Orange cranberry bundt cake, with soft and tender crumb, fragrant orange glaze and sugared cranberries on top. It's deliciously buttery, moist and dense, without being too heavy.
Bundt cakes are surprisingly easy to make, and always look very impressive, with their beautiful, unique shapes and intricate designs. They are a great alternative to more time-consuming and complicated layer cakes, and unlike other cakes, it doesn't require any buttercream or frosting. A simple glaze on top is enough to turn this simple bake into a stunner!
This easy cake is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on your guests, and will make a beautiful and eye-catching centrepiece at your Christmas table or any holiday celebration.
If you enjoyed my orange cranberry loaf recipe, then you will love this orange and cranberry bundt cake. It is a little lighter in texture, but equally intense in flavour, where sweet, juicy and fragrant oranges are combined with vibrant, jammy and sharp cranberries.
Here's what this cranberry orange bundt cake is made of:
- Flour - Plain, all purpose flour will work best in this cake recipe.
- Baking powder and baking soda - Using both raising agents to ensure the perfect rise of the cake.
- Cinnamon - To add a little extra flavour and aroma.
- Sugars - I'm using white caster sugar in the cake batter, and icing/ powdered sugar for the citrus glaze. You can also use soft light brown sugar, or granulated sugar instead (in the batter).
- Orange - Orange zest and fresh orange juice is added to both, cake batter and to the glaze. Freshly squeezed orange juice will always work best, but you can substitute it with juice from the box, if you'd like.
- Butter - To create that delicious, moist and buttery texture.
- Eggs - For moisture and extra structure of our bundt cake.
- Buttermilk - To balance out the sweetness of the cake, and to help with that rich, buttery taste. You can also use sour cream or Greek yoghurt instead.
- Cranberries - Fresh or frozen cranberries will work best in this bundt cake recipe. You can use dried cranberries as a substitute, but I would recommend to soak them up in some orange juice or water for at least 15 minutes, allowing them to moisten and plump up.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the recipe card and the full list of the ingredients.
Start by preparing the bundt pan. Grease it generously, and dust it with flour, tapping out any excess.
If you are decorating the cake with sugared cranberries, you may want to make these first, as they will need an hour to rest. For sugared cranberries, I recommend using fresh cranberries (frozen cranberries will also work, but not the dried ones).
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set this mixture aside, until needed.
Beat the butter, sugar and orange zest until combined.
Add the eggs and buttermilk, mixing well to combine.
Tip the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix to combine.
Fold in the cranberries, and transfer the batter into prepared bundt pan.
Hint: Be sure to fill the baking pan with the cake batter no more than ¾ full to avoid overflow.
Bake this orange cranberry bundt cake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely, before adding the orange glaze and decorating with sugared cranberries.
- Mini bundt cakes - You can turn this recipe into individual mini bundt cakes (depending on the size of your baking tin, you should get about 10-12 individual cakes). You may need a special bundtlette pan for that, or an individual mini-bundt baking tin.
- Add some nuts - Add a handful of chopped pistachios for an extra texture, flavour and pop of colour (like in my orange and cranberry Chelsea buns recipe). You could add a handful to the cake batter, and some more to sprinkle the cake with.
- Chocolate - White chocolate will be a great addition to cranberry and orange flavour combination. You can use melted white chocolate for the glaze, instead of the orange glaze. Or why not add a handful of white chocolate chips to the cake batter?
- Handheld electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with paddle or whisk attachment.
- Bundt pan - I'm using this Nordic Ware heritage bundt tin, which is 2.4 l (10 cups) in capacity. If your baking pan is smaller, you will have to scale down the recipe and adjust the baking times accordingly.
Store this cranberry orange cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 7 days. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.
Orange cranberry bundt cake is also suitable for freezing for up to 3 months (freeze it without the glaze). Thaw it in the fridge overnight, then bring the cake to room temperature, drizzle with glaze and serve.
Take time when greasing and dusting the baking tin. Cakes baked in bundt tins can become difficult to release and remove from the pan, if it wasn't greased properly. So make sure you butter yours really well. You can also use special baking spray containing flour, but do not use regular cooking spray.
Reserve about 1 tablespoon of flour and toss the cranberries in it, before folding them into cake batter. This will help to prevent them sinking into the bottom of the cake.
Frequently asked questions
No, you don't. This cranberry orange cake can be baked in any baking tin (round or square or rectangular) with similar capacity (2.4 l). If your baking pan is different in size/ capacity, you will have to scale the recipe accordingly. Baking times will also need adjusting.
Make sure to use the non-stick type of bundt tin (some older ones may not be non-stick), grease the tin thoroughly and dust it with flour. Some sources do not recommend using butter to grease bundt tins with, but I personally never had an issue with it. You can also use non-stick vegetable oil spray or melted shortening instead. If your pan is particularly intricate in its design, use a pastry brush and melted butter/ shortening to get to all the nooks and crannies. Read this helpful article on How to prevent Bundt cakes from sticking for more tips!
You can use dried cranberries in the cake batter, but I will recommend to soak them in liquid (orange juice, water, or your favourite tipple) first, to moisten and plump them up. If you want to decorate the cake with sugared cranberries, you will need to use fresh or frozen cranberries.
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Orange and Cranberry Bundt Cake
- hand-held electric mixer or stand mixer with paddle or whisk attachment
- 2.4 l bundt tin
- 320 g plain flour plus 1 tablespoon extra
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 250 g caster sugar
- 1 large orange zest and juice
- 140 g butter softened
- 3 large eggs
- 250 ml buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200 g cranberries
For sugared cranberries:
- 70 g caster sugar
- 70 ml water
- 80 g fresh cranberries
- 2 tablespoon caster sugar
For the drizzle:
- 150 g icing sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- Pre heat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan). Generously grease the cake tin wit butter and dust it with the flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.320 g plain flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- In a separate large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter and orange zest on a medium speed until combined. Add eggs, vanilla and buttermilk and whisk again to combine. Don't worry if the mixture curdles at this stage, it will come together once the dry ingredients are added.250 g caster sugar, 1 large orange, 140 g butter, 3 large eggs, 250 ml buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Toss the cranberries in 1 tablespoon of flour, then gently fold them into the batter using spatula.200 g cranberries
- Spoon the batter into baking pan. Bake for 40- 45 minutes, until golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Take out of the oven and cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the drizzle:
- Mix the icing sugar and orange juice and drizzle over the cake. Top with sugared cranberries.150 g icing sugar, 1 ½ tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
For sugared cranberries:
- Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Allow the sugar to melt, and take off the heat. Add the cranberries, submerging them in the sugary syrup, then using a slotted spoon take them out and place on a cooling rack for about an hour. Add 2 tablespoon of caster sugar into a small bowl and tip over the cranberries. Toss the cranberries around until covered in sugar.70 g caster sugar, 70 ml water, 80 g fresh cranberries, 2 tablespoon caster sugar
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
This recipe was originally published in November 2018. It has been updated with new photos, revised recipe and tips in December 2022.