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Super moist cranberry orange Bundt cake is dotted with cranberries and drizzled with a simple orange glaze. Each slice boasts a buttery brown sugar orange crumb– a welcome addition to any holiday party!

overhead image of cranberry orange bundt cake with sugared cranberries and orange slices in the middle

If you’re tired of Christmas cookies, today’s your day. And if you’re not tired of cookies, stick around because this Bundt cake is a must make this holiday season!

We’re taking a break from Christmas cookies and diving headfirst into this simply stunning cranberry orange Bundt cake. We’re combining tart cranberries, a thick cinnamon swirl, and sweet orange glaze to create a dessert that’s perfect for every holiday celebration!

side view of a slice of cranberry orange bundt cake on a silver plate

Cranberry & Orange Flavors

Peppermint and mocha. Pumpkin and spice. Butter and pecan. Ginger and molasses. Mint and chocolate. There’s no doubt this time of year is home to some of the most delicious and irresistible flavor combinations. 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 sweet orange– oh, what a marriage!

I love this flavor duo year round, but especially during the holidays (hello, Thanksgiving cranberry sauce!) when we could all use a little pop of sweet/tart flavor in between chocolatey and rich desserts. Don’t get me wrong, this cranberry orange Bundt cake is definitely decadent– and I love the flavor profile this cake adds to the holiday season. A few other crannie and orange recipes I love? Orange cranberry bread, cranberry orange scones, and cranberry orange muffins.

cranberry orange cake batter in a glass bowl

Behind the Recipe

This super-moist glazed orange Bundt cake is dotted with cranberries and has a thick cinnamon swirl nestled inside. Chai cinnamon swirl Bundt cake is the starting point for this recipe. It’s honestly one of the best cakes I’ve ever made, even without the chai cinnamon swirl inside. It’s insanely buttery, moist, and dense without being too heavy.

With a quality base recipe like that, the options are endless. (Try my rum cake next!) I knew that’s where I wanted to start when crafting a holiday inspired cake.

cranberry orange cake batter in a glass bowl

Ingredients in Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

Because they’re so large, Bundt cakes have a tendency to dry out. Not this one! We’re using lots of power ingredients for mega flavor and texture.

Let’s review:

  • Flour: We use sturdy all-purpose flour as the base of this Bundt cake. It’s strong enough to hold up the cranberries and all the liquid ingredients.
  • Baking Powder: 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder is more than we use for a typical cake, but it’s needed to help this hefty cake rise.
  • Salt + Vanilla Extract: Both salt and vanilla extract add flavor.
  • Butter: This is a very buttery cake so we use lots of butter. I never said this was diet food! 🙂
  • Sugars: Paired with orange, cranberry, and cinnamon, brown sugar is clearly the way to start! We use brown sugar as the primary sweetener, with just a touch of granulated sugar.
  • Orange Juice + Zest: Can’t have a cranberry orange cake without flavor from real oranges. We use both orange zest and juice for added flavor and moisture. I don’t recommend store-bought OJ because it’s too thick and I found it made the cake too wet.
  • Eggs, Sour Cream, + Milk: 5 eggs, sour cream, and milk add moisture. It’s a lot of volume but remember, we want a mega moist cake with a buttery crumb.
  • Cranberries: Use fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries– 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. A pop of cranberry here, a pop of cranberry there. Just under 2 cups is the magic spot.
overhead image of cinnamon layer on top of cake batter in a bundt pan

Cinnamon Swirl Filling

Layer the cinnamon swirl between the cake batter– half of the cake batter on the bottom, half of the cake batter on the top. There’s no need to actually swirl it, the oven will take care of that. The weight of the cake batter rises and falls as it bakes, moving the cinnamon swirl along with it.

overhead image of remaining cake batter spread on top of cinnamon layer in a bundt pan

Easy Orange Icing

I love making icings and glazes with fresh citrus juices– a little tang with a little sweet is always a good idea! You’ll notice that the icing is a little thin, but it will “set” on top of the cake. For an alternative, try the brown butter icing used on my peach Bundt cake or the cream cheese frosting used on my chocolate gingerbread Bundt cake.

pouring orange glaze onto cranberry orange bundt cake

Before You Bundt

  • Bundt Pan: 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. Plus, the shape is so pretty!
  • Curdled Ingredients: The wet ingredients will look somewhat curdled before you add the dry ingredients– this is due to the ranging temperatures of the ingredients. It’s normal. The butter may be warmer than the eggs, the sour cream may be colder than the butter, etc. It will all come together when the dry ingredients are added.
overhead image of cranberry orange bundt cake with sugared cranberries and orange slices in the middle

If you’re feeling ambitious, serve with the sparkly sugared cranberries that I used on my pumpkin pie! And if you can’t get enough of cranberries this season, be sure to try my cranberry Christmas cake, too.

