Low-Fat Cranberry Orange Bread

Ok, I know, another sweet post. I just realized that everything I have been posting lately is sweet! But, I think this is probably true for a lot of bloggers out there. As much as I love baking, a part me of wants the holidays to be over so I can get back to my normal diet and so my kitchen doesn’t look like a bomb went off in it!

My mom and I love cranberries. In fact, on Thanksgiving, I think we are the only people that touch the cranberry sauce! My mom gave me this recipe for cranberry orange bread a few years ago and we both enjoy making it this time of year. Given all the sweets I have been eating, I wanted to try to make this bread a little heartier and lighter in fat. This bread is made with whole wheat flour and I also added in some flax meal which along with the pecans, gave this bread a great nutty flavor. This was also the first time I used applesauce in place of butter and I was pretty happy with the results!

Low-Fat Cranberry Orange Bread

Makes 1 loaf


– 2 cups whole wheat flour

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1 tbs. baking powder

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– Grated rind of 1 large orange

– Optional: 1/4 cup flaxseed meal

– 2/3 cup fresh orange juice

– 2 eggs, lightly beaten

– 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

– 1/4 cup vegetable oil

– 1 1/4 cups fresh cranberries

– 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with wax paper and grease.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir in orange rind. Make well in center and add orange juice, eggs and applesauce. Stir from the center until the ingredients are blended. Do not overmix. Add cranberries and walnuts. Stir until blended.

3. Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Serve thinly sliced, toasted or plain, with butter or cream cheese and jam.

– If you want to cut the sugar in this recipe, I actually made mine with closer to 1/4 cup of sugar, but if you wanted, you could use Stevia or Splenda!
– If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can use white flour. Don’t want to use applesauce? Then use 6 tablespoons of butter!



  1. Perfect with a hot cup of coffee. The bread looks beautiful and full of flavour.

  2. Oh, this is delicious! Very nicely done making this low fat! Cranberry and orange is one of my all time favorite flavor combos!

  3. I’m loving the sweet posts! Cranberry and orange compliment each other so well. This bread sounds so delicious and nice work on making it low fat. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love this recipe and the fact that it is low fat is a just a huge bonus. The pictures are gorgeous. You really did a lovely job with this one. I’d eat ten, suppose that would cancel out the fact that they are low fat though.

  5. Gorgeous contrast of color and I simply love both, the cranberry and orange added inside this bread.

  6. I love using applesauce to lighten up sweet baking recipes. I also think it adds a nice moistness (is that a word?) to breads and cakes. This bread looks really tasty! I think this year I may have over done it buying cranberries (I think there are 4 bags in my freezer!) so I need to find more recipes. I like the orange in this too, it’s different from the breads I usually bake. Very nice recipe!

  7. I have been thinking of making some cranberry bread… now I have the perfect recipe. I think I have everything I need except the flax seed and that’s optional… so I’m set. :) Thank you for sharing this recipe… and I understand about kitchen bombs. I think most of us are in the same boat. :) My Mother-in-Law is coming to visit for a week… I gotta clean up. LOL! Have a very Merry Christmas week!! ~ Ramona

  8. With all the sweets around, I am looking to eat something a little less sweet right now, so I am glad to see this post.
    Applesauce is a great sub in baked goods and it does not seem to impact the flavor and texture very much, so that is a good thing. Your bread does have some great flavors and looks very moist. Thanks for sharing this one-yum!

  9. You’d never guess this is low fat…your slices look moist and delicious!!! YUM!

  10. Cranberry and orange together is such a wonderful combo. I bet this bread is very tasty!

  11. Yummy bread! Cranberry and orange go so well together!
    And isn’t December all about sweets!

  12. I love the whole wheat flour and the flax meal in this, makes a delicious sweet bread healthy! I also love the cranberries in this. I totally get it about getting back to my normal diet. I went to bed with a belly ache last night after eating one too many sweets…totally worth it though!

  13. Great combo Stephanie! I love cranberry/orange. The bread looks heavenly!

  14. Love this! It is the time of year to fully indulge in baking. I think we all need to get it out of our system before those resolutions start to come around :)

  15. Hi Stephanie! This is perfect.. I think I will bake the low fat cranberry orange bread for this weekend. Perfect treat or breakfast snack amidst from all the Christmas goodies. I love the idea of LOW FAT food, though I know I tend to indulge. LOL.. Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!! Huggggssss, Jo

  16. I am going to argue that because cranberries and orange can be tart that this recipe isn’t sweet. At least this is more acceptable at breakfast than cookies. Merry Christmas!

  17. Cranberries and orange are the perfect pairings in this cake!

  18. It’s nice to see a lighter sweet. I love fresh cranberry bread. I try to keep a bag of frozen cranberries around all year long, so that when the craving comes, I can indulge in a loaf.

  19. I feel you on the sweets… I always look for ward to the holidays and then look forward to them ending so I can get back to “normal.” However, I don’t think this bread counts as a sweet… I mean, you used flax seeds and unsweetened applesauce. ;)

  20. What a gorgeous looking loaf Stephanie – love the addition of orange and flaxseed here. The applesauce is a great idea (I find yogurt also works well for moisture…). Lovely!

  21. ’tis the time of year for dessert recipes–I really appreciate that yours is low fat. This looks great!

  22. I love cranberries, this looks great! I agree though, I’m starting to crave my normal non-holiday diet, and we’ve got at least a week to go!

  23. Beautiful loaf of cranberry bread! If I have a Christmas tradition, I would have to say it’s making at least one loaf of Cranberry Bread every season. This one does look quite healthy and tasty. Happy Holidays!

  24. I love the combo of orange-cranberry! I need to get more cranberries so I can give this a try!

  25. This is quite a gorgeous bread. I would never guess it is low-fat! I am totally in food overdrive right now. I can’t wait until January 1!!! and I sort of mean that :)

  26. I’ve been using cranberries like crazy too. And definitely baking more than usual! This bread looks great, especially the low-fat aspect. I could go for a slice now!

  27. This bread sounds amazing. I too love cranberries. They give this bread such a beautiful look!

  28. Im not a huge sweet bread fun, but my mom would love this with walnuts!

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