The Best Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake Recipe

The Best Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake Recipe – holiday flavors that come together into a festive, moist, fluffy and delicious dessert. Drizzled with sweet orange glaze.

A slice of Cranberry orange cake on a platter

If you haven’t tried the orange and cranberry flavor combination, you are missing out. It is amazing! Sweet and refreshing orange with tart cranberries pair very well in this cake. It is almost like pumpkin and spice and chocolate and peppermint. Some flavor combinations are so unique!

This recipe for orange cranberry bundt is adapted from a previous recipe I shared on the blog back in 2015 – Cranberry Pomegranate Pound Cake With Orange Cream Cheese Glaze. While this bundt cake tastes amazing, a lot of readers have asked me if they can omit the pomegranate seeds and cream cheese glaze.

And the answer is – yes! Of course these could be omitted and the result will be delicious! A lot easier to make. Just follow the steps and pay attention to my tips.

Ingredients for orange cranberry cake:

  • Cranberries – fresh or frozen. I’m currently in Europe and while American Red Cranberries can be found here in most large grocery stores frozen, this time I was able to find only smaller European wild cranberries. The taste is quite similar.
  • Fresh orange zest – use a good quality zester, don’t use any of the white part under the zest.
  • Large eggs
  • White sugar (could be substituted with half brown and half white if needed
  • Vegetable oil – I prefer it to butter, because of the fine crumb it produces. Olive oil or melted butter can be used. If you want it to be a true pound cake, use butter. It will create a cake with denser structure.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Buttermilk or milk + lemon juice
  • Baking powder (a leavening agent)
  • Salt
  • If making a glaze, use powdered sugar and orange juice. Adding some orange zest will be also great.
  • Sugared cranberries for garnishing – preferably US cranberries, but I did not have any. Check out how to make sugared cranberries here.

A whole orange cranberry bundt cake on a ceramic plate

Tips to make this Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake Recipe:

  • Sift the dry ingredients, this way the cake batter becomes more airy.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together for at least 5 minutes on high speed, to get them pale, thick and fluffy. This also creates bubbles, that will help the cake rise.
  • You can use fresh or frozen cranberries in this recipe. The final result is pretty similar. I’d say the cake with frozen cranberries tends to be more moist. If using frozen cranberries, please work quickly and do nor defrost them. They will start to “bleed ” into the batter, if they start to defrost. The frozen cranberries should be tossed into some flour, so they don’t sink to the bottom of the cake pan. If the cranberries used are fresh, wash, pat dry them and toss in some flour as well. Once you stir the cranberries into the batter, pour into the pan and bake immediately.
  • Make sure you wash the orange with soap and water to get rid of the “bitterness”. Most citrus fruits in the grocery stores are sprayed and we need to get rid of this material, before zesting.
  • No buttermilk, no problem. You can either use “powdered buttermilk”, or combine 1 cup of whole milk with 1 tbsp of lemon juice.
  • Baking time – I baked this cake in a fan oven this time. Baking time is between 50 to 60 minutes. I used to bake everything in my gas oven, but now I’m in Europe and needed to adjust to convection oven. Instead of adjusting the baking time, I suggest that you adjust the temperature. For conventional and convection baking, you usually need to decrease the temperature. You can see the exact temperature for baking this cake in the recipe card below.
  • Choosing a bundt pan and greasing it – I used my favorite, heavy duty bundt cake pan from Nordic Ware (10-15 cups), which is a pretty thick, heavy and big one. The trick here is to grease very well with room temperature butter, then sift in some flour to cover the butter. This way you prevent the cake from sticking. This recipe is prone to sticking, because of the fresh / frozen whole cranberries inside. The texture of the cake is not smooth inside, so don’t force it to come out of the pan. Allow some cooling time, loosen up with knife and try co invert onto a platter.
  • The glaze is optional, but I recommend it. It brings more flavor.
  • I also garnished the cake with “Sugared” Cranberries and fresh rosemary, for a nice holiday look. 

Orange cranberry bundt on a white plate

More cranberry recipes:

Servings: 16

Cranberry Orange Cake

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr
A slice of Cranberry orange cake on a platter
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Ingredients

For the cake:

  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup whole milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries — — do not thaw, if using frozen

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C) or 160 C with a fan. Grease and flour bundt cake pan and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the eggs and sugar for 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add oil and beat to combine.

  4. In a bowl combine salt, flour and baking powder.

  5. Add dry ingredients, alternatively with the buttermilk to the butter/sugar/egg mixture.

  6. Next add orange zest. Toss cranberries in 2 tbsp flour. Carefully fold in cranberries.

  7. Transfer to bundt cake pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let it cool inside the pan for 20 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the glaze:

  1. In a bowl combine the orange juice, orange zest and powder sugar.

  2. Pour on top of the cake.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry orange bundt