Delight in Festive Flavors: Cranberry Orange Cake

Embrace the warmth and cheer of the holiday season with a tantalizing treat that combines the vibrant flavors of cranberry and orange in a moist and tender cake—Cranberry Orange Cake. This delightful dessert is a celebration of seasonal ingredients and festive indulgence, perfect for gatherings with loved ones or simply savoring a moment of sweet solitude. Join us as we embark on a culinary journey to create this irresistible confection that will enchant your taste buds and brighten your spirits.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
  • Orange glaze (optional)


  1. Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients: In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract, and orange zest until smooth and creamy.
  4. Incorporate Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in a dense cake texture.
  5. Fold in Cranberries: Gently fold the cranberries into the batter until evenly distributed. The tartness of the cranberries will complement the sweetness of the cake and add a burst of vibrant color.
  6. Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread it out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool and Serve: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar or drizzle with orange glaze, if desired, before serving.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Orange Glaze: For an extra burst of citrus flavor, prepare a simple orange glaze by combining powdered sugar with freshly squeezed orange juice. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake for a sweet and tangy finish.
  • Nutty Crunch: Add chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts to the batter for added texture and flavor. Fold the nuts into the batter before pouring it into the cake pan.
  • Dried Cranberries: If fresh or frozen cranberries are not available, you can substitute dried cranberries instead. Soak the dried cranberries in warm water for 10-15 minutes before folding them into the batter.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s how to adapt the Cranberry Orange Cake recipe:

  • Almond Flour Substitute: Replace the all-purpose flour with almond flour or coconut flour for a keto-friendly and gluten-free alternative. Adjust the amount of flour as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Sugar-Free Sweetener: Swap out the granulated sugar for a sugar-free sweetener such as erythritol, stevia, or monk fruit sweetener to keep the carbs low while maintaining sweetness. Adjust the amount of sweetener according to your taste preferences.
  • Greek Yogurt Substitute: Replace the sour cream with full-fat Greek yogurt for a lower-carb option that still provides moisture and richness to the cake. Greek yogurt adds a tangy flavor and creamy texture to the batter.

In conclusion, Cranberry Orange Cake is a delightful dessert that captures the essence of the holiday season with its bright flavors and festive flair. Whether enjoyed as a centerpiece dessert for holiday gatherings or a cozy treat on a chilly winter evening, this cake is sure to bring joy and comfort to all who indulge.

So, gather your ingredients and let the aromas of cranberry and orange fill your kitchen as you embark on the journey of baking this irresistible confection. With its tender crumb, burst of tart cranberries, and citrusy zest, Cranberry Orange Cake is sure to become a seasonal favorite for years to come

Exploring Flavor Enhancements and Serving Suggestions:

Now, let’s delve deeper into the world of Cranberry Orange Cake and explore some creative ways to enhance its flavor and elevate its presentation:

Flavor Enhancements:

  • Orange Infused Syrup: Create an orange-infused syrup by simmering freshly squeezed orange juice with a touch of sugar or honey until it thickens slightly. Brush the warm syrup over the cooled cake for added moisture and a burst of citrus flavor.
  • Cinnamon Spice: Add warmth and depth to the cake by incorporating ground cinnamon or cinnamon extract into the batter. The subtle hint of spice will complement the tartness of the cranberries and the brightness of the orange zest.
  • Almond Extract: Enhance the nutty undertones of the cake by adding a splash of almond extract to the batter. The almond extract will impart a delicate almond flavor that pairs beautifully with the citrusy notes of the orange zest.

Creative Serving Suggestions:

  • Whipped Cream Topping: Serve slices of Cranberry Orange Cake with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream for a decadent dessert experience. Garnish with additional orange zest or cranberries for a festive touch.
  • Cranberry Coulis: Create a vibrant cranberry coulis by pureeing fresh or frozen cranberries with a bit of sugar and water until smooth. Drizzle the coulis over individual slices of cake for a visually stunning presentation and a burst of tart fruit flavor.
  • Holiday Trifle: Transform the Cranberry Orange Cake into a show-stopping holiday trifle by layering slices of cake with whipped cream, cranberry compote, and orange segments in a large glass trifle dish. Repeat the layers until the dish is filled, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Keto and Low-Carb Variations:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here are additional adaptations to make the Cranberry Orange Cake recipe keto-friendly:

  • Almond Flour Base: Replace the all-purpose flour with almond flour or a combination of almond flour and coconut flour to reduce the carb content while maintaining a moist and tender crumb.
  • Swerve Sweetener: Use a keto-friendly sweetener such as Swerve, erythritol, or monk fruit sweetener in place of granulated sugar to keep the cake sugar-free and low in carbs. Adjust the amount of sweetener to taste.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: Prepare a keto-friendly cream cheese frosting by beating softened cream cheese with powdered erythritol and a splash of vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake for a luscious and indulgent finish.

In conclusion, Cranberry Orange Cake is a delightful dessert that celebrates the flavors of the season with its bright and tangy cranberries, zesty orange zest, and moist cake crumb. Whether enjoyed as a festive centerpiece at holiday gatherings or a cozy treat on a chilly winter day, this cake is sure to delight your taste buds and warm your soul.

So, gather your ingredients and embrace the joy of baking as you create this irresistible Cranberry Orange Cake. With its customizable flavors, creative serving suggestions, and keto-friendly variations, it’s a dessert that can be enjoyed by all, no matter their dietary preferences.

Celebrate the Season with Cranberry Orange Cake Today!

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