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This Cranberry Orange Pound Cake recipe is the perfect way to indulge your sweet tooth. This cake has a moist, fluffy crumb. And is sure to be a hit at your next holiday gathering. This cranberry bundt cake is made with fresh or frozen cranberries, orange zest, and topped with a sweet orange glaze. It’s an easy cake to make for your holiday table!
Imagine this: a cake that isn’t fussy about being decorated, mixes up in minutes, and has a wonderful tart flavor that can’t be beat. A cranberry orange pound cake was made for the holiday season.
Best part? It’s your baking bestie, whether you’re a kitchen wizard or newbie. So, if you’re after a slice of heaven, bake the Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake. It’s like sunshine for your taste buds!
Don’t get me wrong I love a good layer cake but nothing beats the homey comfort and ease of making a bundt cake with a simple glaze. And when it’s winter time I have to bake something with cranberries! So a pound cake with fresh cranberries and orange was a must make.
This recipe starts with my sour cream pound cake recipe. I added in orange zest into the cake batter for maximum orange flavor. And of course tart cranberries. This all gets spread into a bundt cake and topped with a sweet orange glaze.
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Why You Will Love Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake
- Can Make Any Time Of Year – I used fresh cranberries, but you can also use frozen cranberries so you can bake this cake any time of year!
- Great Make Ahead Cake – You can make this cake up to 2 days ahead of time, making this an easy Christmas dessert to serve to guests.
- Wonderful to freeze – Bundt cakes freeze wonderfully for up to 3 months, so you can serve and freeze leftovers!
For the pound cake batter:
- 2 ½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour- All-purpose flour is a good choice for this recipe because it provides structure to the cranberry orange bundt cake without making it too dense. Be sure to measure your flour correctly so your cake doesn’t come out dry.
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder- Do not confuse baking powder and baking soda! They are not the same thing. Make sure both are fresh. You can read more here about baking powder vs. baking soda.
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (227 g) sour cream – I recommend using full fat sour cream for best texture. You can sub for full fat plain greek yogurt.
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest – From the zest of about 1 large orange. Save the orange because you will use the juice to make the glaze! Be sure to zest the orange before you juice it, so you don’t lose any of the essential oils.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 226 g) unsalted butter softened- Be sure to use softened butter, and not cold or slightly melted butter. If your butter is too soft, or too cold it won’t be able to cream well with the sugar and cake will not rise and be fluffy.
- 2 ¼ cups (450 g) granulated sugar – I used all granulated sugar but you could swap 1/2 of the sugar for brown sugar for a bit more flavor.
- 4 large eggs- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature so they blend into the mixture and do not seize up the butter.
- 2 cups fresh cranberries – I toss the cranberries in a tablespoon of flour first so they don’t sink into the bottom of the cake. Fresh cranberries add tartness and flavor to the cranberry orange bundt cake. You can also use frozen cranberries. I recommend thawing them first.
- 1 ½ cups (170 g) confectioners sugar or powdered sugar – If you don’t have any, make your own powdered sugar in a food processor.
- 2-3 tablespoons orange juice
How to Make Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake
Prepping the Oven:
Position a rack right in the center and preheat your oven to a toasty 350°F/177°C.
Mixing the Dry Ingredients:
In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in a pinch of salt.
Combine sour cream, orange and vanilla.
In a small bowl stir together the room-temperature sour cream, the zest from one big, juicy orange, and a dash of vanilla. Set this flavor-packed mix aside.
Creaming the Butter and Sugar:
In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, (you can use a hand mixer or use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment), cream together the softened unsalted butter and the granulated sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy – about 2 to 3 minutes.
Adding the Eggs:
Add the egg one at a time to the butter mixture making sure to give your mixing bowl a good scrape after each addition.
Mixing Wet and Dry:
Add the flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternately to butter-sugar-egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture until uniformly incorporated- do not overmix.
Start by adding 1/3 of the flour mixture and blend just until incorporated.
Then add in 1/2 of the sour cream mixture and blend to combine.
Then repeat again with the flour, the rest of the sour cream and finish with adding the rest of the dry ingredients.
Fold in cranberries. Make sure you tossed them in a tablespoon of flour so they don’t sink to the bottom of your cake. And if you’re using frozen cranberries I like to thaw them first then blot them with a paper towel so there isn’t extra moisture.
Prepping the Bundt Pan:
Grease and flour your bundt cake pan well. I recommend using melted shortening and use a pastry brush to brush on to the bundt pan. Or you can make and use a cake pan release. Or use a non stick spray with flour.
I do not recommend using melted butter as it will actually make your cake stick more.
Pour in the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Baking the cranberry orange bundt cake:
Bake in the preheated oven on a center rack and let it bake for approximately 50-60 minutes.