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overhead image of cranberry orange bundt cake with sugared cranberries and orange slices in the middle

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Super moist and deliciously flavored cranberry orange Bundt cake with a thick cinnamon swirl inside!


  • 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 Glaze

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


  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 up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | Bundt Pan
  3. Sour Cream: You can use 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Just as moist and delicious!
  4. Orange Juice: 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.
  5. Cranberries: 1 and 3/4 cups of fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries work.
  6. Garnish: I used sugared cranberries from my pumpkin pie recipe!

Keywords: cranberry orange bundt cake

overhead image of a slice of cranberry orange bundt cake on a silver plate with a fork

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. If I were to make this recipe in a mini bundt pan (6 x 1 cup servings) how long would you recommend for the bake time?

    1. Hi Christine! That depends on the size of the mini Bundts. I would say start checking them for doneness at 20 minutes.

  2. Absolutely amazing! I only had a 5″ Bundt pan so I used the extra batter and made 12 cupcakes/muffins to go with it! Only took about 30 minutes to bake and it made it easy to display 🙂 the little ones loved the little cinnamon swirl surprise in their cupcakes and I also made the sugared cranberries for decoration! Would definitely make again.

  3. Hello Sally,
    I love your recipes. This one is looks delicious. Do you think it would be ok if I use a vanilla glaze instead of orange? It’s just a personal preference.
    Thank you,

  4. I thought this cake was just ok, and I won’t make it again. I found it to be a bit heavy.

  5. Hi Sally!
    Long time fan of yours! This is the first time a bake hasn’t turned out quite right 🙁

    I used frozen cranberries but for some reason they all sunk to the bottom of the bundt tin during baking causing the cake to collapse (I think from the moistness from the cranberries) when I took it out of the tin. Is there anything you would recommend for this?


    1. Hi Sophie, It could be because the frozen berries – be sure that you do not thaw them before adding them, and that they aren’t coated in ice. If you try it again you can try using fresh cranberries.

      1. I followed this recipe in every detail. My bundt pan is an excellent brand (William’s Sonoma) and nothing has ever stuck in this pan…….. until now.
        Baking is a hobby with me , so I am experienced. My gut said, “flour the pan” even though Sally says she never flours bundt pans.
        I’m sorry I didn’t listen to my instincts.

  6. Hi Sally,

    I live in Japan where butter is very expensive and of inferior quality, so could I use oil successfully in this recipe?

    If yes, would the measurements be the same?

    Thank you kindly,


    1. Hi Jennifer! You can certainly try creaming room temperature (solid) coconut oil instead of butter, but the flavor and texture of the cake will change.

  7. Hi Sally,
    I love your orange cranberry scones and an eager to make this Bundt. However, I was wondering if it would work well in a mini Bundt pan just decreasing the time of course.

    Thanks kindly,


    1. Hi Jen, Yes you can divide this batter between mini Bundt pans. The bake time would depend on the size of the pans, but bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean with just a couple lightly moist crumbs. Enjoy!

  8. Hello! This cake is in the oven right now, I think it’s going to be delicious!

  9. This cake is delicious! Love the flavors, it came out beautifully. Thank you for sharing your recipes

  10. OMG Sally, this cake tasted amazing. The flavour combinations was absolutely fabulous … my family loved it !
    It gives real festive feeling

  11. I made this cake twice this week. The first time, I followed the recipe exactly and baked it in a 10 cup bundt pan. It seemed like a lot of batter for this pan but it didn’t overflow. I brought it to work and everyone loved it! But honestly, I didn’t think the brown sugar cinnamon swirl went with the cake and it seemed to be a bit underdone in the middle where the swirl was. So I made it again & left out the cinnamon swirl and used a bigger bundt pan and wow! It was perfect! I love the tart cranberries with the sweet brown sugar & orange cake and orange glaze. Simple but delicious! I’ll be making this again!

