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Cranberry Cake Recipe

    A Cranberry Cake is a dessert that combines cranberries’ tartness with the cake’s sweetness. This combination makes for a delicious and unique flavor that is perfect for any occasion.  The holidays are a great time to make a cranberry Christmas cake, as the bright red color is perfect for festive gatherings.

    If you're looking for a cake that is delicious, try this Cranberry Cake. The flavors are perfect and are made with fresh cranberries, pecans, and orange zest.

    Why You’ll Love This Recipe

    Cranberry cake is the perfect winter dessert. Here are three reasons why this delicious treat should be at the top of your baking list.

    • This cake is surprisingly easy to make. You don’t need any special ingredients or skills to bake a beautiful cake. Just follow your favorite recipe and enjoy.
    • Perfect for serving at large gatherings. Cranberries are a seasonal fruit, so they’re usually only available for a few weeks each year. This means that cranberry cake is the perfect way to celebrate with your friends and family.
    • A delicious way to show off your baking skills. When you take that first bite of moist, fluffy cake topped with juicy cranberries, it’s hard not to be impressed.

    Ingredients Needed for Christmas Cake Recipe

    Please check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients. 

    • Fresh cranberries – You can’t make cranberry cake without fresh cranberries! This is the base of your cake, so be sure to use good-quality berries.
    • Pecans –  Pecans are a delicious and crunchy addition to the cake recipe. You can use chopped pecans or candied pecans, depending on your preference.
    • Orange zest – This is another key ingredient that adds a bright citrus flavor to the cake. Feel free to add more or less orange zest, depending on how much you love that sweet and tangy taste.
    • Unsalted Butter – You’ll need softened butter to make the cake batter and butter for greasing the pan.
    • Almond or vanilla extract – You can choose to add a bit of almond or vanilla extract for extra flavor.
    Ingredients need for the recipe: Cranberries, sugar, flour, pecans, orange zest, eggs, butter, vanilla.

    What should I serve with Fresh Cranberry Dessert?

    If you’re looking to make this Cranberry Cake a little extra special, consider these extras when serving the cake.

    • Whipped cream – Whipped cream is the best-tasting and most festive way to top off your Cranberry Cake.
    • Ice cream – For a cool and creamy combination, serve a scoop of ice cream alongside your warm cake.
    • Fruit topping – Whether you want to use fresh berries or jam, a fruit topping is always delicious with this cake. 

    If you’re feeling especially festive, consider using a combination of toppings for a colorful and tasty treat.

    The finished cake with slices cranberries on top.

    Do cranberries need to be cooked before baking?

    Nope. We are adding in washed, whole cranberries to the cake batter. If we were to precook them, the cake would be an all-over pink color instead of red pops of color. While baking, the cranberries soften and almost melt into the cake. Of course, you could make a cranberry sauce and layer it like this muffin recipe.

    Cranberry cake served up on a plate and served with whipped cream and a cup of coffee.

    Do you have to soak dried cranberries before baking?

    It is recommended to soak dried cranberries in water or another liquid before baking, as this can help them soften and plump up. However, it is not absolutely necessary. If you choose to soak the cranberries, drain them thoroughly so they don’t add excess moisture to your cake batter.

    Cranberry Cake 13

    How to Store the Cranberry Cake

    If you have leftovers after your holiday celebrations, it’s important to store the cake properly so that it stays fresh and delicious. It would be best if you keep your cake in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge, depending on how long you want it to last.

    You can also wrap the cake in plastic wrap or foil to help keep it fresh and prevent it from drying out. And, of course, make sure you store your cranberry Christmas cake away from any high-heat sources, such as the stove or a window sill with direct sunlight.

    If you're looking for a cake that is delicious, try this Cranberry Cake. The flavors are perfect and are made with fresh cranberries, pecans, and orange zest.

    Cranberry Cake

    Cranberry Cake

    If you're looking for a cake that is delicious, try this Cranberry Cake. The flavors are perfect and are made with fresh cranberries, pecans, and orange zest

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 40 minutes
    Additional Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes


    • 3 large eggs, room temperature
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • ¾ cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 teaspoons orange zest
    • 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 ½ cups fresh cranberries
    • ⅔ cup pecans, chopped

    Serve with

    • Whip cream
    • Cranberries
    • Pecans


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    1. Lightly spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.
    2. In a large bowl beat together eggs and sugar until slightly thick and eggs are darker lemon color, about 4-5 minutes.
    3. Add butter, extract and orange zest and beat just until combined.
    4. Gradually add flour just until combined.
    5. Stir in cranberries and pecans.
    6. Spread evenly into the prepared baking dish.
    7. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.
    8. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
    9. Serve room temperature or warm with whipped cream, cranberries, and pecans if you like.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    Images, text and all other content Copyrighted©Karyn Granrud, Susanne Queck and Wunderlander Verlag LLC, or ©Pro Stock Media via Unlicensed republishing permitted. As an Amazon affiliate, we earn on qualified purchases.

    Karyn Granrud

    Karyn Granrud

    I'm Karyn, a mom and wife, and I founded this little baking blog. Baking and making desserts have been my passion since I was a kid. I love experimenting with different flavors and sharing delicious recipes with all of you. Read more.

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