Cranberry Christmas Cake

Cranberry Christmas cake is a lightly sweet treat perfect for breakfasts, desserts or snack. This cranberry cake features a buttery cake laced with the festive flavors of orange and cranberries. It will warm up any winter day with its cheerful taste of the holidays.

three square slices of cranberry christmas cake stacked together on top of a brown plate

Cranberry and orange is such an overlooked holiday flavor combination.

Everyone goes gaga over pumpkin spice and mint while cranberry orange gets left out of all of the hubbub.

And it’s such a shame.

This flavor combination is bright and a little tart. It’s the refreshing star of the holiday season in my opinion.

That’s exactly what this cake is.

Lightly sweet, a touch tart but such a palate cleanser compared to the other sweets this time of year.

And it can be on your table with just a few basic ingredients and a tiny bit of work.

three square slices of cranberry christmas cake stacked together on top of a brown plate

Ingredients

To make this cake you need:

  • Eggs– Let them come to room temperature.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Butter– Use softened, unsalted butter.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Flour– All purpose works best in this recipe.
  • Orange flavorings– A drop of orange extract and some freshly grated orange zest give this cake the bright citrus background.
  • Cranberries– Use fresh or frozen cranberries here. Don’t substitute craisins in this.

cranberry christmas cake shown in a 9x13" baking dish

How to Make

Making this cake is very easy.

To do it start by cracking the eggs into the bowl of your stand mixer.

Then add the sugar to the bowl and whip the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is thickened, fluffy and doubled in size.

This takes between 5 and 7 minutes.

Then, add the butter, extracts and zest to the bowl.

Beat again until they are evenly combined.

Next mix in the flour until just combined.

Then, finish the batter by folding in the cranberries.

Now, scrape the batter into a very well greased 9×13 baking dish.

Make sure you spread the batter evenly with a spatula.

Bake the cake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until the top has a golden brown, crackling crust and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool completely.

Then slice and enjoy!

a silver spatula holding up a slice of cranberry Christmas cake

Storing

Store this cake covered on your counter for 3 to 4 days.

You can also store it covered in the fridge for up to a week.

How to use frozen cranberries in this cake

Since fresh cranberries aren’t readily available for much of the year, I often use frozen cranberries.

I either buy extra bags and freeze them or I pick them up in the frozen fruit section in the grocery store.

Either way, if I plan to bake this cake and want to use frozen cranberries in it, I let them thaw on the counter first.

If you don’t the batter thickens even more when you add them.

slices of cranberry christmas cake stacked together on top of a brown plate

Tips and tricks

  • Some people find this cake tart, and some swear it’s the perfect sweetness when left to settle and flavors meld for 24 hours. If you choose to make it ahead of time, it won’t be dry as the cranberries will moisten the cake while it sits.
  • The batter will be very thick and resemble cookie dough more than cake batter. That’s ok!
  • Don’t use a fancy cake pan to make this. Stick to a 9×13 baking dish so you get the nice crust.
  • The cranberries get added whole and uncooked- they cook in the cake while baking
  • You cannot sub dried cranberries. part of the cake’s perfect moist texture after baking is from soaking up the juices as the cranberries burst during baking. you can however sub frozen cranberries.

three square slices of cranberry christmas cake stacked together on top of a brown plate

Other Cranberry Orange Sweets You’ll Love

This cranberry Christmas cake is perfect paired with a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast, dessert or a mid afternoon snack.

Make it this holiday season and enjoy!

Looking for other cranberry sweets?

Try these:

If you’ve tried this CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS CAKE, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

three square slices of cranberry christmas cake stacked together on top of a brown plate

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Cranberry Christmas cake is a lightly sweet treat perfect for breakfasts, desserts or snack. This cranberry cake features a buttery cake laced with the festive flavors of orange and cranberries. It will warm up any winter day with its cheerful taste of the holidays.
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Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 323kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest freshly grated
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries

Instructions

  • Crack the eggs into the bowl of your stand mixer, and add the sugar to the bowl. Whip the two together until the mixture's thickened and fluffy. It should roughly double in size, and can take anywhere from 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the butter, extracts, and zest to the bowl, beating again until evenly combined- about two more minutes.
  • Slowly mix in the flour, just until combined. The batter will be very thick.
  • Fold in the cranberries until evenly dispersed in the batter.
  • Liberally grease a 9x13" baking dish with either butter or non stick cooking spray. Then scrape the batter from the mixing bowl into the prepared dish. Spread it out evenly with a spatula.
  • Bake the cake at 350° for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a crackling crust and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven, and set it aside to cool completely.
  • Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Some people find this cake tart, and some swear it's the perfect sweetness when left to settle and flavors meld for 24 hours. If you choose to make it ahead of time, it won't be dry as the cranberries will moisten the cake while it sits.
  • The batter will be very thick and resemble cookie dough more than cake batter. That's ok!
  • Don't use a fancy cake pan to make this. Stick to a 9x13 baking dish so you get the nice crust.
  • The cranberries get added whole and uncooked- they cook in the cake while baking
  • You cannot sub dried cranberries. part of the cake's perfect moist texture after baking is from soaking up the juices as the cranberries burst during baking. you can however sub frozen cranberries.

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 414IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

recipe adapted from Barefeet In The Kitchen

 

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