This Cranberry Bundt Cake is a hit y’all! It combines the rich, buttery flavor of a traditional pound cake with cranberries and raspberries, infusing it with a balanced sweet and tart flavor that’s divine. Cranberries are baked right in the top of the cake, giving it that fresh pop I’m known for.
This Cranberry Cake is one of my favorite original creations. I remember testing this recipe about 10 times in the span of 5 days. My husband ate a lot of this cake, and let me tell you, he adored it. At a certain point, he got sick of it but I’m sure you won’t.
What makes this special is its an original creation that has a beautifully festive topping of caramelized cranberries and raspberries. The inside is the real beauty, thanks to the gorgeous berry swirl design that dances through the entire cake. The best part is eating it! The tender pound cake has hints of cinnamon and vanilla and a tart, sweet, and fruity flavor that’s out of this world.
The Heart & Soul Of This Cranberry Bundt Cake Recipe
Cuisine Inspiration: Southern American
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: A classic buttery, rich pound cake with the flavor of cranberry throughout.
Skill Level: Intermediate.
- Beautiful Swirled Cake: It has a gorgeous berry swirl design that dances through the entire cake and looks stunning when sliced. It’s a real treat for serving up when entertaining!
- Original Cake Recipe: This is an original baby! No one else has this cake on the web. It’s a classic originally flavored cake created by me and me alone.
- Enjoy Holiday Cranberries: A beautifully festive topping of caramelized cranberries and raspberries makes this cake perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day.
- Versatile Cake: While it definitely has a winter holiday feel this cake can be served any time of year for all types of occasions.
Ingredients to Make a Cranberry Bundt Cake
- Unsalted butter: Butter adds richness to the cake and the fruit topping that bakes into the top of the cake.
- Sugar: Use light brown sugar to sweeten the fruit topping for the cake while granulated sugar beaten into the butter tenderizes and sweetens the cake. Add some powdered sugar over the top for a simple garnish.
- Cinnamon: Adds perfectly balanced warmth and hints of spice to the cake and fruit topping adding a bit of my fave fall flavors.
- Fresh raspberries and cranberries: Fresh berries with brown sugar and butter cook into the top of the cake creating a natural fruit topping.
- Eggs: This cake uses quite a few eggs giving the cake its structure and stability. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before mixing.
- All-purpose flour: This recipe keeps things simple with all-purpose flour. I recommend sifting it so it mixes easily into the cake batter.
- Salt: A bit of salt brings together all the flavors and balances everything out.
- Sour cream: The key (and my secret ingredient) for making moist pound cakes.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor!
- Raspberry jam: Used to create the pink swirl seen in the cake. Seedless works best so that it blends smoothly into the cake batter.
- Red food coloring: Gives the swirl portion a bit more vibrant color.
How to Make Cranberry Bundt Cake
Step 1: Make Fruit Layer in Pan
- Butter: Add the melted butter to the bottom of the Bundt pan and top with three-quarters cup of the brown sugar and the cinnamon.
- Berries: Spread the raspberries and cranberries over the brown sugar evenly and carefully pat them down inside the pan.
- Sugar: Cover the berries with the remaining brown sugar.
Step 2: Mix the Cake
- Beat the Butter: Add the butter to the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on high speed for a minute.
- Cream the Butter and Sugar: Slowly add the granulated sugar to the bowl and beat for five minutes. At this point, the mixture should be very pale yellow and fluffy.
- Adding the Eggs: Add the eggs one at a time.
- Mixing the Batter: Mix well after you add each one and scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Combine the Dry Ingredients: Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt.
- Mix in the Flour: Add the flour to the bowl in two batches using the lowest speed of your mixer. Be careful not to overbeat the batter.
- Add the Wet Ingredients: Add the sour cream and vanilla extract to the bowl.
- Final Mixing: Scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl and mix the batter just until everything is combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
Step 3: Make the Swirl
- Separate the Batter: Remove about a cup of the batter from the mixing bowl and place it in a small bowl.
- Make it Pink: Add the melted raspberry jam and red food coloring to the bowl and whisk until smooth and evenly colored.
Step 4: Assemble the Cake in the Pan
- Add First Layer: Evenly pour about a third of the plain batter into the Bundt pan over the berries.
- Add the Swirl: Add half of the swirl batter on top.
- Repeat the Layers: Add another third of the plain batter and the remaining swirl batter on top. End with the remaining third of the plain batter on top.
- Bake the Cake: Place the cake in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the top of the cake comes out clean.
Step 5: Cooling the Cake
- Inverting the Cake: Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for only 5 to 7 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving plate to finish cooling. If any berries stick to the pan use a butter knife to remove them and place them back on top of the cake.
- Covering the Cake: Lightly cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap so it does not dry out. Let the juices settle. If you want to speed up this process you can place the cake in the refrigerator.
Tips for Making the Best Cranberry Pound Cake
- Room Temperature Ingredients: The eggs, butter, and sour cream should all be at room temperature before mixing the cake together. It’s a game changer. This allows for the ingredients to mix together properly and smoothly, ensuring the cake cooks up with the desired outcome. We want that crumb to be popping.
- Take your time will creaming: If you ain’t got time to devote to creaming, you ain’t got time to make this cake. This is not a place to save time. Make sure you cream the butter and sugar long enough for it to be light and fluffy. Creaming the butter and sugar adds air to them and contributes to the height of the cake.
- Don’t Over Mix the Batter: Once you add the flour to the batter it’s important to only mix long enough to bring all the ingredients together. Over-mixing may make your cake a bit dry and tough. We don’t want no dry cake.