  12. Hi Sally! I am wondering if this recipe can be adapted to a different pan, like a loaf pan rather than a bundt? If so, how do I convert?

  13. Hi Sally, I’ve made many cakes and other desserts based on your recipes. I know this is late (2021) but I need to let you know this was the absolute favorite of everyone in my family. What a cake! Thank you!

    1. We’re so happy to read this, Maria! Thank you so much for your sweet comment.

  14. Hi Sally, thank you for sharing another amazing recipe! Wish you very Happy Holidays! 🙂 The cake turned out great and the flavors were amazing. The texture was more dense than yours though, unsure what would have caused it. Also, I’d suggest adding instructions to the recipe to keep the cinnamon swirl away from the cake pan edges as several folks (including me) made the mistake of spreading it and got a “sliced” cake look.

  15. Made this last winter and got rave reviews. Will be making for Christmas morning brunch.

  16. Hello,
    I am not a big fan of cinnamon. Could I substitute with some kind of jam instead? Would it be too wet? Thank you for this delicious recipe!

    1. Hi Agnes, you can omit the cinnamon or replace it with another similar warm spice instead. We don’t recommend adding jam as it may throw off the texture of the cake with the added moisture.

  17. Hi Sally, I’m baking this now . Didn’t see it needs to cool for 2 hrs until just now. I’m going to take it to a Christmas party. Can I cool it in the refrigerator?

    1. Hi Rose, you can reduce that time to about 1 hour if needed. It can still be slightly warm when you invert the pan to release the cake. Be careful if you put it in the refrigerator while still warm because warmth can alter the temperature in the refrigerator and the rest of the food stored.

  18. Made this cake for the first time today. At the last minute, I discovered my cranberries had gone over, and it’s Christmas so all the stores are closed. Used Craisins instead and OMG — SO GOOD!! Didn’t feel the need for the icing with the extra sweetness of the craisins. I will make this again!!

  19. Sally, I made this cake because I had left over cranberries. I decided to divide the batter up in 5×3 loaf pans and bake for about 40 minutes on 325 and they were perfect. I will make this again and again! As always, thank you for sharing your baking knowledge.

  20. Do I need to rehydrate the dry cranberries? Can I mix fresh, fozen and dried cranberries to make up the 2 cups needed? Cranberries are no longer available in stores and I have only some fresh, frozen and dried cranberries left. If I use only craisins do I need to adjust (lessen) the amount of dried berries used?

    1. Hi Theresa, You can certainly use a mix of fresh, frozen, and dried cranberries. No need to rehydrate the dried berries!

  21. Hi, Sally. Can’t wait to try this cake. Question – would a can of whole cranberry sauce work? I can’t find fresh or frozen cranberries anywhere and my hubby does not care for dried cranberries but we love the flavors in an orange cranberry cake. Thank you and love the new website design!!!

    1. Hi Karen, We have not tested it but fear cranberry sauce would add too much moisture to this already dense cake. If you would like to try using dried cranberries you can rehydrate them first so that they have a closer texture to fresh berries in the baked cake. Simply soak them in very hot water for a few minutes to rehydrate them before adding them to the cake batter. Let us know if you give it a try!

      1. Hi Sally,

        I absolutely love your recipes but i don’t eat eggs. How can I replace eggs in your recipes.

  22. Another Winner! I love all of Sally’s recipes I have made. I had the cranberries in the freezer since I didn’t know when fresh ones would be in the market. today was a good day to bake. It really was an easy recipe just more ingredients I have used to. It came out fabulous. Wonderful flavor, not too sweet and I liked the surprise in the middle of the brown sugar and cinnamon. Everyone in the family loved it. I wanted to try it for Thanksgiving so this was a preview.

  23. Cake is delicious! I used fresh cranberries and the cinnamon brown sugar layer almost caramelized in the middle – I couldn’t get it out of the Bundt pan but it was delicious all the same

  24. This is delicious. The crumb is perfect. I added some walnuts in the cinnamon swirl. Hubby loved it too. Not too heavy, but it took a full hour to bake and 90 minutes to cool but popped right out. Perfect for brunch.

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