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!

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

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!

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

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.

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. I knew that’s where I wanted to start when crafting a holiday inspired cake.

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.

Cranberry orange bundt cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Cranberry orange bundt cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Orange icing for cranberry orange bundt cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

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 the sparkly sugared cranberries that I used on my pumpkin pie!

Print

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

Description

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


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 Glaze

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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!

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

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

111 Comments

  1. Hmmm…with cranberries and orange juice (fruits!) I can totally call this Christmas breakfast. 🙂 I was born, raised, married and raised my family in Massachusetts. I visited Ocean Spray’s facilities and a number of cranberry bogs through the years. I LOVE cranberries and this looks like another winner. Thanks for the recipe – Merry Christmas!

  2. Totally on this tomorrow! My MIL ❤️ My cranberry orange biscotti, so we’ll double her up!  Last tim I made this version of your bundt, I swapped out the swirl for gingerbread spice (it was a gift for a crowd that I feared wouldn’t love the cardamom).  It was a hit.  Used the BB icing with it too!  Happy Holidays Sally!

    1. Another reader mentioned gingerbread spice to me– I’ve never seen gingerbread spice– just the spices sold separately. I’ll have to keep my eye out!
      Let me know how you all like this cranberry orange cake 🙂

  3. Sally, I love you!! 🙂 Thanks for all the great, decedent, delicious recipes!! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  4. YUM! We are doing a Christmas “Brunch” on Christmas morning which basically translates into Mimosas with a side of food (LOL) but I will definitely be putting this on the Brunch table! I love the sugared cranberry idea, too! I make your Orange Glazed Cranberry bread at Thanksgiving every year and it’s always a hit, so I am sure this will be just as tasty!! Can’t wait to try it! And PS I’m starting my cookie baking this week, everything I plan to present this year is from your book/blog <3 You are the BEST! Have a great week girlie.

    1. Have fun baking this week! This cranberry orange cake is a great “snacking” cake to have out during the holidays. I plan to make it for brunch on Christmas eve!

  5. 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. 🙂

  6. You’re speaking my love language, Sally: cranberry + orange = the best! I’ve made your glazed orange cranberry bread and LOVE it. Now I can scale it up and make it fancy!

    (Minus the cinnamon…I know. But I like things tart!)

    Btw, I brought your Espresso White Chocolate Chunk cookies to a cookie exchange yesterday and got the prize for “Best Tasting Cookie.” You’re awesome!

  7. My mom is ALL about things cranberry & orange. I’m loving that cinnamon-swirl in between! Still got finals to study for yet every new notification from your site just keeps pulling me back into the kitchen 😉

    1. This makes a lot of batter for a bundt pan but if you split it between several loaf pans it should work. I’m unsure of the baking time.

  8. My husband just asked for an orange cranberry dessert for Christmas dinner. This looks perfect! 
    I love all your recipes! We are currently working on trying all the cookies on your Christmas cookie list! 

  9. I can’t wait to make this!  Do you think the cake is sturdy enough to have a streusel topping (sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts)?

    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.

  10. 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 

  11. 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!  

  12. This bundt cake looks soooo good, Sally! I have been debating on what dessert to make for my Christmas Luncheon at work – and this is definitely the one!!!!! 

  13. I make a pound cake that is similar to this and has a butter sauce, and wow it is so good. Cranberry and orange are perfect together! This looks great!

    1. I baked this cake last night and reduced the total sugar to under 1 cup. That is the general rule for me as I find more than a cup in any cake is too sweet. It tasted good and is very moist, but I did find the cake a tad oily so next time i will reduce the butter as well.

  14. Orange and cranberry are one of my all time favorite flavor combinations for Christmas! I can’t wait to make this cake! I’m thinking this week for when my mom comes down for a visit! Hoping I can find the time I’ve been busy baking cookies (made 8 different cookie doughs) to prep for Christmas, all recipe from your cookie cookbook or blog of course! Got 2 more to bake up the Butter Spritz cookies for a cookie swap and hot cocoa cookies! Thank you for all your fabulous recipes, I absolutely love them and love reading your blog! 

    1. I like my muffins to be a bit lighter so I suggest you try these: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/11/06/cranberry-orange-muffins/

  15. I was just talking with a friend about how I love citrus-y desserts! It’s just nice and refreshing! Can’t wait to try this recipe! 

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