Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

Super moist and deliciously flavored cranberry orange bundt cake with a thick cinnamon swirl inside! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Sick of cookies? Of course you aren’t.

But just in case you need a little something different in your oven this week, here’s a cranberry orange bundt cake. You won’t regret this.

Super moist and deliciously flavored cranberry orange bundt cake with a thick cinnamon swirl inside! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Peppermint and mocha. Pumpkin and spice. Butter and pecan. Ginger and molasses. Mint and chocolate. There’s no doubt that this time of year is home to some of the most delicious and irresistible flavor combinations. Helloooo red velvet and cream cheese. But there’s one duo that’s completely underrated. It stands up to even the most decadent peppermint, eggnog, or gingerbread treat. Tart cranberry and sweeeeet orange. Oh what a marriage!

Today we’re making a super-moist glazed orange bundt cake that’s dotted with cranberries and a thick cinnamon swirl nestles inside. The starting point for this recipe is my chai cinnamon swirl bundt cake. Remember that cake from earlier this Fall? I froze slices of it, thawed them, and served them to friends who visited us right after Noelle was born. Everyone raved about it. It’s honestly one of the best cakes I’ve ever made, even without the chai cinnamon swirl inside. Seriously! It’s insanely buttery, moist, and dense– without being too heavy. That’s the crazy part. It’s dense, but not weighed down at all. I love it.

With a quality base recipe like that, the options are endless. So I knew that’s where I wanted to start when crafting a holiday inspired cake.

How to Make?

Creamed butter + sugar + orange zest is the base of the bundt cake. Instead of granulated sugar, I sweeten the cake with brown sugar. Paired with orange, cranberry, and cinnamon– brown sugar is clearly the way to start! Since they’re quite large, bundt cakes have the tendency to dry out, so let’s add enough moisture to compensate. We’ll use 5 large eggs, sour cream, milk, and fresh orange juice. You’ll need orange zest for the cake batter, so cut that orange open and use its juice as well. I don’t recommend store-bought OJ as it’s a little too thick. And I found it just made the cake crumb too wet.

For the cranberries, you’ve got options. You can use fresh, frozen, or dried. I tested the cake with both fresh and frozen. If using frozen, no need to thaw. Dried cranberries work just as well. See my recipe note below. I suggest using about 1 and 3/4 cups of cranberries. I tried the cake with 2 cups and that was a little aggressive. The crannies masked the orange flavor! Scaled back, it totally works. A pop of cranberry here, a pop of cranberry there. Just under 2 cups is the magic spot.

The cinnamon swirl was a last minute addition. I originally just added cinnamon straight to the cake batter, but DEFINITELY enjoyed it swirled throughout the cake even more. It’s like a sticky sweet cinnamon river flowing between the brown sugar orange crumb. Who wouldn’t want that? Everything about this cake is pure gold.

Layer the cinnamon swirl between cake batter. No need to actually swirl it– the oven will take care of that. (Want to know how? The weight of the cake batter rises and falls, moving the cinnamon swirl along with it.) Half of the cake batter goes on the bottom, half of the cake batter on top.

Cranberry orange bundt cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cranberry orange bundt cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I love making icings and glazes with fresh citrus juices. The icing is always a little thin, but “sets” on top of the cake, quick bread, muffin, whatever you’re drizzling. Plus a little tang with a little sweet is generally a good idea… always.

Orange icing for cranberry orange bundt cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Super moist and deliciously flavored cranberry orange bundt cake with a thick cinnamon swirl inside! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

If you’re feeling ambitious, serve with sugared cranberries because they’re sparkly. Look at this beautiful orange and cranberry speckled crumb!

Super moist and deliciously flavored cranberry orange bundt cake with a thick cinnamon swirl inside! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Before you bundt:

  • Call me boring, but I always use the same bundt cake pan. It’s the best. It’s nonstick, but I still always grease it just to be safe. The bundt cake releases so easily. Never a crumb stuck. Easy to clean. Plus, the shape is so pretty!
  • The wet ingredients in the batter will look somewhat curdled before you add the dry ingredients; this is completely normal and due to the ranging temperatures of the ingredients. The butter may be warmer than the eggs, the sour cream may be colder than the butter, etc. Have no fear! It will all come together when the dry ingredients are added.

