Irresistible Cranberry Orange Cake Recipe to Brighten Your Day

The cranberry orange cake is a delightful culinary creation that perfectly marries the tartness of cranberries with the zesty brightness of oranges. This harmonious blend of flavors results in a cake that’s both refreshing and comforting, making it an excellent choice for various occasions.

If you don’t like Christmas cake or pudding, this is a cake for those who, like me, are gluten-free, and it’s a cranberry orange Christmas cake when you need to bake something, quick.

Cranberry orange cake for Christmas even
Cranberry and orange loaf cake

To a basic sponge mix, I added flavours that evoke Christmas: oranges  – sweet, citrus, and utterly Christmassy; cranberries – festive and jewel-like, adding just a touch of grown-up tartness to an otherwise sweet cake; and almonds – a touch of marzipan flavour, but more delicate, and adding moisture and lightness to the sponge.

I kept the decoration simple too – just a drizzle of icing, made with juice from an orange, and extra cranberries, caramelized with a little sugar. It’s enough to make it look festive without it being sickly or over the top. This is how to make cranberry orange cake:

Orange cranberry cake

A festive twist – Christmas flavours, but lighter and fresher.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Asian, Mediterranean
Servings 17
Calories 250 kcal


  • 175 g butter
  • 175 g soft brown sugar
  • 160 g gluten free self-raising flour
  • 30 g ground almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g fresh cranberries, chopped Plus a few extra whole, for decoration
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 60 g icing sugar


  • Grease and line a small loaf tin, and preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Whip the butter and sugar together until they form a light and fluffy mixture.
  • Beat the eggs one by one, adding a small amount of flour each time to prevent curdling.
  • Fold in the rest of the flour, ground almonds, and cinnamon.
  • Grate in the zest of the orange and squeeze in the juice from half the orange (reserve the other half for the icing).
  • Gently stir in the cranberries.
  • Spoon the mixture into the tin, and bake for about an hour, or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Turn out onto a wire rack, and leave to cool.
  • To make the icing, mix the sifted icing sugar with as much of the orange juice as you need to make it runny enough for decorating.
  • Use a spoon or piping bag to zig-zag the icing across the cake.
  • Caramelize the cranberries by adding to a pan with 1 tbsp brown sugar and 100ml of orange juice or water. Heat until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries start to break down.
  • Leave to cool, then spoon the cranberries over the top of the cake.
  • Serve straight away, or keep for several days in an airtight container.


– It’s best to add the cranberries just before serving, if you are storing it first.
– The orange and cranberry cake can be frozen well, for up to a month.
– Cranberry orange cake recipe variations:
  • Some recipes call for using dried cranberries instead of fresh or frozen ones.
  • You can add chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts for added texture and flavour.
  • Cranberry orange cake can be paired with cream cheese frosting
  • You can create cranberry orange cake with lemon glaze by combining powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Gently whisk the mixture until smooth. Once the cranberry orange loaf is warm, spread the glaze over it, letting it drizzle down the sides. Allow the glaze to sit for about an hour until it develops a crackly texture.
  • Vegan cranberry orange cake: Instead of using eggs and typical butter, you can use silken tofu and vegan block butter. You can use baking soda in order to make the cake rise.
Keyword baking, Christmas, dessert, gluten free

Cranberry orange cake is a combination of the tartness of cranberries with the bright and citrusy flavor of oranges. With each bite, you’ll experience a harmonious dance of sweet and tart notes that will surely put a smile on your face.

Recipe for cranberry orange cake

It’s a popular treat, especially during the fall and winter months when cranberries are in season. The orange cranberry cake is often served as a dessert, snack, or even as a special cranberry orange breakfast cake treat. It pairs well with a cup of tea or coffee. You can also serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Whether you’re sharing it with loved ones during special occasions or treating yourself to a moment of indulgence, this cake is a true winner. Hope you can do it with our easy orange cranberry cake recipe.