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three square slices of cranberry christmas cake stacked together on top of a brown plate
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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.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 323kcal


  • 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


  • 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!


  • 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.


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