A traditional cream cheese pound cake all dressed up for the holidays with cranberries, orange zest, and spices.
Aren’t pound cakes the best? They pretty much come out of the pan looking all gorgeous and ready to wow. All you need is a simple glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar and you have a dessert fit for any occasion no matter how casual or fancy.
This cranberry orange cream cheese pound cake is perfect for the holidays! It’s rich and moist, easy to prepare, and full of wintertime flavors like cranberry, citrus, cinnamon and nutmeg. And since it keeps very well both on the counter and in the freezer, it’s also a great make-ahead option for the busy season.
baking tip:How to prevent bundt cakes from sticking to the pan
There are few kitchen disasters as frustrating as a bundt cake that sticks to the pan. Take these steps and you won’t have that problem again!
- Use a non-stick bundt pan! This is best way to prevent sticking.
- Generously grease the pan with a baking spray made with flour. “Baker’s Joy” and “PAM Baking” are both good options. Make sure you grease every bit of the pan.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- Gently “bounce” the pan up and down to loosen the cake. If all edges of the cake bounce out of the pan slightly, I know I don’t have any sticking parts.
- Place a cooling rack on top of the bundt pan, then turn it all upside down.
- Remove the pan. If the cake seems to be sticking, give it a few side-to-side wiggles.
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Cranberry Orange Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (340 grams), softened to room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese (226 grams), softened to room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar (600 grams)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (360 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (200 grams)
- 2 cups powdered sugar (456 grams), sifted
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease a 12 cup bundt cake pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes on high speed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each, and scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the vanilla.
- Add the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange zest. Mix on low only just until no streaks of flour remain. Add the cranberries and gently fold in by hand.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs, about 70-85 minutes
- Let cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the glaze:
- Mix together the powdered sugar, orange zest, orange juice and enough milk to make a thick but pour-able glaze.
- Pour glaze over the bundt cake and let set for a few minutes before serving.
- If using frozen cranberries, no need to thaw.
- Make ahead: wrap in plastic at store at room temperature for up to 4 days, and in the freezer for up for 2 months. Add glaze just before serving.