Cranberry Orange Cake

Cranberry Orange Cake

Cranberry Orange Cake Recipe

I just took my first bite of this cake I made yesterday. It taunted me all day but I resisted. This cake is super moist and the cranberries in a wonderful contrast to the sweetness of the cake. I used a light glaze on the cake to add another taste of sweetness just in case there wasn’t enough. This cake almost has a pound cake texture. It will be the perfect addition to any holiday table. I served mine with a cranberry sauce that I made a few days ago. I was intending to take the cranberries out of the syrup and dry them but since I am running out of time I left it as a syrup. This cranberry syrup would also be good over pancakes, waffles or even crepes.

cranberry orange cake from

Cranberry Orange Cake with Cranberry Syrup

Also in this picture below is my mom’s fudge that she made every year for Christmas, it is in the Sugarplum Shoppe where it is always Christmas. Many of my favorite Christmas Recipes are there. Also pictured are the Butterscotch Balls we made for many years, except these were dipped in peanut butter chips because I messed up the butterscotch tips melting them. I will be posting the recipe for these today as I just discovered I have been holding out on you and never added it. I decided to do the butterscotch tips like I do chocolate sometimes. I put the chips in the microwave for 30 seconds twice at half power and let it set in the microwave while I rolled the balls. I was thinking some of the chips would just melt like chocolate does and it would need less microwaving this way. As soon as went to stir the butterscotch chips I knew I had an issue because it acted like it was seizing. So I added a couple tablespoons of oil to it and that did it. It finished seizing the rest of the way and would not smooth out. Lesson learned. When you go to melt confectionery type chocolates, do it just before you need it. Luckily I had a bag of peanut butter chips in my cupboard or I would of wasted an hour going to the store.

I adapted this recipe into Cranberry Cupcakes this weekend.

Cranberry Cupcakes

Cranberry Orange Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 12

This cranberry orange cake is almost like a pound cake and gets better as it sets. Bake it in a bundt or loaf pan.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of one orange - about 1 tablespoon
  • juice of an orange
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • For the Icing:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons water, milk or orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cranberries on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until sugar turn a lemon color, about 4 - 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and mix in until incorporated.
  3. Add the orange juice and zest. Add the sour cream.
  4. When incorporated add the flour, salt and baking powder. When this is all mixed together stir in the remaining 1 1/4 cups cranberries.
  5. Bake for 50 - 55 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Let pan set for 5 minutes after you take the cake out of the oven. Turn over cake unto a wire rack to cool. Mix up your glaze ingredients and spread on top and sides of cake.


I have remade this cake now 2 times because of all the comments I am getting and I want to be sure the results are the same for you as they are for me. The cake in the picture I used a smaller bundt pan which is why it looks so tall, mine is about 8 cups. The cake will rise to the top of it. It will also fall slightly as it cools. The amount is also enough to make it in a bread pan.

The flour amount is correct. This makes a delicious cake with a tart cranberry cake.

Sprinkle the sugar lightly around the pan, do not let a bunch of sugar be in one spot. Think of it like adding flour to a cake pan for releasing the cake.

If the tartness of the cranberries is not your thing use Crasins instead for a sweeter cake.

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Butterscotch Balls

Butterscotch Balls

Marion’s Fudge


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Hot Cocoa Chocolate Cupcakes
Cranberry Orange Cake


  1. says

    Hey!! Your mom has a great name!! Spelled the same too! I rarely ever see that. Someone once told me that my parents spelled my name wrong, because the girls are ‘an’ not ‘on’ haha and then someone argued with me that I must be a man because my name is spelled with ‘on’ not ‘an’. Seriously? hahaha People are so funny!

    This is on gorgeous cake, Mary Ellen! What a beautiful presentation!

      • Rachel says

        The combo of Pam and sugar spelled disaster for me. The cake tastes great…difficult to get out of pan…so it looks disgusting. If I ever make it again, I will grease and flour pan and then add cranberries. I have been baking for 55 yrs!

  2. Maggie T. says

    Made in two small tube pans (which equal one large tube or bundt). Using only 1.5 cups of flour was a red flag for me since a pound cake, etc. usually calls for at least 3 cups. Wound up with two very small cakes which were absolutely delicious but would probably use a smaller loaf pan in the future.

