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Christmas Cranberry Cake

Fresh cranberries shine in the sweetest of ways in this Christmas Cranberry Cake. The sweet batter paired with the tartness of the fresh cranberries forms a heavenly union that makes this simple made-from-scratch cake unforgettable.

Christmas Cranberry Cake

Easy Christmas Cranberry Cake Recipe

The flavor of cranberries is one we thoroughly enjoy, and the holiday season just wouldn’t be the same without including them in as many ways as possible. Depending on the recipe, I may use dried or fresh cranberries. I use dried cranberries for texture in my recipes for Holiday Eggnog Rice Pudding and Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Chip Cookies. A tasty use for fresh cranberries, is this recipe for Cranberry Orange Yogurt Bread, adding a burst of flavor. Insanely delicious Cranberry Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies is a recipe given to me by my Parade Magazine Editor, Peter, some time ago and it provides yet another option, that just never disappoints. How to make easy Christmas Cake:

  • All Purpose Flour – Plain all purpose flour is the best option here.
  • Instant Pudding Mix – Cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix or cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix. These will add subtle flavor and a tender crumb to the cake’s texture.
  • Fresh Cranberries – Rinse and pick over the cranberries removing any that are bruised or soft.
  • Chocolate Chips – White chocolate is my pick for this cake. You could use semi sweet chocolate chips but please note, it will change the flavor profile.
  • Powdered Sugar – This cake is so rich and tender no frosting is needed. A simple dusting or powdered sugar will do the trick.
  • Springform Pan – This single layer cake is designed to bake in a deeper pan.
ingredients to make cake with cranberries in a bowl

How to Make the Best Christmas Cranberry Cake Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Christmas Cranberry Cake: All purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, instant white chocolate or cheesecake flavored pudding mix, granulated sugar, butter, vanilla extract, fresh cranberries, sour cream, white chocolate chips, large eggs and powdered sugar for dusting the top.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: One 9 inch springform pan, a whisk, medium bowl, large bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a stand mixer or a hand mixer and cooling rack.
  • I make this cake in a deep non-stick springform pan. You can also make this in a square 9 x 9 inch pan or any similar size oven safe dish.
  • The addition of instant pudding adds a lovely tender texture to the crumb of the cake. It also lends a very subtle white chocolate flavor.
  • When measuring the cranberries, don’t get too fussy. I’ve used up to 2 1/2 cups in this cake.
  • Likewise, the white chocolate chips melt while baking which effects the baking time. You can omit them without any other adjustments, if preferred. The cake may take less time to bake when the baking chips are left out.
  • It’s important to check the cake at 30 minutes and lay foil on top to prevent the cake from over browning. Don’t skip it.
  • While this cake is quite delicious served at room temperature or chilled, it should be stored chilled.
  • Store Cranberry Christmas Cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to 2 months. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
baked cranberry cake

More Cranberry Desserts Sweets to Make

Cranberries are synonymous with fall and holiday baking. A few more recipes using cranberries that you may also like to try:

Christmas Cranberry Cake

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Helpful Kitchen Items:

Christmas Cranberry Cake

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Cooling time6 hours
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas-cranberry-cake, cranberry-cake, cranberry-cake-recipes
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 332kcal


  • 2 cups all purpose flour plus 1 Tbsp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3.4 oz box white chocolate OR cheesecake instant pudding mix
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries washed, dried and picked over
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar for dusting


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9 inch springform pan or liberally spray with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium-size mixing bowl, using a whisk, sift together flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together sour cream, butter, eggs and vanilla until fully combined.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, Add the wet ingredients mixing with a large non-stick spoon or spatula until ingredients are fully combined. The batter will be stiff.
  • Toss cranberries with remaining 1 Tbsp flour until coated. Add to batter with white chocolate chips. Fold until evenly distributed.
  • Spread in prepared pan. Wrap bottom of pan with foil to prevent leaks.
  • Bake for 70-80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. Check at 30 minutes and lay foil on top to prevent over browning.
  • Cool in pan for 30 minutes, then remove outer ring. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
  • Slice and serve dusted with powdered sugar. Store chilled.


  • The white chocolate chips melt while baking, adding an irresistible flavor to the batter. If you omit them, the cake may not take as long to bake.
  • Take time to evenly distribute the cranberries and baking chips in the batter for the best end result. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 379IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. 5 stars
    I cut sugar in half added 1 tsp of
    nutmeg and frosted with a cream cheese frosting a little over the moon but so good.

  2. Wow! This is a showstopper for the holidays. I used cheesecake instant pudding and it was wonderful. It was super moist, sweet and tart. It looked exactly the same as the photo.

  3. 5 stars
    Great flavor and texture. I substituted 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce for the butter to save calories. I did not have fresh cranberries so I re-hydrated 1.5 cups of dried cranberries in a cup of lemon zest hot tea for 20 minutes and poured off the liquid. used a bundt pan and tented with foil after 30 minutes baked 45 minutes total

    1. Thank you, Catherine, for the comments. I was wondering if this recipe would “do” if baked in a Bundt pan and what to do with dried cranberries since I don’t have access to fresh ones. You have answered both questions as well as adding in excellent advice on baking time and tenting the cake. Again ….. thank you!

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