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks; 345g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) packed light or dark brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 orange (about 2 Tbsp)
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) full fat sour cream, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh orange juice*
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw if frozen)*
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Orange Icing

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners' sugar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons (45-60ml) fresh orange juice*

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment beat the butter, 1 cup (200g) brown sugar, granulated sugar, and orange zest together until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The mixture will look curdled; that's ok-- it will come together when you add the dry ingredients.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, add the milk and fresh orange juice, and beat on medium speed it all until the batter is completely combined. Beat or stir in cranberries. Batter is thick, yet silky.
  4. Make the swirl: Mix the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
  5. Pour half of the cake batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan. Sprinkle the swirl ingredients evenly on top and pack down slightly-- it will be a thick layer of swirl! Cover evenly with remaining cake batter.
  6. Bake for 55-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean with just a couple lightly moist crumbs. This is a large, heavy cake so don't be alarmed if it takes a little longer in your oven.
  7. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 hours inside the pan. Then, invert the slightly cooled bundt cake onto a wire rack or serving dish. Allow to cool completely.
  8. Make the icing: Whisk confectioners' sugar and 3 Tablespoons of orange juice together. Add 1 extra Tablespoon of juice to thin out as needed. (Alternatively, add an extra Tablespoon or 2 of confectioners' sugar to thicken, if desired.) Drizzle icing over cake before slicing and serving.
  9. Cover leftover cake tightly and store at room temperature for a couple days and/or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Make ahead tip: You can make the entire cake ahead of time (before topping with icing). Cover cooled cake and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before icing and serving. Baked cake can be frozen up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature (if desired) before icing and serving.

Recipe Notes:

*You can use 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Just as moist and delicious!

*Use fresh orange juice. You'll need an orange for the zest anyway, so use up that juice in the cake and icing. The cake tastes MUCH better with fresh juice than with store-bought OJ.

*1 and 3/4 cups of fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries work.

I used sugared cranberries for garnish!

Did you make a recipe?

Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Super moist and deliciously flavored cranberry orange bundt cake with a thick cinnamon swirl inside! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | Bundt Pan | Custom Stamped Fork
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Super moist and deliciously flavored cranberry orange bundt cake with a thick cinnamon swirl inside! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

94 comments

  1. Hey Sally! This looks amazing, as does everything you post, and I plan on baking it this weekend, probably several times! Do you think it would work split into two loaf pans instead? I would love to ship one to my in-laws, but I think the loaf shape would ship better than a bundt. Can’t wait to taste it, that cinnamon swirl looks heavenly!

    • Hi Candace! I made this as two loaves the other week actually. There was a *little* bit of batter leftover. Just fill the pans 2/3 full. I remember it took about 50 minutes or so. Use a toothpick to check for doneness.

      • Awesome, thanks! That way I can do two recipes and have four cakes, three for gifts and one for us! Because we couldn’t possible not try it out after smelling it baking all day!!

  2. hi Sally!

    I made this cake today and while it was very delicious and moist, i found it a tad too oily. If I want to reduce the amount of butter, how much would you recommend I cut down by?

    • Hi Jacqui! Do you think it was *too moist* or *too oily* ? I find it’s very wet tasting when I use bottled OJ as opposed to fresh OJ. And yes, you can reduce the butter down. I would try 1 cup (2 sticks) or 1.25 cups (2 and 1/2 sticks).