  3. Cecile says

    I see this recipe only takes 1 1/2 cups flour? isnt that a little for 3eggs and 2tsp baking powder.\Another recipe I have has more or less same and it takes 3c flour? I want to try this cake but am afraid it is too little flour. Thanks for comments

    • Cindy joyce says

      I wasn’t sure if I used too much sugar, followed directions as stated, but it did stick and tear when I turned the bundt pan. I kinda pieced it back together. I did notice that color was a bit more carmelized than the pic.

  4. Katherine says

    Delicious cake, but definitely had issues. I greased the pan very well and the sugar still tore the top of the cake. The amount of flour was also a problem. I have a *very* short bundt cake, and I’m kind of wishing I had tried it out ahead of time before I made it for a large family Thanksgiving. I think with the addition of more flour and the omission of the sugar in the bottom, this would be a lovely recipe.

  5. Michelle says

    Yes, I had the same problem with the sugar. Some of the top of my cake tore and the sugar was baked on HARD. What really is different for me though is the cake in the picture looks like it rose MUCH higher than mine. My cake came out pretty squatty. I know my baking powder is good, because I’ve been using it for other things just fine. I followed the instructions exactly, so I don’t know what to think. Hopefully, it tastes fine.

    • says

      Hi Michelle, I’m baking this cake right now again. I don’t know why the sugar would do that. I’ve never had that happen before. I’ll post a new pic of the cake I’m baking right now tomorrow. I don’t like it when anyone can’t replicate the same results I get.

    • says

      The flour is right, I am remaking this recipe again just to be sure but I have made this cake multiple times before. It filled the bundt pan 2/3 full and should raise to the top. I am thinking you might not of creamed the butter and sugar long enough so I added a time to how long you should beat them before proceeding with the recipe.

  6. Sherry says

    I would LOVE to make this, but do not eat any dairy or eggs…I wonder if this would still turn out if it was made Vegan….What do you think? I have egg replacer and maybe soft tofu for the sour cream?…

  7. Daphyne says

    The cake looks besutiful. I tried making last night to take to my in laws today..Do you do anything to the cranberries or are they just fresh berries? Mine were very bitter when the cake was done. Not sure what I did wrong. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Daphyne, No I just buy them in a bag. The berries are a little tart by the nature of a cranberry but they shouldn’t be bitter. There is enough sugar in this recipe that while the berries won’t be sweet but the cake has enough sugar to balance the tartness.

  8. Sarah says

    I’m looking for the link for the Butterscotch Balls? They sound amazing and I’d like to see the ingredients list for shopping and if the finished treat requires refrigeration. Thank you>

  9. Donna J says

    Followed directions to the letter but cake came out half the size of your picture. Flavor is wonderful. Maybe next time I should double ingredients.

  10. says

    How do I know how many cups my Bundt pan is? I wanted to make this in the net few days, and I am not sure if it will come out short like some of the above cakes did. I would rather have a larger, taller cake.

    • says

      Take you one cup measure and put cups of water in your pan, that will tell you how many cups it is. If you want a taller cake, I would double the recipe. If you have a little extra batter make a few cupcakes with it. Fill your pan just over 2/3 full. Hope this helps, see the post by Pam above too!

  11. Pam says

    I’ve made this beautiful cake twice and was very pleased both times. The second time I wanted the cake to be larger so I used 1.5 times the ingredients. It’s hard doing half an egg so I used 5 med eggs. Cake was lighter, texture great and it totally filled my bundt pan. I cooked it an additional 5-10 min for a total of 65 min. Delicious and I used frosted mint and frosted cranberries for additional presentation. Loved it! Thanks for an amazing recipe.

  12. Jan says

    This cake is absolutely awsome! I made the syrup that goes with it, and it completes the cake because it is a little tart. You won’t regret making this!

  13. says

    Hi! I just made this and it smells amazing. Only issue I had was all of the cranberries floated to the top when I poured it into the pan. So the whole bottom of the cake is cranberries…. any tips for that?

