Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

This Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake brings the flavor, y’all!! I’m talkin’ bursts of zesty cranberries with that tart kick, mixed with the sunshiny sweetness of orange and a hint of vanilla. It’s like the whole holiday season got baked into this cake! This cranberry orange beauty is moist, packed with flavor, and truly the queen of winter pound cakes. It’s hands down one of the best holiday cakes you’ll ever whip up, and you’re gonna want to make this stunner more than just once this year!

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Cranberry Orange Pound Cake being held sitting on a white plate.

During this festive season, you’ll find me in the kitchen whipping up magic with my family. There’s just something so heartwarming about baking for those you love, with those you love. It’s our special way of cooking up new holiday memories that are gonna stick with me forever. My mama and I, we’ve turned our holiday baking into our little gift-giving tradition for friends and family. And now, honey, I’m passing on this gift to you – my very own Cranberry Orange Cake recipe. It’s like a slice of love, just for you!

The Heart and Soul of This Cranberry Orange Pound Cake Recipe

Cuisine Inspiration: American with a Citrus Twist
Primary Cooking Method: Baking
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: Zesty Orange and Tart Cranberry
Skill Level: Intermediate

Sweet Highlights:

  • A Citrusy Affair: The inclusion of fresh orange zest and orange extract brings a zesty and refreshing flavor, making every bite a citrusy delight.
  • Tart and Terrific: The cranberries offer a tart contrast to the sweet batter, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
  • Fluffy and Moist: Thanks to the sour cream and careful mixing, this cake is incredibly moist and has a perfect crumb.
  • Icing on the Cake: The orange juice glaze adds an extra layer of sweet and citrusy goodness, making it utterly irresistible.
  • Simple Yet Sophisticated: While the recipe requires a bit of finesse, the process is straightforward, resulting in a sophisticated and delightful dessert perfect for any occasion.

Ingredients for Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

Because I love me some classic winter flavors, this Cranberry Orange Pound Cake recipe was perfect for sharing with my boos during the holidays.  The flavors are perfect for the season.  The tartness of the cranberries is perfectly offset by the citrus and sweetness of the orange flavor.  

The ingredients that truly make this recipe stand out are the following:

  • Butter and Sugar: The butter for this recipe is unsalted and should be at room temperature along with white granulated sugar.  Most cakes begin with the “creaming method” which really means that the butter and sugar are mixed together at a high speed until they dissolve into each other and become light and fluffy.  This process also adds a lovely amount of air to your cake.
  • Eggs: This cake also has a large amount of eggs which helps to add both fat and stability to your cake.
  • Flour: This recipe uses cake flour because it doesn’t result in a lot of gluten being mixed in if you happen to over-mix the cake a bit. 
  • Leavening: I add two leavenings, baking soda, and baking powder, to the cake so you get that lovely height in your cake.
  • Sour Cream: My secret ingredient for moisture in cakes is sour cream!  Gosh, I love sour cream-based bundt cakes. If you want an original one, try this sour cream pound cake!  You can basically add anything to it, and it turns out wonderfully.
  • Orange & Cranberry Flavor: To really amp up the orange flavor here, I add a mix of orange extract and orange zest.  It really adds a beautiful citrus flavor throughout.  For the cranberries, I add whole cranberries.  They are delicious and look so gorgeous speckled throughout the cake. Pure vanilla extract enhances and balances these additional flavors making them meld together beautifully.
  • Simple Glaze: Mix together sifted powdered sugar and fresh orange juice to make the simple glaze for the cake.

Be sure to check the recipe card for the full ingredient list and quantities of each one.

Ingredients to make cranberry orange cake on the table before mixing.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Cake

Step 1: Mixing the Cake

  1. Beating the Butter: Beat the butter for a minute on high using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer.
  2. Creamy the Sugar: Add the granulated sugar gradually and continue to cream them together until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy. This process will take about 5 more minutes.
  3. Incorporate the Eggs: Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, ensuring each is well combined before adding the next. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Add the Dry Ingredients: Slowly add the 3 cups of flour in two batches, followed by the salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Make sure to use the lowest speed setting and be mindful not to overbeat at this stage.
A collage showing first steps in mixing up a cranberry orange cake.
  1. Add the Wet Ingredients: Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, orange extract, and orange zest to the bowl.
  2. Mixing the Cake Batter: Mix only until just combined and then turn off the mixer.
  3. Add the Cranberries: Toss the cranberries in the remaining two tablespoons of flour and add to the bowl.
  4. Fold in the Cranberries: Gently fold them into the batter.
A collage showing mixing the cake batter for a cranberry and orange cake.

