandarin oranges and topped with a graham cracker crumble, this tasty bread is perfect for the holidays!

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Loaded with cranberries and mandarin oranges and topped with a graham cracker crumble, this tasty Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread is perfect for holiday baking!I was tempted to call this post “Ode to December,” but that just didn’t do enough justice to this awesome Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread.  But, seriously, I think December might be my favorite month of the year.  I love everything about the holidays.  The hustle (and the bustle, too).  The holiday decorations and lights everywhere.  The music.  Doesn’t it just seem like the world is a little more alive in December?

Loaded with cranberries and mandarin oranges and topped with a graham cracker crumble, this tasty Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread is perfect for holiday baking!Speaking of decorations, we always decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  The leftovers have barely cooled before I’m ready to bring all of our decorations up from the basement.  My wife was still half-way through her cup of coffee on the day after Thanksgiving, and I was already carrying huge bins of decorations upstairs.  And of course, we had Celine Dion’s Christmas music playing.  I’m not usually a huge fan of pop stars releasing Christmas albums, but Celine is different.  I’m actually a little surprised that we haven’t worn out that CD since it pretty much stays on repeat for the entire month in our house.

Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread

Another holiday favorite around the Spiced house?  Baking!  I mean, I enjoy baking year-round, but I just kick it into extra high gear during the holidays.  The latest creation is this incredibly tasty Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread.  The flavor of the tart cranberries balances quite well with the sweet mandarin oranges.  I also topped the loaves with a brown sugar-graham cracker crumble for a little sweet addition.  These mini-loves also make great neighbor and coworker gifts.  My wife and I devoured calmly nibbled on the first loaf, and we sent the other two into her coworkers with a little bow around each.  I’m also thinking about making this bread again for either Christmas Eve or Christmas morning…it’s that good!

Loaded with cranberries and mandarin oranges and topped with a graham cracker crumble, this tasty Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread is perfect for holiday baking!During the winter, we often keep a bowl of Halos mandarin oranges out on the countertop.  My wife grabs one on the way to work, and I always eat one for lunch.  (I sometimes grab another one as a quick mid-afternoon snack.)  With all of the cookies and sweet treats decorating our kitchen at this time of the year, I try to keep lunches and snacks on the healthier side.  Halos are perfect for that!  Easy to peel, seedless and sweet…you couldn’t get much easier if you tried.

It should come as no surprise that I decided to use some of the Halos in a baking recipe.  After all, if it’s in my kitchen and not tied down, then it has a very strong chance of ending up in some sort of holiday baking recipe.  The mandarin oranges worked quite well in this quick bread recipe.  I used the zest from several mandarins along with the fruit to add an extra boost of flavor to the bread.  And that graham cracker topping?  Delicious!

Loaded with cranberries and mandarin oranges and topped with a graham cracker crumble, this tasty Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread is perfect for holiday baking!So what are favorite holiday baking recipes?  Do you bake gifts for neighbors and friends?  Do you have a special treat that you bake up for Santa?  I’d love to hear about your December baking plans!

Did you bake some loaves of this Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread at home?  Leave a comment!  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!

Loaded with cranberries and mandarin oranges and topped with a graham cracker crumble, this tasty Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread is perfect for holiday baking!

Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread

Loaded with cranberries and mandarin oranges and topped with a graham cracker crumble, this tasty Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread is perfect for holiday baking!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 410kcal


For the Cranberry Mandarin Orange Bread

For the Topping


  • Grease and flour 3 mini-loaf pans (or 1 large loaf pan); set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the 1¾ cups of flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest. Stir until well mixed; set aside.
  • Using a countertop mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes on medium speed).
  • Add eggs and vanilla; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add buttermilk; mix on low speed until well combined. (Tip: Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl.)
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until a smooth batter forms.
  • In a small bowl, toss the chopped cranberries and mandarin oranges with the remaining 2 Tbsp of flour. Gently fold the chopped fruit into the batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly into the 3 mini-loaf pans.
  • Make the Topping by cutting the butter into ¼” cubes. Place cubed butter in a bowl with the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.
  • Sprinkle the Topping evenly over the 3 mini-loaf pans.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out mostly clean. (Note: If you are making this bread in a single loaf pan, it will take longer to bake.)
  • Let bread cool in pans for 20 minutes before removing.

Looking for more tasty quick bread recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

Can't decide between chocolate and peanut butter?  Go with both!  This swirled Chocolate Peanut Butter Bread is a fun and tasty recipe!Chocolate Peanut Butter Bread

If you love the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg baking in the oven, then bake up a loaf of this Swirled Cinnamon Bread.  It's a great way to celebrate the Fall baking season!Swirled Cinnamon Bread

This Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread is packed with flavor, and it makes for one heck of a Saturday morning breakfast!Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread

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  1. I’m not even kidding when I say that I’m leaving my house NOW and heading over to your place for a slice of this bread, Dave. I mean, COMPLETELY SERIOUS. Wait… what do you MEAN there’s none left? Halos are like my favorite little Winter fruit and all I can find by my house are those dried out Cuties (totally gross)

    I neeeeeed this bread! (Did you catch that whine? Was it effective??)

    1. That was a totally effective whine, Becca! But guess what? This bread doesn’t involve yeast…so you can totally make it. 🙂 Oh, wait, that’s right…you don’t have Halos in your area? Hmmm…I could drop some in the mail to you!

    1. Thanks, Kevin! I’m pretty sure what that I figured out exactly what I’m baking for all of the neighbors this year…if I don’t eat them all first!

    1. No way, Arman! If you were my neighbor, I’d have to donate all sorts of baked goods to you…starting with this cranberry-mandarin orange loaf. It’s delicious! The tart cranberries balances well with the sweet mandarins. And then the graham cracker crumble? Well, that’s just because it’s the holidays. 🙂

  2. I feel so left out – Laura’s coworkers get to sample these and I don’t 🙁
    …so ….. are you feeling guilty now? Well – only solution is to send me a loaf PRONTO!!!
    David – these loaves are gorgeous – in all seriousness, I think you need to make these again before Christmas and send me one – or even half of one – seriously!!!!
    I just got some GF flour from Bob’s red mill and I am debating if I should try your cinnamon rolls or these loaves…hmmm…maybe I could make some cranberry-mandarin cinnamon rolls? 😉

    1. LOL! Cranberry Mandarin Orange Cinnamon Rolls actually sounds like a genius holiday idea, Shashi! So here’s the thing. Laura’s coworkers live within driving distance. This clearly means you just need to move up here. I think your daughter would love to see the snow. We’ll even teach you how to curl…it’s one heck of a good workout, and it’s really fun. I’ll have a plate of this bread waiting for you when you arrive. 🙂

  3. Cranberry orange is one of my favorite flavor combinations! I have on my long list of holiday baking adventures to bake a bread similar to this one. However, if I don’t get around to baking it, I’ll snag a cranberry orange muffin from one of my favorite local bakeries. It’s a must have for me during the Christmas season!
    I usually make a lot of candy at Christmas, pralines and marshmallows specifically. I also make Red Velvet Cake every Christmas for my family. It’s a tradition!

    1. You know what, Tamara? I was actually just thinking the other day that I need to make some candy. I love baking during the holidays, but I need to branch out a little bit. And yes, cranberry orange is one of those classic holiday flavors for me. Eggnog, gingerbread and cranberry-orange. The holidays just aren’t complete without them! 🙂

  4. Dude, I was the same way the day after Thanksgiving! Literally the moment Asheley woke up, I put her to work helping me drag down all the Christmas decorations from the attic. She was less that amused, especially since I was blasting a Pandora Christmas station through the house hahahaha. This bread looks legit my man! #wolfpackbakes

    1. Hahah…I’m starting to think we were separated at birth, Chris. You are the long-lost brother I never had! I say next year, we get up early on the day after Thanksgiving and decorate the heck out of our houses together. We’ll let the girls sleep or do their nails or watch reality tv (just kidding…we’ll make them help, too!).

    1. Haha! Yup, that box of Halos is long gone already…I’m hoping maybe I can find one hiding in the corner of the kitchen, but that’s pretty doubtful. Oh, and how is your snow shoveling arm? I could use a hand in the driveway this morning!

    1. Me, too, Jess! We always keep a bowl of mandarins around during the winter…so I figured I’d throw them into my holiday baking this year. Now I want another slice of this bread! 🙂

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