This Cranberry Orange Pound Cake is rich and buttery, with a layer of cranberry sauce inside, and a bright orange glaze. Perfect flavor combination and festive for the holidays!
Wonderful Holiday Pound Cake Recipe
Aaaah oranges and cranberries! They definitely love one another and are a perfect pair in this pound cake recipe. It has a tender, rich, and buttery crumb texture, with a layer of cranberry sauce inside, and a bright orange glaze. Baked in a fluted tube cake pan gives it a festive presentation. While you absolutely can make this cake year-round, it is perfect for holiday time.
What You’ll Need
This pound cake calls for pretty common ingredients, but each one serves an important role. The results are a marvelous crumb that you can’t get enough of! Here’s what you’ll need:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Unsalted Butter: Butter is the base of pound cake. We use unsalted butter, so the cake doesn’t end up too salty.
- Eggs: Eggs provide structure and a necessary ingredient in pound cake.
- Cream cheese: This keeps the cake moist and adds tanginess.
- Sugar: For sweetness and to properly cream the butter.
- Flour: Cake flour renders the best results. It’s lighter than all-purpose flour and produces the most light, delicate crumb. However, you can totally use all-purpose flour, if that’s what you have on hand.
- Baking powder and Baking soda: These are leavening agents that give the cake lift.
- Salt: Boosts the other flavors.
- Vanilla extract: A little bit of vanilla extract adds a nice touch of flavor.
- Orange juice and zest: For a bright, citrusy flavor.
- Cranberry sauce: We use our homemade cranberry sauce for best flavor, but a can of whole-berry cranberry sauce is fine.
- For the glaze: powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest.
Tips for Success
Making pound cake is very easy, but follow these tips for optimal results:
(To make this cranberry cake recipe, scroll down to the printable recipe card for details and don’t miss the video below.)
- Spoon and level the flour: By scooping, you could end up using too much, resulting in a heavy, dry cake. Make sure to spoon and sweep the flour.
- Butter, cream cheese, and eggs should be room temperature: The butter, cream cheese, and eggs should all be at room temperature before starting. This allows everything to incorporate better and results in a fluffier baked good.
- Don’t over-mix: Over-mixing can make the cake dense and tough.
- Butter and flour the bundt pan: This way the cake won’t stick to the pan once cooled, and will have a quick release.
- Careful spreading the cranberry sauce: When adding the cranberry sauce on top of the batter, try not to spread it to the edges – this will help prevent the cake from sticking to the pan after baking.
How to Store Pound Cake
- Storing leftovers: Any pound cake that isn’t eaten keeps well at room temperature, covered tightly, for up to 3 days.
- To freeze: Wrap baked and cooled cake in 1-2 layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil, and transfer to a freezer-safe bag. It can stay frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before slicing and serving. We recommend freezing without the glaze and adding that after thawing.
More Cranberry Recipes:
- Cranberry Fluff
- Cranberry Hand Pies
- Apple Cranberry Crisp
- Upside-Down Cranberry Cake
- Cranberry Honey Butter
Cranberry Orange Pound Cake
For the Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
- 8 ounce package cream cheese , softened to room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs , room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- zest from one small orange
- 3 cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 14 ounce cranberry sauce (homemade or 1 can whole-berry, loosened)
For the Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan (making sure to get butter in all the corner grooves and discard any excess flour.)
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in, one at a time, beating well each time. Beat in the vanilla, orange juice, and most of the zest (reserving a 1/4 teaspoon for the glaze.)
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture, beating until just combined. Don't over-mix.
- Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Dollop the cranberry mixture on top and spread evenly, keeping it away from the edges (this will help prevent the cake from sticking to the pan after baking.) Top with the remaining batter and smooth it out.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Loosen the sides from the pan with a soft knife. Cool in pan for 20 minutes and then carefully invert onto a serving plate. Let cool completely.
- To make the glaze: whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, and zest in a small bowl until smooth, adding more sugar or juice to achieve the desired consistency. Drizzle over the top of the cake, allowing some to flow over the sides.
- Slice and enjoy!