Step 2: Bake the Cake

  1. Preparing for Baking: Pour the batter into your prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  2. Baking: Bake your cake for 1 hour and 15-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes.
A collage showing the cake batter poured into a bundt pan and then after it's cooked in the pan.

Step 3: Make the Glaze

  1. Prepare the Icing: Add the powdered sugar and orange juice to a bowl.
  2. Mixing the Icing: Stir with a whisk until smooth. You can adjust the consistency with more sugar or juice as needed. It should be thin enough to drizzle but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
A collage of ingredients to make cake glaze in a bowl and then after they're mixed together.

Step 4: Add the Glaze

  1. Cool and Invert: Invert the slightly cooked cake onto a serving plate. Let it cool to room temperature before serving.
  2. Finishing Touch: Drizzle the icing over the cooled cake, allowing it to cascade down the sides. Slice, serve, and savor the burst of cranberry and orange in every bite!
The cake turned out a platter and then spooning the glaze over the top.

Tips for Making the Best Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

Here are a few quick tips to remember when making this pound cake recipe.

  • Room Temperature Ingredients. Make sure your butter and ingredients are at room temperature. This will help them to melt into each other while mixing.
  • Creaming the Butter and Sugar. Take your time during the mixing of the butter and sugar, also known as the creaming period. This will add a lovely lift of air and lightness to your cake and also ensure that your ingredients start off well mixed.
  • Don’t Over Mix Your Cake. When you add the dry ingredients be sure you only mix until the ingredients are just combined. Don’t over-mix and risk additional gluten being added.
  • Tossing the Cranberries in Flour. This helps keep them from sinking to the bottom when baked in the batter!
  • Prep Your Pan. To avoid the cake sticking be sure you use a spray formulated for baking or the old-school method of butter and flour for coating your baking pan.

Popular Substitutions & Additions

  • Different Citrus Flavors: Lemon and lime would also work well with the cranberries. Simply replace the orange zest and juice with either one of the others.
  • Make it Nutty: Pecans, walnuts, or almonds all taste great with the cranberry and orange flavors of this cake. Stir them in with the cranberries right at the end and sprinkle some over the top after adding the glaze.
  • Cake Flour: If you don’t have cake flour in the kitchen you can make cake flour with two simple pantry ingredients — flour and cornstarch.
  • Skip the Glaze: For a slightly less sweet cake, you can serve it sprinkled lightly with some powdered sugar instead of adding the sugary glaze.
  • Fresh Cranberries: Fresh cranberries are truly the best option for making this cake but they’re not available year-round. When you can’t find them fresh you can use frozen instead. There’s no need to thaw them out. Toss the frozen berries in the flour and stir into the batter.
Cranberry Orange Cake with two slices cut out. Those slices are sitting on their own plates in front of the cake with a bowl of cranberries and oranges surrounding them.

What to Serve with Orange Cranberry Cake

How to Store Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

How long will cranberry orange pound cake last?

Here’s how to store your leftover orange and cranberry pound cake to ensure its ultimate freshness. Cool the cake completely and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Store the cake at room temperature but someplace that’s cool and out of the sunlight for best results.

It tastes great served up the next day at room temperature or you can warm it up individual slices in the microwave for a few seconds.

Can I freeze orange cranberry cake?

Yep for sure! It works better freezing it without the glaze as it gets a bit sticky after freezing. If you’re baking the cake in advance you can wrap it in plastic wrap and then in foil and store the whole cake in the freezer for up to a month. Thaw it out on the countertop and then add the glaze just before serving. If you freeze leftovers, you can freeze an intact section of the cake or individual slices. Wrap them in plastic wrap and then place them in an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to three months.

Jocelyn and her mom in the kitchen making a glaze for the Cranberry Orange Cake

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to prevent a bundt cake from sticking?

Prepping your bundt pan is important to get perfect bundt cake edges. There are a couple of ways to do it. First, use Baker’s Joy Nonstick Spray or homemade baking spray for a good outcome and a nice cake design. These use a mixture of oil and flour mix to prevent sticking. If that’s not available, you can use shortening or butter and flour. Use a silicone brush, pastry brush, or a plastic bag to spread shortening or butter all over your bundt pan. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of flour and shake it to coat the inside of your pan.

What do I do if my cake doesn’t want to come out of the pan?

Sometimes despite careful attention to preventing sticking, your cake might not want to come out of the pan easily. The best tool for solving this problem when this happens is gravity. Let the cake cool slightly in the pan so that the cake sets up a bit more. After ten minutes or so, place a plate upside down over the top of the cake. Then flip it over together and let the cake sit inverted on the plate while it’s still inside the pan. Give it a gentle shake or tap the pan before lifting it leaving the cake on the plate. If it’s a bit resistant to come out, let it sit a bit longer as the weight of the cake and gravity will help loosen the cake and free it from the pan.