  14. Patti says

    made this cake for Thanksgiving..was the a huge hit now I am making them for Christmas gifts for friends and family instead of the rum cake

  15. Libby says

    So, the cake is really delicious. The orange flavor comes through and the cake is rich yet very bright and fresh. Sadly, this cake won’t make it to the table tonight because it fell apart coming out of the pan. I read the previous comments and made sure the pan was well greased yet the cake still stuck terribly. I’m going to try making this again in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

    • says

      Sorry that happened Libby. Can you turn it into a trifle instead. I know that wasn’t your plan but it would salvage a bad situation. I am trying to figure out a reason it fell apart on you like that. Send me an email if you want to discuss and maybe we can figure out why that happened. [email protected]

    • Ellie says

      Made this yesterday and it tore apart terribly coming out of well greased bundt pan. I think it should have been greased and floured like other recipes. It tasted great but I missed being able to show the cake at Christmes party I intended to bring it to. Oh well! wOn’t win any prize at a baking contest as too risky.

  16. Melinda says

    I just made this delishious cake…perfect ! I think the problem about the cake sticking to the pan was letting it cool too long,I only waited 4or 5 min…we ate it while it was still warm. I added some orange zest to the glaze. Best reciepe ever !!!

  17. Judy says

    Mary Ellen, Do you know the exact amount of orange juice? My orange is a huge naval with 2/3 cup of juice.

      • LaShea says

        This cake looks amazingly delicious, but my family doesn’t like cranberries and I’m afraid to make it for Thanksgiving and no one likes it because of the cranberries. Is there a substitution I can make for the cranberries?

  18. Jim says

    Thanks for a great recipe! I only started baking a month or so ago and I had no issues with this cake. I took it out of the bundt pan about five minutes after I took it out of th oven. It slid right out of the pan with no problems. The only thing to be carful of, is that when you put the cake on the rack when it is that warm, it will settle down on to the wires of the rack a little bit. I just slid a spatula under the cake to free it from the rack when it was time to move it to the plate and that solved that problem. You have proved that you can teach an old dog new tricks. I am 67 years old and baked my first cake a little over a month ago. Thanks again for a great recipe, I love the tart taste of fresh cranberries!

  19. Chelsea says

    Cake was great. I read the comments, spayed the pan a lot, decided to do the sugar and the top tore. Next time, no sugar coating!

  20. Tiffany says

    Just made this cake today and it tore terribly. Going to make it in a few minutes again except with no sugar in the pan. Another comment I have is that it is pretty eggy (it was mixed well and baked through). I’m a cake decorator so baking is no issue for me. I think I’ll be increasing the flour a bit. Anyone else have that experience? Other than that? The flavors were very nice.

  21. Natalie says

    I made this cake last year for Xmas and I’m making it again for Thanksgiving today. I didn’t have any of the issues everyone else had. It’s not only delicious but so beautiful too! Wish I could post a pic of it 🙂

  22. Debbie Odle says

    I just made this! OMG…AMAZING!!! I doubled the recipe and got one good sized bundt cake in my Pampered Chef Stone Bundt and a dozen muffins in the Pampered Chef Stone Muffin pan. So, we’ve already dug in to the muffins.
    I have always wrapped my pound cakes in aluminum foil. Then try my best to leave them alone for a couple of days. I’m not sure if this one’s going to make it that long!!!
    Thank you for sharing!

  23. dale fletcher says

    this cake came out perfectly, just like the picture and very very good. I don’t usually post comments unless something is exceptional.

  24. Mary Ann says

    I made this weekend and it was picture perfect. I have a smaller size silicone bundt pan and it worked great. I also only used 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 unsweetenend applesauce and lite sour cream. So good!!! A definite keeper.

  25. Blue says

    I looked and looked. Darn it couldn’t find the recipe for the cranberry topping. The icing is nice but the sauce looked good too. Help

  26. Margaret Grayson says

    Shoot! I forgot the sour cream….it’s in the oven. I’m sure it will still be tasty, but I’ll try it again with the sour cream.

  27. Rita says

    I made this cake twice according to your directions exactly and it didn’t cook through. I even increased to oven temperature to 400 C and still didn’t cook. I wouldn’t recommend this recipe to make.

