This bundt cake is bursting with flavors of orange and cranberry. One pan for all your ingredients makes this recipe quick and easy. Bake this cake on a snowy day and warm your home with the scent of cinnamon and sugar.
Life with a toddler can be summed up with one word… BUSY! With less free time to go around, I've become a fan of quick and easy desserts. I'm talking one pan, less than 10 ingredients, with minimal preparation easy. Are you with me on this? I also love recipes that appear fancy without all the extra work. That's why I love this cranberry orange bundt cake!
A nice bundt pan can make a regular dessert look dazzling. Add a festive garnish (I see you candied cranberries) and you've got a showstopper dessert. This cake perfectly straddles the line between winter and spring. The citrus flavor makes me think of the warm spring days ahead and the cranberries remind me of Christmas. It's the best of both worlds!
Let's Make a Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake!
As I mentioned before, I love that this recipe uses one pan. All you need to do is cream the brown and white sugar with the butter. You can use a mixer or you can do this by hand (although it requires some muscle). After you add in the eggs and sour cream, the dough will look curdled, but it will come together after you add in the flour. Don't despair!
I love that this recipe is bursting with flavor. The FRESH orange juice makes a huge difference in the recipe. Don't use frozen or store bought… it won't taste the same! I also like fresh cranberries in this recipe. However, they can be hard to find off season so you might need to use frozen or dried. If you use frozen, do not defrost before adding to the recipe.
How to Make Candied Cranberries for Garnish
These candied cranberries are so easy and delicious! They are the perfect addition for a garnish to your cake. They would be the perfect appetizer to bring to a party. Heck, they are the perfect snack to eat anytime! Be careful though, I found them disappearing fast because I was snacking on them while I was baking! It's best to soak them in sugar water overnight so plan ahead accordingly.
Make sure you wash your fresh cranberries before adding them to the sugar + water mixture. I like to fill up the sink with water and pour the bag of cranberries in. Look out for any cranberries that sink to the bottom, these are not fresh and you will want to discard them.
This cake has a cinnamon streusel layer so I guess "technically" you do need to use an additional bowl. But it's so worth it, trust me. The cinnamon layer halfway through is like a little surprise waiting for your tastebuds! If your cinnamon layer touches the outside of the pan it can make it difficult to remove the cake after baking. To negate this, I tried to keep the filling away from the edges.
My mom was my hand model and cinnamon-sprinkler for this picture. Thanks, Mom! It also means that this recipe has her seal of approval because she loved the finished product too.
Heather's Helpful Hints
- It's a good idea to have some waxed paper under your cake when you are pouring the glaze on top. This will catch everything that falls off the cake and makes for easier cleanup.
- After you allow your cake to cool and invert for removal—use a wooden spoon to tap several times on the bottom. This is a good trick for getting stuck spots to release for a perfect cake!
- Ensure you use a cooking spray with flour to coat your pan before baking. Liberally spray the pan and make sure you get in all the nooks and crannies. I like to use Baker's Joy spray.
Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake
- 2 cups granulated sugar divided
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup cranberries
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter softened
- 1 ¾ cups brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 5 eggs large
- ½ cup sour cream full fat
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup orange juice fresh
- 1 ¾ cups cranberries fresh
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ confectioners’ sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons orange juice fresh
Make the Candied Cranberries
- Combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water in a pot and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool for 3 minutes. Stir in cranberries, pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain cranberries in a colander. Place 1 cup sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet. Let dry at room temperature for approximately 1 hour.
Make the Bundt Cake
- Set baking rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Carefully grease and flour a bundt pan or use non-stick spray with flour.
- Mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) together in a large bowl and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer, cream the butter with 1 cup of brown sugar and ½ cup granulated sugar. Add the orange zest, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla and mix on low for 30 seconds. Set mixture aside.
- Add your dry ingredients into the mixture, alternating with the milk and orange juice. Mix until combined being careful not to over-mix. Add cranberries at the very end.
Add the Cinnamon Swirl
- In a small bowl, mix the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon together.
- Fill half of the bundt pan with your batter. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture being careful not to get too close to the edges. Finish by spreading the remainder of the batter on top.
- Place bundt pan on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for approximately 60 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean without any streaks batter.
- Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes and then remove from pan by inverting onto a cool rack. Allow cake to completely cool to room temperature.
Make the Orange Icing
- Mix confectioners' sugar and orange juice together to make your glaze. Slowly pour glaze over cooled cake.
Notes and Tips
Tell me how the Recipe Worked for You!
Did you make this recipe? First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try! Please leave us a rating and leave any feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and what didn’t — with a recipe! Be sure to check out some of our other recipes linked below!