Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

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 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!

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
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
  • 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 | Custom Stamped Fork
  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!

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


  1. This is exactly what was missing for my Christmas desserts table! Do you think your Brown butter icing would go well with this? I think I’d like a thicker icing for it to make it even more dessert-y. 🙂

    1. Absolutely! The brown butter flavor would pair wonderfully with the orange and cranberry.

  2. Pattie Gilbert says:

    How would nuts added to the swirl layer be?

    1. Delish– I’d go with 1 cup chopped nuts. Pecans or walnuts would be wonderful.

  3. This Bundt looks delicious. What can I use instead of the orange juice?

    1. Milk works!

  4. can this made in a 9 x 13 pan. I have such rotten luck with bundt cakes?

    1. Hi Mary! There is too much batter for a 9×13 size pan. But you can use enough batter to fill the pan halfway. Use any leftover batter for mini loaves, a 9×5 loaf, or mini cupcakes.

  5. What capacity bundt pan does this fill? Thanks!

  6. Looking forward to making this!   Do you think this would be good with a streusel topping?  I was afraid that it might sink into the cake.  I would use a regular tube pan if I added the streusel 

    1. I think the addition of streusel on top would be great!

  7. Hi Sally! I LOVE orange and cranberry so I will be making this cake ASAP!  I’m thinking about trying some cardamom in the cinnamon brown sugar swirl. How much cardamom do you suggest I use?  Thank you!  

    1. I’d add 1/2 teaspoon. Should be delicious!

  8. This cake looks absolutely delicious! Do you think it would be possible to make it into muffins/cupcakes?
    Thank you!

    1. I like my muffins to be a bit lighter so I suggest you try these:

  9. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. Hi Sally, i do not own a bundt pan or a loaf pan but i really do want to try your bundt cake recipes. Will it work if i cut your bundt cake recipe in half and bake it in a square pan at the same prescribed temperature? Will a 8×8 or a 9×9 pan work better?

      2. Hi Adeline, I haven’t tested this recipe in a square pan but here is a helpful post on Cake Pan Sizes and Conversions that should help you figure out how much batter you would need for different size pans.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!!

  12. 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.

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

    1. The batter will be too thin and the cake will taste a little too wet.

  14. 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.

  15. Megan McElduff says:

    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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

    1. 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.

  18. 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  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!  

  19. 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? 

    1. Definitely! I’m unsure of the exact bake time, but mini loaves (in general) take around 30 minutes.

  20. Devin Spicer Buckler says:

    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?

    1. Absolutely. I would bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  21. 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?

    1. 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?

  22. Angela McDarren says:

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

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

    1. 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.

  25. Hi Sally,
    Just wanted to let you know that I tried this recipe for a work bake-off and someone said that it was “One of the best cakes they’ve ever tasted”. I left out the cranberries because I couldn’t find any but it worked just as well.

    Thank-you so much for this. Will definitely be making this again.

  26. Hi Sally,
    I made this cake for Thanksgiving and it was such a hit. The cake was not only beautiful but so much fun to make, every step of the way. It inspired me to try more of the cake recipes, which I have been intimidated to do until now. My love for baking grows with every success I have with your recipes! 🙂

  27. Evelina Zebrowski says:

    Hi Sally! I’ve made this bundt cake before and it turned out amazing! However i just made it again and it turned out very dense and moist in some parts. It looked like it was fully baked it’s just kind of … for lack it better words … rubbery? In half of it. Do you know where I may have went wrong? I used fresh OJ and didn’t over measure the flower. It was spooned and leveled. Do you think it needs to bake longer? Please help! Thanks a bunch !

    1. Hi Evelina! I’m SO glad you loved this cranberry orange bundt cake recipe enough to bake it again! Your 2nd bundt cake sounds a little under-baked. You can tent the baking cake with aluminum foil if you notice the top browning too much before the center is cooked through.

  28. LOVED this recipe! Made as a Christmas Eve dessert and it was the perfect complement to a heavy dinner and even had some takers the next morning! I was thinking of trying it with lemon and blueberry come summertime!

  29. Hi Sally! I made this cake for my husband tonight and he had to have more than one big piece….A great sign that he loved your Cake! Me too! It was super moist like you said. I wouldnt change a thing. I love your recipes. God bless, Brenda from British Columbia, Canada

  30. Prerna Nikesh says:

    Hi Sally,

    I’m just not able to find any cranberries here in Sydney except the sweetened dried ones :(. I really want to make this cake.. could I still use them ?
    Thanks so much,

    1. Yes, dried cranberries will work in this cake!

1 2

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love



Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally