Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake
This cranberry orange bundt cake is perfect for fall, winter and holiday baking! It’s a rich and moist cream cheese pound cake scented with cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest, filled with fresh tart cranberries, and covered with a sweet orange glaze.
Aren’t bundt 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.
Which is exactly why you’ll love this cranberry orange bundt cake! It’s impressive but simple, and very delicious. The combination of fresh orange and cranberry with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg gives this cake so much flavor, and the addition of cream cheese keeps the pound cake super moist.
And since it keeps very well both on the counter and in the freezer, this cranberry orange cake is also a great make-ahead option for the busy holiday season.
Table of Contents
- Ingredients you’ll need
- How to make this cranberry orange bundt cake
- Variations & serving suggestions
- Recipe FAQs
- More bundt cakes
- Get the recipe
Ingredients you’ll need
How to make this cranberry orange bundt cake
- Start with room temperature eggs & dairy. Room temperature ingredients will combine better, which helps make a tall and tender cake. Let the butter, cream cheese and eggs rest at room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes before making this recipe. It really makes a difference, so don’t skip this step!
- Prepare cake batter. Beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy, then mix in the eggs and vanilla one at a time. Whisk dry ingredients and orange zest together in another bowl and then add it to the butter mixture and mix on low just until combined. Fold in the cranberries by hand. Do not overmix.
- Spread into greased bundt pan. Generously grease a 10-12 cup capacity bundt cake pan with a non-stick baking spray (one that contains flour, such as Baker’s Joy), or grease with butter and flour. Make sure the pan is greased well! Spoon the batter into the pan and spread it into a flat layer.
- Bake. Bake in a 325°F preheated oven for 60-80 minutes (Bundt pans and ovens vary, start checking at 60 minutes. Mine are always done at exactly 70 minutes.) Look for a puffed top that springs back when gently pressed, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out only with some moist crumbs.
- Cool. Let the bundt cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Drizzle with orange glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar with orange juice and milk to make a thick but pourable glaze. Consistency is up to you, whether you want a thinner glaze that covers more of the cake, or a thick glaze that only partially drips down. Spoon the glaze over the cake and let it set up for about 30 minutes before serving.
- Enjoy! Slice and serve as desired. It’ll be fresh for a few days, which makes it a great make-ahead dessert.
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!
- Start with a pan you trust. If you’re extra nervous, you can even use a non-stick bundt pan.
- 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. (You can also use butter/shortening + flour.)
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. (Do not let the cake cool completely in the pan.)
- Gently “bounce” the pan up and down to loosen the cake while it’s still warm. 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.
Variations & serving suggestions
- This cake can be made with fresh or frozen cranberries. If baking with frozen cranberries, do not thaw before mixing into the batter. You can also use dried cranberries for a slightly different flavor and texture, but I prefer to use fresh (or frozen) if available.
- Serve with whipped cream and forgo the orange glaze, if desired.
- Sugared cranberries would be a beautiful garnish if you’re looking for a more impressive presentation.
- Lemon zest and juice can be used instead of orange.
- Blueberries would also work in place of cranberries.
See my tips above! Most importantly, your pan should be greased with a fat (such as butter or shortening) + flour. I use a nonstick baking spray like Baker’s Joy. Make sure it gets into all the cracks.
You’ll need a 10-inch 10-12 cup capacity bundt cake pan for this cake (which is the standard size for bundt pans). Not sure if your bundt pan is large enough? You can use water and a liquid measuring cup to figure out the capacity. As a general rule, never fill a bundt pan more than 3/4 full.
For the freshest cake, this bundt cake should be served within 2-3 days. It also freezes very well. You can also freeze it for 1 month or more (wrap well with plastic wrap).
I have only tested this recipe as written and I recommend sticking to it. If you’d like to make ingredient substitutions, I suggest searching for a different recipe that has been created specifically to meet those needs.
More bundt cakes
Get the recipe
This recipe was originally published November 2017.
Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake
- 1 ½ cup unsalted butter (340 grams, 3 sticks), softened to room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese (226 grams), softened to room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar (600 grams)
- 6 large eggs , at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (360 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly ground preferred)
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (200 grams)
- 2 cups powdered sugar (227 grams), sifted
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1-2 tablespoons milk , as needed
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Generously grease a 12 cup bundt cake pan with nonstick baking spray (that contains flour), making sure to get the entire 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.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange zest. Add to the butter mixture all at a once and 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 and spread into an even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs, about 65-85 minutes (mine are done at exactly 70 minutes, but ovens and bundt pans will vary).
- 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.