  28. Tim Welcher says

    I made the cake, but not at all the way you did. I actually made it into a log. Mostly followed the directions you gave, but I lined a jelly roll pan with waxed paper and didn’t put down the sugar or cranberries. (I did have a little batter left over and made a small loaf pan as well.) I used a simple Buttercream filling, but I modified the taste by putting in 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 tsp. orange extract (My buttercream recipe asks for 3/4 tsp. of vanilla.) After it was rolled, I sprinkled on a little powdered sugar.
    My wife and mother-in-law want me to make it again.

  29. Denise says

    This recipe looks delicious but I can only find frozen cranberries. Have you ever tried it with them?

  30. Kathryn says

    I’ve made this cake twice now, I doubled the recipe and cook it for 60 minutes and it comes out perfect. Never had a problem with the sugar sticking but I spray the pan very well. Love this cake, it has become a favorite!

  31. Wendy says

    I do not bake, I made this cake and oh my gosh, my family and I loved it. I did double the recipe.
    Thank you for doing what you do!

  32. KAREN MATHEWS says

    A PRINT icon would be most helpful! My parents don’t have internet (in the sticks) so I can’t just pull up Pinterest. I’ll have to copy and paste.

  33. Rachel B. says

    After reading all of the comments I sprayed my bundt pan really well with the baking Pam and I doubled the recipe since my pan was a 14 cup…… this recipe turned out perfect, no sticking and it is beautiful! I don’t usually leave comments but wanted to thank you

  34. Christy C. says

    I just made this cake and it’s delicious! The only thing I changed was bake time from 50 – 55 to 40 minutes.

  35. Tina says

    I made a test cake to make sure it will be a good Christmas dessert. lucky for us, we get to eat this delicious cake. I used a small glass bunt pan that was my mother in law’s. It was six cups and made a perfect cake. I did grease and flour it because it was glass, but made no other adjustments. It’s light, flavorful, festive and perfect! Thank you

  36. Elizabeth says

    I have made this cake several times – it is always a hit!! Delicious and easy to make!! I would like to try and make smaller pans of it to give away as gifts. Do you have any ideas on cook times for smaller loaf pans?

  37. Barb says

    2nd Time around and worked out beautifully. This will be a classic in my household.
    Had enough leftover “icing” from the 1st batch to use on the 2nd cake.
    I used a silicone bundt pan and it drops out beautifully after letting it sit for about 10 minutes.
    Would post a picture if I could! It looks gorgeous.

  38. Tina Clemons says

    This does look delicious. Haven’t made it yet. But hope to in the future. I like cranberries but my husband is not a fan of them. So if cupcakes are possible I may try that in the papercups instead.

  39. Freda Miller says

    Sorry to bother you and I hope you still monitor this page but I need a clarification. Is the photo of the Orange Cranberry Cake in a 5 cup bundt pan but you also mentioned that you use 8 cup regularly. So, is the photo a 5 cup?

  40. Briana says

    This looks delicious! I would love to make it on Thursday for Thanksgiving to offset all the other super sweet desserts that I’m making but I’d have to make it in advance. If I made it on Monday night or Tuesday do you think it would hold up ok?

  41. Summer says

    I love this it was so so yummy! I noticed some of the comments in regards to the cake coming out slightly flat. Using non stick sprays with a heavy hand can actually reduce the amount of rising. I wiped down the sides of my bundt pan to prevent this but not the bottom of the pan because I was worried about the sugar possibly sticking. Still came right out and was great! We will definitely be making this again. We want to try different fruits to add to the batter besides cranberries. Any suggestions?

  42. Sharon says

    I made this cake this morning. I used dried cranberries because there’s not a bag of fresh in this town. That worked out okay. But the texture is heavy and almost rubbery looking. It didn’t rise very much. But on the upside it didn’t stick in the pan and taste delish. Will definitely try again.

  43. Jack Buckman says

    This would be a good cake if it didn’t stick to the bundt pan. The sugar only makes the cake stick to the bottom of the pan. It tasted good but very disappointing in not being able to get it out of the pan. I think you should skip the sugar and just butter and flour as usual.

  44. Christenna says

    Long shot you’ll answer, as it was posted a long time ago. Was it creamed by hand or mixer? Thanks. Looking forward to making it.

  45. Galina says

    I just love, love, love this cake! I baked it not once based on your recipe, and each time it comes out perfect! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

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