This classic pairing of orange and cranberries is delightful in this Cranberry Orange Butter Cake. It begins with a dense creamy butter cake which owes part of its sweetness to the condensed milk in the batter. A splash of vanilla and orange add a pop of flavor. Fresh tart cranberries are gently folded into the batter with freshly grated orange zest to complete the flavor profile. After cooling the cake, a creamy citrus glaze is drizzled on top with a sprinkle of fresh orange zest. One piece is never enough.
Easy Cranberry Orange Butter Cake Recipe
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.
How to Make the Best Cranberry Orange Butter Cake Recipe
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.
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Cranberry Orange Butter Cake: All purpose flour, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, butter, vanilla extract, orange extract, fresh cranberries, orange zest, sweetened condensed milk and large eggs.
- To make the creamy glaze you'll need: Heavy cream, powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest and orange extract for extra punch of flavor.
- Kitchen gadgets you'll need: A stand mixer or a hand mixer, a large bowl, a medium bowl, a whisk, measuring cups and spoons, a citrus zester and a bundt pan.
- The purpose of adding orange extract to the cake batter and the glaze is to give it a more intense citrus flavor.
- It's important to toss the cranberries with a small amount of flour to help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake batter. It' doesn't mean that some won't, but they are more equally distributed when doing this step.
- 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.
- Store leftover Cranberry Orange Butter Cake chilled in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- You can also freeze this cake for up to 2 months. When freezing, I recommend waiting to glaze the cake after thawing.
More Cranberry Dessert Recipes to Make
This homemade Christmas cranberry cake is bound to be the crowning jewel of your holiday dessert table. More cranberry dessert recipes you may also like to try:
- Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Chip Cookies are a seasonal favorite.
- Cranberry Orange Yogurt Bread for mornings or afternoon snacking with a steamy cup of tea or coffee.
- Cranberry Apple Fruit Chutney is a delicious option for your Thanksgiving side dishes.
- Don't just stop there, whip-up a batch of these Cranberry Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies for your neighborhood cookie swap.
- Start your day with these Cranberry Orange Sour Cream Scones or a freshly baked batch of Cranberry Muffins.
- You may also like this recipe for Cranberry Salsa from Favorite Family Recipes.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Cranberry Orange Butter Cake
- 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
- 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure orange extract
- 4 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus 2 Tbsp divided
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 12 oz fresh cranberries rinsed, dried and picked over
- 2 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon 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 ½ 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 tablespoon 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.
What can I use in place of Orange extract. Can’t find it anywhere. HELP.
I'm not certain there's a good replacement. You could try using 1 Tablespoon of orange juice concentrate (thawed) and increase the orange zest.
Can cake flour be used instead of the all-purpose mixture.
You can use cake flour, if you prefer.
Hi! So my cake came out way to wet. When I stuck the toothpick in it came out clean so it was baked all the way through. I’m not sure what happened. I used fresh cranberries. A 12oz bag like directed. Help!
I'm not certain why you would get a clean toothpick but, then, it was underbaked in places? A couple of things could be a factor. One is, the batter may not have been mixed thoroughly. Another is uneven heat. An oven that runs too hot, can cause a cake to bake unevenly. You may want turn the cake to see if it helps. This cake is made with fresh cranberries but, if they all clump together and aren't evenly distributed in the batter, it could be an issue.