This Cranberry Orange Pound Cake will be a new favorite this holiday season! Moist, tender and packed with bright & zesty orange and cranberry flavors with a rich orange-flavored cream cheese glaze.
I realized that I have a blatant lack of cranberry recipes on my site.
Sorry to all those cranberry people in the world. I’ve let ya down.
But! I’m changing that as we speak with this fabulous Cranberry Orange Pound Cake recipe. It is kinda sorta special in that it’s studded with little cranberry jewels and sprinkled with orange zest flecks that make it super flavorful.
And it’s great for the holidays, because is there anything more holiday-y than cranberries? I think not.
But can I be kinda honest with you?
Up until making this recipe this week, I had never purchased, nor tasted, a real cranberry before.
That is because my family grew up on eating that gelatinous can-shaped cranberry loaf and has been pretty loyal to canned cranberries since the dawn of time. One time, I accidentally bought whole berry canned cranberry sauce and they practically revolted. So making homemade orange-scented gingered cranberry sauce from Epicurious? NOT HAPPENING.
First of all, I don’t think my family could handle an exotic cranberry sauce recipe. Adding ginger or miso or whatever? I think the only ‘ginger’ my grandma knows is the one who danced with Fred Astaire.
Second of all, I tried a raw cranberry right out of the bag and… well… cranberries are kinda nasty. It was like, really exceptionally tart and bitter almost. Maybe I used bad cranberries? (Side note: ‘bad cranberries’? What are they, gang members?) Anyway, I was assured by the internet that my bruise meant I had a flesh-eating virus and that cranberries are kinda supposed to taste gross before you add copious amounts of sugar. So, good news!
Anyway, this recipe is a cinch to make and is scratch-made, for all you scratch-cooking lovers out there. It’s so moist and fluffy and packed with buttery flavor. The cranberry jewels add a nice pop of color, polka-dotting the pale orange colored cake. And the orange-flavored cream cheese glaze really pulls it all together.
Overall, I think this needs to be made in your house. Stat.
*adapted slightly from Taste of Home
- FOR CAKE:
- 1 & ½ cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 & ¾ cups sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream
- Zest of one orange
- Juice of one orange (about ¼ cup)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed and rinsed if using frozen)
- FOR CREAM CHEESE GLAZE:
- 4 oz (1/2 pkg) cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally - and I mean liberally! - grease a Bundt pan with cooking spray, preferably the kind with flour in it. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 5 minutes or until very pale in color and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla, flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg and beat to combine. Lastly, add in the sour cream, orange zest and fresh orange juice; beat to combine. Fold in the cranberries.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for approx. 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before gently inverting to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the cake has cooled, make your glaze. In a medium bowl, whip together the cream cheese, orange juice, vanilla and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until smooth, about 1 minute. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake.
This cake will be such a stunner on any Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert table! You could always sprinkle sugared cranberries or candied orange peels on the top for an even prettier look.
Have a super sweet day!