- Cool in the Pan for a Short Time: The butter, sugar, and fruit mixture will get sticky as it cools which may make it harder to get the cake out of the pan. Cool in the pan for 5-7 minutes to give it time to set and then invert the cake to let it finish cooling.
- Bake in Preheated Oven: A preheated oven is essential to even cooking and the outcome of your cake. A good 15-20 minutes or so will usually do the trick.
Popular Substitutions & Additions
- Salted Butter. Baking with unsalted butter is best because you have more control over the amount of salt. But honestly, you can still grab salted butter and use it. Just omit that salt boos.
- Add Some Nuts. Stir in chopped pecans or walnuts into your cake batter or add them along with the fruit in the pan.
- Use Different Berries. Swap the cranberries or raspberries with any berries you enjoy. This gives you lots of flexibility for seasonality. Larger berries such as blackberries and strawberries can be cut into smaller pieces.
- Frozen Cranberries. Fresh cranberries are only available in the fall months but you can easily swap them for frozen if that’s all that’s available. However, I’d recommend sticking with fresh raspberries as frozen raspberries generally contain a lot more water.
- Citrus Zest. Add some grated lemon or orange zest to the fruit topping and cake batter for a burst of citrus. It sings y’all.
What to Serve with Cranberry Pound Cake
- A slice of this cake tastes even better with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
- Add a scoop of ice cream! For more raspberry flavor serve it up with a scoop of raspberry ice cream or keep it low key and classic with vanilla ice cream.
- Want more fruit? Add a spoonful of this easy berry sauce over the top!
- The perfect end to your holiday meal with all the trimmings including glazed cornish hens, baked candied yams, green bean casserole, and pumpkin cornbread.
How to Store Cranberry Bundt Cake
The flavors of this cake do tend to improve as the cake sits as the juices from the fruit soak into the cake. I recommend making this cake no more than one day in advance for the best presentation.
Here’s how to store your cake to ensure it keeps fresh as long as possible. Cool the cake completely and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Keep it at room temperature, but someplace that’s cool and away from sunlight for up to three days. For longer storage, place the wrapped or covered cake in the refrigerator. This can extend its freshness for up to a week. However, refrigeration can dry out the cake.
How long will cranberry bundt cake last?
At room temp, the cake will stay fresh for 2-3 days, but it can be refrigerated for up to a week.
Can I freeze cranberry pound cake?
Yep boos, you can! Once the cake is completely cooled double, wrap it in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Store it in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it out on the counter and serve at room temperature. The fruit topping may be a bit stickier and messier after freezing, so this is only recommended for preserving the cake.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bundt cakes on their own are a bit tricky when it comes to removing them from the pan, but the baked fruit adds another element to consider. It’s important to grease and flour your pan properly before adding the fruit and batter. This keeps the cake from sticking. You will also want to cool the cake in the pan for about 5-7 minutes and then invert it. Don’t let it sit in the pan longer as it may be more difficult to get it out.
Oven temperatures can vary and often may have spots that cook unevenly. Use the timing in the recipe visual clues as a guideline only. The best way to tell if your cake is ready is to insert a toothpick or wooden skewer into the cake. If it comes out clean or with only a few crumbs sticking, your cake is ready.
Let me tell you about this Cranberry Bundt Cake – it’s not just a cake, it’s a showstopper! Each slice is a little piece of heaven with those zingy cranberries popping with tartness, all cozied up next to sweet, sweet raspberries. And baby, that pink ribbon swirl? It’s not just delicious, it’s a whole mood. Trust me, this one’s going to have everyone talking!
More Best Pound Cake Recipes
- Kentucky Butter Cake
- Cranberry Orange Cake
- Sour Cream Pound Cake
- Almond Pound Cake
- Brown Sugar Pound Cake
- Peach Cobbler Pound Cake
*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave comments below!* Post a photo of how your version of the recipe came out on Instagram (using #grandbabycakes)!!
Cranberry Bundt Cake
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ¼ cups fresh raspberries
- 1 ¼ cups fresh cranberries
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature 3 sticks
- 2 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting optional
- 3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam melted
- 3-4 drops red food coloring
For the Top
- Preheat your oven to 325ºF. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan with the nonstick method of your choice.
- Add the melted butter to bottom of the Bundt pan. Cover the butter with 3/4 cup of the brown sugar and the cinnamon.
- Evenly spread the raspberries and cranberries over the brown sugar, covering the entire area. Carefully pat down the berries inside the pan.
- Cover the berries with the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Set aside.
For the Cake
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the butter and beat on high speed for 1 minute. Slowly add the granulated sugar. Cream together for an additional 5 minutes, until very pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time. combining well after each addition and scraping down the side and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed and slowly add the flour mixture in 2 batches. Be careful not to overbeat. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract. Scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl and mix the batter until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
For the Swirl
- Remove 1 cup of the batter from the mixing bowl and add it to a separate small bowl.
- Stir in the melted raspberry jam and red food coloring and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Evenly pour 1/3 of the plain batter into the Bundt pan over the berries. Add 1/2 of the swirl batter on top. Add another 1/3 of the plain batter and the remaining swirl batter on top. Then add the remaining 1/3 of the plain batter on top.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the top of cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven. Let cool for only 5 to 7 minutes, then carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate to finish cooling. If any berries stick to the pan, carefully use a butter knife to remove them and place them back on top of the cake. Lightly cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap so it does not dry out. Let the juices settle (to speed this process, you can refrigerate).
- If using, garnish with a small sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar. Serve.