      • i think it’s definitely the oil, and thank you for the tip! i will make this again with the reduced amount of butter and let you know how it turns out:)

  3. Hi Sally!

    I made this into 2 loaves & it tastes AMAZING!!! 1 loaf as a gift… : )) My husband loves it. It is moist & the combination of flavours, DELISH! Will try in a bundt pan in future… YES, going to bake this again.. ; )))

  4. Delicious! I baked one for my son’s school and one for home. I love the orange/cranberry combination and this recipe is a delight . Sally, your recipes are always a success! Never disappointed to try them. Happy holidays. Enjoy the holidays and end of year festivities with your little one.

  5. First time poster here, made many recipes on your site. Made this for a holiday party last night, HUGE hit. A few notes: my 12 cup bundt was quite full, but it didn’t overflow. The bundt did brown quite quickly for me about 15-20 minutes into baking, so I put foil on top, which solved the problem. (My oven runs hot, too.)

    Otherwise–AMAZING! I can’t get over how moist and tender this is. Thank you!!

  6. Beautiful, Sally! LOVE those sugared cranberries 🙂

  7. Another success! I’ve never baked anything from this blog that I haven’t absolutely loved! Made this last night for a potluck holiday lunch today and it was SO delicious…the little pop of cranberry was just perfect. Only thing that I would suggest to other folks is to not necessarily spread the brown sugar all the way to the pan’s edge–the outside of my cake had a big crack all the way round with just a bunch of brown sugar that had seeped out (and stuck to my bundt pan). However, it still held together when being sliced very well and is the perfect holiday flavor combination.

  8. Can extra milk be substituted for the sour cream or yogurt? Or will that be too thin?

  9. This is so delicious! Thank you! I absolutely love your recipes. I have eaten far too much cake myself. But I noticed that the cinnamon layer sank. I actually thought I put too much batter in the pan first. After flipping the cake and cutting it, the cinnamon layer was close to the top (bottom). Do you know why? Also, seems a little underdone around the cinnamon layer even though the toothpick came out clean. Definitely still amazing and won’t stop me from eating it. Just curious what I may have done wrong.

  10. Wow! I baked this last night and glazed it this morning. It is DELICIOUS!! Perfectly moist, not too sweet and the cranberries add a wonderful tang. I have been using your recipes for a few years and I am always happy with the results. Thanks.

  11. Wow! Thank you for posting! When you say something is good, I take that seriously. I had some sugar cookies pounded into crumbs that I added to the cinnamon-brown mixture, which I spread on the top and bottom of this cake. It just came out of the oven and hope to freeze for next week!

  12. Hey Sally! I tried this bundt twice in a row, and both times, the bottom half got stuck in the pan when I flipped it after two hours of cooling. They were both fully baked (and delicious!), but they separated at the cinnamon swirl. Do you have any tips to prevent this? Thanks!

    • I find that if I grease the bottom of the pan SUPER well, I never have that issue. Also, as you are assembling the cake batter prior to baking, do not spread the cinnamon swirl to the edges of the pan. That way the cinnamon swirl won’t be as likely to bake on (and get stuck to) the pan– which may have caused the separation.

  13. Hi Sally
    I just wanted to ask, would this cake work if I make it in a normal 10 inch cake pan instead of a bundt pan? I have never used a bundt pan so am very hesitant but I really want to try this recipe

    Thanks
    Madhvi 

    • Hi Madhvi! There is too much batter for a 10-inch cake pan. You’d be better off using 2 or 3 10-inch cake pans for a layered cake 🙂

  14. Baked this last night and glazed this morning. My cake was done at 50 minutes but I think my oven runs hot. I’m glad I checked it! It was delicious and came out of the pan easily. The only change I made was that I added orange zest to the glaze.

    • Yes, every oven is slightly different. You can get an inexpensive oven thermometer to place inside! I’m so glad you checked and I bet the glaze was delicious with the extra zest!

  15. Oh, Sally, another awesome recipe!  I made this for my husband’s office party and it was a huge hit, as all your recipes are!!  He said there weren’t even any crumbs left.lol.  As I’ve said in other posts, every recipe I have made is an instant hit and everyone wants the recipes!   I’m just in love with your blog and all your recipes!  

