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Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Soft and fluffy cinnamon swirl bread with fresh cranberries and orange. This recipe tastes so much better than store bought cinnamon swirl bread, is healthier for you, and you’ll love the bright pop of festive cranberry orange flavor too!
Yield 2 (8×4-inch) loaves




  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted and at room temperature)
  • 1 large egg (slightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Zest of one orange

Cranberry filling:

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  • In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, yeast, and salt. Add the butter, egg, and orange zest.
  • Heat the buttermilk and orange juice to 120-130°F. If the buttermilk separates, simply whisk it back together. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients, mix on low speed (or mix by hand with a wooden spoon) until the ingredients come together and form a ball.
  • Switch to a dough hook (or turn out onto a lightly floured surface) and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes or knead by hand for approximately 10 minutes, until the dough is soft, pliable, and slightly tacky but not sticky. Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, until the dough doubles in size. To check dough readiness, gently press the dough with two fingers. If the indent stays, the dough is ready.
  • Prepare the cranberry filling: In a food processor, pulse the whole cranberries until they’re ground and pebbly, but not completely pureed, scraping the machine down once or twice. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set both aside.
  • Lightly oil two 8×4-inch loaf pans. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces (use a kitchen scale if you have one). Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface and pat into a rectangle that is 5 inches wide by 8 inches long. Brush with half of the melted butter, sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture (it will seem like a lot, but pile it thickly), and scatter half of the cranberries over the top.
  • Working from the short (5-inch) side of the dough, roll up the length of the dough, jelly-roll style, pinching the crease with each rotation to seal in the filling and strengthen the dough’s surface tension. The loaf will spread as you roll, reaching 8 to 9 inches (the length of your loaf pan). Pinch the final seam closed, then lift the loaf and rock it gently back and forth to even it out. Place the loaf in one of the prepared pans. Repeat with second piece of dough. Mist two pieces of plastic wrap with cooking spray and loosely cover the pans. Let the loaves rise at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, until the dough is nearly doubled in size. (Alternatively, you can let the loaves rise in the refrigerator overnight, then bake the next morning, allowing the loaves to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.)
  • Place rack in center of oven, then preheat to 350°F. Place the loaf pans on a large sheet pan, ensuring that they do not touch. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the sheet pan 180 degrees, then bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes, until the loaves reach an internal temperature of 190°F. The finished loaves will be brown on the top, golden on the sides, and sound hollow when tapped.
  • Immediately remove the bread from the pans, then let cool for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy warm with butter.


Store baked Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Swirl Bread in zip-top bag or wrapped in foil at room temperature for 4 days or wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then foil, then freeze for up to 3 months. Do not store in the refrigerator, as bread will stale.
Recipe by Well Plated by Erin.

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Review & Comments

Kathy | Reply

My loaves didn’t rise much and came out fairly dense. Where did I go wrong?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Kathy – We’d be happy to help you troubleshoot. Contact our customer service here.

Carla | Reply

What is the purpose of spreading the rectangle with melted butter before the filling?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Carla,
The butter helps the filling stick to the dough, and also adds more flavor.
Happy baking!

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