Why is my pound cake dry?

This shouldn’t be an issue with this cake if you follow the recipe as written. Most commonly, over-mixing, overcooking, and not measuring properly are the causes of dry cakes. You want to mix the flour into the batter using the lowest speed and ONLY mix until everything comes together. Avoid overcooking your cake by using the rack in the center of the oven and watch it closely in the last 10-15 minutes of baking just in case your oven cooks more quickly. Last, make sure you are not scooping your dry ingredients which can lead to using too much flour. Instead, use a spoon to measure the flour into the cup and then scrape off the top with a flat edge of a knife. This method of measuring means you are less likely to add too much flour which may make a dry cake.

Plates of cranberry orange cake on the table with a bowl of berries on the table.

Honey, this Cranberry Orange Pound Cake is like a big ol’ party for the season! We’re blending the cozy, comforting vibes of a classic pound cake with all the festive fun of cranberries and that zesty, refreshing pop of orange. It’s like a slice of holiday cheer in every bite. I just know you’re gonna love it!

More Pound Cake Recipes

If you want more great holiday cakes like this cranberry orange pound cake, you’ll love these other pound cake recipes.

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake with Pyrex | Grandbaby Cakes

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

This cranberry orange bundt cake is made with fresh cranberries, orange zest, and a moist pound cake base. Topped with a orange scented glaze!
4.46 from 35 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter 2 1/2 sticks, room temperature
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 cups cake flour plus 2 tablespoons sifted, separated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries

For the Icing:

  • 1⅓ cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Instructions

For the Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Liberally prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan with the nonstick method of your choice.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on high speed.
  • 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 sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed and slowly add the 3 cups of flour in 2 batches. Add the salt, baking powder and baking soda. Be careful not to overbeat.
  • Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, orange extract and orange zest. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix the batter until just combined. Turn off mixer and toss cranberries with remaining 2 tablespoons with flour then carefully fold cranberries into cake batter.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 15-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Let cool to room temperature and serve.

For the Icing:

  • Whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth. If it is too runny, add a bit more sugar or if it is too thick, add a little bit more orange juice. You want to consistency to coat the back of a spoon but slide off easily.
  • Drizzle on top of cooled cake and serve.

Notes

  • Room Temperature Ingredients. Make sure your butter and ingredients are at room temperature. This will help them to melt into each other while mixing.
  • Creaming the Butter and Sugar. Take your time during the mixing of the butter and sugar, also known as the creaming period. This will add a lovely lift of air and lightness to your cake and also ensure that your ingredients start off well mixed.
  • Don’t Over Mix Your Cake. When you add the dry ingredients be sure you only mix until the ingredients are just combined. Don’t over-mix and risk additional gluten being added.
  • Tossing the Cranberries in Flour. This helps keep them from sinking to the bottom when baked in the batter!
  • Prep Your Pan. To avoid the cake sticking be sure you use a spray formulated for baking or the old-school method of butter and flour for coating your baking pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 546kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 745IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 0.8mg
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Filed Under:  Christmas, Dessert and Baking, Oven, Pound Cakes, Winter Recipes

Comments

  1. Your recipe are good and testy , Diffrent days diffrent recipe i will try, So intresting test and love it. Thanks for you to shaire testy food blod on this site.

  2. I thanks fully this site because ,This give a winter dessert recipe For a Cranbarry Orenge cake
    This cake are so delicious .I so happy to make a this recipe

  3. I thanks fully this site because ,This give a winter dessert recipy For a Cranbarry Orenge cake
    This cake are so delicious .I so happy to make a this recipy

  4. Ok, before I ask my final question, I want to thank you for responding and responding so quickly. I love to bake and try new recipes. Question: If I use freeze dried cranberries will that work, or do I need to use fresh ones?

    1. I wouldn’t use dried cranberries but frozen cranberries are totally fine to use if you can’t get fresh.

  5. My pastor’s wife wants me to make this cake using your recipe, I have looked at other recipes and yours in the only one that does not use orange juice or butter milk; is this correct?

    1. That is correct. Mine depends on the orange extract and zest to give it the flavor and also uses sour cream instead. You can always add more zest for even more orange flavor.

    1. I wouldn’t sub but equal amounts are best however it won’t give the exact same impact.

  6. Can you use a 9×13 pan instead of a bundt pan? I think it would bake faster. Anything with orange cranberry is my favorite!

    Thanks,

4.46 from 35 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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