This classic pairing of orange and cranberry is absolutely delightful in this Cranberry Orange Butter Cake. It begins with a dense creamy butter cake which owes part of it’s sweetness to the condensed milk in the batter. A splash of pure vanilla and orange extracts for a pop of flavor, then fresh tart cranberries are gently folded into the batter with freshly grated orange zest. After cooling the cake, a creamy orange glaze is drizzled on top and it’s then topped with additional fresh orange zest. One bite is never enough, it’s sure to make you want to take another and then another.
I could literally skip for joy when I see fresh cranberries show-up in the produce section of my local market. I can neither confirm or deny if that has ever actually happened. Perhaps it’s the cranberry flavor which I do sincerely love, or the fact that it’s associated with the holiday season and all the baking, entertaining and fun times with friends and family that are sure to come. Combine that with my love of butter cakes and this cranberry orange sensation was bound to happen.
The sweet butter cake batter while glorious all on it’s own, is balanced beautifully by the tartness of the cranberries. It’s worth every single calorie that comes with it. I love to glaze this cake with a creamy orange glaze but if preferred, you can simply dust with powdered sugar and call it a day.
I typically bake my butter cakes in a springform pan and then serve them cut into wedges as a single layer cake. That said, this cranberry orange butter cake texture is slightly different due to the amount of cranberries and added liquid they release into the batter while baking and I find that it bakes more evenly in a bundt pan. It’s bound to be the crowning jewel of your holiday dessert table without a single crumb or cranberry, left behind.
You may also like: Cranberry Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cranberry Christmas Cake, Low Carb Cranberry Cobbler, Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies, Cranberry Bliss White Chocolate Bark and Cranberry Apple Butter.
Cranberry Orange Butter Cake
- 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
- 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pure orange extract
- 4 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 Tbsp divided
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk (Not evaporated milk)
- 12 oz fresh cranberries rinsed, dried and picked over
- 2 Tbsp fresh orange zest
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp pure orange extract
- Juice from zested orange to thin
- Fresh orange zest for garnishing
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a Bundt pan or spray liberally with baking spray. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla and orange extracts. Beat for 3 minutes on medium-high speed stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl periodically.
- Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt.
- Lower the speed of the mixer and add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the sweetened condensed milk beginning and ending with flour.
- After all has been added beat for 30-45 seconds.
- In a bowl toss the cranberries with 2 Tbsp flour.
- Use a large spoon or spatula to fold the cranberries and orange zest into the batter until evenly distributed. Pour evenly into Bundt pan. Bounce to settle the batter..
- Place into the oven and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. Check at 40 minutes and lay a piece of aluminum foil on top to prevent over browning, if needed.
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes then carefully invert onto a cooling rack.Cool completely.
- To glaze, mix together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, orange extract and enough orange juice to thin to drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake.
- Garnish with additional orange zest. Store chilled until serving.