You’ll know it’s done when the top is a golden brown wonder and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs clinging on. Give it a little rest in the pan for 10 minutes, and then flip it onto a cooling rack. You will want to let the whole cake cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
Making the Orange Glaze:
While the cake works its magic in the oven, let’s whip up the icing. In a small bowl, mix together the confectioner sugar and mix it up with the orange juice. You want it thick but still pourable.
Drizzling the Glaze:
Once your beautiful cranberry orange cake has cooled, it’s time for the grand finale. Drizzle that delightful orange glaze over the cranberry orange bundt cake, and get ready to savor every slice!
- Cranberries. Be sure to toss the cranberries in flour before adding them to the batter, to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cranberry orange bundt cake.
- Room Temperature Ingredients. Ensure that your sour cream, eggs, and butter are all at room temperature. This helps in achieving a smoother and more evenly mixed batter.
- Zest First. Before squeezing the orange for juice, remember to zest it first. It’s much easier to zest a whole orange than a squeezed one.
- Mixing Technique. When folding in the dry and wet ingredients, do so gently. Overmixing can result in a tougher cranberry orange bundt cake. Fold until the ingredients are just combined.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing it. This will help to prevent the glaze from melting and dripping off the cranberry orange cake.
- Grease your bundt pan well This will help to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan.
- Grease your bundt right before filling. If you grease too soon the grease could slip down the sides. I recommend using melted shortening for the best results. Melted butter will actually make your cake stick more.
- Substitute gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe. Just be sure to use a gluten-free flour blend that is designed for baking
- Nutty Addition. For a crunchy texture and extra flavor, fold in chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts into the batter. Add 1 cup of toasted nuts to the batter.
- Make A Vanilla Glaze. Swap the orange juice for milk to make an easy vanilla glaze.
- Frost with cream cheese frosting. Instead of a glaze, make my easy cream cheese frosting to top this bundt cake with.
- Swirl in cranberry sauce. If you don’t have cranberries or want more cranberry flavor, try swirling in some leftover cranberry sauce.
To keep the cranberry orange bundt cake fresh, store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. In warmer weather, it’s advisable to store it in the refrigerator to maintain its texture and flavor for up to 5 days.
This cranberry orange bundt cake also freezes well. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. It can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Yes, you can use frozen cranberries if fresh ones are not available. I recommend thawing first and blotting the extra moisture with a paper towel.
While fresh orange zest provides the best flavor and aroma, you can use orange extract or orange oil as a substitute. Use them sparingly, as they are more concentrated, and adjust to taste.
You can bake in a tube pan. Or divide the batter and bake in two loaf pans.
Make sure to thoroughly grease and flour the bundt pan, paying attention to all the nooks and crannies. Consider using a non-stick baking spray with flour or melted shortening for added ease in releasing the cranberry orange bundt cake.
More Recipes to Try
- Self Rising Flour Biscuits
- Lemon Cookies
- Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 20 Self Rising Flour Recipes
- Milk Bar Cake
Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake
For bundt cake batter
- 2 1/2 cups (300 g) all purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (227 g) sour cream room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 226 g) unsalted butter softened to room temperatuer
- 2 1/4 cups (450 g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries tossed in 1 Tablespoon flour
For orange icing
- 1 1/2 cups (180 g) powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons orange juice
- Prep oven. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350°F/177°C.
- Combine dry ingredients. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in the salt. Set aside.
- Combine sour cream, orange zest and vanilla. In a second small bowl, stir together the sour cream, orange zest and vanilla. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment), cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes on medium high speed.
- Add eggs. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the mixing bowl well after each addition and mix until blended.
- Alternate dry mixture and sour cream. Add the flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternately to butter-sugar-egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture until uniformly incorporated- do not overmix. Fold in cranberries.
- Bake. Grease and flour one 12-cup capacity bundt cake pan. (I like to use either shortening and flour or a cooking spray that includes flour). Pour batter into pan. Bake in a preheated 350°F degrees oven for approximately 50-55 minutes, until top is golden brown and when the cake is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert on to a cooling rack (You may need to loosen around the edges of the cake before inverting). Allow to cool before icing.
- Make icing. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice.
- Pan size: Instead of baking in a bundt pan, divide the batter between two 9×5 loaf pans and bake for about 40-45 minutes.
- Storage: You can store this cake at room temperature for up to 3 days, wrapped in either plastic wrap or tinfoil. Make sure it’s completely cool before you store it.
- Freezing: Wrap the cake up in plastic wrap, then a layer of tinfoil and freeze for up to 3 months. Simply thaw at room temperature.
- Sour-cream: I recommend using full-fat sour cream for maximum richness due to the fat content. A good substitution is using full-fat greek yogurt.