  16. Can’t wait to try this, looks delicious! Would this be good to bake as mini loaves for gifts? How much baking time would you recommend? 

  17. I just love the idea of fruit flavors at holiday time. It helps to cut through all the rich spicy flavors! Is there anyway this cake could be made into cupcakes and if so, how long would you cook them for?

  18. I made this recipe and by mistake incorporated the 3/4 cup of brown sugar into the batter with the rest of the sugar. Still takes great, just one problem the cake stuck to the bundt pan. I have had this happen more times than not with the pan and am ready to ditch it unless there is something I’m not doing right to prevent it from happening. Anyway this cake was going to a party tonight and while I don’t expect an immediate answer (you do have a little  one and sleep is king for you for sure!) I am wondering how I might be able to still serve it, maybe as a trifle?

    • Hi Anne Marie! I would definitely make a trifle out of it. Maybe with some sugared cranberries and some whipped cream that you can flavor with orange zest?

  19. Thank you Sally for this wonderful recipe. The texture and flavor was perfect. A big hit.

  20. Hi Sally,

    I have made many many recipes from your blog and they are always a hit. I made this cake this weekend and it came out wonderfully. I agree with a comment above that the cake was a bit too oily. I see you responded and suggested it would be okay to reduce the amount of butter (which I was thinking of doing anyway before I baked it). If you reduce the amount of butter, do you need to alter the amounts of any other ingredients?

    Also, when I made this cake the first time, I accidentally added 1 cup (instead of 1/2 cup) of milk. I ended up tossing the batter and starting over because I wasn’t sure if I could somehow “fix” my mistake of adding too much milk. Is there anything I could have done to save the batter? I thought about doubling the recipe, but was curious if there are alternative solutions. Thanks!!

    • Hi Erin! I wouldn’t alter the other ingredients if you’re looking to reduce the butter. Because then the cake may stay oily. Regarding your question about adding too much milk– you did the right thing by starting over. That far into the mixing/process and there’s really no coming back from it. I would suggest baking the batter into cupcakes or something, but the ratios would be way off. Adding more flour wouldn’t help.

      • What about making it into pancakes? With double the milk it might be the right consistency for pancake batter.

  21. I made this for my husband’s office’s Christmas party and it was a huge hit despite the stiff competition – homemade cherry pie, among others. Took some pieces to the local library where I volunteer, and it was raves all around. Even my husband, who doesn’t really like cakes and sweets, calls this one “a keeper.” You do need to be VERY careful not to let the cinnamon touch the sides or the inside tube of your bunt because it sticks like glue; otherwise, this one is very much a keeper.

  22. Hi Sally: 
    I happened to stumble upon your website and I want to say ILOVE IT!!! Everything about it is so interesting….. from your step by step instructions to your gorgeous photos of the recipes. I literally spent two hours one day  reading your recipes when I was supposed to be cleaning out closets!! I found this Cranberry Orange bunt recipe and decided to try it. After reading all the comments on this recipe, I’m embarrassed to say it didn’t come out anything like the photo. The flavor was tremendous but the texture was extremely heavy and tough. It reminded me more of a pound cake. I served it for brunch and everyone loved it but my husband even  noticed the compact texture. I consider myself a veteran baker and my co-workers keep telling me I should sell my baked goods. This recipe was not difficult my any means. What do you think I did wrong? Any input would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Cheryl! Welcome! Thanks for saying hi. This cranberry orange bundt cake is a heavier cake and more on the pound cake style side. But it shouldn’t be tough. I wonder if you overbeat the butter/sugar? Sometimes that’s easy to do when you’re working with so much butter + sugar– or batter in general.

      • Great, thank you. I had a bad expierence with gritty cookies once and now I’m afraid of not beating the mixture long enough. I will set the timer the next time. Delicious recipe and a show stopper with the sugared cranberries!

  23. Hi Sally,
    I have made this Bundt cake many times and everyone always loves it. I’m thinking of making it for a wedding shower, but want to use a mini muffin tin. Do you think this will work?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *