This cranberry Christmas cake is rich, moist, and buttery. It’s studded with gorgeous red cranberries and topped with a sweet vanilla glaze.Cranberry cake on a cake stand with two slices on plates

Why this recipe is so great:

  • Easy to make – Simply beat all the wet ingredients together, add in the dry ingredients, fold in the cranberries, and bake. Glaze and decorate as you wish and you’ve got a scrumptious and stunning cake. With the pop of red from the cranberries and the white glaze, this cake also looks super festive and perfect for the Christmas holidays.
  • Delicious and versatile – This cake is buttery and moist. The sweet glaze is a perfect balance to the tart cranberries. It’s flavored with vanilla and almond extract or if you prefer, you can substitute the almond extract with orange zest and make this into a cranberry orange Christmas cake.
  • Keeps well – This cake keeps well for up to a week in the fridge, so you can make it up to 2 days in advance. Then simply glaze and decorate the day of serving.

cranberry cake topped with glaze and cranberries on a cake stand

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder & salt
  • fresh or frozen cranberries – fresh is preferred
  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar & powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract or orange zest
  • milk & eggs

How to make cranberry Christmas cake:

(the ingredient amounts are listed in the printable recipe card further below)

  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating in between. Then mix in the vanilla and almond extract or orange zest.
  3. Stir in half the flour mixture, followed by the milk, then the rest of the flour mixture. Toss the cranberries with a bit of additional flour and gently fold them into the batter.
  4. Spoon the batter into a greased bundt pan. Bake at 350F for 55-60 minutes.

picture collage of how to make cranberry cake

FAQ:

Can raw cranberries be baked in a cake?

Yes, there is no need to precook the cranberries. Just toss them in raw and they bake into pockets of jammy, tart deliciousness.

Can you freeze cranberry Christmas cake?

Yes, you can. Tightly wrap the cake in a double layer of saran wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Glaze and decorate before serving.

Can you sub frozen cranberries for fresh in a cake recipe?

Yes, most recipes will instruct you to bake them frozen. However, I find that it takes so much longer to bake with frozen cranberries that you run the risk of drying out the outer cake before the center is done. So I prefer to thaw, rinse, and pat them dry before adding them to the batter. A slice of cranberry cake on a white and gold plate with a piece on a fork

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Cranberry Christmas Cake


  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings

Description

This cranberry Christmas cake is rich, moist, and buttery. It’s studded with gorgeous red cranberries and topped with a sweet vanilla glaze.


Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 &1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries (set aside a handful to decorate the cake with if desired)
  • 12 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond or 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk

Glaze

  • 1 heaping cup powdered sugar plus more if needed
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 12 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9″ bundt pan well and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well in between. Then mix in the vanilla and almond extract or orange zest.
  4. Stir in half the flour mixture, followed by the milk, then the rest of the flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Toss the cranberries with just enough flour to coat and gently fold them into the batter. Spoon the batter into a greased bundt pan.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and invert the cake onto a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until completely smooth. Add more powdered sugar if needed for a thick but spreadable consistency.
  8. Spread the glaze over the cake and top with sliced almonds and cranberries if desired. Dust the cranberries with a touch of powdered sugar before serving and a pretty snow appearance.

Notes

Leftovers can be tightly covered and stored in the fridge for up to a week.

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 60 min
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cranberry cake recipe, cranberry bundt cake

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